The book Escape Through the Wilderness was birthed out of my passion to teach young emerging leaders principles related to life and leadership.
My unique background and credentials include a season in the U.S. Army where I was the youngest drill sergeant in the Army’s history at age 18 (Pentagon confirmed), a jungle expert (trained in the Panama Canal Zone), and recipient of the Silver Star (the nations third highest award for courage under fire).
Escape Through the Wilderness gave me a distinctive opportunity to write to today’s youth about leadership and teach key principles in the context of a wilderness survival adventure.
Our nation’s schools are filled with young aspiring leaders who have a keen interest in principles related to leadership. Unfortunately, a good deal of training on leadership is impractical, out of context, and, in their words, often boring.
My idea for Escape Through the Wilderness was to teach key leadership qualities and skills very subtly in the context of an entertaining and inspiring adventure story. My goal was to entertain, inform, and inspire young and young-at-heart readers while teaching them about life and leadership.
The Amazon reviews are almost all five-star to date and readers are responding well to not only my writing style, but to my message as well.
Based on the positive sales and reviews thus far, I’ve already started to write the sequel and hope it will be release in summer 2016 if not before.
Recently, I spoke at a book party with a large group of teens and pre-teens in attendance. Again, I was overwhelmed by their interest in the story and the principles taught in the context of a survival theme. I’m more convinced than ever that teaching leadership in an adventure based way is not only effective but entertaining as well.
Ultimately, my dream is that thousands of young readers are informed and inspired by Escape Through the Wilderness and go on to become productive and positive leaders and influencers in our communities nationwide.
Finally, Tate Publishing is my book publisher. I chose Tate based on the recommendation of a fellow author.
About Gary Rodriguez
My name is Gary Rodriguez, and I live in California. I'm the president of LeaderMetrix Inc., a consulting company that specializes in senior-level executive coaching, organizational development, and conflict resolution.
Previously, I worked for eighteen years in the radio business as an executive where I spent several years as one of the original managers of Infinity Broadcasting.
Following a successful radio career I became the president of a non-profit organization for a season.
As a young man, I spent a tour of duty in the U.S. Army where I was recognized as the youngest Drill Instructor in the Army's history at age 18 years. I was also awarded the Silver Star (the nation's third highest award for valor) while serving in a combat zone.
Over the past few years, I've written three non-fiction books and then I decided to write a novel.
My first book, Purpose-Centered Public Speaking, was published in 2009 and was re-published this summer (2014). Then I wrote a companion workbook designed to help people implement the principles taught in my first book. Next, I wrote Overcoming The Fear Of Public Speaking. And this past year, I wrote my first novel, Escape Through The Wilderness.
About Escape From The Wilderness
Sixteen-year-old Savannah Evans walks with a slight limp thanks to a gymnastics’ accident that dashed her Olympic dreams, but didn’t stop her from attending an adventure camp in Idaho. At Camp Arrowhead, she quickly befriends Jade Chang and Rico Cruz, but Conner Swift taunts Savi because of her injury.
When the four are teamed together for an overnight white-water river rafting adventure, Savi refuses to get in the same raft with Conner. Unfortunately, the director will not reassign her.
A fun expedition down the river turns into a nightmare when their raft slams into a huge rock and their adult guide disappears down the river.
Without their guide and desperately trying to steer an out-of-control raft, they pass the “last chance” marker and enter the larger rapids. With Jade pinned between the raft and a rock, and Rico clinging to a lifeline, Savi must cut the raft free.
When the four drag themselves out of the river, they’re bruised, beaten, lost, and twenty-five miles from camp. Because of late-night campfire tales of Vexel, a vicious animal that roams the nearby woods, Savi and the others are terrified.
Savi becomes the unlikely leader who tries to guide the group back to Camp Arrowhead. Limited supplies, injuries, and the constant threat of Vexel—who Savi fears is stalking them, complicate the harrowing return trip.
Readers will enjoy dramatic survival scenes and the group working together, solving problems, and learning to overcome adversity.