Episode 18 - Amy McCulloch

Thriller writer and mountaineer

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Amy McCulloch portrait

[Music] Hello I’m Marcus Railton and this is the Scotscare podcast. Scotscare is the only charity dedicated to helping disadvantaged Scots in London through a range of support including mental health therapy, financial grants, advocacy, sheltered housing for older Scots, job coaching, social events, befriending and support for Children and Families.,

The Charity’s been running for 400 years to help break the cycle of poverty experienced by some Scots.

In this series of the scotscare podcast I’ll be chatting to celebrities and supporters of the charity that have also forged a life in the capital away from home and about the ups and downs that can bring. 

Scotscare: supporting Scots away from home in London.

This week’s guest on the podcast is a real world citizen a writer with Scott’s Heritage a Chinese mother and brought up in Canada. Amy McCulloch is the youngest Canadian woman to Summit mount Manaslow in the America’s. She is also the author of the best-selling novel Breathless. Breathless is one of the most gripping Thrillers of the last 12 months and it was the Sunday Times crime book of the month.

Hi Amy.

Hi Marcus.

How are you?

Great thank you um miserable out there today I was walking the dog this morning and it was yeah very rainy and wet down here.

Well the same here, do you know what I we decided the traffic where we live is so terrible that I was going to start running my kids to school on the bike and I thought it’s a good way to get fit and my so my my older boy Noah he goes to school on his own bike he goes to high school but I’ve got a nine-year-old and a four-year-old so my four-year-old Indy I got a seat for her

and I stuck it on the back of my bike and and and Rafe he Cycles along beside

us and it’s only two or three miles but it kind of gets the blood flowing in the morning it puts him in a better mood but

today was the first day I thought oh this is this is proper cold I could feel it in my fingers oh yeah definitely I

can imagine yeah it’s just and I think it’s okay for you for you know the rider but when Indy’s sitting behind me and

it’s just it’s just pouring down or as smart as you’d call it in Scotland it’s

just that kind of really wet rain and she got quite miserable this morning oh dear well let’s talk about I want to

talk about Breathless because that’s been such a great success for you and it just instantly captured my imagination

as well but this you’ve written many books before that but many of them were

for children and young adults what initially Drew you to to that audience

um that’s a good question I think when I started writing uh I was actually at University and so it was sort of a

reflection of a lot of the books I was reading at the time or reading for leisure at the time um I was a grown up on books like the

golden campus series by Philip Pullman uh also the Harry Potter generation of

course um The Hunger Games was really big at that time so that kind of young adult literature

um really appealed to me but I also loved a lot of fantasy and a lot of Epic Fantasy has sort of starts off with that

um you know that that build-on’s Roman you know that the young boy kind of growing up or the the chosen one kind of

um Trope I suppose and I loved those kind of stories but at the time I wasn’t seeing a lot that was reflecting my

background so my my mom is Chinese and I grew up on a lot of kind of uh Chinese

mythology and though at that time there wasn’t a lot of um Epic Fantasy out there that was based

on kind of more Eastern cultures I suppose so that that’s sort of what I wanted to to start out doing that’s what

my initial kind of spark was was to write a book that I I wasn’t finding on the shelves to read myself

um and that became my kind of first published novel and I actually loved writing for children and young adults

because um they’re a great audience you know they um I used to go out to schools all the

time and and talk to kids and you have to be able to capture their attention

really immediately and keep them turning the pages and so I found it quite

um rewarding to to write for that audience but when it came to breathless

um it couldn’t be the the inspiration for it the way it came about just couldn’t be for for young adults and it

was quite daunting to think about changing genres sort of Midway through my career well what this is it isn’t it

and I was thinking about I actually think in many ways it’s more difficult to write for young adults because they

are complicated little people and as you said you’ve got a cap you know they

don’t really have a lot of tolerance for to sell them you know my 13 year old doesn’t you know he you have to

and and because they’re of this generation where it’s going to be next next it’s all YouTube so you as you said

you’ve got to capture them from the outset and keep their interest which I owe I think it’s a more difficult ask

in many many ways yeah absolutely you’re competing with you know video games and streaming

services and television and um yeah you have to be able to instantly

draw a young adult teenager and and as you said keep them turning those pages

and so it’s sort of an interesting um but ultimately once you’ve

hooked a child onto your story you know you won’t get a more devoted fan and that’s when you uh really see how how

you know wonderful it is to write for for that age group once you get it right you know that the messages that I

