Denver author Peter Heller returns to the Vail Valley |

Denver author Peter Heller returns to the Vail Valley

Author is hosting a launch party in celebration of his latest novel

Peter Heller
John Burcham, Special to the Daily

National bestselling Denver author Peter Heller returns to the Vail Valley in celebration of his latest novel, “The Guide,“ on Thursday, Aug. 26, at CMC Edwards.

“The Guide” follows Jack as he works at the elite and fictional Kingfisher Lodge in Colorado, a part of the world that’s very important to Heller. “I can travel anywhere in my imagination and so I usually end up in places that I love,” Heller states. “What could be better than the wilds of northern Canada or the Taylor River outside Crested Butte?”

Cover of Peter Heller’s latest book, “The Guide”
Special to the Daily

Falling in love with wild places started early in Heller’s life. “I grew up back East reading Louis L’Amour westerns, and Hemingway’s Nick Adams stories about fishing in the Upper Peninsula and I wanted to do that,” Heller recalls. “I wanted to ride the High Lonesome on a strawberry roan, make coffee on an open fire, and fish for those beautiful trout.”

Fishing for beautiful trout is just what Kingfisher Lodge offers to its wealthy clients as they avoid viruses that have been plaguing America for years. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Heller turned to outdoor adventures with friends as well as his writing.

“I think the lockdowns and the sudden quiet and all the uncertainty both distilled and attenuated time. I wrote a novel in four months and read more than I had in a while,” Heller reflects. “I paddled more with friends because it was outside, safe, and seemed necessary. The voices I depend on for writing came in clear, like a radio frequency breaking the static. And time seemed to stretch out uninterrupted and that brought a sense of calm.”

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The voice of Jack, the main character from his previous novel, “The River,” was the one that broke through strong and clear. “It’s funny, sometimes when I write a character in a novel they live in my heart like an old friend,” Heller says. “I loved Jack in ‘The River,’ and when the book was done, I thought about him sometimes and wondered how he was getting along. When I sat down to write ‘The Guide,’ he showed up and started speaking; it was good to be with him again.”

Heller learned an important lesson about survival as he wrote this thrilling continuation of Jack’s story. “I always start with a first line and let it rip. I rarely know where the story’s going to go or even what it’s about until I’m done,” Heller states. “I guess that’s what art does. You ask a question — and you may not even know you’re asking it — and the book is the answer. Here, the answer was: survival — real survival, with heart and spirit intact — means taking care of each other.”

What: Launch of Denver author Peter Heller’s newest novel

When: Thursday, August 26 at 6 p.m.

Where: Colorado Mountain College Vail Valley, 150 Miller Ranch Rd, Edwards, CO 81632; masks required

Cost: $10 ticket, purchase online or at the Bookworm of Edwards

More Info: Call 970-926-READ or visit

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