Something lovely happened over the weekend. Mary Ito, the host of CBC’s Fresh Air, gave a great plug for my book.
I didn’t hear it, but friends did. They told me that a woman who’d heard my interview with Mary a couple of weeks back sent an e-mail to the show. She’d given a copy of “Ultra” to her 11 year-old grand-daughter. The grand-daughter devoured it in, like, 2 days.
You have no idea how happy this makes me. Not that Mary read the e-mail (though that was nice too), but that an 11 year-old girl actually liked my book!!!
I spent twenty years writing short stories and novels. They were awful. Then, suddenly, a couple of years ago, a different kind of story burst out of me; a story about the most unlikely of subjects – a 13 year-old boy who runs a 100-mile footrace. And it got published. And now kids are reading it. Not just boys; girls too. That’s thrilling. Better than thrilling. It’s a dream come true.
Which is funny, because that’s what the novel is about too. Dreams coming true. Oh, I know there’s a big, fat running shoe on the cover, and I know the novel is called “Ultra” – as in ULTRA MARATHON, but at its heart, the book isn’t really about running. It’s about something far more universal.
It’s about grabbing your dreams by the throat and never letting them go.
You probably won’t ever run a 100-mile race. That’s okay. Actually, that’s good! 100 mile races aren’t for everyone. It’s an extreme sport, and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone – unless they’re into blisters and hallucinations and smacking into bears in the forest.
But here’s what I DO recommend. And here’s what I hope readers will take away from the book. Ready? Here goes. You too can achieve your dreams.
Simple isn’t it? Totally doable. Doesn’t matter what your dream is. Want to write the perfect pop song? You can do it. Want to study at the Cordon Bleu cooking school? You can do it. Want to save Blackberry from extinction? You can do it. Want to become a marine biologist and swim with the dolphins? You can do that too. You’ll get wet, but you can do it.
Figure out your dream, then HANG ON TIGHT. As tightly if you were riding the back of a whale.
Keep chasing your dreams. I know they move fast. But trust me: You are FASTER!!!!!
Thanks. It seems some dreams are so close and then they move way beyond. Thanks for the encouragement!
That was me!!! I got one your autographed copies and sent it to my 11-year old grand-daughter. She and her family ran in the Collingwood Run for the Cure on the Sunday……she loves to run. 2 days is pretty impressive, isn’t it.
A runner and a reader – the perfect combo! And yes, 2 days is a pretty incredible pace… Too fast, in my opinion. As I told my nephews Quinn and Kiernan (who also finished the book in very short order), I spent four years writing the book, the least you could do is spend more than two days reading it!
She told me that she’s going to read it again. Her father, my son, said she sequestered herself in her room to read and only to eat meals………..of course, with the book by her side. Thanks so much for your book.