receive or talking to them about how book seven books that they love have impacted them

um that’s what makes me kind of want to write more and more is it quite a healthy audience at the moment because a

lot of times I’ll say to my my sons or say to me oh have you seen this film and

I’ve said no I’ve never seen a film but I’ve read the book and they’ll go it’s a book you know I say yes here is the book go

and read it you know get off your screens it is are there still enough kids reading books out there

uh well I think actually it’s interesting because um I know with Tick Tock it’s really

changed the way that that audiences find books so in a way there’s been a kind of a Resurgence of some sometimes older

books or books that might have um not had that huge media attention the

first time around that have kind of stormed onto the best seller lists and um a lot of those are books that

um you know appeal to to to kids who are struggling with their identity so I know

that a lot of the lgbtq books are really big at the moment um books that that deal with like like

hearts heart Stoppers you know there’s a Netflix series that that became really massive so I do think there is a big

reading audience out there but the way that they’re finding books is changing for you this must have been a bit of a

Boston’s holiday because you you were working and Publishing and then you know you work in nine to five or eight to six

you know you’re doing a full day and then coming home and then writing where did how I just you know a lot of the

time I just want to put a glass of wine and watch it telly yeah yeah I think it’s something

I’ve been writing since you know diversity and and so I was always used to kind of squeezing writing into those

times where I was um you know after I’d finished my assignments or that you know when I was

just just had a moment to grab a coffee or something I would always be scribbling in my notebook and uh when I

needed to go out into the real world and kind of find a job I knew I loved working with books so kind of publishing

was a natural fit for me but again I was still writing but often instead of going straight home after work I would stop

off at a cafe and I would be one of those you know really cliched people kind of typing on their laptop and Starbucks in the corner I’m just trying

to squeeze an extra hour or two of writing into my day but I think what I

always say is that um even if I wasn’t a published author even if this writing career wasn’t going anywhere I would

still be a writer that’s just it’s almost like part of my DNA it’s something that I am I love telling

stories and even if I was the only person to end up reading them so I think

you know it’s both my my hobby and my work now um it’s something I love and now it’s the way that I make my income

so in a way I’m really privileged but um yeah when I was working full-time it was

just squeezing writing into any spare moment that I had now the breathless like you said it’s

not it’s not a young adult book it was a change of genre for you and and the way it came about is such a

I I don’t want to say fantastic story but it is a fantastic story because it was a massive negative side to it but it

came about because you got divorced and you were going through such a a tough time in your life

and you decided am I right in saying that you decided that instead of wallowing in it you know and just

putting the dressing going on or a onesie on and just sitting and binge eating ice cream you decided to get out and walk

that’s exactly right um it was a really difficult period in my life because I I had only been

married for a year we’ve been together for 10 years um and it so it kind of blindsided me because I really thought that I had you

know I knew which path my life was going on if you know what I mean I sort of had had the relationship and the engagement

the wedding I thought family was going to be in my near future and all of a sudden that was sort of ripped away from

me and I didn’t know what direction to turn in and not only that but I was struggling a little bit in my writing

career I’d come to the end of a book contract and I didn’t seem to have any new ideas and really felt like all

around my grand plans for my life had had crumbled

um and I didn’t know what to do with myself and I I’d actually moved back I’m

from Canada originally um and I’d moved back to Canada but

was completely untethered didn’t my my family weren’t there anymore you know I didn’t have any

real friends over there um and I just decided you know what this

is an opportunity for me just to put myself in the way of beauty it was

sort of that Cheryl straight I don’t know if you’ve read wild or or seen the the Reese Witherspoon movie Wild but she

talks about how going on a long walk really helped her overcome some difficult life challenges and I thought

that’s kind of what I need but maybe not as Extreme as the the Pacific Coast Trail initially and I found the longest

waymark trail in Ireland which is called the carryway uh and literally the day after my

husband our ex-husband left I uh flew out to to Dublin got on a train to Kerry

and started walking um and I just fell in love with where my

feet could take me it just what I was seeing how I was able to kind

of remain present you know I wasn’t on my phone all the time I wasn’t worrying about the future all I was thinking

about was what you know the next step kind of you know one foot in front of the other and I really at the end of it

