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Frequently Asked Questions

Links that may be useful:

Miscellaneous Questions and Answers:

I'd like to ask Sugar for advice. How do I do that?

I answer letters to Dear Sugar via my new, paid subscription newsletter called the Dear Sugar Letters on Substack. You can find the link to subscribe on my Newsletters page. If you'd like to send me a letter to consider for publication in the Dear Sugar Letters, you can email it to deardearsugar@gmail.com. My "Dear Sugar" book, Tiny Beautiful Things is available for purchase anywhere books are sold (and in it I answer a wide range of questions). You can also find the Dear Sugars podcast, which I co-hosted with Steve Almond, anywhere you listen to podcasts. If you'd like personal advice via video, you can book me on Cameo at the link above.

Can I hire you to edit my manuscript or ghost write my book?

I don't do either, but I highly recommend my brilliant friend, Amanda Gersh. You can find her online here: https://amandagersh.com/

Will you blurb my book?

After having blurbed 117 books (really!) in the past decade or so, I've decided to retire from blurbing. I love to champion books and writers I admire and I will continue to do so in a range of ways, but blurbs will no longer be one of them.

Common questions about Wild:

You hiked the PCT in the summer of 1995, but you didn't write about your hike until many years later. Why did you wait so long?

I didn't wait. I wrote Wild as soon as it occurred to me to do so. Wild is not in the "I did an interesting thing so I wrote a book about it" genre. It's a literary memoir. I didn't write Wild because I took a hike; I wrote Wild because I'm a writer. By which I mean until I had something to say about the experience, I didn't have any reason to write about it. After I completed my hike on the PCT the story I most urgently had to tell was the one I told in my first book, Torch. It was published in 2006. In 2008, I began to write about my experience on the PCT and I realized I wanted to write a book about it.

Did you keep a journal while you were on your PCT hike?

I kept a journal all through my 20s and 30s, and yes, I kept a journal on my PCT hike, which I noted passingly in WILD. My journal was enormously helpful to me as I wrote the book, often providing me with details I'd have forgotten. I also researched facts and consulted others about their recollection and interpretation of some of the events I wrote about in WILD, but, like any memoir, WILD is based primarily on memory crafted with the intention of creating a piece of literature, not a report. I re-conjured moments, recreated conversations, feelings, landscapes, and the people I met as I remembered them from my own point of view and my own subjective memory.

Do you still hike and backpack?

Yes. It's one of my favorite things to do.

Have your toenails grown back?

Yes! Entirely. But it took a few years.

Are your siblings and ex-husband okay and did they like Wild?

Yes and yes.

Some videos about Wild: