Peter Heller is on the verge of something big. His first novel, The Dog Stars, is coming out in August and it’s one of Knopf’s big books for the season. The book’s been called The Road meets a River Runs Through It, it’s a post apocalyptic story set in a world where 97 percent of the world’s people have been killed. Yet it’s also a love story and the critics so far have swooned over it.
He flew out to Seattle to have lunch with the editors at Amazon, he was one of the stars at Book Expo America in NYC, it’s got a major print run of 60,000 copies and it’s got the most important thing–buzz.
Every day Peter wakes up and writes 1000 or 1200 words, he’s already deep into his next novel. He writes for Businessweek and is a contributing editor for Outside, Men’s Journal and National Geographic Adventure.
He flies his own plane, having learned how to fly when he wrote a magazine article about becoming a bush pilot. He has a place in Mexico next to a fantastic surf break, that he bought after spending six months there learning to surf and writing a book. I promised not to reveal its location after he said we could stay there for a January vacation. Deal.
But Pete is more interested in hearing about me, and about my family than talking more about any of his impressive accomplishments. Though he’s done a lot of ballsy things, when he met his wife Kim he was afraid to approach her so he passed her a note asking her to dinner.
Visiting old friends when business travel takes me away is why keeping in touch is so worth it. I can’t wait for the book to come out and to some day watch the movie–it’s that kind of a book. I wish him the best and am pretty sure that if that happens he will be as low key about it as he is about everything else that’s going so well in his life.