William Kemsley, Jr


William Kemsley, Jr. is said to be the father of modern hiking and backpacking. He is founder of Backpacker magazine, co-founder of American Hiking Society and author of several books on the outdoors.

Kemsley is currently writing a book on geezeering on the trail, tidbits if advice for elder hikers or those who would be elder hikers. He is drawing upon his eight decades of hiking and backpacking in mountains, deserts, canyons and forests both in the US and Europe. His expected publishing date is late fall 2018. Meanwhile he is blogging about senior hiking, as well as, spritiual topics on his website, williamkemsley.com.

Smashwords Interview

What's the story behind your latest book?
My latest book is a novel about an only son of tycoon father. I wrote it as spiritual exercise. It was triggered by an incident i witnessed. But I literally prayed daily for God to tell me what to write that day. The image of Johannes Bach came to mind, of how he prayed that way when he began composing any piece then wrote what came to mind. I was trying that with this book. And it changed completely as the writing progressed. It even changed a good deal after the first draft was completed.

Looking back I can see that it is allegorically the story of my relationship with my own father, how I've struggled over my entire life to be my own man, not what he wanted me to be.
What do your fans mean to you?
I had numerous fans when I published my magazine. And I loved reading their letters to the editor. I would take fresh stacks home and stay up late reading them. It gave me a lot of information about my readers' interests and passions and was one reason why the magazine was immediately successful.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find William Kemsley, Jr online

Where to buy in print


Fleeing a Fearsome Father
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 66,630. Language: English. Published: June 1, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Adventure » Men’s adventure, Fiction » Literature » Literary
Malcolm Barrett, an only son of a shipping tycoon, tries different career options to flee his father's shadow.
Harry's Kerouac and Dostoevsky
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 8,240. Language: English. Published: April 10, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Literature » Literary, Fiction » Humor & comedy » General
Why is a middle-aged man driving a Corvette with a license plate JKEROUAC? He doesn’t want the memory of the Beat Generation author forgotten. He reminisces about some of his favorite author’s books, particularly on the incongruity of the Beatnik’s take on Dostoevsky.
Joe Blaylock: Alcoholic preacher
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 18,710. Language: English. Published: April 1, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Christian » Contemporary
An itinerant preacher succumbs to alcohol and drug addiction searches for healing.
Peter Maurin: Saintly Founder of the Catholic Worker
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 59,490. Language: English. Published: May 15, 2010. Categories: Fiction » Christian » Historical
A spiritual biographical novel based on the life of the founder of the Catholic Worker movement. The noveltells factual details of Maurin's life with author's speculation on some of the thoughts and feelings of this great man. Maurin gave up earning a living. He did any kind of work, but accepted no wages, only food or bed in return.

William Kemsley, Jr's tag cloud

Smashwords book reviews by William Kemsley, Jr

  • Smashwords Book Marketing Guide on March 24, 2015

    I am following Marc's suggestions to the 'T' and getting amazing results in just five weeks. I created the simplest free website -- about.me/backpackerbill. I created a free blog at Goggle -- backpacker bill.blogspot.com. And a twitter account @backpackerbill. I posted ten times on my blog. And five twitters. And here are the results. Week of February 17 12 views of my website. Week ending March 17 706 views. Week ending March 24 5,367 views. In five weeks a total of 6899 viewers, 74 compliments, 17 collectors, two Twitter followers, 7 samplings of my book at Smashwords, and three viewers who I had emailed responded and said they bought my book. One says she has recommended my book to her friends. Is that viral? And I have just begun, doing simple things that are suggested in Mark Coker's Smashwords Book Marketing Guide. Furthermore, since my book is scheduled for publishing on June 1, I have no idea what sort of sales I have at retailers, nor any indication how many have sampled its text at these retailers. Thanks, Mark. Nothing like what a little success can do for me!