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Author Mark Stephen Levy

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Denver, Colorado, United States
I was so inspired by my adventures while traveling throughout Europe, India, Nepal, Tibet, China, and other exotic locales that I had to write something. Then one day early last year, an idea started to take form quickly. I was finally enabled to weave some of my stories and integrate them into one of the best love story adventures to come along in years.

Saturday, October 31, 2009


What would first come to mind reading these words is one of greatest hits towards the end of the 1960’s from the rock group The Who, Magic Bus: “Get on the bus that takes me to you”, was a key line from the song.

The real Magic Bus was an old rickety bus that traveled from Europe overland all the way to Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal, covering a distance of over 5000 miles. To compare, the US from coast to coast is 3000 miles. You can imagine there are multiple countries and cultures along this long and circuitous route. Interest in the “magical and mysterious east” was initiated when The Beatles flew to India to meditate in the Himalayas with the guru of the 1960’s, the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. The Maharishi introduced the Transcendental Meditation technique, which was part of the overall Cultural Revolution of the 1960’s, and beyond.

Of course The Beatles were the definitive culture setters’ and soundtrack of the times. Their trip to India set the stage and opened the cultural door for disenchanted Westerners to head east. Money was an object, so flying was not an option. The Magic Bus became a conduit to go east “on the cheap”.
Along the way, the bus would pass through Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and finally Nepal. It was a long way away, geographically, culturally and spiritually from the west. Once in Kathmandu, and various Himalayan towns, and coastal beaches of India, returning home wasn’t an option either. Stories of burying their passports emerged, settling in, staying put, or roaming around…in the east.

In the book OVERLAND, Heather had the call of the east. She rejected Danny’s proposal to marry her, and decided to take the Magic Bus to Kathmandu. But the year was 1979, and the world was changing. What was this lure that compelled Heather so much to take “the last” Magic Bus? Of course she didn’t know it at the time that it was to be the last run…but it was. What happened? What caused her bus to be the last one? History, history happened. And she and Danny got caught up in it.
I wonder: has anybody ever ridden the original Magic Bus? Has anybody ever been caught up in the front end of history?

Comments are welcome…

To view the OVERLAND book trailer, please link to:

Saturday, October 24, 2009


World traveling changed in 1979. Up until that most pivotal of years, anyone that wanted to roam the world carefree could. One was able to cross overland pretty much wherever the wind blew. It is such a wonderful feeling to “tramp about” within anywhere in the world. Iran? Iraq? Yes. Afghanistan? Yes. But not anymore. Within that region’s current generation, and maybe the next, it is most likely you may never be able to set foot and have a cup of tea in any of these countries as a world traveler.

Why does it even matter that you can’t go there anymore? Because the world has become a precarious place, and is a testimony to the times that traveling about freely cannot take place. For back then, the entire world was mostly care free….until 1979. Culturally in our world back then, Michael Jackson had emerged as a superstar. The fire at the nuclear plant Three Mile Island accident happened in Pennsylvania, and Lord Mountbatten of England was assassinated which sparked “The Troubles” in Northern Ireland.

What also happened in 1979? Iran became the extremist Republic that it is and became unfriendly to the west. The Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan which immediately shut off the overland trial from Europe to Asia. It also set the stage for what is happening there today.

What is the point to this look back into thirty years ago? To just know and have a better understanding of what occurred back then, and put in perspective to what is taking place today. The world was a simpler time back then. It was the transition to the remnants of the disco and peace and love era, and about to enter a different era, an oil shock era, and inflationary era, a menacing era. Ah me.

Our hero Danny in OVERLAND was compelled to go after Heather and their chase across two continents ensued in that part of the world….in 1979. Timing is everything in life, either good or bad. In Danny’s case, it was both. Being in the wrong place in the wrong time usually has lasting consequences or scars or memories that become a milestone marker of your life. And so it did happen to Danny and Heather as well. For Danny, you could call it the right place in the right time, too.

For, some good came out of it. However, to continue on here would be such a spoiler to the story of OVERLAND. Just know that in the yin/yang balance of life, that when existence becomes bleakest, light follows. Danny’s light occurred when he least expected it, and it changed his life forever.

I would like to hear if anyone so chooses, to step forward, and post the milestone markers of their life…for better, or for worst…or both!

Saturday, October 17, 2009


How repeatedly do you find yourself using this word, random? Often? Me too. We all know what it means, something that happens that was not planned…out of the blue, accidental, indiscriminate, arbitrary...random!
In my circles and elsewhere on TV, it is a commonly used word, right up there with “whatever”. But the word whatever (I use it too, I’m not preaching here) seems so hopeless and misplaced. Let’s face it. Life is tougher these days. We all have to live with less. It’s easy to fall into a misguided way of thinking. I’m glad “random” has become in vogue as it gives some lift to the whatever way of being. If it is upbeat, random can be positively inspiring. And when that happens so unexpectedly, it feels so good and so surreal. Of course, there is bad random, but “let’s not go there”.
What’s a decent example of good random? Meeting someone that you share so much in common with? It feels sublime to share familiarity with someone you hadn’t met before. That somebody can become an instant friend, maybe for life. And good friends are a good thing!
Regular readers of my posts know where this is going. Of course this has something to do with OVERLAND. This is what this blog is all about. Danny has a string of random encounters in his travels sprinkled throughout Overland. Poetic license? Perhaps. But Overland is a novel, where in a fictional world, anything can happen. And it does for Danny.
But in the cyber world of Facebook and the like, randomness has become common, and that is a good thing too! When Danny traveled about in 1979, there was no high technology. There was just pure luck, and randomness. Find out about the random in Danny’s world.
I’m sure you have had your sure of random encounters in your travels, and if you did, I’m sure they were memorable!

