Tuesday, January 6, 2009
I haven’t gone after many blurbs over the years, but I’m happy and very genuinely honored to post word of a blurb that came in recently for Moonshot:
“Reading Moonshot gave me the feeling I was back up in space.”
Those words came in a short note from Michael Collins, BGen USAF (Ret.), Command Module Pilot of Apollo 11.
There are many people I grew to respect and find fascinating as I did the research for Moonshot, but none more than Collins, not least because of his book Carrying the Fire: An Astronaut’s Journey, a fascinating account of life as an astronaut, written with honesty, intelligence, humor, and clarity. It was a key book for me as I was trying to figure out how and if I could make a book of my own out of Apollo.
So for all those reasons the Collins blurb is meaningful. And then there’s this, too: Back in September 2006, I mailed my editor, Dick Jackson, the proposal for Moonshot just before heading down to Texas to visit family. I traveled in a state of suspense. While I was in Texas, Dick called with the good news: he liked the proposal. Just a few days later, I was still high on the news as I rode the tram at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, going from Gate A to Gate C or wherever, on my way back to New York. Then the tram door opened, and maybe it’s just that I still had Carrying the Fire on the brain — I’d been looking at it a lot while putting together the proposal — but in walked this guy who looked like Michael Collins. Who really looked like Michael Collins. And so finally I asked, and he didn’t hear me. On a tram full of people, that felt pretty awkward. So I hesitated, but then asked again, and he looked like Michael Collins because he was Michael Collins. Signs and wonders! He was on his way to Tucson. He was very gracious, and I tried not to act like a fanatic. True story.