Tom Brosnahan

Author, travel writer, photographer, web developer, novelist


My first guidebook, Turkey on $5 a Day, was a Peace Corps project. Begun in 1968 and published in 1972, I calculate that it helped to bring several million visitors to Turkey in the early days of the country's growth as a tourism destination.

Then came Mexico, for Frommer's, and later for Lonely Planet. Eastern Canada, New England, Shakespeare Country in Old England, Jerusalem and the Holy Land, Israel, Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco.... Over thirty guidebooks in all, and revisions of them for years.


I took up photography in the 1980s as guidebooks and travel articles demanded ever more of them. My photos have been published in guidebooks, newspaper and magazine articles, and online.


The 1990s brought a new technology: the computer bulletin board service (CBBS): you hooked your computer up to a phone line and people could call into it from their computer anywhere in the world to get information and to chat with other travelers. My CBBS, called Travel Info Exchange, won the gold prize in the Society of American Travel Writers' Lowell Thomas Awards in 1994.

The Internet had been created, but wasn't open to normal mortals—only to government, academia and the military. When the World Wide Web became public in the mid-1990s, it was a death blow to the CBBS, so I switched my travel-publishing efforts to the Web.

My first website, TurkeyTravelPlanner.com, went online in 2002, and became the prime information source for travelers planning trips to Turkey, with over four million annual visitors from 230+ countries. Since then I've written, photographed, designed and published FranceTravelPlanner.com, NewEnglandTravelPlanner.com, VeniceTravelPlanner.com (for Venice, Florida), ConcordMA.info, and smaller websites.


During the transition from guidebook authorship to website development, I wrote my 304-page (125,000-word) humorous travel memoir, Turkey: Bright Sun, Strong Tea (2005)—and I enjoyed the writing.


I'd been a nonfiction writer for 50+ years, with no interest in writing fiction—until 2016. In that year, on yet another visit to Istanbul, I recalled what it was like when I first saw it in 1968. Like a click on YouTube, the hippies, diplomats and vagabonds of that era came to life in my mind and began to tell their stories, so I wrote it all down. Within two weeks I had 30,000 words of a novel. By the end of 2017, it was up to about 80,000 words (288 pages) was published as Istanbul Love Bus. More...

So I started on the sequel, but the characters—Flora, Julien, Bruce and Sarah—went into hiding, and completely different characters popped up...in Paris! So I wrote about them. That story is Paris Girls Secret Society, now published as an ebook and a paperback. More...

Serene - a novel of the Belle Époque, published in 2022, was an effort to show that the difficulties and perils now besetting the world today were not new. They had all happened before, albeit in different form, a century ago during what Americans know as the Gilded Age.

In my next novel, being written at the moment and tentatively entitled Alexandros, continues the story of Bruce and Sarah from Istanbul Love Bus reappear. Flora and Julien have not shown up so far in the writing—maybe they will—but lots of other people have. I can't wait to see what they'll do.