What was your random encounter? Did it change your life forever?

Sunday, October 11, 2009


I want to thank everybody who has chosen to follow my blog and to read some of the posts over the last few weeks. I do hope you are enjoying them.

To refresh the idea of what the OVERLAND blog is all about: to take one of life's many wistful abstract concepts, and weave them into one of the themes included in the novel OVERLAND. In previous weeks I have written about finding lost loves, a pleasant memory frozen in time, writing what we know, and a few other arbitrary yet meaningful posts.

Today's entry is about living a sheltered life. I would think most of us do. In fact it is in our innate survival instincts living in a modern society, to make our life as comfortable and least disruptive as possible. We become used to our routines, and eventually settled in our ways. Recently, I had to get a new bed pillow because the one I had simply wore out. I loved that pillow, the way my head contoured to the down feathers within. My new pillow took some getting used to, and as silly as this may sound, it is our survival instincts to adapt....even to a new pillow.

Have you ever been shaken up by your routine, and dislodged from your comfortable life and literally had to reinvent yourself? Perhaps (God forbid) losing your home, or your job, a painful relationship, some traumatizing event with your kids, or even just going through your life with no disruptions is all very disturbing and life changing. Even the actual routine itself could cause internal conflicts that we clandestinely wish for something to happen...something to shake us out of our routine and sheltered life.

Danny, our main character from OVERLAND is a prime example. Although living in Los Angeles, his life was very sheltered as he went from school to medical school and to his eventual residency, never traveling more than a five mile radius…except for that one time when he was 17 and traveled for an extended family reunion in Northern Ireland.

Let's just say that was his wake up call to let him know there was more to life than his five mile radius back home. And perhaps this time away from home for the couple weeks in Northern Ireland was the seed to allow him to make that impetuous decision to follow Heather half way around the world when she left. That was a pretty adventurous and brave decision for someone who had lived such a sheltered life.

As the reader will discover in OVERLAND, why would someone of Danny’s upbringing and serious path of medical studies and to ultimately become a doctor, would set off on such an untamed notion of finding someone when it appeared so highly unlikely to achieve it? You'll want to read the book to find out.

As scary as the notion of a disruption of your life is, sometimes can be the best medicine. It worked for Danny. It's worked for me. Has this ever happened to you?

As always, your comments are welcome and appreciated!

Saturday, October 3, 2009


I think finding a lost love has become somewhat of a phenomenon. Have you ever wondered what EVER happened to your boyfriend or girlfriend from high school or college? Or even in your jobs and life in your 20’s or 30’s, or 40’s? With the plethora of internet social networking sites, mainly Facebook, this has become extremely possible.

TIME magazine recently had a similar article about this very same subject. Their summation that for the most part, is better to leave those stones unturned. Maybe ten, twenty, or thirty years have passed since you last laid eyes on each other. Back then, maybe you were just friends and wanted each other, but circumstances were in the way and now’s the time. The one thing is certain: you are each ten, twenty or thirty years older. How has time treated you? Would it be a disappointment to see each other so many years later? Would you even want to know and allow the younger image etched in your head stay as is? Or would it be the most incredible thing for some fantasy come to life? So many technical and theoretical questions!

And here’s a most interesting prospect: What if you weren’t expecting to find your lost love, and suddenly, voila, there they are. What would you do, and how would you react? Again, more theoretical and this time, emotional questions. But they’re good ones. As you ponder and dwell on this prospect from your own life, I raise the question because in OVERLAND, there is a very pivotal scene as I just described.

Danny, our main character in OVERLAND, had been jilted by his long time girlfriend Heather. He wanted to marry her, but she decided to travel overland on a Magic Bus from London to Kathmandu instead….WHY? She has her motivations, perhaps justified, but Danny refuses to accept the rejection and decides to track her down, and go all the way to Kathmandu if he has to just to find her.

In OVERLAND, circumstances ultimately lead Danny to the discovery of his lost love. And it’s not Heather. How does he respond, and what does he do?
I invite each and every one of you reading this post, to find out how Danny reacts to such an event, something so random, so unexpected. You will be incredibly surprised and delighted to know ultimately what evolves into a love story for the ages!

Oh yes…if you have a story such as a discovered, reunited and evolving lost love found, and you’d like to declare, I think we would all want to know…comments are encouraged!