Peak Email 48

For those who have read my novel “Peak” this is a very interesting email. Stranger than fiction… Thanks for letting me share this, Jenny. And good luck on your trek.

Dear Roland,

I’ve never written to an author before but I wanted to tell you how your novel “Peak” came to our family.

Early last year, my 15 year old son Josh was arrested after scaling (free climbing) to the top of our local lighthouse. From what I can tell, the police took him for a “jumper” and were well and truly pissed off to learn, after they’d come rushing from all directions, that he was just doing a recreational climb. They laid tresspass charges against him that luckily we were able to later talk the sergeant into dropping.

And there’s another bit that I have yet to mention…. Josh’s father and I are now separated but we originally met 20 years ago high in the Himalayas while trekking in Nepal, him from Scotland and me from Australia. Unlike Peak’s parents, I have never been a climber but trekking in Nepal has been a huge part of my life.

Sounding familiar?

Anyhow, about 2 weeks after the climbing incident, I came across Peak in our local library and passed it on to Josh thinking he might enjoy reading it.
To my absolute delight, he was completely inspired by it and has asked me to take him to Nepal. So we are off in December for 3 weeks trekking in the Annapurnas (his first time, my fourteenth)

Thank you for your delightful story that resonates so closely to with family’s story (I find it a bit freaky really!) and thank you for helping to get my son to the point where he is wanting to explore the Himalayas I love so much.


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48 thoughts on “Peak Email

  • Josh

    Roland, I really appreciate you pubishing my story, it’s such a fantastic thing you do writing this blog and showing some respect to the people who are supporting you.

    I found it fascinating reading Peak, as it was so strangely similar to my own life (well, I haven’t climbed Sagarmāthā yet). I’ve continued free climbing and parkour, and I’m currently training 3 times a week in the city (3:08 as well as indoors once a week for gymnastics. I’m hoping to step this up and start climbing witha few friends of mine sometime next year (after I convince mum, that is).

    Once again, I really appreciate you publishing my story, it was great to be inspired in such a personal way.

    Cheers, Josh.

  • Katie

    I Loved your books Peak, and Zack’s lie series. I think that they should make a movie out of them they are so good =) I hope you are making another book for both of those =) Cause I can’t wait to hear what happens next ^^

  • Room 26

    Dear Mr. Smith,

    We are a fifth grade class from the northwest suburbs of Chicago. We just finished reading Peak today and loved it! We have been exploring your website and blog and watching some video trailers of other books you have written. Many of us are excited to read some more of your novels soon! We would so greatly enjoy if Peak turned into a real movie some day. We would love to read a sequel to Peak or another book in the Cryptid Hunters series.

    If you have some time, could you please send us some writing tips? We have been very busy writing our own stories and would love to have some help from a published author.

    One question a student in our class has is “Where do all of your ideas for your books come from?” Another student would like to know “How do you build action and excitement into your novels?”

    We would appreciate any help you could give us. 🙂

    Thank you for your time and Merry Christmas!

    The students of Room 26

  • kaleb

    6th November 2016
    To Roland smith
    Dear Roland Smith
    I read your book,´´ Peak´´ as my first quarter reading project and I enjoyed the book a lot i loved all the detail that was in the book from when Peak was climbing the skyscraper to when he was summiting everest with his father. Keep up the good work
    Sincerely, Kaleb

  • Andrew Rosinski

    I’m going to begin reading Peak with my 8th grade students. Is the Blue Mountain symbol Peak uses a nod to Tennessee Williams?
    Thank you and congrats on your continued success,
    Mr. R

  • roland Post author

    Peak has been optioned for film many times. Perhaps one day someone will turn it into a movie. I write about things that are interesting to me. It takes me twice as long to research a book than it does to write it. I get my ideas for the story from the research I do. It takes about a year to write a book (minus the research) this is where all of the action and excitement comes from. I go over and over the story for months building the action and excitement by revising the story.

  • James

    Good Evening!

    I am James from Florida and I am currently doing a research project on Peak.

    Please take the time to review and answer my required questions below.

    1. Where there any struggles in the plot when you wrote the book?
    2. Did you base your book Peak on the experiences of Jordan Romero and do you know him personally?
    3. Was the Peak experience based on any one travel company or a combination of several companies?

    I appreciate your time and any assistance that you can provide.

    Thank you and have a great day!

  • roland Post author

    No more plot struggles than normal. I know Jordan ‘virtually.’ We did a Skype program together at a school. Peak pre-dates Jordan’s climbs by many years. It came out in 2007.

  • Kayla

    Dear Roland Smith, In my Language Arts class we have been reading your novel, ‘Peak’. I really love the book and I have a few questions about it and your writing, If you don’t mind.

    What Inspires you to write?
    Where did you get the ideas for the characters in ‘Peak’.
    Whats your favorite topic(s) to write about?
    Which other Authors inspire you?

    Thank you for your time.

