After three years of research, driving back and forth to Kentucky, writing, rewriting, double-checking facts, hiring editors and designers, submitting proposals, reading, re-reading, tweeting, advertising, blog posting, creating marketing materials and spending lots of money, it’s here.
Spectacular Bid: The Last Superhorse of the Twentieth Century is now published.
I remember the thrill when my first book, The Death and Life of Mal Evans: A Novel was published. That was harder; it took me 10 years to write, and I self-published it. This time, the great folks at the University Press of Kentucky have helped out with the publication part of it.
It was a weird feeling then, seeing your name in print, and that weird feeling has now returned. I’m thrilled once again to see it on Amazon.com and honored to see colleagues in my field say nice things about it. Yet there’s something so revealing about the whole thing, as if I’m baring myself to the general public. (I’m sure I’ll be having that dream where I show up to school only in my underwear.) I feel nervous, even apprehensive at times. But writing is like that. You are ripping off a bandage, opening yourself up to interpretation and – gasp! – criticism.
Granted, this won’t be a New York Times Best Seller (I know, Peter, aim high). But I think it’s a damn fine book. It moves quickly and reads like a novel, complete with tons of quotes because I wanted the characters to tell the story – not me.
I was on the radio the other day promoting the book, and before and after the show, I wondered whether I was truly ready for this, if I could remember all the facts about Bid or whether the host would stump me with a question such as who finished second to Bid in the Hutcheson Stakes.
I chalked it up to a case of Imposter Syndrome – the feeling that everyone has figured out that you don’t deserve the accolades, that you haven’t earned being where you are. My anxiety took over, and I began to think about how much marketing I could do from my living room instead of going out and selling this thing.
I pace a lot, and my wife laughs at the nervous energy I spend daily. I send off press releases and interview requests, and I’m always thrilled and yes, nervous when I get a return email. The Imposter Syndrome creeps up, and it takes some walking around to beat it back.
But this is about Spectacular Bid – not me. He deserves the best I have to offer. I’ve done thousands of hours of research, and even though I may not remember off the top of my head who finished second to Bid in the Hutcheson Stakes, I know this horse as if he were my own. He was my hero at age 10, and he continues to be my hero.
All I have to do is let him and his team tell his story.