Hiking Through: Finding Peace and Freedom on the Appalachian Trail by Author Paul Stutzman

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After Paul Stutzman’s wife died, Paul quit his job to hike the Appalachian trail to give himself time to think and to heal. Hiking Through: Finding Peace and Freedom on the Appalachian Trail is his story. A former restaurant manager, he is now retired and planning his next big adventure: a cross-country bicycle trip. Stutzman currently lives in Berlin, Ohio. To see pictures of his hike or to find out more about Paul and his book, visit his website at http://hikingthrough.com.

Hi, Paul.

Welcome to Paperback Writer.

Would you share with us how you came up with the idea for your book?

The ideas and thoughts in Hiking Through evolved while I hiked 2,178 miles through 14 states.

Was it a light bulb moment or something that you thought about for a very long time?

I had wanted to write a book about “life” for a long time, but I was always too busy with life to get it done. Then my wife died of breast cancer, and my life changed drastically. When I started my Appalachian Trail thru-hike, I intended to write about the adventure and the people I met on the trail. The book that actually came out of the hike was far more than just an adventure book.

How did you come up with the title?

Hiking Through was not my original title. The publisher and their marketing division helped me settle on the final title. Readers will discover the double meaning of the words.

How did you find an agent and publisher?

I did my own extensive research on the Internet to find a publisher. I did not have an agent.

Who made a difference in the book’s quality?

The friend mentioned above and the editors at Synergy Books helped with the quality of writing. I was very pleased with the appearance and “feel” of the finished product, and that’s due to Synergy Books, too.

How long did it take you to complete the first draft?

Almost eight months.

How long did it take from start to publication?

Almost one year, to the day.

Do you have any advice for new authors?

The day I started on my hike in Georgia, reaching Maine seemed impossible. But I got up every morning and kept walking. Writing and publishing is like that. You’ll have rainy and cold days, your feet will get sore, you’ll want to quit the trail. But you have to keep walking. I got to Maine only because I’m stubborn and persistent. You’ll get published by being stubborn and persistent. I suppose that’s true of all of life’s goals.

Thank you, Paul, for stopping by Paperback Writer on your virtual book tour.

About Hiking Through: Finding Peace and Freedom on the Appalachian Trail


After losing his wife to breast cancer, Paul Stutzman decided to make some big changes. He quit his job of seventeen years and embarked upon a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail, a 2,176-mile stretch of varying terrain spanning fourteen states. During his nearly five-month-long hike, he battled brutal trail conditions and overwhelming loneliness, but also enjoyed spectacular scenery and trail camaraderie. With breathtaking descriptions and humorous anecdotes from his travels, Stutzman reveals how immersing himself in nature and befriending fellow hikers helped him recover from a devastating loss. Somewhere between Georgia and Maine, he realized that God had been with him every step of the way, and on a famous path through the wilderness, he found his own path to peace and freedom

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