I had fallen in love with walking um and then so I decided that the next trip I was going to take was to Nepal to

do one of the classic tracks there the Annapurna circuit um so again on my own I flew out there and started walking

um and that’s where I kind of saw these big mountains for the first time and really would just fell in love with that

landscape now could I ask you about I I read a lot about you before we had a

chat today and you know the walking comes up and I don’t think that I think it works for

you and it’s interesting to hear what you’re saying there is that allowed you to have a Detachment and to think of

other things and I think for me it made me think of when my mum passed away and

and unless my brain was very busy it kept on returning to her at that point

and and what I’m not very good at is like is while I enjoy exercise I’m not

terribly good at something that doesn’t completely either exhaust me or take up all my brain space

and my worry with walking and I I at that point I was I tried yoga but I felt that every time I was still

all I would do is like if I was looking at the ceiling or looking at the floor my brain would just immediately shift

back to the negative thoughts about my mum passing away so I found it really interesting that

you you gave yourself all this time but you weren’t you you were more

positive about it you didn’t do what you didn’t walk for Miles dwelling on the negative yeah that’s true I mean to be

honest with you uh I wasn’t a big Walker before this so for me walking uh at that

time was 30 35 kilometers a day that was totally exhausting me it was a long way each day um the Kerry

weighs I think 220 kilometers or something and I was did it over a period of 10 or 11 days so I was walking you

know a fair distance each way and and what I loved was that I was coming to the end of it because for me the you

know the daytime seeing the the the beautiful Coastline everything that was distracting enough but the the nights

were the worst time for me um that’s when I would have my mind racing um when I would you know feel most kind

of depressed and and and really unable to shake the kind of negative self-talk

and uh so arriving to a bed after having

walked for 30 kilometers and just allowing my body to kind of exhaust itself and and actually sleep

properly um that was what was most beneficial for me and I think what helped me

um kind of remain positive and feel almost rejuvenated or at least

you know at least hopeful for the future um at the end of it uh just giving my my

mind and my body time to rest I think was the most important thing and and exercise really

um and walking was the key to that did you know Scott’s care can help second and even third generation Scots

break the cycle of deprivation key Services include Financial grants mental

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have you seen stats on Netflix have I seen what so it’s called stats

it’s it’s oh no I know it’s a really odd title it’s the actor Jonah Hill and he’s

interviewing his therapist and it’s just when what you just said made me think of it and and it’s it’s all shot in black

and white it’s very intimate and it’s just Jonah Hill interviews his therapist and films one session many and Phil

starts as a psychiatrist and he talks about the the first thing you can do if you’re feeling directionless or if you

don’t know where you’re going to go next is to get your your life force back on track and is and I thought oh that sense

kind of what you were talking about and what you tried to do there and he was he’s talking about the first step of recovery and it’s a great documentary he

draws out this triangle and he puts three lines through it and the bottom level is your relationship to your

physical body and he says he says this is 85 percent of the weighty recovery and Jonah Hill

goes wow that’s amazing and I think that’s true I think if you can get your physical body you know eat well

exercised and that’s great and then it moves up a level and he says the next one is your relationship to people and

don’t isolate yourself when you’re going through grief or you’re going through trauma you’ve got to get out there and

have lunch with someone maybe even someone you you don’t particularly love or like but just have that kind of people interaction

and then at the top level he talks about your relationship to yourself and and

within that he he says one of the most important things you can do is get a journal and start to write because when

you start to write what will come out is how you truly feel about stuff is do you agree with that I I do agree with that

definitely um I and I think that that’s important because I think sometimes your your own mind kind of shields you from

um you know what it considers traumatic events or or you know things that or tries to stop you from kind of

wallowing in the depression but also dealing with it I suppose in a lot of ways and that’s what um physical

exercise for me and and walking unlocked was this um

just this sort of ability to kind of really feel properly I know that sounds really

strange but by the by the end of uh each day um I was sort of really able to kind of

deal with the big emotions that I was that I was feeling and thinking about and

um I think that helped me uh I say find that new Direction Change paths and and

tackle the the next big challenge in my life which which turned out to be this mountaineering uh Journey that I went on

um and and really feel uh that what happened what that what had felt so

negative that happened to me could actually end up being um a positive thing when you went to

Nepal was it at that point because I have what there’s a beautiful video on

your website um which has shortened Nepal and it’s of you there and I get why you thought this

was such an amazing place because even watching the video the scenery is stunning and was it at that point was it

was it a slow fermentation that you wanted to start actual mountaineering or was there a kind of light bulb moment at

that point where he says I I’m gonna I’m gonna climb a mountain a little bit of a light bulb on the

