Interview with John Riha

When did you first start writing?
I started writing when I was about 2, but nobody could decipher my scribbles. I first thought about writing as a craft in high school. I wrote a poem in English class that I liked, and the teacher liked it, and I got hooked on the idea of stringing together words and sentences in fun and interesting ways.
What's the story behind your latest book?
It's a backpacking story for those who don't backpack, but veteran backpackers will appreciate it, too. It's about two people who have no business venturing into the wilderness who go ahead and venture into the wilderness. It's a true Dad and son story set on the Pacific Crest Trail in the magnificent Trinity Alps Wilderness of northern California. It's about moisture-wicking underwear, and cougars and Douglas-firs and the raw beauty of the American West.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Two things. One is the pleasure of writing in new and inventive ways, of putting together words in fresh combinations. I'm not always successful, but when the words hang just right, and they have rhythm and a touch of jazz, that can be a great feeling.

The other satisfaction comes from the act of writing anything at all, of being so locked into describing a scene or constructing the dialogue that the morning dissolves and you finally realize the tea kettle has long ago steamed itself out.
Who are your favorite authors?
I love stylists, those who build nuanced characters and tell beautiful stories with extravagant and incredibly well-engineered prose. Cormac McCarthy, E. Annie Proulx, Thomas Pynchon, Robert Olmstead, and George Saunders are a few.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Our cat. She sits on my head until I get going.
Published 2013-09-11.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Rookies in the Wild
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 56,060. Language: English. Published: September 11, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Sports & outdoor recreation » Backpacking
(5.00 from 1 review)
A journey into the wilderness will reconstitute a lost soul. At least that's the theory. But when a newly unemployed dad decides to take his teenage son on a life-affirming backpacking trip along the Pacific Crest Trail, he unleashes deep-rooted fears of the unknown. Cougars, Bigfoot, and iliotibial syndrome are con-conspirators in this true comic misadventure set in the Trinity Alps Wilderness.