I’m an unabashed fan of sled-dog mushing, which you can tell by some of the books I write and edit.
Between 2011 to 2014, I worked on one of the most complicated editing projects I’d ever encountered. That had much to do with the number of contributors to Iditarod®: The First Ten Years–there are hundreds of them!
I was hired as developmental editorÂ by “The Old Iditarod Gang,” a group of old friends who determined to salvage the stories and photos of that golden decade before it was too late. It’s the first-person nature of the stories that make them so appealing. These are the people who were there, who volunteered, ran a village checkpoint, operated a HAM radio, made pancakes, administered budgets, sold T-shirts, and stood on the runners. The book is large (424 pages) and lavish (several hundred photos and artworks), designed by the award-winning Seattle designer, Elizabeth Watson of Watson Graphics. Reviewers have declared it an instantaneous “classic” for all that it holds. It was a long road getting to the printer, yes, but so very worth it.
But wait, there’s more . . .
Each year when the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race® approaches, I’m reminded of a couple of four-time Iditarod champions who have told their remarkable stories in print. I was glad to edit these two books, and after spending several months working on each project, I came away so impressed by the humor, tenacity, and raw honesty of each man. As different as they are in countless ways, both Lance Mackey and Jeff King possess a rare quality of understanding dogs and how to motivate their teams to do their best. Both are transparent writers in The Lance Mackey Story and in Cold Hands Warm Heart.
In February 2014, Arcadia Publishing released my book, Iditarod: Images of Sports. Through photos and illustrations, the book chronicles the history of the race, beginning with the relationship between people and dogs in Native Alaskan cultures through the first thousand-mile race in 1973. I sourced photos from the Library of Congress, Iditarod photographer Jeff Schultz, Dan Seavey, and other mushers and fans. The result, I hope, is a compelling story.
Several months in 2014 were spent working with Jeff Schultz to produce a book drawn from an amazing collection of photos and first-person stories collected during his thirty-plus years of covering the Iditarod Sled Dog Race®. Titled Chasing Dogs, the book is in breathtaking color and really drives home the difficulties of running the race (and trying to keep up with your camera). This one’s a winner!