Thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail is hard work. Writing, editing, and publishing a book about thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail is hard work as well. Although certainly of a different nature, this writing project that I have been engaged in for the past six months has at times required almost as much perseverance as the hike did. Obviously the physical component that was needed for the hike did not factor into the latest endeavor; however, patience played a major role in both tasks. So now, some six months after completing my thru-hike and almost a year since I began it, the book is ready for distribution.
While hiking the trail from March 23 to September 2, 2013, I wrote daily about the adventure. One of my goals from the outset was not to miss a day of recording the events that had unfolded. Even though I wasn’t always able to post immediately to trail journals and my website every day, I was only late in posting a few times. Therefore, at the hike’s conclusion I had written 164 entries, one for each day on the trail.
After resting for much of the remainder of September, I began in earnest to edit the journal in early October. Almost three months later that part of the task was complete. In addition to re-writing sections from my journal to include more description, dialogue, and insight into some of the nuances of thru-hiking the A.T., I also interspersed stories about my brother, Don, throughout the book. After all, Don was always the main reason for the hike.
Then after the manuscript was ready, the publishing process began. The folks at Create Space, an independent publishing company associated with amazon.com, have been extremely helpful in all respects. They have worked with me on interior design, marketing techniques, and are assisting in distribution of the book. A good friend and graphic designer, Jenny Horton, designed the cover.
Don’s Brother: A Hike of Hope on the Appalachian Trail is now available at http://www.createspace.com/4560368 . The book will also be available at amazon.com and other outlets within the next few days. I plan to update my website often with additional information. The book contains 342 pages including the Roman numeral pages at the beginning and will sell for $16.95. I plan to donate a portion of the royalties to the ALS Clinic at Emory Hospital in Atlanta in memory of my brother.
I also plan to schedule speaking engagements and book signings whenever opportunities arise. Already I am scheduled to speak at a luncheon at my church, Wynnton United Methodist in Columbus, GA, on Thursday, March 20 and at our Wednesday night supper at the church on March 26. I hope to be able to speak about my hike, my brother, and ALS often. When I speak I will also have books for sale at a reduced price and do signings as well.
This has been quite the adventure. One year ago, I was in the final stages of preparing to embark on a 2,185.9 thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. In that year I accomplished the task of hiking the trail, wrote a book (for the most part during the hike), and have published it. Now I’m eagerly waiting to see what happens next. Don’t be surprised to hear that I’m back on the trail, if only for a week or two here and there. In the meantime, I would like to again offer a very special thank you to all who followed my journey last year. I wish there were some way that I could meet and thank each one of you in person. Don would have said, “Wouldn’t that be something.”