Annapurna circuit you you go up to about five and a half thousand meters which is

a very decent high altitude um uh destination you know you you can

experience severe altitude sickness at that height you have to to acclimatize even though it’s just a track and a very

popular one um and I discovered that I actually handled the High Altitude zones really

well my body seemed to have this capability to um to be strong to continue to to to

handle um you know the the intensity of the Walk really well even at high altitude

and it was a comment that my guide at the time who I was with made to me you know that that I started off really slow

kind of in the beginning and then the higher we got almost the the the more strength I seem to have and it kind of

sparked this curiosity in me um about how how high maybe I would be able to go um but I didn’t have any idea

where to start um but it just so happened that I I met somebody uh who had been doing a little

bit of mountaineering he’d just come back from Kilimanjaro when we first met and he and some of his friends had been

talking about potentially how to climb Mount Everest one day and having just come back from Nepal I was I

thought oh wow that’s really that’s really interesting you know I would love to to know what that pathway is to climb

Mount Everest something I had never considered uh in my life that that would be something that I would be capable of

not not even a remote possibility and together we went to a mountain in

Morocco called tupacal which is the highest mountain in North Africa in the Atlas Mountains and we ended up

summiting on New Year’s Day 2018 uh so as the sun was Rising on a new year we

were at the summit and just watching the sun come up over the Sahara Desert and the Atlas Mountains and it was

one of the most difficult things I’d ever done a really challenged and pushed my body but the reward the summit was so

incredible um that I kind of caught this Summit fever and thought this is just this is

the best thing um and and the guide on that trip had summited Everest several times and had

led Expeditions on Everest he was the youngest British man to climb Everest from both the North and South Side so he

was the perfect person to ask for advice as to how someone who like me who tube Cal you

know that was my first ever Summit my first mountaineering experience how I could one day climb Mount Everest and he

said you know there’s a few things you need to consider you need to consider how your body handles extreme high

altitude so you need to test your cell phone higher and higher Peaks so I already knew how well I did at about 5

000 meters so I needed to climb something that was more like six seven you know work my way up and see how how

my body handled that then I needed to see how I could handle Expedition life because one of the hardest things about

doing a Mount Everest Expedition isn’t necessarily the climb to the top of the mountain it’s the fact that you have to

spend months on end living in a tent on a glacier you know with people you don’t

know um without running water you know in quite extreme conditions and that isn’t for everybody yeah um definitely not no

definitely not exactly and and then the third one of course for Mount Everest especially is that you have to to have a

lot of money or be able to save up a lot of money because Mount Everest Expedition uh can be upwards of 50 to 60

000 um yeah so that that sort of put a damper on that trip on that um on the

idea of Mount Everest but the idea of mountaineering and keeping on testing myself at high altitude that that was

really appealing um so I decided that I would try one more Expedition and see see how I did

and that was uh to act on cagua which is the highest mountain in the Americas

um on the the Argentinian Chilean border um and when I was looking for a guide

for this I had kind of known that I’d wanted to go back to Nepal eventually and maybe climb in Nepal maybe not ever

as necessarily but I wanted to get to know the potential guide in Nepal

especially if I was going to climb with a sherpa who um you know who I would be dependent on

with for my life essentially I I wanted to to have known them and climbed with

them beforehand so I was looking up Nepali guides who would lead Expeditions

in Argentina and that’s when I came across uh Nim’s die who had just started

his uh Expedition company at that time it’s called Elite Himalayan Expeditions and he was running a concacagawa trip

and it was like the perfect timing and it was kind of an unknown at that point in the mountaineering world but he had

been setting a couple of Records on Everest you know he was a former Gurkha

SBS Soldier um so he had all these credentials and when we chatted over initially over the phone and then on the

internet it it he seemed like a really like a person I would really trust in the mountains despite not having

um had his expedition company for that long so uh kind of took a chance on that

really and and booked this trip with him and his guiding team um and it ended up you know selling

selling off this um incredible uh experience climbing

with this man who would go on of course to star in the 14 Peaks Netflix yes

um series and and just kind of shake up the mountaineering world in in a whole

uh you know he he has changed the way people approach mountaineering in called kind

of to its foundations um and at that point he hadn’t done his his big project he was in the planning

stages and after we climbed our concacagawa together in probably some of the worst conditions

that you can imagine it was you know minus 40 degrees it was blowing a gale

um but somehow he led us all to the summit uh and back down safely because getting back down is just as important

um he and he said look I’m I’m trying to do this break this this world record I’m

trying to submit all the 14 peaks in the shortest amount of time possible I want to lead a team on one of the mountains

that’s Minaz Lu um would you like to come along and for me it felt like an opportunity I

couldn’t say no to because not only was I gonna have the experience to climb an

8 000 meter mountain in Nepal but I was also going to be able to witness kind of

History being made and was that was that a big step up because that manasse was the eighth highest peak in the world

yeah suddenly you you’re you know you’re playing in the lower leagues that all of a sudden you’ve been subbed on in the

