Tuesday, April 1, 2008

First Reactions

I got my first reaction to the book last night. While an advanced copy arrived by courier last Thursday, I hadn't even realized the book was available to the general public yet, either via online sellers or at bookstores. Of course, over the past few months, I've gotten feedback from people who read—either as hired professionals or knowledgeable friends—earlier versions of the manuscript. But the email I received last night came from the first person to crack open an actual copy of the finished book and read it cover to cover and tell me what he thought—i.e., a genuine, honest-to-goodness, paid-out-of-his-pocket book reader.

It wasn't a critic but rather one of the participants of the race that forms the central subject of Fatal Tide. This is what he had to say:

Well done & thank you.

Why well done?

Your ability to deliver the story with every emotion I can think of. Having been in the race & so involved, it was easy to be captivated by your story telling. The science behind hypothermia was very interesting & the research was outstanding. Your accounts of the people involved had me consumed from the beginning.

Why Thank you?

You have given an honest account of the events on that day & the trials & tribulations of the aftermath to the athletes & theirs families.

My wife & I were so interested in the book that I read the complete contents to her out loud …….it was a first for us …..& we both laughed & cried.

So…..thank you & well done
It might not have the same effect on book sales as a positive notice in the Globe & Mail or a mention on the CBC, but it's this kind of reaction—especially from the people I wrote about—that matters most to me in the end. The people swept up by the events of the tragic Fundy Multisport Race and its aftermath entrusted me with their stories, so it feels good to hear that, for at least one person who was there that day, my version of that narrative, woven together from all their various threads, rings true.

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