As promised, author Patricia Ellis Herr and her daughters, Alex and Sage, are taking over Kids Corner! And boy, are you in luck! We have an exclusive interview with author Patricia Ellis Herr!! But first, lets properly introduce UP:
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by Patricia Ellis Herr
When Trish Herr became pregnant with her first daughter, Alex, she and her husband, Hugh, vowed to instill a bond with nature in their children. By the time Alex was five, her over-the-top energy levels led Trish to believe that her very young daughter might be capable of hiking adult-sized mountains.
In Up, Trish recounts their always exhilarating–and sometimes harrowing–adventures climbing all forty-eight of New Hampshire’s highest mountains. Readers will delight in the expansive views and fresh air that only peakbaggers are afforded, and will laugh out loud as Trish urges herself to “mother up” when she and Alex meet an ornery–and alarmingly bold–spruce grouse on the trail. This is, at heart, a resonant, emotionally honest account of a mother’s determination to foster independence and fearlessness in her daughter, to teach her “that small doesn’t necessarily mean weak; that girls can be strong; and that big, bold things are possible.”
KIDS CORNER’S EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW:
Kids Corner: Why was writing a book about you and your daughter’s experiences in hiking important?
Patricia Ellis Herr: Alex asked me to pen down a record of our real-life experiences on the trails. She had already requested I write down fictional stories, tales we’d make up while hiking to pass the time. After I began putting our short-stories on paper, Alex asked if I’d also write about our actual adventures. I therefore put our fictional tales aside and got to work on this memoir.
Kids Corner: Were there any challenges with putting your amazing experiences of hiking on to paper?
Patricia Ellis Herr: I’d kept a detailed journal of our hikes from the very beginning, long before Alex asked me to write this book. I also had a blog, “Trish and Alex Hike the 4000-Foot Whites” (http://trishandalex.blogspot.
Kids Corner: Who will this book appeal to?
Patricia Ellis Herr: Kids, parents, women of all ages, hikers, outdoor-lovers, and anyone wanting to read about a true “kid-power” adventure.
Kids Corner: Can you share your favorite experience that is in your book?
Patricia Ellis Herr: Hiking Mt. Flume with Alex, just before her big finish on Mt. Moosilauke. That was the last hike of our quest as a lone mother-daughter duo (we had no other people with us). I relished the mother-daughter alone time, and I was full of happy memories of all our other hikes. I felt very close to Alex that day. We talked about everything under the sun, and we sat for a long time on the summit eating giant chocolate Whoopie pies.
Kids Corner: Any advice for our young writers out there that would also like to write a memoir about a specific passion in their lives?
Patricia Ellis Herr: Just start writing. Seriously, the most difficult part is finding those few hours of uninterrupted time each day to “get it done.” We all have busy lives. Unless you’re a rich adult with no kids, you might have a difficult time clearing your schedule. Up: A Mother and Daughter’s Peakbagging Adventure was written during the nighttime, between the hours of 10pm and 2:30am. That’s all the time I had, but I really wanted to get it done, so I stayed up late for a few months until it was finished. For you, writing might mean staying home during the evenings instead of hanging out with friends, or it might mean dedicating half your Saturdays and Sundays to writing. Once you’ve carved out the time you need to write, then write. Don’t worry about your words being perfect the first time around. Just get it out there onto the screen (or paper, whichever you prefer). Then, once you have it all down, go back and edit. Most of writing is editing; get it all out on paper, then go back and edit, then edit some more, then edit even more, etc.
Kids Corner: Can we expect more work from you?
Patricia Ellis Herr: Yes. I’m working on two other manuscripts.
Kids Corner: What books do you and your daughters love to read?
Patricia Ellis Herr: Adventure stories, and tales with strong, female protagonists. One current favorite is Jeff Smith’s Bone; that’s a great graphic novel series. Three blobby-looking creatures from a place called Boneville get stuck in a foreign land, meet two powerful women (Thorn and Grandma Ben), and become immersed in battles between good and evil. There are a lot of interesting and funny creatures, and the epic is told with great wit and humor. It’s an extremely enjoyable bunch of books.
ATTENTION BOSTON AREA READERS! Patricia Ellis Herr will be at Harvard Coop in Harvard Square, Cambridge today at 7pm! She will be signing books, reading and answering any questions you have that we might have missed!