Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Travel Guide Writer Warms Up to Tackle Future Book Projects

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Travel Guide Writer Warms Up to Tackle Future Book Projects

Article excerpt

Byline: Alison Trinidad, Nassau Neighbors staff writer

For 10 years, Donald Wenberg's A through Z guide to the Blue Ridge Mountains was the talk of the travel trade.

But, too busy with his family and career, the accidental author said he never found the time to follow his first foray into writing. His publisher eventually pulled Blue Ridge Mountain Pleasures from the bookshelves in 1995.

Less than a year into his retirement, however, the Amelia Island transplant is chock-full of ideas -- and time -- for a second, and even third book.

This time, Wenberg wants to involve the youth of Amelia Island in the book-publishing process. As he resumes research and commences writing, the author hopes to speak to students about the ins and outs of publishing a book.

A native of Utica, N.Y., Wenberg grew up in the foothills of the Adirondack and Catskill mountains. His father built a rustic cabin beside a lake, where boning freshly caught fish taught the young boy to love the outdoors.

When he moved to Florida, Wenberg said he longed for a cabin like the one he remembered as a child. So, like his father, Wenberg built one for himself and his family in Georgia in the early 1970s. The octagonal cabin in Blairsville, Ga., became an annual family retreat.

The vacation spot is perfect, Wenberg said. Situated on the northeast border of Georgia in the Blue Ridge Mountains and within the Chattahoochee National Forest, Blairsville is a pastiche of mountains, valleys, lakes and waterfalls.

Wenberg said he wrote Blue Ridge Mountain Pleasures because he wanted to know what he and his family could do and see in the area.

"It's a beautiful area, and I always wanted to share it," he said.

Writing before personal computers were common, Wenberg said he filled 12 shoeboxes with research written on 3-by 5-inch index cards. …

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