Our Book Writing Journey Continues
For us, writing a book is much like riding a fully loaded tandem up and over a mountain. We start very slowly, it feels like we have bricks in our panniers, but soon enough we hit our rhythm, gain the top, and become unstoppable cruising down the back side.
By mid-October of 2022 we had finished negotiating an agreement with our publisher/editor for our second book. Now it is time to really get started.
You do not just dive right into writing a book, there is a lot of preliminary work to be done:
- Reread our first book, “Coast to Coast on a Tandem.”
- Locate original Historic Route 66 trip blogs, Facebook posts, and pictures. (Thank goodness they were all still there.)
- Organize files
- Draft marketing plan (Books do not sell themselves.)
- Create book outline
- Outline Preface and Introduction
- Research and collect historical information about Route 66 and its attractions
- Meet with publisher/editor to discuss miscellaneous items: preface/introduction, title of book, how to incorporate more Facebook posts, themes, etc.
- Create a master document containing all trip blogs, Facebook posts, and comments by date
- Try to remember how to write a book in two voices, and get back in the grove
Just like riding the tandem, it is a dance.
Last week our publisher/editor surprised us with a draft of our book cover, and we loved it! We had discussed the cover briefly a couple of weeks ago, but we never expected to see it until much later in the book writing process. We’ll take it!
The first drafts of Days 1 (Ashwaubenon, WI – Mishicot) and 2 (Mishicot – Cedarburg) are done, and Days 3 (Cedarburg – Racine) and 4 (Racine – Chicago, IL) are not far behind. We have made it through Wisconsin (Chapter 1) and will soon be at the official starting point of Historic Route 66 in downtown Chicago, Illinois. The draft of Chapter 1 will go to our editor next week – yeah!
Life doesn’t stop, at least for us, when we decided to write a book. When we wrote “Coast to Coast on a Tandem” (2017) we were both still working our business WE BIKE, etc., LLC full time and were quickly heading for our busiest and best years ever. For “Bicycling Historic Route 66” we are now semiretired but have filled our time with other things. Along with working out most days, and volunteering on several committees, I am currently serving as an expert witness for bicycle crash cases in Florida, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico, and they have all gone active at the same time. Tracy takes regular fitness classes, plays on a volleyball team, belongs to two book clubs, serves as an elected official for the Village of Ashwaubenon, Chairs the Bicycle & Pedestrian Committee and volunteers on several committees.
Next up are making first cuts of pictures and Facebook posts for Chapter one and sending them to “Mr. Editor Guy.” (Yes, some of you are going to be in the book!)
Historic Route 66 was 2,448 miles long when it became part of the U.S. highway system in 1926.
The route travels through eight States: Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California.
Kansas has the shortest segment at only 13 miles long.
New Mexico has the longest section covering 392 miles.
The book will be available later this year.