Interview with Jan Reynolds

Jan Reynolds opens up about her career, her adventures, and her role as a woman.


Theint Theint (11), Writer

What was the most surprising thing you learned while writing your book?

The most wonderful thing I learned was when the young editors got my manuscript, one of them even cried. She was an athletic young girl and upon hearing my script, she went “finally someone that understands!” As an author before your book gets published, you don’t know if your message and information would resonate with the audience. It was a really cool thing for me to know that my book has support from young women in situations similar to mine.

In your own words, how would you define feminism?

I don’t use the word feminism. What I use is “equalism”. I think the word “feminism” has scared a lot of people off. People think it’s all about women. However, if you googled the word “feminism” feminism is actually looking for equality in both sexes, meaning equal opportunities for both males and females. So I prefer to say I’m for equalism, because people understand it better, and men tend to be more onboard.

In your story, you highlight the challenges you face as a female extreme athlete. How were you able to overcome these obstacles in a male-dominated environment?

Perseverance and understanding. You have to understand that you may need to prove it again and again, or that you may have to be patient and continue to show your ability. Being the only woman surrounded by men, I had to understand that that’s the way it is. I loved what I did so much that I took it in stride. It’s what I wanted to do and it was the level at which I wanted to do it at. That was just going to come with a few consequences.

Sacred Heart is an all girls school, dedicated to empowering women. What is your biggest advice for young girls and teens who are trying to combat stereotypes?

Know yourself. It’s the most important tool that you have. Know yourself well, what your skills are, and aren’t. And if you know yourself well, you are less likely to cater to someone else or get caught in inappropriate peer influence. Trust your gut instincts, and if you make a mistake, admit it. Know that whatever you are doing, as long as you are kind and considerate, go for it.

What is your advice for aspiring female writers?

My advice is: learn lots of skills and learn how to handle media. There are very few people who are doing just the writing. If you know how to handle video cameras, write scripts, and how to write in different styles, then you are more likely to get hired than someone who doesn’t have these skills. I think technical skills are key in today’s society.

What are your current projects both as a writer and as an adventurer?

I’m working on another book for adults, all while doing workshops and talks. I’ve been working with women in the military because these women have been having a hard time moving up in terms of their rank. However, I miss children so much that I’ve also gone back to doing enough school programs to keep me happy.


Jan Reynolds’ book “High-Altitude Woman”