That Time I Became An Author

When I was a little girl, I wanted to grow up and be a cheerleader {seriously}. Tells you a little something about my personality, doesn’t it?!

As time passed, I decided I wanted be a writer. I loved writing in elementary school and would spend hours writing “books” that our school’s library would bind and print for me. I often dreamed about the far away day when I’d get to write *real* books. I even loved writing in high school, gleaning bits of information from my AP English teacher {who I still credit as one of the best teachers I’ve ever had in my life.} But upon reaching my senior year of high school and college, I had convinced myself that writing wasn’t a feasible career path. Instead, I opted for medicine. Pediatric medicine, in particular. I enrolled in college on a pre-med path and spent the first 1.5 years knocking out the gen. ed requirements towards a B.S in Molecular and Cellular Developmental Biology.

But something funny happened along the way: I realized I was doing it wrong. I hated studying for exams. I found the subject matter boring and not-at-all interesting.  At the ripe ‘ol age of 20, I did a 180-degree turn and changed career paths. I resorted back to my favorite thing as a kid: writing.


Photos by Will Rochfort

Sure, I was two years into college.

Sure, I still planned on graduating in four years.

Sure, the Journalism School at CU Boulder was insanely difficult to get into {you couldn’t just “be” a journalism major when I was in school; you had to apply to the program.}

Sure, they told prospective students to plan on applying to J-School at least two or three times.

I didn’t care; I wanted to be a writer, so I would figure it out. I got a work study job at the J-School, carefully placing myself in proximity to all of the professors that would confirm or deny my acceptance. I buckled down on studying, ensuring a 4.0 GPA that would be hard for them to shoot down. And in the end, it worked. I was accepted to the J-School on my first try and received my B.S. in News-Editorial Journalism, all within my four-year window. {Sadly, that degree no longer exists at CU Boulder. It was replaced, along with the entire Journalism School, with a Mass Comm department. I’m old.}


Why this long-as-hell story about Heather as a college student? Because it’s funny how things come full circle.

Guys, I’m writing a book. A real, life book!

Back in July, I received a random email from an acquisitions editor at a publishing house. Long story short, this publishing company approached me and asked me to author their next book. The topic? Backpacking for beginners. Does this sound perfect for me or what?!

I submitted a sample Table of Contents, Introduction and Chapter for their review. Then, I sat back and waited. Truly, I wasn’t expecting anything to come out of all of this. How often does this scenario happen? I know people who have tried for years to publish a book and one falls into my lap? On a topic I love, no less?

Turns out, the publishing company loved my writing and as of yesterday, the contract is officially signed. I’m writing a book, theoretically titled Backpacking 101. Even better? It will be available in book stores and on Amazon beginning Spring, 2017. While that next-t0-immediate publishing date is exciting, it also means I have a lot to do: I have to write the entire manuscript by the end of October. Gulp.


I’m beyond excited for this opportunity and I’ve already allotted the next ten nights to a Starbucks work station. I holed up there until 8:30 last night and found my groove: a blueberry muffin, a grande iced soy chai latte, and my Apple laptop. Type, type, type. 

Stay tuned for MY first book in stores near you come next year! 






  • Reply Art August 25, 2016 at 6:23 am

    Congratulations! Excited to read it.

  • Reply Rachel @ Better LIVIN August 25, 2016 at 7:04 am

    Congratulations Heather!!!!!! That’s so exciting! As a fellow child writer I can only imagine how excited you are. And I will, of course, purchase your book when it comes out. 🙂 Happy Writing!

  • Reply Bobbye August 25, 2016 at 7:33 am

    Wow! Dreams really do come true!! Congrats!

  • Reply Lynn @ The Not Dead Yet Blog August 25, 2016 at 7:37 am

    Congratulations! That’s awesome, and I can’t wait for Backpacking 101 to hit stores so I can buy a copy for everyone I know. (Because now they won’t have an excuse not to join me on my favorite activity. Haha!)

  • Reply Anne August 25, 2016 at 9:09 am

    Congratulations! I saw this on Snapchat and I am excited for you, and for the book release!

  • Reply Darby August 25, 2016 at 9:10 am

    Congratulations Heather! You are such an inspiration to an aspiring author/adventure writer/outdoors-lover like me!!

  • Reply Renee August 25, 2016 at 9:15 am

    So exciting! Contests and I’ll totally buy your book!

  • Reply Jessica August 25, 2016 at 9:49 am

    Congratulations! It’s amazing how things work out in life.

  • Reply Bonnie August 25, 2016 at 10:52 am

    That’s amazing! Major congrats! 😀

  • Reply Heather @ FITaspire August 25, 2016 at 12:05 pm

    Oh my gosh – this is so exciting. and I’m pretty sure you inspired my love for backpacking, so I can’t think of a better person!!

  • Reply WinterWomen August 25, 2016 at 1:16 pm

    Congratulations! How wonderful to expand and combine two passions. We can’t wait till it comes out!

  • Reply Stealing Hills August 25, 2016 at 9:55 pm

    Congratulation for your new project! Good luck, we cannot wait to read your book.

  • Reply Nicole W August 26, 2016 at 5:15 pm

    Congratulations! What an exciting new adventure for you! Writing is one of my passions and I’ve toyed with the idea of freelancing and writing a book, so this is wonderfully encouraging to read. Can’t wait to hear more about it. Good luck!

  • Reply RFC August 29, 2016 at 6:58 am

    So excited for you, my friend! I can’t wait to read the book!

  • Reply Elle August 29, 2016 at 10:58 am

    Congrats!!! I cant wait to read it!!

  • Reply The Padre August 30, 2016 at 8:35 am

    Huge Congrats & Big Hugs!!!


  • Reply Monica September 3, 2016 at 11:23 pm

    Those are always the best opportunities! Congrats lady!


  • Reply Ashley September 5, 2016 at 10:39 am

    Woo hooooo! I am so excited to read it when it comes out!

  • Reply Mary Emerick September 5, 2016 at 8:38 pm

    I published .my first book last year and the second one is coming put next year. The feeling is like no other. And having someone actually solicit you is unheard of! Congratulations.

  • Reply Promoting Conservation in Our Everyday Life - Just a Colorado GalJust a Colorado Gal October 3, 2016 at 3:04 pm

    […] some Starbucks as much as the next person {hello! It’s become my defacto work station while writing this book!} but it’s absolutely irresponsible to get a new paper cup every single visit. Bring a […]

  • Reply I'm Not Too Busy - Just a Colorado GalJust a Colorado Gal October 11, 2016 at 7:58 pm

    […] is good even though my darker daily moments try to convince me otherwise. Friends, you know I was contracted to write a book. And I knew signing the contract that it would be a tight deadline. Some people have a year to […]

  • Reply Megan January 4, 2017 at 12:46 pm

    Congratulations! It didn’t fall into your lap, girl. You worked hard, stayed motivated, followed your passion, and that’s how good things come! So exciting. Can’t wait to read it!

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