January 29, 2021
I’ve started sketching out my next book, which I’m sure everyone who watches this account knows will be on the subject of dressing for extremes (extreme cold, extreme wet, extreme heat). The working title is ‘By a thread’, and the aim is to have the book finished before the due date for Banff submissions, which is June (hey, I’ve just had a baby, so I’ve got LOADS of time!). I’ve had 4 books shortlisted for Banff, and one win (1001 Climbing Tips), and although some people have suggested I’m perhaps not “Banff material”, I like a challenge! Now, my question to you, is what kind of book should this be? One of my strengths – and weaknesses – is I go into far more detail than any other climbing writers (apart from maybe @petewhittaker01 ’s Crack book), which means I end up writing books on a single aspect of climbing that’s thicker than any ‘in-depth’ book that covers everything (Libby Peters, Rockfax, Falcon etc), like 80,000 words just on rappelling. Now I don’t necessarily want to do this with this book, as I think it would end up being very dense and wordy (like a brick), and also because it would take another four years to write. So first off I need to only write about what you wear, not tents or rucksacks or gadgets. Next, I wonder if I should do something in order to stop it from becoming too dry, maybe something like ‘The History of the World in a 100 Objects’, but hundreds of bits of clothing, or tie the gear to a number of stories. Do I also focus on climbing and mountaineering, or should it be open to anyone in extremes, so the book would be accessible to soldiers and sailors and mountain bikers (or candlestick makers)? The price of the book will need to be between £15 and £20, and black and white, for the thing to work out. Basically, the idea is the write the kind of outdoor book no one has written yet. What do people think?