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  • Writer's picturePaul Cumbo


You learn a lot over the years spent writing a novel. Wilderness Therapy was roughly a five-year project.

Obviously, you learn a lot about writing itself. That'll be a separate post. But for this one, I'm focusing on plot-related knowledge. Here's some of the stuff I learned about while researching and writing it:

- the difference in the burden of proof for civil vs. criminal cases

- some of the finer points of New York State law regarding the difficult types of assault, depending on the age of the perpetrator and the type of weapon used, if any

- where detained prisoners sit on planes when they're being escorted by marshals or police officers

- which wilderness areas in the continental USA have the least cell-phone reception

- the practice of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

- some background on wilderness therapy programs and theory in the USA

- the average small-town volunteer ambulance response team

- statistics around drownings

- the psychopathology of, well, psychopaths--and the difference between them and sociopaths

- more than I wanted to know about depression, suicide, and self-harm among adolescent male population

- the braking distance of common brands of full-size pickup trucks, based on speed and road slope

Well, that's a partial list. Maybe it gives you a sense of why a few industry reviews have classified it as a psychological thriller. Hope you'll check it out, or, if you've read it, post a review on Amazon!


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