It was over a year ago when my two older brothers started seriously pinging me about writing the sequel to dad’s book, which is a historical perspective of Bison football from the mid 1960s to the early 1990s. My standard answer was this: If they win four in a row, then I’ll do it, not thinking NDSU would win four FCS titles in a row.
Well, they did.
So a week later, after returning from Frisco, I held my word and started it. The goal was simple: try to do something every day, whether it was one sentence or a couple of hours. Just go with it. I did not research or Google “how to write a book.” I went into it with no preconceived ideas; just start writing. At the time, a college friend of mine sent me the following quote from Winston Churchill:
“Writing a book is an adventure. To begin with it is a toy and an amusement. Then it becomes a mistress, then it becomes a master, then it becomes a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster and fling him to the public.”
Where am I on this journey? Probably somewhere between master and tyrant — I’m about 55,000 words into it. I can’t wait for the monster phase. My first call was to Joe Chapman and it was returned within a day. I called Gene Taylor not long after hoping he had plans to return to Fargo sometime this spring, since his daughter still goes to school here. He didn’t, so we decided to set up a phone conversation at some point. So what happens? NDSU makes the NCAA basketball regional in Seattle, the same bracket as the University of Iowa, where Taylor is deputy athletic director. Gene’s hotel was two blocks from mine. Some things are just meant to be. I still have yet to contact the architect of the dynasty, Craig Bohl, but let this serve as a public notice that I’ll be calling.
The genesis of the story is the Division I years, although it seems the Montana win in 2003 is the general starting point. I’m not sure what the finish line is, but I’ll know when I’ve reached it — hopefully it will be in the next couple months. I don’t have a firm plan in publishing it, either, but that’s not the goal. The goal is to write dad’s sequel and keep me financially out of the picture as much as possible. I don’t want to be peddling books. Maybe strictly Kindle is the way to go; I don’t know. Somebody asked if dad’s book was still available; I believe they can be found on Amazon but not sure how many. His title was “Bison Football: Three Decades of Excellence.” I still haven’t really put much thought into what I’m going to call this monster, although the thought right now is “Horns Up,” and then some sort of dynasty subhed. I’m taking suggestions so please don’t hesitate to comment.
Over a decade ago, I had a nice conversation with Christina Baker Kline, the best-selling author who married my high school classmate. We talked about books and writing and all that and I essentially left thinking I could do a project within a year or two. Well, Christina, it took a lot longer but here it goes.