Premiership yeah it’s a massive Step Up definitely I mean I mean especially going from uh having only done my first

ever Mountain you know earlier that same year to then climbing an 8 000 meter

peak the year after that is a very very very um big jump a rapid rise is my pun

that’s a nice one can I ask you something about something you said when when you were talking about manasu as

you said the air was there it just wasn’t doing what it was supposed to what is that yeah

uh well that’s what I was my way of trying to explain what it’s like uh up

in in the death zones the death zone is um anything above 8 000 meters which is

generally where it’s considered impossible to acclimatize so your body will never

um be able to [Music] um to survive above above 8 000 meters very

long so every time every minute you spend up there your your your brain cells are dying but but for me it was

hard to imagine what that was like until of course I got up there into the death zone itself

um and that was when I could you know it wasn’t as if sometimes people compare it to scuba

diving or you know this idea of not being able to kind of um catch your breath the idea that

there’s not enough oxygen in the air it’s kind of difficult to conceptualize because it it actually does feel like

there is there is air around you it doesn’t you don’t feel like you’re gasping necessarily that’s not what

that’s not what it felt like for me it felt like I was trying to breathe normally and yet and yet it wasn’t my body just wasn’t

functioning properly you know every step that I took seemed to take

um twice three times as long sometimes I watch videos of myself at that altitude and you think why aren’t you moving

normally you know why why is it taking you so long to un you know un um

unclip the water you know the top of your water bottle so you can take a drink why is it taking you so long to

remove your gloves and that that’s the lack of oxygen it’s like as I said the

air is there you can feel it the wind is buffeting you you know you can you can feel it and enter your lungs but it just

isn’t enabling your body you know the oxygen is not getting to your muscles to your to your cells to enable you to do

what you would normally do at a much lower altitude it’s a very very strange feeling when you summited that that that

was that became a record you were the the youngest Canadian woman do you still hold that the youngest Canadian woman to

to Summit Monastery is that still your record well it technically so that

manasu is a very interesting Mountain it’s been in the news quite a lot this year um

it there was a bit of controversy of where the real Summit of manasloo is or

was um according to the Himalayan database yes I am still the youngest Canadian

woman to Summit Mount manasu but since that time in fact last year they’ve actually changed the position of where

the summit was so if you’re an extreme mountaineering purist then I I was maybe

two or three meters Beneath The Summit so I haven’t submitted the mountain but

but it actually discounted um this change of the summit discounted the records of

um all but three Mountaineers um in history so even Ronald massner who is

the you know the the kind of legend of the mountaineering world this incredible man who summited the 14 without oxygen

um his record was stripped from him because he he actually hasn’t summitted the true Summit of manasu which was only

established um and is now the the kind of established Summit going forward

um so so the answer is yes and no according to the Himalayan database yes according to the new height of the uh

Summit of manasloo going forward no did you know Scott’s care provides homes for

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fresh start can I ask you aside from the aside from the physical achievement because it’s

stunning it’s a mind-blowing achievement did you ever was there a spiritual moment for you as well because when I

look at the pictures of you there and the pictures of you in Nepal it seems a very spiritual area and then I just

wonder if there was a uh like a cathartic moment of Freedom where you could kind of shake off your

past I mean maybe I’m being too too spiritual I just wondered if you feel anything more than the physical

achievements oh absolutely um before any Summit or any

mountaineering expedition in Nepal you experience something called a Puja ceremony which is a

um a blessing where you’re asking the mountain for for its blessing to climb and a llama comes up from the local

Village um there’s a fire um they chant to the mountain and you

and you put offerings down and you lay down uh some of your equipment often the

equipment that will come into contact with the mountain so your boots or your eye sacks

um and and you ask for those pieces of equipment to be blessed but what it was

for me I was sitting on some mats just behind the the Llama as he was sort of

pounding his drum and and reading this from this incredibly intricate scroll

and chanting um that was for me probably my most impactful Moment On The Mountain so I

hadn’t even um set foot on the actual Mountain itself I was only at base camp I hadn’t

climbed Camp one yet but already I was feeling like my trip

to the mountain had been worth it so even if I didn’t make the summit I mean I had no idea at that point whether I

would be capable or not whether the weather would allow us or not you know whether the Menace was very prone to

