Beyond Machu Picchu

The second novel in the Beyond Series, Beyond Machu Picchu has Skyler traveling in Peru with his old buddy Josh and his new girlfriend Indigo. Josh is ready to party hard while on vacation and pushes Skyler to the edge. Indigo wants to join Skyler at Machu Picchu and they all want to experience and ayahuasca ceremony in the Sacred Valley of Peru.

You can buy the book here.

This is the front and back cover of the book.

The press kit for Beyond Machu Picchu is below.

I really enjoyed researching and writing Beyond Machu Picchu. This was the first novel that I wrote as a full time author. I wrote an outline while I was living in Cusco and then went on many adventures to find out what were the best places to write about.

In January 2019, Amy and I traveled to Lima for a month before going to Columbia and then on to Cusco. In Cusco, I stayed in a nice condo in the San Blas neighborhood for 44 days with my girlfriend Amy. We loved walking the cobblestone streets of Cusco and hiked in the mountains around Cusco on a daily basis. We went to all seventeen sights on the Cusco Tourist Ticket (Boleto Touristico). We also did day trips to Rainbow Mountain and multi-day trips to Pisac, Ollantaytambo, Maras Salt Mines and many more places. Cusco is awesome and we enjoyed many restaurants and bars in the ancient city.

We traveled heavy, so after our 44 days, we kept some of our luggage in Cusco while we went on a multi-day trip. These overnight trips took us to Salkantay mountain and Lake Humantay, the hot springs below Mt Ausangate and the eco lodge near Santa Teresa. We also took a tw-day Sacred Geometry Class from Elizabeth Celese in Pisac where we explored the ancient science of building with geometry .

We hiked the Inca Trail for four days like Skyler does in the book and spent an extra day in Aguas Caliente so we could go to Machu Picchu for a second day. Amy had enough steps on the Inca Trail, so I hiked up the towering Huayna Picchu alone. Everything went pretty much as planned and I filled my head with wonderful experiences in the Peruvian highlands.

The Ollantaytambo ruins have lots of great stonework above the Sacred Valley.

My plan of becoming a full-time author that explored new places came to fruition. When I do it again, I’m going to write about the specific places while I’m there. Like an artist that sketches a scene to remember it, I want to take the time to write about a place in detail and use that as the basis for setting up scenes in the novel. I mainly built up the scenes from my photographs and memories, but it will be nice to write on site next time.

I started writing the novel in Cusco, but I didn’t write much more until November of 2019. I signed up for NaNoWriMo ( National Novel Writing Month) and kicked some ass. I might have had 15,000 words written at the start of the month and the goal is to write 50,000. I put my head down and wrote 2-3,000 words a day for about 20 days. I reached my goal of the first draft of the novel by November 21st because my brother Eric and his family were arriving for Thanksgiving. the novel ended up being 58,000 words or 200 pages with lots of pictures from the travels.

To give the novel more reality, I included tens of pictures in the book from the locations in the novel. Peru is a very beautiful place and I wanted to add to my words with the photographs.