The Art of Writing

There’s been a lot of curiosity about the release of Book Two in the Triple Crown Trilogy. At times, I too, would like to know when it will be done! You see, I am not a writer by trade. My expertise is numbers, accounting specifically, and business management and analysis. I stumbled into this arena due to my desire to educate the general public about Thoroughbred horse racing. I live in the state of Virginia, and I was saddened to hear of the demise of Colonial Downs, the state’s only racetrack, located outside of Richmond. Virginia was once a pillar in the Thoroughbred racing industry. Secretariat, arguably one of the greatest racehorses in history, was born in Virginia. Genuine Risk, one of three fillies to win the Kentucky Derby, lived out her life in retirement in the Commonwealth. Could I make a difference, I asked myself? With iPad in hand, and utilizing the many hours in my car driving three kids to and from activities and camps, I started my adventure. My book research took me to various locations throughout the Mid-Atlantic region – from one of the largest breeding establishments in Virginia that was up for sale, to a tour of Thoroughbred breeding Sagamore Farm in Maryland, to the backstretch of Pimlico. I even dragged my mom with me to the Thoroughbred auction at Keeneland racetrack in Lexington, Kentucky. After three years, Book One of the trilogy “The Calm Before the Storm” was born. Little did I know when I started writing my story that there would be an actual Triple Crown winner in the form of American Pharoah, just a few months after my first book was published. I have experienced many déjà vu moments during my research and writing, and that certainly has come into play with Book Two. I had every intention of publishing each book within a year of each other. Alas, my other responsibilities have taken priority – like kids and school and sports and businesses. The juggling is never ending. Finally, this past spring, I made it a goal to finally put my story for Book Two on paper – well, on my iPad. I don’t travel without it. When I had an idea for a storyline, I would whip out the iPad while sitting in the bleachers of my son’s baseball game and start typing. Or, I’d be watching a lacrosse game and quickly send myself an email with a detail of something about which I wanted to educate the reader. All these details and snippets finally came together over the last two months, and I am happy to say that I have sent the first draft of “The Eye of the Storm” to my editor. It’s not done, yet, but I am happy with how the story has played out. I hope you will be, too. If all goes as planned, it will be published before the end of 2016. Following is a little excerpt to introduce you to “The Eye of the Storm”: “While the Derby caters to the who’s who, Millionaire’s Row, and fancy hats, the Preakness attracts the working class of Baltimore: the everyday men and women, as well as the younger party crowd that attends the biggest party of the year, the InfieldFest. The festival, which takes place in the center of the track, boasts all-day entertainment with top-caliber musicians, large sponsor tents, as well as open areas for groups to lay their claim on for the day. On the morning of the Preakness, over 120,000 people stream into the grandstand and infield in hopes of being a part of history, watching a potential winner of the Triple Crown, a feat which has only been accomplished by 12 horses in the history of the series. The Triple Crown series is made up of three races, the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness and the Belmont, run over a period of five weeks. The first winner was Sir Barton in 1919, but it wasn’t until 1923 that some journalists began using the term Triple Crown. When Gallant Fox won the three races in 1930, Charles Hatton used Triple Crown in the Daily Racing Form, and it stuck.”   Book Image

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