Avalanches whether whether there would be it would be a bad Avalanche season or not all of these things I couldn’t that

were out of my control um you know I had no idea if I would make the summit but sitting there

listening to the Llama watching the kind of clouds disperse

over the the summit of manazu and the kind of sun stream down on us that for

me was um such an impactful moment and I thought wow if if my life hadn’t gone the way

that you know if I hadn’t experienced um all the negative things or all the things that I thought would break me

um I would never have found myself in that place and that was enough that was enough to have made that Journey

worthwhile and uh yeah it was a very spiritual and

and an important moment for me uh and I think what what I’ve read is this this is where you

came up with a plot for breathless and it was waterstones it’s the waters and

Thrill of the month book the Sunday Times crime book of the month can without ruining the plot which you

obviously won’t do can you give us a clue can you give us a kind of crazy of what breathless is about yeah absolutely so when I was at base

camp uh one of the things that was you know there’s a lot of waiting around at base camp that’s the one thing that I

didn’t realize about mountaineering is that actually there’s a lot of downtime and a lot of time where you’re waiting you know to summer or you’re waiting for

your body to acclimatize so for me as a writer that was when my kind of imagination was running wild and I

realized then that that how perfect a base camp was as a setting for a

thriller particularly because not only are you facing the environmental dangers you know the the crevasses the Avalanche

potential um the lack of oxygen the high altitude sickness

there are no authority figures on the mountain there’s no police presence there’s no one investigating

um and also you’re there on the mountain with you know this strangest people that you don’t know who’ve come from all

different backgrounds with a lot of different motivations for the reasons why they’re they’re they’re there why

they’re climbing and it was really fascinating to me how you know if someone had nefarious

um intentions how easily it would be to kind of get away with murder on the mountain

um and so that was sort of what sparked what sparked breathless a breathless follows the Journey of a journalist who

is covering a story of a legendary Mountaineer who is attempting to break a

world record on them on on the mountain and there are a series of kind of

unfortunate uh incidents that lead to to fatalities on the mountain that are just

written off as accidents as something that is a natural part of what happens on these mountaineering Expedition but

Cecily begins to wonder if there isn’t something more happening and whether she’s not just facing a killer climb but

also a killer on the mountain I just want to go yeah exactly

this dinner was you know when I read the jacket of the book and looked at the press release and stuff I thought oh

this has got film written all over it lots of suspects no authority figures an amazing landscape the Jeopardy of the

actual climb have you been approached by um any TV or film studios yes yeah

absolutely um I have a film agent and we’ve been talking with um various uh different networks uh

matches but it’s interesting because a lot of it has been TV related which I find fascinating because I thought it

would maybe be a bit more filmic but the way that obviously we consume media nowadays um the streaming services are sort of

where it’s at I suppose so when I can film a TV world and this idea that you could really explore each of the the

different climbers and their motivations in episodes before kind of leading up to that that dramatic conclusion where

where it all comes together and there also aren’t that many mountaineering films or movie films or series or books

um either that feature women as the kind of central protagonist and that was

something that was important to me as well um so it would be great to see it one day um dramatized that would be fantastic

and and will there be a follow-up uh there is a follow-up it’s not and it’s not a sequel but it is a very kind

of similar feeling book it’s called Midnight it’ll be out next summer and it’s set in Antarctica which is another

place that I was lucky enough to visit in 2016. um and so all of my books going forward

I think are going to be these kind of um women in extraordinary places

um doing doing things that push the boundaries uh so I’ve got a marathon this sub book as well so that’s the the

marathon through the Sahara Desert the the 250 kilometer which is you’re not

just writing about this you actually I I’ve I’ve watched that on the Telly and it’s it’s a phenomenal feat isn’t it yeah I did that this past April

um and it was again this uh life-changing kind of event experience

that I never thought I would be capable of doing but um if there’s one thing that that that mountaineering Manas Loop

and breathless has taught me it’s that um I should never put any limits on what I think I’m capable of

Amy thank you for chatting with today it’s been really good and I wish you the best for the future

thank you so much Mark this has been great fun speak to you later daddy bye okay bye bye

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