A few weeks ago I quietly finished the latest edit of my second book. It was another step in a long journey that began a dozen years ago with the tragic death in western China of mountaineers Christine Boskoff and her climbing partner Charlie Fowler. Their dramatic and inspiring story has remained largely untold, waiting perhaps, until someone as passionate as my mother and I have been about telling it.
Though this is my second time publishing, the process has been entirely different. When I wrote the first book, it wasn't until I was 80% done with the manuscript that I was even aware I was writing something that might be published. It was MY story, and releasing it to the world was an act that felt uncomfortable and deeply personal. The time, each month of work has only made me more excited for the moment I'll be able to enjoy comments from readers as they turn the pages of Edge of the Map.
When I'm asked to describe the book and my target audience, the conversation usually goes something like this,
"Well, it's a mountaineering story...similar to Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer. It's based on the life of a high-altitude mountain climber who died in China in 2006 with her partner. I'd say it's targeted at readers who are armchair climbers. Interested in reading about Mount Everest but not interested in climbing it!"
"No...definitely not just a biography. It actually reads like fiction, but it's true. It's narrative non-fiction. A bunch of compelling characters, a mystery, heartbreak and a ton of drama."
At this point, the person I'm speaking with usually GETS it, and I end up in a 30-minute chat describing the past three years of my efforts to research/write. The conversation almost always ends like this,
"I can't wait to read it...Oh my gosh, it seriously sounds like a movie!"
Chris, a humble and publicity-shy girl from the midwest, would be slightly mortified, but her name and story are about to be shared with thousands, starting this March in print.
Within the pages of Edge are a million backstories I hope to reveal here over the coming months. From my research travels to the fascinating people I've met along the way who I now call friends.