Yesterday and the day before I have not had a chance to work on this. I HAVE been able to figure out why a lot of readers find themselves so intensely present in the book I am working on, as if they were there with me.
It's because the book originated as a diary, I think. Originally everything in it had happened to me just a few hours earlier, at most; or sometimes just a few minutes. Even I am beguiled and am led back into the experience when I read it again. I don't believe this is because I am a world-class travel writer, up there with H.V. Morton, although I am not bad. Again, I repeat that I believe that it's the diary effect in action--coupled with WHERE it was in action. Had I written about daily life in a medium-sized, middle-class American town (if there are any such things left) I don't think it would have had anything like the same impact on my readers.
I am, I think, just on the verge of building a small group of people who are interested in anything I write. This is the key to my being useful and successful.