Brooke Hartman M.B.A. ’04
As a children’s book author, Brooke only has a few hundred words to build characters, shape a plot, and add a few life lessons on the way. But that’s just one challenge of the writing life. You can write your story at a coffeeshop, she says, “but if you want someone to see your work, you have to take your writer helmet off and put on your business hat.” That’s where her APU business degree comes into play. As a former APU Writer in Residence and adjunct instructor for APU’s Publication Workshop, Brooke educates students on how to find publishers and agents, draft submission packets, and turn their hobby into a profession. Brooke has two books in print, three in the pipeline, and several more titles she’s shopping with her agent. Learn more at brookeahartman.com.
Mike Gordon, M.A. ’14
Mike’s life is a list of achievements and accomplishments. 15 marathons. Six of the Seven Summits. Anchorage City Council member. Owner of Chilkoot Charlie’s for 45 years. And, in 2014, a graduate of APU. “The program fit me perfectly,” he said of the master of arts program, where students build a path in their own area of study. Mike focused on memoirs, reading, studying, and critiquing them while writing his own. His thesis became his first book, Learning the Ropes. “I never would have been able to complete that book without the APU program,” he said. Now retired, Mike writes from Halibut Cove, where he lives with his wife Shelli and their standard poodle Jacques. His second book, DAGNABIT!, will be released in July. Learn more at mikegordonauthor.com.
H. I. Yates, B.A. Liberal Studies ’06
Yates’s new book – Dissolving the Anchor: Untethering Dysphoria and Self-Doubt to Create an Empowered Life – is part memoir and part self-help guide, blending narratives, poetry, and original artwork from around the world. The book details how loneliness and trauma led to a suicide attempt at age 16, and how purpose and healing helped her build a life she chose throughout adulthood. The confidence she gained at APU helped pave the way to running her own business Luv Mrk, she said. Now based in Denver, Yates provides self-empowerment workshops and events, as well as trainings for diversity, equity and inclusion. Learn more about Yates and her book at dissolvingtheanchor.com.
Skeeter Wilson, M.A. ’12
Born in Kenya to missionary parents, Skeeter’s writing is rooted in his experience as an American kid among the Agĩkũyũ people. He enrolled at APU with the intent to publish, and spent several months in Kenya researching his first two books. “APU was nice enough to allow me to determine my own program [and] focus on exactly what I was after,” he said. “Everything about the experience was beneficial.” Now based in Washington, Tim owns a small publishing company and continues to write. His fourth book – based on interviews with Kenyan Elders – was published in October.
Emma Walker, M.S. Outdoor and Environmental Education ’14
A lifelong resident of the American West, Emma Walker has worked as a camp counselor, raft guide, horse groomer, cocktail waitress, teacher, and, most recently, as a writer. She enrolled in APU’s MSOEE program in hopes of becoming an outdoor educator, but ended up with more than a master’s degree. “The connections I made to people and places during my time at APU are some of the most meaningful in my life,” Emma says. Her work has appeared in Outside, Powder, Condé Nast Traveler, and many other publications, and her second book, Dead Reckoning: Learning from Accidents in the Outdoors, will be published by Falcon Guides in June 2021. Emma lives in Boise with her husband, trusty mutt, and a handful of backyard chickens. Learn more at emmarwalker.com.