My Author Appearance at National Press Club Book Fair

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National Press Club Book Fair.

I’m honored and excited to be an invited author for the 37th Annual National Press Club Book Fair & Authors’ Night next Tuesday (November 18) in Washington, D.C. There are a lot of famous authors on the list. And one much lesser-known one from Floyd, Virginia. Occasionally, the door cracks open and you get to see what it’s like to be on the inside.

Here’s the scoop from The National Press Club:

The Capitol region’s premiere holiday book event is back for the 37th year! The National Press Club Journalism Institute is once again partnering with landmark local book seller Politics & Prose for a night of pols, pundits and prose.

Authors will be on hand to talk to their fans and sign books at this most exciting literary event. Patrons can browse for books at the Club’s headquarters at 529 14th Street NW from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Save time and pre-order your tickets below. Tickets will also be available at the door.

The Book Fair is a fundraiser for The National Press Club Journalism Institute, a 501 (c) (3) charitable organization, which advances journalistic practice by equipping professionals with the skills and competence to innovate, leveraging emerging trends, recognizing leaders and innovators, and mentoring the next generation of journalism and communications professionals. The Book Fair also supports the Club’s beautifully renovated Eric Friedheim National Journalism Library, which provides research and resources for news professionals.

5 Steps for Writing Anything

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Me with sixth-grade storytellers.

I spent most of Friday at the local elementary school talking with sixth graders about writing and storytelling. It was fun. I loved it. They are smart, those sixth graders.

We discussed their current project: writing short stories. They had completed their rough drafts.

I also talked with them about the writing process, which they already grasped. I realized something. The writing process is essentially the same no matter the project. I think it holds true whether one is writing a slogan or a headline, a short story or a speech, a 300-page book or a screenplay.

I’ve distilled the writing process into these five steps:

1. Ideas.
This is the brainstorming stage. Get the ideas out of your head. Many will stink. And you know that’s OK, right?

2. Research.
Collect information. Observe the world. Talk to people.

3. Notes and outline.
Get organized. Shape the material you have collected. Get ready to write.

4. Rough draft.
This is the step during which you write everything down, so to speak. Get the story out. Don’t edit yet. Or at least wait until the end of the day or next morning to clean up what you’ve drafted.

5. Rewrite, edit and polish.
This step, I believe, is self-explanatory. If your writing was woodwork, this is the chiseling and sanding stage. And the stage when you add a finishing coat.

If you faithfully follow the above steps, and if you put adequate effort and quality into each one, I believe you will produce a sturdy piece of writing and perhaps even a small masterpiece.

Back to College With Biographer Roland Lazenby

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Image courtesy of The Daily Tar Heel.

I went back to college last Friday with biographer Roland Lazenby, who signed copies of his Michael Jordan: The Life.

Check out the short video by The Daily Tar Heel featuring the gregarious author. We were situated near the front of the Student Stores on the University of North Carolina campus in Chapel Hill. (I’m in the background wearing Carolina blue.)

It was a gorgeous autumn day and there were good vibes in the student bookstore and on campus.

I also had fun talking to the two sophomore journalism students who shot the video and interviewed the author.

My Author Interview on NPR’s Only A Game

onlyagameI had a great opportunity to talk to Bill Littlefield, host of NPR’s Only A Game. The show aired today (Saturday).

[LISTEN TO SIX-MINUTE INTERVIEW]

The appearance included a web page that has a Q&A and excerpt from my book, DRAW IN THE DUNES: The 1969 Ryder Cup and the Finish That Shocked The World.

Here’s the introduction by Only A Game:

The 2014 Ryder Cup is under way at Gleneagles in Scotland. The biennial competition pits golfers from the U.S. against their European counterparts. The Ryder Cup is one of golf’s signature events and has provided fans with various unlikely shots and improbable comebacks.

Neil Sagebiel would argue that no edition of the competition has been more dramatic than the 1969 Ryder Cup, the first to end in a tie. His new book is titled DRAW IN THE DUNES: The 1969 Ryder Cup and the Finish that Shocked the World.

Read more at Only A Game:
Interview highlights
DRAW IN THE DUNES excerpt (from Chapter 9)

Win ‘DRAW IN THE DUNES’ Autographed by Jack Nicklaus

DrawInTheDunes CoverTonight, on Ryder Cup Eve, Jack Nicklaus announced a giveaway of my new book, DRAW IN THE DUNES: The 1969 Ryder Cup and the Finish That Shocked the World. The book includes a foreword by Jack Nicklaus and Tony Jacklin.

Here’s the message posted on Jack Nicklaus’s Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram:

Time to get your patriotic on! With The Ryder Cup at Nicklaus-designed Gleneagles upon us, we want to give you a chance to win a signed copy of “Draw in the Dunes,” the just-released book on the 1969 Ryder Cup, featuring a foreword co-authored by Jack Nicklaus and Tony Jacklin—the two key stars of the historic match that ended in the first-ever tie in Cup history. Use #rydercupselfie throughout this weekend’s matches to show us how you’re watching The Ryder Cup! We’ll pick a spirited, patriotic winner Sunday.

Of course, I can put in a good word for this book. And it will look even better with the Golden Bear’s signature.

1375801_10151655958581366_141387496_nSee more here:
Jack Nicklaus Facebook
Jack Nicklaus Twitter

VIDEO: My Book Party and Reading

I WISH YOU COULD HAVE COME to my DRAW IN THE DUNES book party last Thursday evening in Floyd, Virginia, my one-stoplight town in the Blue Ridge Mountains. What I can do is share a small part of it here.

About 50 folks turned out, including two friends who drove four hours (round trip) for a two-hour party. That’s friendship! We had a great time.

Colleen Redman covered it for the Floyd Press, and she also shot the above video. You can read more and see party photos at Colleen’s blog.

A huge thank to noteBooks and Black Water Loft (and Red Rooster Coffee) for hosting my book party. They were incredible in every way, with a creative golf theme for the evening, from the slide show, to the food (cupcakes combined to look like a golf course as just one example), to the prizes, to the giving back (10 percent of proceeds from book sales is going to the Floyd County High School golf team).

We sold all the books! I was told more are on order.

‘DRAW IN THE DUNES’ Reviews: Wall Street Journal and Tampa Bay Tribune

DrawInTheDunes CoverHERE ARE MORE REVIEWS of my new Ryder Cup book, DRAW IN THE DUNES: The 1969 Ryder Cup and the Finish That Shocked the World. The book, which includes a foreword by Jack Nicklaus and Tony Jacklin, is in bookstores and also available online at the usual places in hardcover and ebook editions.

The Wall Street Journal (September 13):
“Many fans are drawn to sports for excitement, the twists and turns. Some favor the moral underpinnings, the virtues of grit and determination, teamwork and sportsmanship. Still others are inspired by passion, whether for the stakes or for the game itself. The 1969 Ryder Cup, the 18th installment of the biennial competition between the best golfers from the United States and Great Britain, had it all. In ‘Draw in the Dunes,’ Neil Sagebiel brings the memorable tournament to life.” Read entire review

The Tampa Bay Tribune (Bob D’Angelo):
“As he demonstrated in ‘The Longest Shot,’ Sagebiel is a marvelous story teller, who uses the right pace to build drama. It helps that he had some great characters to work with….Sagebiel takes the reader through every match, and builds to the final climax, in which Nicklaus and Jacklin battled to the final hole….’Draw in the Dunes’ is a lively, interesting look at the Ryder Cup, chock full of insight and anecdotes.” Read entire review

Other Reviews and Mentions

(Click the below links.)

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