Jon Krakauer: The Boulder, Colorado, based mountaineer is one of the most prolific adventure writers of our time. Jon’s narrative non-fiction is a major influence on my own writing. His list of best sellers include Into Thin Air, Into the Wild, and Under the Banner of Heaven. Additionally, he has written numerous articles for Outside, National Geographic, The New York Times, and many other magazines. Jon is perhaps best known for being a part of the tragic 1996 Everest expedition in which eight people lost their lives in a blizzard. Into Thin Air is his recounting of the tragedy, which became a NYT Best Seller and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Visit Jon’s website here.
Bill Watterson: Bill’s influence on my ideology and principles, and therefore indirectly on my writing, cannot be understated. The creator of the comic strip Calvin & Hobbes ultimately ended his extraordinarily popular strip rather than let it fall into the hands of corporate interests. His epic battle against excessive commercialism, together with his beliefs on work and life, helped guide the soul searching that led me to become a freelance writer. He prefers a relatively anonymous life so does not have a website, but here is a link to a commencement speech he gave at his Alma Mater, which has become a kind of manifesto outlining his principles.
Joshua Becker: Joshua operates one of my favorite blogs, Becoming Minimalist, from his home in Arizona. His straightforward story telling and his rational approach to simple living are an inspiration in this fast-paced and consumer-driven age. Visit Joshua’s blog here.
Colby Brown: I appreciate the stories Colby tells with the lens of his camera. The Pennsylvania-based photographer is a rising star in landscape and humanitarian photography. He founded The Giving Lens in 2011, an organization which teaches photography and provides support for various Non-Governmental Organizations and causes around the world. I am fortunate and proud to call Colby a friend. Visit Colby’s website here.
Jimmy Chin: Professional filmmaker and explorer Jimmy Chin may be best known as one of the few people to have ever successfully descended Everest on skis. His recent climbing documentaries Meru and Free Solo have won numerous awards. The Outside Adventurer of the Year’s films and photography are even more spectacular than they are inspiring. Visit Jimmy’s website here.
Dean K Miller: A fellow Colorado writer and kindred spirit, Dean’s poetry and prose can be deeply personal and profoundly introspective. He thoughtfully edited The Water Holds No Scars: Fly Fishing Stories of Rivers and Rejuvenation, containing an essay by and supporting the worthy cause of a family friend.
Dee Hubbard: A “recovering accountant” like me, Dee’s career spanned 30 years and reached the highest pinnacles a CPA could imagine. He has presented to the Colorado General Assembly and a US Senate committee, been an expert witness in civil and criminal trials, rang the opening bell on Wall Street, and managed “the largest audit practice in the Rocky Mountain West.” He hung up his calculator several years ago to pursue his life-long dream of writing. He’s written two novels and a narrative nonfiction book, winning awards along the way. Visit Dee’s website here.