US Ambassador Lewis Lucke talks to Book Glow about his memoir, From Timbuktu To Duck And Cover: Improbable Tales from a Career in Foreign Service, which documents his thirty-year career abroad.
Describe the book in one sentence.
From Timbuktu to Duck and Cover is the story of one man’s overseas life and career in the US Foreign Service and some of the more unique stories and tales that resulted from living and working in eleven countries in the Middle East, Africa and Latin America.
What led you to write it?
Several reasons: My first book Waiting for Rain concentrated on my experiences in one country—Mali—and I thought the same approach to the rest of my countries might prove interesting as well. I also wanted to possibly inspire and encourage young people that in seeking a career, work overseas could be achievable, inspiring and fulfilling. No vanilla living! Lastly, after hearing some of my stories, a lot of people over the years told me, “You ought to write a book.”
How did you get interested in international life and overseas work?
An archaeological dig to Israel when I was a teenager and a Year Abroad Program in France got me hooked on the international life, other cultures and foreign languages
How long did it take to write?
About two years with a lot of starting and stopping along the way
Do you prefer writing in one genre over another?
I prefer to write about what I know best—international life and economic development with a lot of true and hopefully interesting stories thrown in.
What book most influenced your life?
That’s a hard one…I have been inspired and moved by many books…
Where do you write?
In my office and more than a few hotel rooms,
Is there any one thing that especially frustrates you about the writing process?
No frustrations! Being creative and writing is fun to me.
Any advice for novice writers?
Follow your own inspirations and know what you’re talking about. The use of humor is normally a good thing.
Back to my “real job” working with two companies and helping with the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.