Over the past three months, there has been some good news and some bad news. Feedback centers around errors, mostly typos, although I did name the Ritter’s mule Nell, when it was actually Kate. There have been some valid questions about the 1st edition of the book. For example, did I have to use the bad language ? I knew it would be controversial when I did it, so that’s that. Another critique has been that this edition is really a combination of two books — one about my childhood, and one about tennis and coaching. That’s true, and anyone interested specifically in the tennis, especially kids, should start at Chapter 9. These chapters can help young tennis players, their coaches, and parents.
The good news is that I’m glad I took the time to write and publish the book. The emails, letters, and phone conversations that have resulted from this project were worthwhile. Many readers cited the humor as entertaining, and several offered appreciation for both the openness of the memoir, including stories of some of the tougher times in my life.
Having always been a coach, the writing world has surprised me. I’ve reunited with many old friends. My high school reunion was made much more meaningful by my classmate’s acceptance and interest in the project. Most books have been bought by someone I know or was connected to personally. Maybe writing is about connecting. I’ve enjoyed reconnecting.
I am especially thankful for a recent book signing at Barton College. Three and a half hours flew by, and yet I still wanted to continue the conversation with longtime friends in attendance. I appreciate all of the people that have helped build interest in the book with signings, reviews, and hostings – Our State magazine, Elon’s The Pendulum, The Islander (of Emerald Isle), The North Carolina Tennis Foundation. Thanks also to Jack Webster, a friend from my hometown of Madison, NC, for spreading the word.