The Farthest Shore on Kindle, dialling back the pressure, Attitudes and Altitude, and new upcoming books
The year is rushing past, and it’s already been two months since my last newsletter. I’ve packed a lot into that time, notably several trips to the mountains – including a winter Tranter’s Round, an ascent of Suilven for TGO magazine, backpacking in Wasdale and Ennerdale with Andy Wasley, and a fastpacking traverse of the Lake District with Ross Brannigan. Already 2022 is shaping up to be by far my strongest year for mountain adventures since the pandemic began. It feels so good, doesn’t it, to have the freedom to travel again?
Anyway, the main purpose of this newsletter is to let you know that my book about hiking the Cape Wrath Trail in winter, The Farthest Shore, is on special offer in Kindle format this month. Vertebrate Publishing have slashed the price from over £14 to £1.89. If you haven’t yet read it, and prefer your books in digital format, then now is a good time to pick up your copy. Oh, and if you’d like to help me out then please let other people know about this offer! Word of mouth is the lifeblood of any author. Many, many thanks to everyone who has already helped to spread the word.
(An aside that the writers among you might find interesting: I received my biyearly royalty statement from Vertebrate Publishing recently, and was intrigued to see that paperbacks make up the vast majority of sales for this title. It has sold almost four times as many paperbacks as e-books and audiobooks combined.)
In my last newsletter I wrote about my blogging hiatus, partly caused by a major website fault. I’m afraid I’ve made zero progress on that since then. My online writing has been restricted purely to work I’m being directly paid to do. However, I have at least been thinking about how to solve the problem, and I think it’s going to involve a completely new website. Out with WordPress; in with Ghost, which several of you recommended after my last newsletter. The new website will be lighter, simpler, and lower maintenance. I will also almost certainly consolidate my blog and this newsletter into a single entity (Ghost lets you create email newsletters). So expect some changes ahead, but it won’t be for a while – I’m going to be pretty busy with other projects until well after the summer.
In a way, it’s been nice not to feel that internal pressure to be constantly creating content. I like my life to be simple. I’m not working on a book manuscript at the moment, which feels luxurious after my frenetic pace of writing throughout 2020 and 2021, and after I’ve finished work at my day job there’s something to be said for knowing that there’s nothing else I actually have to do. Nothing else that feels like work, anyway. I’ve been able to devote an extra hour every day to training (an indoor exercise bike is working wonders for my cardio fitness), and I’ve even managed to carve out – whisper it – some free time.
For years I’ve been striving to do everything all at once. That’s part of the uphill struggle that comes with establishing a new career. Although I take nothing for granted, at last it feels like I can take a bit more control over my schedule, devote time to priorities that aren’t directly related to career. Spend time in the hills without a commissioned article to produce at the end of it. I’ve been reading more for pleasure too. Life feels more balanced without that unrelenting pressure to be writing, moving the needle, every waking hour.
Attitudes and Altitude: Tranter’s Round – an online feature for Sidetracked about my recent winter Tranter’s Round, and also introducing my big project for this summer: a 1,000km fastpacking journey across the Alps. We have Montane and Leki on board as sponsors and I couldn’t be more excited.
Wild Writers: Alex Roddie – back in March, I chatted with Ross Brannigan at the John Muir Trust about my winter Cape Wrath Trail and my book The Farthest Shore. The full video is now on YouTube.
The June 2022 issue of The Great Outdoors is making its way to subscribers now, and in it you’ll find a couple of short bits from me: my review of The Black Ridge by Simon Ingram (my top read of 2021), and a gear review of three dry-bags I’ve been testing over the last few months.
How to pitch a tent – a skills piece I recently wrote for TGO, now available online.
I have a new book coming out this summer! 1001 Camping Tips (Vertebrate Publishing) will be published on July 21st. I don’t have a link yet (or even a cover design), but I’ll share more as soon as I get it. As usual, newsletter subscribers will have the opportunity to pre-order at a discount.
Links of interest
Unabashed nepotism this time, I’m afraid – I’ll be using this space to promote stuff by my friends today!
Running Adventures Scotland – Ross Brannigan (yes, that’s three times I’ve mentioned Ross in this newsletter!) has just published a new book with Vertebrate. I have a copy and it’s fantastic. If you’re interested in running in Scotland then you should definitely pick this one up. It’s also worth listening to this interview that Ross recently recorded with author John Burns.
Chris Townsend also has a new book coming soon – Walking in Torridon, Fisherfield, Fannichs and An Teallach (Cicerone – pre-order here). Chris’s knowledge of the Scottish mountains is remarkable, and this is bound to be a superb guidebook. I joined Chris on one of his forays up into the Fannichs last year when he was seeking photos for this book.
One last new upcoming book! Solo by Jenny Tough is coming out on July 7th. This is the story of Jenny’s project to run across mountain ranges on six continents – a story of incredible tenacity and endurance. I’ve edited a lot of Jenny’s work over the years for Sidetracked, and I’ve seen a sneak preview of part of this book too, so I can promise that this’ll be another cracking read.
A Pennine Way encounter – Andy Wasley told me this tale while we were backpacking in the Lake District recently, and he recounts the encounter here. Andy has recently begun the process of writing an outdoor book of his own. He’s a fabulous writer and this will be well worth waiting for.
Until next time,
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