Interview with Gary Rodriguez, author of Escape Through the Wilderness

Gary RodriguezWe welcome today Gary Rodriguez, author of the teens/children’s book, Escape Through the Wilderness.  Gary talks about becoming a published author, what he’s learned along the way, and his new book.

What made you decide to become a published author?

When it comes to sharing my thoughts and ideas with a general audience, public speaking has always been my preferred method of communication. But when more and more of my friends and business associates started to ask me questions about public speaking, I decide to answer their questions in book form. Specifically, they wanted to know how to develop and deliver more effective talks and presentations. So my writing career was launched with three self-published books on public speaking. My journey as a writer then took a sharp turn a little over a year ago when I decided to write my first novel.

After writing and self-publishing three books, I decided to use a publisher to produce and market my first novel – escape through the wilderness.

Would you consider your latest book, escape through the wilderness, to be a one of a kind?

Yes

Escape Through the Wilderness 2How so?

Well without tooting my own horn, here’s what a reviewer recently wrote about my book:

“Masterfully crafted by Gary Rodriguez, ‘Escape Through the Wilderness’ tells the gripping story of four teenagers whose rafting accident forces them to fight for their survival and defy all odds to come out alive. Taking the book’s premise directly from his own military experiences, Rodriguez constructed the narrative to turn young readers into admirable leaders and explore issues related to faith, abuse and forgiveness.”

Frankly, I’m not aware of other adventure novels targeting young readers that teach important leadership principles in a wilderness setting. Students who read the book find it exciting, inspirational and instructive. It’s gratifying to share leadership principles in a way that’s easy and fun for students to absorb.

Where is your writing sanctuary?

Much of escape through the wilderness was written at Starbucks. I like the environment and the coffee nearby. Unlike some writers, I don’t need a quiet setting to write. I have the ability to stay focused even in, what some might call, a noisy setting.

What is one thing you learned about your book after it was published?

I learned there was a mistake on page 9 that I had to pay to get corrected (my error). After what seemed like a thousand proofreads by multiple people we all still missed one. The lesson is this. You can’t proof your script too many times.

Why do you love to write adventure novels?

Writing an adventure novel is exciting and a lot of fun. I love dreaming up and developing the characters and inserting them into a thrilling story. Adventures are exhilarating and it’s a blast to come up with various twists and turns that readers are not expecting. When I wrote escape through the wilderness, I was always considering the following questions:

What’s the worst thing that could happen right now? What could be the biggest twist, or the most unexpected event right now?

Then I’d insert that into the script to keep readers on their toes and to keep the story from becoming too predictable.

What’s next for you?

I just finished chapter ten of the sequel to Escape through the Wilderness. I’m hoping for a release date in the summer 2015. I’m having so much fun writing again after a short break to focus on other responsibilities.

About the Author:

My name is Gary Rodriguez, and I live in California. I’m the president of LeaderMetrix Inc., a consulting company that specializes in senior-level executive coaching, organizational development, and conflict resolution.

Previously, I worked for eighteen years in the radio business as an executive where I spent several years as one of the original managers of Infinity Broadcasting.

Following a successful radio career I became the president of a non-profit organization for a season.

As a young man, I spent a tour of duty in the U.S. Army where I was recognized as the youngest Drill Instructor in the Army’s history at age 18 years. I was also awarded the Silver Star (the nation’s third highest award for valor) while serving in a combat zone.

Over the past few years, I’ve written three non-fiction books and then I decided to write a novel.

My first book, Purpose-Centered Public Speaking, was published in 2009 and was re-published this summer (2014). Then I wrote a companion workbook designed to help people implement the principles taught in my first book. Next, I wrote Overcoming The Fear Of Public Speaking. And this past year, I wrote my first novel, Escape Through The Wilderness.

For More Information

About the Book:

Title: Escape Through the Wilderness
Author: Gary Rodriguez
Publisher: Tate Publishing
Pages: 254
Genre: Teens/Children
Format: Paperback/Kindle

Sixteen-year-old Savannah Evans walks with a slight limp thanks to a gymnastics’ accident that dashed her Olympic dreams, but didn’t stop her from attending an adventure camp in Idaho. At Camp Arrowhead, she quickly befriends Jade Chang and Rico Cruz, but Conner Swift taunts Savi because of her injury.

When the four are teamed together for an overnight white-water river rafting adventure, Savi refuses to get in the same raft with Conner. Unfortunately, the director will not reassign her.

A fun expedition down the river turns into a nightmare when their raft slams into a huge rock and their adult guide disappears down the river.

Without their guide and desperately trying to steer an out-of-control raft, they pass the “last chance” marker and enter the larger rapids. With Jade pinned between the raft and a rock, and Rico clinging to a lifeline, Savi must cut the raft free.

When the four drag themselves out of the river, they’re bruised, beaten, lost, and twenty-five miles from camp. Because of late-night campfire tales of Vexel, a vicious animal that roams the nearby woods, Savi and the others are terrified.

Savi becomes the unlikely leader who tries to guide the group back to Camp Arrowhead. Limited supplies, injuries, and the constant threat of Vexel—who Savi fears is stalking them, complicate the harrowing return trip.

Readers will enjoy dramatic survival scenes and the group working together, solving problems, and learning to overcome adversity.

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