The following is an interview with Johanna Garton regarding the release of the adventure novel, Edge of the Map, which details the life and journey of renowned alpinist and trailblazing record holder Christine Boskoff. In this interview, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief Barbra Dillon chats with Garton about her shared creative process in bringing the story to life, what she hopes that readers will take away from Boskoff’s life and accomplishments, and more!
Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the release of your novel, Edge of the Map! For those who may be unfamiliar, how would you describe the book’s premise, and what inspired this narrative?
Johanna Garton: Happy to! I classify Edge of the Map as an adventure book rather than a traditional biography. This true story has a host of fascinating characters, drama that takes place on the highest peaks on Earth, as well as a riveting mystery that keeps readers engaged. At the center of it all, Christine is this accomplished, yet humble, mountaineer who was beloved by her community. Her disappearance in a remote mountain range of southwest China with her climbing partner and boyfriend Charlie Fowler was an event that captured the attention of the world. Though I’m not a mountaineer myself, I grew up in the same hometown as Chris, and when I understood the depth of her achievements, I knew the story needed to be told. I worked on the book with my mother until she was unable to continue, and I finished it alone, publishing last April.
BD: What can you tell us about your shared creative process in bringing this story to life, in light of your work with your own mother to detail Boskoff’s story?
JG: I’d watched my mother work on the story for many years. When she was unable to continue, it made sense for me to pick up the pieces for her, as I’d become emotionally attached to the idea of getting Christine’s legacy into the universe. There was a bit of juggling early on, as we tried to reconcile our visions of what the final product would look like. Ultimately, I think the book is something covered with both sets of fingerprints and one we’re both proud of.
BD: At Fanbase Press this year, our #StoriesMatter initiative endeavors to highlight the impact that stories can have on audiences of various mediums. How do you feel that Edge of the Map’s story will connect with and impact readers, and why do you feel that this story was important for you to bring to life?
JG: Certain stories are born at just the right time, and certainly I feel that with Edge of the Map. At moments when we are all looking to escape, seek adventure, and be inspired, the messages from this story are ideal. I’m hearing from readers all the time who are looking a little harder for a new passion or planning a shift in their lives having read about Christine’s journey and how resilient she was. Aside from that, I’m proud to have highlighted a woman who rose in a sport dominated by men. It was important for me to show that she was able to break through the noise about her gender and be known for what she’d achieved as a mountaineer and not just as a FEMALE mountaineer.
BD: Are there any upcoming projects on which you are currently working that you would like to share with our readers?
JG: I suspect I’ve got more books in me, so at the moment I’m searching for my next story and hope to stay in the world of adventure journalism. In the meantime, I’ve had a lot of interest in making the book into a film or TV series, so that’s something I’m actively exploring, as well!
BD: Lastly, what is the best way for our readers to find more information about Edge of the Map and your other work?
JG: Either my Amazon author page or my website. Those are both fabulous places to find more of me and my work. I’m also an author who’s very easy to connect with, and I’m available to meet with book clubs by Zoom once they read the book. You can find me at johannagarton.com.