  • Ayanna

    Hey it’s Ayanna and I’m from Florida, and I would like to ask you a couple questions for a project I’m doing in school,
    1. Out of all the books you have wrote, which is your favorite?
    2. What inspired you to write Peak?
    3. Have you ever related your characters in any of your books to people you know in real life?
    4. If you had a chance to change anything in any of your books, would you?
    5. And if you would change anything, what book and why?

  • Nevaeh(neh-vay-uh)

    Hello Mr. Smith, I’m sure you don’t remember me but we met when you went to that college in Owasso, Oklahoma to talk to those 5th graders about your life story and how you became a author. I was one of those 5th grader but I am now a 7th grader. I am Nevaeh. I am writing a story of my own right now and I could really use some advice from a great author. I am not saying you have to read what I have wrote so far I just have some questions. please email me. Thank you!

  • roland Post author

    Hi Nevaeh, thank you for writing. When I was at your school I told you almost everything I know about the writing process. It’s really very simple… Read everyday. Write everyday. Writing is not necessarily hard, but like everything in life, it takes a lot of practice to become good at it. It sounds like you are well on your way. Keep it up.

  • matthew

    i love yur books you need to make more and i do think they need to make a movie out of them i have read peak andd the edge and loved both of them

  • Cianna

    Hello Roland Smith.
    I read all three Storm Runners books and enjoyed them very much. I was wondering if there will be another book and if so when it will come out.

  • MaKayla Hartman

    Hi i just got the book Peak, im currently in a group with 3 other kids that are reading a different book. i havent read it yet but it seems very interesting and i cant wait to read it. i also enjoy writing myself and i like getting tips from authors ^^ welp gotta get back to research i hope you have a nice day/night

  • MaKayla Hartman

    Hi i just got the book Peak, im currently in a group with 3 other kids that are reading a different book. i havent read it yet but it seems very interesting and i cant wait to read it. i also enjoy writing myself and i like getting tips from authors ^^ welp gotta get back to research i hope you have a nice day/night

  • Cooky

    My class and I just read your book and loved it. I do have 5 questions to ask you:
    Did you write Peak because you were inspired by a climber?
    How did you choose the names of the characters?
    Which chapter did you have most fun writing?
    How long did it take to finish writing Peak?
    When you finished were you exausted or started right away planning on the next book?

  • roland Post author

    Did you write Peak because you were inspired by a climber?
    How did you choose the names of the characters? A few of the characters are named after people I know. The others? I choose names that I like and that do not sound like the other characters in the book.
    Which chapter did you have most fun writing? The Hook
    How long did it take to finish writing Peak? With the research, 2 years.
    When you finished were you exausted or started right away planning on the next book? I always start a new book the day after I finish a book.
    I hope you get a chance to read the sequels: THE EDGE and ASCENT. I’m working on the final book right now. DESCENT. It will be out this time next year.

  • Cassidy

    I read beneath and I just finished reading above. They are my favorite books. I would love to read move about kate, coop, and pat. I would absolutely love it if there was a third book.

  • Jedidiah

    Hello, Mr. Smith.
    I am from “The Natural State”. I love all the books that you have written! I have read and I’m re-reading Peak for book club at school. I just recently finished Beneath and Above. I wish more people knew about them because they were my favorite series you’ve written. I have one question:
    Do you know Terry Trueman, author of Stuck in Neutral? The reason why I’m asking is because of course, Terry Trueman was a character in Beneath, but I also saw that name elsewhere. I was recently reading Resistance by Jennifer A. Nielsen, when I looked at the back and found a quote from Terry Trueman. I just wanted to know if that was somehow done on purpose, because I was reading some other reviews and found Josh, the name of Peak’s dad. He said thanks for publishing his story. Therefor, I was just wondering if you also knew Terry and if you named the homeless banker after him.
    Thanks for your time,
    Jedidiah, Huge Fan #1

  • Rory

    Hello Mr. Smith
    I am in year 7 at ACGS (Anglican Church Grammar School) in Brisbane, Queensland i believe one of my class mates Clancy emailed you prior and i was looking to ask you just one question.
    Clancy and i have started reading “The Edge” and i was wondering if you would make a third book in the series ? ? ?
    P.S the whole of the year 7 cohort (210, 13 year olds) loves the work you have done regarding your novels

  • Isla Robinson

    Dear Roland Smith

    Last year I lisined to the 39 clues series.
    I research if ther was a movie, and there was the only problem was was that I could not find the movie.
    Pleas could you put the movie on Netflix or anywhere where We can watch it

    Thank you so much

  • k.faye4

    what happens to Hannah in jacks run and did Neil and Patrica ever go to court with alanzo

  • gwa gwa{DJ}

    Dear Mr.smith I know that this is not a peak comment but i’m here to say i Really REALLY enjoyed ur book Sasquach i think mabye movie producers should make it into a movie mabye i or u could ask movie peeps to make a movie out of it and u should make a sequel also if u have timeonce again sorry this is not a peak comment i hope my dream comes true dear DJ

  • roland Post author

    Hi DJ, good news, there is a sequel of sorts. I wrote a series called CRYPTID HUNTERS. Four books (CRYPTID HUNTERS, TENTACLES, CHUPACABRA, and MUTATION). Some of the characters in SASQUATCH are in final two books. I would read them in order. Your school or public library will have them, or be able to get them. Or you can buy them online or from your local book store.

