My mother’s advice never varied: “Don’t ever be boastful.”
So I’m not going to talk about the “official” publication of my new book “Whisky, Kilts, and the Loch Ness Monster: Traveling through Scotland with Boswell and Johnson.” I’ll be doing enough of that next Monday evening, December 6, at 7:15 in the Decatur Library Auditorium. You’re all warmly invited.
Instead, I want to thank some of the people who made the book’s publication possible. For one, there’s Darro Willey, the now-retired director of the DeKalb County Public Library, who helped me get the time off it took to spend several months in Scotland researching the book. And then there are the folks at the Decatur Library, particularly the reference librarians, who put up with all my questions and found some of those rare old books I was trying to track down.
Then there’s Richard Lenz and his staff at Lenz Marketing in Decatur. Richard, who serves on the advisory council for the Georgia Center for the Book, has helped the organization in many measurable and intangible ways, and he endorsed this project from the start. He and his terrific staff — especially graphic artist Matt Tinsley — helped make the book’s production happen in ways I could never have imagined or hoped. Matt cleverly designed the book jacket and the endpapers and the chapter maps, and in the procress he turned the manuscript into a handsome, appealing book. You’ll see what I mean when you pick up the boook (as I hope you will).
Everyone at the university of South Carolina Press did their usual professional job of editing and supporting their author. I’m very grateful to them and to all of the perceptive early readers and the authors/scholars who were willing to praise the book publicly.
Finally, to end this brief thankfest, I’m grateful to the dozens of people around Scotland who welcomed me, a stranger on a bizarre quest, as if I were a long-lost friend. I’d like to think they did it because they were so utterly charmed by me. But the truth is, I suspect, that’s simply and honestly the way most of the Scottish people are. Bless ’em all.