Skywalker–Close Encounters on the Appalachian Trail Garners Four 5-Star Reviews on Amazon in One Day!
Immediately butteflies wafted through my stomach. Why? Because when I turned on the computer this morning, I saw that I had 88 reviews on the Amazon page for Skywalker–Close Encounters on the Appalachian Trail. This compared to 84 the previous day. The obvious question was whether the four new reviews would be good or bad. Lo and behold, all four were five-star reviews. Ultra-cool.
Now I don’t want to get cocky. This book isn’t any better than it was 24 hours ago. In fact, getting four stellar reviews in one day could fairly be called lucky. But heck, I’ll take it! Because it really does seem like the readers are getting the purpose of why I wrote this book in the first place.
Upon completion of my thru-hike of the 2,180 mile Appalachian Trail, running from Georgia to Maine, I was so flush with emotion (a common condition for thru-hikers) that I simply couldn’t shut up about it. “Why don’t you write a book about it?” someone suggested. Indeed, I had already thought about the possibility, because I had read several AT narratives myself. To be sure, all were worthwhile. But what seemed to be missing was that most of these books were written by experts, for other experts, in a narrow kind of expert’s language. Well, it obviously wasn’t a problem for me to distinguish myself from these prior books for the simple reason that even after 2,180 miles through fourteen states, it was pretty obvious I was still anything but an expert.
The journey was so intense that I had no problem whatsoever turning out a first and second draft. In fact, after the second draft, I had 145,000 words, and had to agonize over cutting it down to manageable size. But the more agonizing thing was getting myself to cough up the real truth about some of my still embarrassing mishaps on the Appalachian Trail. But once I got the hang of it, I just gritted my teeth and things worked out.
One of the reviews I got on Amazon yesterday was from a lady named Joyce Garber who described the book as “wonderfully naive, honest, and unpretentious.” Those words are music to my ears, because that’s just the message I was trying to convey, along with the possibility that just about anybody has the possibility to take their journey of a lifetime on this great national scenic trail.
Bill Walker is the author of Skywalker–Close Encounters on the Appalachian Trail. He is also the author of Skywalker–Highs and Lows on the Pacific Crest Trail, as well as The Best Way–El Camino de Santiago.