  • Emma Dale

    Dear Roland Smith,
    I love your writing! your box Zachs lie relaxed me, and when I read your book, I forgot all of my problems, it truly brought me into another world. My name is Emma and i’m 13 years old. I never really like to read unless I have a good book, I read your book and I enjoyed every minute of it. And i only like to read if a have a book, and if it’s thrilling, exciting, intense, and cliff hanging, when there’s a cliffhanger you just can’t stop reading! Zach’s lie is one of the best books that I’ve ever read, and now i’m reading your 2nd book.

    In Zach’s lie “Zach” is a very smart person, he’s shy in the beginning but by the end he is very brave, and outgoing. When peter found Zachs diary, he decided to black mail Zach by telling him if he doesn’t stay away from Catalin he will expose him. But then peter runs into Alonzo Aznar. Alonzo asks peter is he knows who this is (shows picture of jack) and Peter tells him everything he knows about jack.
    One of my favorite parts about Zach’s lie is, the part where sam finds his journal and reads it, then Zach goes missing and is waiting for peter of peters front porch, sam gets nervous but the readers don’t know that he read his journal, then we find out that alonzo has peter, they kidnapped him after peter told alonzo where to find Zach. Then Zach finds his way back to the hotel and thats where Sam finds him and asks Zach where he was and whats going on Zach tries to lie and tell Sam that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about, then sam tells him that he read his journal.
    But then when it couldn’t get worse they find Catalin and kidnap her and then try to do s fair trade for the journal for the girl and then since sam was a Russian spy he set a trap and knocked them out and got away. Them alonzo went to jail, but because Zach is now jack and his identity was released he had to move away leaving Catalin behind. Those are my two favorite parts of the book.

    I don’t really relate to this book at all. But it was one of my favorite books that i’ve ever read. Zach’s lie is a great book I was talking to my librarian and she recommended it to me and I loved it i would recommend anyone to read it, it’s also a book that anyone can read, it’s not too girly and it’s not for guys, and I really like it. I’m on the second book right now and im super excited to finish it.

    Thank you so much for taking your time to read my letter I really appreciate it


    Emma dale

  • Kaleb

    hi im from la Conner and my class wants to do a podcast on your story by continuing your story with a sequel we will just do a first paragraph can we use the characters in the story. Kaleb.O

  • roland Post author

    You are more than welcome to do a podcast about Peak, or any of my books. Sound likes fun. Are you aware that there are two sequels to Peak? THE EDGE and ASCENT? The fourth and final book in the Peak series will be called DESCENT and will be published in 2020. Good luck with your project.

  • Milind

    Dear Roland Smith,

    Hi. I am a 5th-grade student at the Montessori School of Beaverton. I recently read your book; Zach’s Lie. It is one of my top five books, and I really wanted to tell you how much I love and appreciate that book. I have read Jack’s Run too, because I was excited for the next book and now it is my favorite book, so thank you. I have been looking forward to reading your other novels. I really want to read Jaguar and Sasquatch. My sister has also read Zach’s Lie 11 times.
    I tremendously loved how you kept the story moving and full of action. It kept me sucked in the book. I put together a book report on it too!
    I also live in Oregon. I have been to Portland multiple times and always had fun.
    I only have one question.
    What inspired you to write children’s novels instead of adult novels?
    Thank you for reading this letter and for writing children novels.

    Your #1 Fan,

  • Hannah

    Dear Roland Smith,
    my Name is Hannah from Germany and i read your book Peak. I like it very much. Next week I have to introduce your book to my class (6th Grade). So I‘m looking for some more Information about you and the Book Peak.
    I would be very happy if you could answere my questions:
    – I saw you wrote a lot of books with or about animals. What inspired you to write a book about Peak and the Mount Everest?
    – Have you been to the Mount Everest or do you like to go there?
    Greetings Hannah

  • roland Post author

    Hello Hannah,

    I’m glad you enjoyed Peak. One of the reason I write about animals because I spent twenty years working with exotic animals all over the world. I wrote Peak because I used to climb in my youth. I have never been to Mount Everests, but I would love to go there one day.

  • Christian Cabello

    Hi Roland, my name is Christian. I have read one of your books called Cryptid Hunters. It was a great book. Ever since i was little i loved creatures that you included in that book. Although The whole book was great i had one question, where do you get the ideas to write these books. And Again great book i loved it. Hope you can respond and answer my question.
    Christian Cabello

  • roland Post author

    Hi Christian, like you I am interested in cryptids, which is why I wrote Cryptid Hunters. In fact, I was so interested I wrote three sequels. I hope you’ve read them. If you haven’t the books in order are TENTACLES, CHUPACABRA, and MUTATION. Roland

  • Mia, Abby, Lilah, Miiraya, Mila, Riley OIMS 5th graders

    Dear Roland Smith,
    This is a question about your book STORM RUNNERS. Was John Masters ( dad) in the car when the accident occurred? We were wondering…. thank you so much! We love your book so far.