Monday, June 28, 2010

Jonathan Friesen Shares His Inspiration for RUSH

There was this guy in my church during my high school years. He was a nut. Not really, but he seemed to tilt toward crazy. A jittery man with jittery hands. He took a bunch of us teens rock-climbing trip. (Looking back, a huge lapse in parental responsibility.) The cliffs weren’t insane high, maybe one hundred feet, which only meant a shorter fall to our deaths.

Which, of course, was impossible. We had harnesses and straps and ropes and carabineers connecting us to this world—shoot, we couldn’t have fallen if we tried.

After a day of climbing, it was our guide’s turn (pay attention, ‘cause this is where the nut assessment comes into my memory of this man). Jittery walked to the edge of the cliff, the straight-down cliff, the smooth-no-finger-hold cliff, and vanished over the edge.

Spiderman. That’s what he was. He free climbed up and down and across. His fingertips found fissures and rough spots and he stuck like glue, scampered across that rock face.

I could barely force myself to edge. But I had to watch this spectacle. Finally, he crawled back over the lip into the land of the living. He didn’t fall on the ground and kiss it. He smiled and pushed us back from the edge. “You’re all too close.” All he said. His hand jitter was gone. He sounded at peace.

This most terrifying experience changed him, cleared him, and from the looks of things, he felt normal.

So I sit behind a computer dreaming up stories and I remember how death chased the jitters from a crazy man, and the idea for RUSH comes. Maybe he wasn’t so crazy. Maybe it’s me, whose idea of extreme sport is chasing my neighbor’s milk cows. Maybe I’m the nutty one.

Writing RUSH was my own trip into the world of the crazed. Into a place where safe feels like death and death feels like life.

And hey, I lived to tell about it!

To learn more about Jonathan Friesen, visit
RUSH Cover Copy: Jake King is a full-fledged adrenaline junkie. He'll jump off of a waterfall, ride his bike down the side of a mountain, rock climb without harnesses…anything to feel the rush. Besides his best friend and secret love of his life, the beautiful Salome Lee, getting his adrenaline pumping is the only thing that clears his head. So when he's offered a spot on a hotshot crew of firefighters who rappel into wildfires, it's the perfect opportunity. Never mind that the crew members call themselves the Immortals, and that they have a habit of dying young. Salome knows there's more to the crew's mortality rate than bad luck, and to save Jake, she puts their friendship—and their unspoken romance—on the line. But to Jake, firefighting is like breathing pure adrenaline. And if he doesn't stop soon, they could all get burned. . . .

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Blogger Sharon K. Mayhew said...

Thanks for sharing Jonathan. I think streching yourself always results in something good. I took a helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon without my husband or any support group...It was awesome. I was terrified at first, but when I got off that helicopter I was a different person: one who knew she could try new things on her own.

Monday, June 28, 2010 at 5:57:00 PM EDT  

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