What inspired you to write your memoir?
My Dad kept hounding about “what happened to you in Death Valley?”, but the answer was not so simple, so I decided to write about it, from what happened to me in Death Valley to quitting my Phd, traveling to India, walking the Pacific Crest Trail … the book just naturally flowed out once I sat down to answer the question.
About your Book:
“The true story of one woman’s solo journey: 2,660 miles on foot (thru-hiking the Pacific Crest trail), 444 miles by kayak (from Whitehorse to Dawson on the Yukon River), over 15,000 miles by road, with a side trip to the Indian Himalayas. A story of exploration, transformation, and awakening.”
Crazy free immerses the reader in the author’s leap of faith to unplug and awaken. We follow her roaming tracks as she abandons the trappings of the American Dream and journeys deep into unfamiliar worlds. Down the Rabbit Hole, she will face herself alone in the desert, stretch her belief system on the path of yoga in the Indian Himalayas, build calluses on the Yukon River, emancipate her mind on the PCT and survive post-trail reintegration. And, at each step, she will have to choose: surrender to the path of magic and unconventionality or shrink back to a world of debts, jobs and social expectations.
How did you decide how to publish your book and where is it published through:
I wanted to self-publish my book. It seemed like a fun challenging exercise, an adventure of its own right. It was in fact a much bigger adventure than I could have imagine. My biggest yet. I published the paperback version first, on CreateSpace, and toured the West coast selling my books one at a time. I then discovered Kindle Direct Publishing, and have been doing all my own promotion online since.
How do you see writing a Memoir as different from writing other genres of books?
Writing a memoir requires the ability to be brutally honest about events, people and facts stored – most likely incorrectly – in one’s memory. It requires the willingness to be naked, vulnerable, and sometimes even ugly, to own up to one’s own mistakes and toot one’s horn with humility. But, even before that, writing a memoir requires having had enough of an interesting life to write about. Fiction requires only a vivid imagination, though I suppose having had an interesting life probably helps.
Melissa Wyld (a.k.a The Bobcat) is a feral writer. She lives off-grid in her trusty Toyota Truck. She wakes up every day to the first rays of sun illuminating the pristine wilderness she has chosen to call home for the night, cooks on a 3-oz stove made from a cat food can, nurtures a special friendship with one particular desert bee (with a severe addiction to Vermont maple syrup), grows organic sprouts on the front passenger seat, pursues adventures of the epic kind, and writes stories about them on her tailgate.
Her first book, Crazy Free, was written on the road, among the red rocks of Sedona, Arizona, in the vibrant green forests of New Hampshire, at the foot of majestic Mt. Baker in Washington, and everywhere in between. She does not currently have any plan to move back indoors.
Her next upcoming adventures are southbound thru-hikes of the Appalachian Trail (2016) and Continental Divide Trail (2017).