MARATHON QUEST we have lift off

Posted by martin.parnell |

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TriOil-Soccer Quest 42 (Quest #5)

  • Friday Oct. 5th 6.00pm to Sunday Oct. 7th noon 2012

  • Location: Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre, Cochrane, Alberta

Running 250 marathons in a year is one thing. Writing a book is quite another. My first effort going into print was after my cycle trip across Africa in 2005. My daughter, Kristina had given me a leather bound journal and every night after a gruelling day of riding I would write my thoughts. Every five or six days I would find an internet café and blog. After the trip I took the blogs, matched them with photo's I had taken and using self-published "How do you eat an Elephant" (one piece at a time).This hard cover book was sent to all family and friends that Christmas.

My next foray into the book world was "Riverbank Friends". Sue's mum, Terryanne, had written a poem about river bank characters; Ferdinand Frog, Wilma Water-rat, Mistress Mabel Mouse, Victor Vole, Thomas T. Toad and I illustrated it. At the time, Terryanne didn't know what I was doing and it was a thrill giving her a hard backed copy of the book the following Christmas. The following year I added photos to more of Terryannes poems and again with the help of published "Pause for Thought".

The possibility of a book based on Marathon Quest 250 only came about because of the prompting of my social media guru and friend Lyn Cadence. Lyn is in the book business and she suggested I write a book proposal. She sent me an outline and I went at it. In mid 2011 she sent it out to two publishers and one of them, Rocky Mountain Books, said they were interested. I met with Don Gorman, the publisher, and on September 30th 2011, signed a contract.

The first task was to send off a manuscript. I had blogged all through Marathon Quest 250. Every day after a marathon I'd sit at the computer and layout my thoughts for the day. The date the manuscript had to be at the publishers was October 15th and by that time I had 120,000 words. I had checked out a number of other books of the same type and found that the average number was 80,000. So I definitely had enough words, now the challenge was to develop it into a coherent story. Don introduced me to Meaghan Craven. Meaghan is a freelance editor and lives in the West Kootenays in British Columbia. We spent 3 months emailing back and forth, adding things, taking things out until we had a completed document.

Next was the cover and photos. One cover was suggested and rejected. Photos were added and then removed. But by June 2012 we had a Advanced Reading Copy available. The next step was to see if some of my friends and acquaintances would be willing to write a "Blurb". This is a few sentences about the book. The response was amazing. I had made contact with 14 people including John Stanton, Bart Yasso, and Beckie Scott, and they all replied.

The big day arrived in mid September and I went down to Bentley's Books to pick up the first copy. Mary Lou opened up a box and I picked one up. The first thing I noticed was the smell.  Other than a new baby and new car, it's hard to beat a new book smell. I took the book home to Sue and we just smiled. It's probably the closest I'll ever come to having a baby and this one took 12 months.

The World Wide book launch was scheduled for September 29th at Bentley's Books in Cochrane. This adventure had started in Cochrane and it was the only place I wanted to do the launch. It was a beautiful fall afternoon and at 1.00pm I ran along the side walk towards the book store with children from the local schools. All afternoon people came by and I signed books. Some I signed for them, some for grandparents and some for their kids. So began the MARATHON QUEST World Book Tour.

During 2012 2013 I plan to visit a number of towns and cities around the world. I'm treating it like a rock tour but instead of playing concerts I'll be running marathons. My next stop is Toronto where I'll be running the Toronto Waterfront Marathon on Oct. 14th.

If you're in the city come out and say hi.

Quote of the Day

"The pen is mightier than the sword"

Edward Bulwer - Lytton

Two young readers get a signed copy of MARATHON QUEST. Enjoy.

MARATHON QUEST we have lift off

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