Dirt in your skirt blog

Tomorrow – Obstacle Race Training Release Day

Posted on April 14, 2014 by Margaret Schlachter

18343747The journey that began in July 2012 will hit the next stage tomorrow. Not my OCR journey itself but my journey to becoming an author. After tomorrow I can officially say, “I wrote a book” with full confidence that it is not a lie.


The journey itself has been one of learning and process. Never in a million years if you asked me in 2010 when I did my first race if I would write a book about it, would I have said, yes! Many have asked me how I got a book deal, or how this whole thing happened. I credit most of the book to this blog, now website and most importantly those who read it. Without readers I would still be only writing to my family, who I think are sick of the OCR world at this point (well not really).¬†For those who do not know the story of how I got a book deal, here it is…


During the 4th of July weekend in 2012 I told me parents I would be quitting my job when I returned to work on Monday. I had already had a financial sponsorship for a couple months and had figured out how to pay my bills, race, and eat on that sponsorship as well as money I had saved while working. I returned to work and sent the “I quit” email. The very next morning I opened my email and had a unsolicited email from an editor at Tuttle Publishing. I was skeptical at best about the whole thing. Because honestly, who gets and email out of the blue about writing a book!

A stared at the email first thinking it was someone scamming me, then finally decided to just answer the email and see what he had to say. We met at the coffee shop Liquid Art in Killington and our entire meeting I sort of sat wondering, “is this for real?”. He showed me books they had already published and talked about the plan for my book. He told me then they were planning a spring 2014 release, a date that sounded an impossibly long time away at the time. He said the process was going to be fast and I was going to have to do a lot of writing quickly. We ended our meeting with me agreeing to take on the project.


It wasn’t until October and I was settling into beginning my life in Utah that the final paperwork came through. The contract was signed and I had a few short months to write a whole book, provide photos, and organize my often scattered thoughts. Everything was due in March. Over those months I slept little, worried lots, and wrote often. Much of the book was written in the middle of the night when I would wake up sleepless stumble down the stairs and write for hours. As the time for the book to be submitted get closer and closer my boyfriend and I escaped to Mexico for two weeks staying in a house without internet, phone, and only several seasons of Desperate Housewives to watch on the television. I spent my mornings there finishing the book, now early into 2013.


Before submitting it to my publisher, I had three very amazing friends proofread the manuscript from both an insider and outsider point of view. They are truly saints for reading my raw work and helping make sure it was not too technical and would appeal to the masses. Finally it went to my editor who had changed mid-project. She gave it a once over and it was sent to the design team. The book includes over 120 color photos, many of which were taken by my boyfriend and many by Nuvision with their permission.


In the fall I got the first electronic version of the book, final edits were made and it was off to the printers to go through the long printing process. During this time was when the marketing started and a list of bloggers to review the book was compiled. As winter turned to spring I got my first look at the finished product. Words can’t really express what it is like to hold something in your hand you created. I can only imagine my feeling was a fraction of what a new mother feels. Since it came I have had a copy with me on all trips in several countries and tomorrow the world gets to see it.


People have asked me what it feels like and my only way to describe my excitement and nervousness for tomorrow is that of a school child. Tomorrow is like the first day of school. I have the new haircut, I picked out (what I think) is the coolest outfit, and did everything I could to be prepped for school tomorrow. Now everything is in the hands of my peers, will they like it? Is my outfit cool enough to pass the harsh audience of social media. I sit at home getting the finally preorder numbers from my marketing team and wait to see how I far against some of the big guys.


All I know is I put my heart into it, I tried to put my passion for the sport into words as it has for me as it has for many other truly changed my life. I know I will probably not sleep very much tonight and the smallest imperfections in the book keep me awake at night. Edits are already in the works for the second edition and very casual talks about a second book has crossed the table. But for now I sit, I wait, and I hope my outfit makes the cut on the first day of school.


Order your copy today of Obstacle Race Training