As a long-distance hiker, people have all kinds of questions. The biggest one being, “Aren't you scared?!”
I ask them what there is to be afraid of and most of them talk about wild animals attacks or getting lost.
Both of those are low on my list of things I'm afraid of.
But what am I afraid of?
Storms and people.
I have no control over storms other than to know what the forecast will be and decide if it's going to be bad enough to leave the trail. Some hikers and outdoors people don't seem too phased by storms. I don't love them when I'm inside my house so being outside without any protection gives me the creeps.
Back when I was a kid I lived on a lake and my family and I spent a lot of time on the water in our boat.
One time we were out there and a storm appeared and my mom looked at me horrified as we made our way back to the dock. She said to run into the house as soon as we land the boat which I did without question.
Later she told me my hair was sticking out in all directions. I didn't feel it so I had no idea. That has always stuck with me and made me pretty fearful of lightning.
When you're miles out in the woods during a storm getting struck by lightning is only one thing that's of concern. There are also strong winds, hail, a tree falling on you, flash flooding, etc.
I've only had a couple of scary encounters with people in the woods. It's not other hikers that are my concern (hikers are generally nice people!). It's non-hikers – people near towns, in low-traffic trailhead parking lots, etc.
I can't control either of these fears, but I know that facing them does help build confidence and experience. I take what precautions I can and hope for the best.
I decided to write my first book about one of these fears that I have. And I have to tell you, it didn't do anything to help me get over them – it's a mystery thriller.
No regrets though. It was such a fun process and I can't wait for you to read this book!
You can read my very first book, a novella called Vanished right now for free!
An FBI Agent. A missing hiker. And a secret to die for…
FBI Agent Faith Black was damn good at her job.
But considering the events of her last case, she is lucky to still have her badge.
Her latest assignment lands her in a sleepy backwoods town where people are disappearing.
She’s less than enthused.
She partners with the local sheriff who's desperate for answers. They agree that their only option is to retrace the footsteps of a college grad who recently vanished while hiking.
Together they scour the hiking trail over 87 miles through the thick mountain forest. They can't shake the eerie feeling they are not alone.
Whatever was lurking in the shadows wants them gone.
And nothing could have prepared them for what they find.
It was a secret that the ominous forest has been hiding.
A secret only the dead knew…
Vanished is the prequel to the Faith Black FBI Crime Files series; it can be read as a standalone.