contact us

Use the form on the right to contact Kara.

For literary inquiries, please reach out to her agent, Kim Perel of Wendy Sherman Associates.


Summit, NJ
USA

973-452-7620

Kara Richardson Whitely is an author & speaker featured on Oprah's Lifeclass and Self, Redbook and American Hiker. Her book Gorge will be released in 2015.

Blog

Kara Richardson Whitely's blog of adventures and issues on the journey to wellness.

 

Home Again

Kara Whitely

Wow, the Gorge book tour was a whirlwind! I met so many amazing people and saw some amazing places. 

I'm now home in Summit, setting up my speaking schedule for the fall and spring and writing my next book, Family Plot. 

The most beautiful outcome of exposing my issues with food via a memoir and speaking engagements is I found it so healing for me. The more I talk about it and am in the open about what I have struggled with and sometimes still do, the more honest and brave in my own life. The bravest thing I can do is live in the moment, to not sugar coat life. 

For example, many of you know my father died this spring, right before my book came out. I thought I was handling it rather well. The book release and tour kept me busy and happy but when I settled back home, I started to feel glum. This was made worse when it came time to sign the mortgage papers to settle his estate. There was about a week and a half where I was essentially paralyzed by grief. I sat at home and just fell an anchor of sadness that he was gone and knowing I would never fill the hole he left in my life. But I felt it and all its lousiness and I got through the other side. 

So sometimes victories aren't about mountains. Sometimes they're just getting through the day without annihilating a bag of tortilla chips. I have much to celebrate from going to family swim with my girls to planting my community garden before I went on tour so we have a summer bounty of intentionally nutritious and delicious fresh food. 

There are many journeys and adventures ahead but it's a beautiful thing to know you're just on track. Happy trails. 

Sleep While I Drive

Kara Whitely

I've spend 40 hours driving so far this month -- with about twice that to go. 

That's OK. I don't mind. In fact, being on book tour is beyond awesome. I get to reconnect with old friends and meet new ones. But the most rewarding experience is meeting people who thank me for writing Gorge. They thank me for being brave to say what they would never tell anyone about their binge eating or compulsive overeating habits. 

When I started writing the proposal for Gorge, I thought of it as an adventure story -- a fat person taking on Mount Kilimanjaro. In fact, it had been called Big Fat Mountain. After several months of trying to get it right, my agent Kim Perel, called me to say it still seemed flat -- and too, well, light.  

I knew this was a tough conversation because I wanted to be done with the project (as most writers do),"While this is an adventure story, how about you try to think of it as an addiction memoir?"

That's when everything changed. I could put everything -- every dark secret, embarrassing moment on the table. That's when my story became Gorge.

At first, this was daunting. But then I realized,  my weight, from the number on the scale or my secret eating isn't a secret. This is the pain I carry with me with extra weight. 

 I wrote Gorge knowing that two-thirds of the United States struggles with food in some way. This is a memoir of the human experience of compulsive overeating -- in the context of an epic Kilimanjaro trek. It didn't matter what I put on the page. Some people would find healing in my words. Others might gain some understanding that the issue of obesity is far more than a matter of eating less and moving more. It is an all consuming condition.

Somehow we need to connect that gap. Hopefully Gorge will be the beginning of that bridge. 

Hope to meet you out on the road. I'm heading out to California next week and then hitting the Pacific Northwest and the Boston area. 

 

Oh My Gorge!

Kara Whitely

A beautiful shout out from my friend and teacher Cheryl Strayed.

A beautiful shout out from my friend and teacher Cheryl Strayed.

So here we are, less than two weeks from the official publication date and a lot of wonderful things are happening for Gorge!  

Redbook named Gorge as one of "Five Fabulous, Possibly Life-Changing Books" in the April edition of the magazine. 

GoodHousekeeping.com ran an awesome excerpt: http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/inspirational-stories/news/a31736/kara-richardson-whitely-essay/

Backpacker magazine included Gorge in their Spring Book Preview. (6 books for every backpackers reading list) and said my story as a plus-size adventurer  "is as inspiring as it is refreshing." 

Your Tango published a piece I wrote about body acceptance and it since been picked up by xoJane and Pop Sugar Fitness!

Wow!

I've been doing dozens of radio interviews all over the country. Here's one that was really awesome with The Tom Williams Show on Utah Public Radio.

There are a number of other things in the works that I can't wait to tell you about!

In the meantime, I better get packing! I'm gearing up for my tour -- please come meet me on the road!

Happy trails, Dear Ones!