The quest spawned of a childhood dream to become a writer continues the twisted course that began when I took the plunge and submitted my first feature article to a national publication in 1990. Next month I will introduce my eleventh book, Illustrated Route 66 Historic Atlas at Cuba Fest in Cuba, Missouri.
I have yet to figure out the odd thought process that permeates the publishing industry and have decided that, perhaps, it is best to not worry about things out of my control such as volcanoes, the price of beans in Uganda, or the strategy behind a books release and marketing.
As the date for the books debut is fast approaching, I called to place an order for several cases of he new book. In so doing I learned some fascinating things.
One, the subject matter seems to be of interest as the publisher has received more than 1,500 preorders. Two, as the books have yet to arrive in the warehouse, case lot orders aren’t being accepted until the 30th of this month.
Needless to say, this has the potential to create a few worrisome issues, namely the fact that I am scheduled to take to the road on the 14th of October. This, of course pales in comparison to the situation with the debut of The Route 66 Encyclopedia.
I introduced this book at Cuba Fest as well. However, there was a publication delay and as a result, I imposed upon Connie to have books shipped to the wagon Wheel Motel rather than my Kingman mail drop.
We arrived in Cuba late Friday afternoon, a few hours after the books arrived. The debut was scheduled for Saturday morning. Such is the author.
Also scheduled for this trip is a presentation at Route 66 State Park east of St. Louis. This and the book signing at the gift shop will be part of their annual open house. So, with two appearances confirmed and numerous presentations pending, there is ample reason to be just a bit apprehensive.
My dearest friend and I are long overdue for an adventure in general, and a Route 66 adventure in particular. There are so many new and exciting developments on the road.
The partnership between Joplin, Carthage, Galena, and Webb City during the 2013 Route 66 International festival, last years conference in Anaheim, California, and this years events at the Route 66 International Festival seems to have put the wind behind the sails in regard to developing cooperative partnerships. Manifestations are springing up everywhere.
In Tucumcari, New Mexico, the Brenner’s, with assistance and support from the Mueller’s, the Engman’s, and others in the community, are putting the shine on another road side jewel that is taking shape as the Roadrunner Lodge.
In Los Angeles, the luster and lights are being restored to the district that embraces the original western terminus of Route 66. And, if Scott Piotrowski has his way, with support from a broad spectrum of the Route 66 community, in 2016 this will become ground zero for Route 66 enthusiasts from throughout the world.
Stacy and Allen Greer are restoring and adding vibrancy, as well as life to the Frontier Motel and Restaurant in Truxton, Arizona, a property recently purchased by Sam Murray of New Zealand, owner of Gilligan’s Wild West Tours. David Heward, Kathleen Smith, and a growing base of community support are about to roll back the tide as they work to put some shine and luster on historic Holbrook.
As this can do spirit spreads, as this sense of community grows, it becomes easy to imagine the highways second century might even be more exciting than the first. Meanwhile, we count the days until we can immerse ourselves in the invigorating spirit of renewal that sweeps along Route 66 like a fall breeze blowing into the city from Lake Michigan.