AND SO BEGINS SEVERAL NEW CHAPTERS
We still have a few weeks left in this year but there is a distinct sense that I have jumped the gun. I am not talking New Years resolutions but exciting opportunities that represent a wide array of new chapters unfolding.
Today marks my first day as a contributor for Legends of America. As a fan of this website for years I am quite excited about this new endeavor and the myriad of possibilities this opportunity presents.
Then there is The Route 66 Encyclopedia, my latest book that was introduced in October at Cuba Fest in Cuba, Missouri. As an author there is always an inherent sense of insecurity about a book that is only erased after its release and the positive reviews, as well as notes of appreciation from readers, begin to pour in. The encyclopedia magnified this concern.
Was a transposed date overlooked? Did I forget to mention …? Did I describe _____ with clarity?
As with all of my work the goal was to add depth and context to a popular subject but in this case the subject, Route 66, was so broad in scope and the book so massive, there was a near constant worry about accuracy that bordered on mania. So, I harnessed the power of the modern electronic age even though I lean more toward the Amish lifestyle, and added a QR code on the back cover that links to a page on this blog where updates, as well as any needed corrections that may turn up, will be posted.
As it turns out, the concerns were without foundation. The reviews, and notes received from readers indicate the book is accomplishing the primary goals of enhancing the Route 66 experience for fans of the double six and introducing the novice enthusiast to the wonders of this magic carpet of asphalt as well as to the delightful people who give it an almost addictive vibrancy.
A secondary consideration for utilizing the QR code was the importance of keeping the book relevant until the time comes for a second, updated printing as this amazing old road is in a constant state of flux. Case in point, the unveiling of the new East Meets West sculpture in the Cyrus Avery Route 66 Centennial Plaza in Tulsa.
To ensure I get a head start on making sure the first months of the new year are busy as well as exciting, and as a means of burying my head in the sand as a survival mechanism to get through what seems like a never ending election season, I have loaded the schedule with projects. These include the penning of two books, one on the evolution of Route 66 promotion that resulted in its transformation from highway to icon, and a travel guide with a Jim Hinckley twist. This alone should ensure 2013 kicks off with a sense of eager anticipation and excitment as new books mean we have a new excuse for traveling the most famous highway in the world and visiting with friends new and old.