I’m pleased to announce that IN THE RED has won a bronze medal from the Independent Publisher Book Awards. Thanks to everyone who has supported (and purchased) the book in hardcover or eBook format.
Not much Dale Jr. included, but I was inspired by the victims of the Boston bombings to write a story about dealing my own amputations. Part one is now posted: part two will be posted this evening at approx. 7 pm ET.
More IN THE RED
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IN THE RED is available in hardcover and all eBook formats wherever books are sold. The eBook version is only $9.99 for iOs, Kindle, Nook and more.
“Who’s number one?”: With the Cup boys racing at Bristol today, I had to dig out this photo of Dale Jr. reacting to an angry crew member from Robby Gordon’s team.
In March of 2002, Jr. had led the most laps on his way to a fourth-place finish. Late in the race, he was racing for a top-three finish when he was slowed by the lapped car of Gordon. Junior “moved” Gordon out of the way, causing Robby to retaliate after the race by crashing into the Bud car on pit lane.
“I don’t know what the hell he was doing out there,” Junior said. “He was a moving chicane.”
I have a big handful of Junior’s epaulettes on each shoulder, hoping to hold him back from an unnecessary bout of fisticuffs. Had it escalated, I’m not sure what (if any) good it would have done… ha!
And the winner is… Here is the cover that ended up on the shelves of a bookstore near you.
“IN THE” was stacked to give more prominence to “RED” in the title. Junior’s photo was placed slightly off-center and behind the sub-header. Plus the white letters from my name gave the illusion of highlighting the side of his face.
Thanks again to Michael Snell of Shade of the Cottonwood for his stellar design work. http://www.shadeofthecottonwood.com
The Back Cover: There was never a doubt what image would appear on the back cover. Harold Hinson’s instantly iconic photo of the post-9/11 Dover victory lap with the American flag flying from the cockpit of the Bud machine was the clear choice. Choosing this image was perhaps my easiest decision of the entire project.
Check out more of Harold’s superb work at: http://www.haroldhinson.com
Versions Four and Beyond: With the right photo chosen, designer Michael Snell was able to incorporate it into the cover design. Now, the changes became more subtle, as each of the elements were tried in various locales - looking for the ideal combination for the maximum visible impact. Notice how Junior’s photo is repositioned in relation to the main text.
All design work by Michael Snell of Shade of the Cottonwood. Check him out at: http://www.shadeofthecottonwood.com
The search is over: While looking for the right image for the cover, I came across this image from a Budweiser photo shoot. The photo was initially used in several ways, including the near-life-size cardboard displays that appeared in almost every bar, restaurant and convenience store on the continent.
Though Dale Jr. is wearing a uniform from the 2000 season, the look was right. Working with the ad agency, we were able to contact photographer Rick Meoli, who still had the image in his library. (Most images are destroyed after seven years, so we were lucky to find this one.) Through the kindness of Brad Brown at Anheuser-Busch, we were able to secure limited rights to use the image for the book.
Up next for designer Michael Snell was to incorporate this image into the cover design.
Cover Design #3: I really wanted a photo of Dale Jr. on the cover for many reasons (not the least of which was shelf appeal!).
This was a photo from the pre-season media day in 2001, taken by the superb Harold Hinson. While I wasn’t completely happy with the photo, the look of the cover inched a little closer to the final version. With arms crossed and with a strange look on his face, I didn’t feel like this was the golden photo of Dale Jr.
Design work by the esteemed Michael Snell of Shade of the Cottonwood - http://www.shadeofthecottonwood.com
Cover Design #2: Here is the second version of the cover design by Michael Snell. It’s already starting to look closer to the final version.
I love the kinetic energy from the aggressive angle of the car, as it looks as if it’s on the high banks. As beautiful as the No. 8 Budweiser car was, I was convinced the best approach meant a photo of Dale Jr. on the cover. So, the search was on for the right image of Junior.
All design work is by Michael Snell. Check out his creative company, Shade of the Cottonwood. http://www.shadeofthecottonwood.com