Today, the first day my book is officially available in stores and online (serendipitously, World Vegetarian Day), is a surreal one indeed.
I’m typing this post from the passenger seat of a car, driving to Boston for the second stop on my book tour, in just a few hours. Even that phrase — “my book tour” — feels very odd to actually say or write.
But it’s underway, and the faces, names, and stories of the people I met last night in the small town of Media, PA made it feel very real, reminding me why I decided to take on this tour in the first place.
The book is at the top of several categories on Amazon. All morning I’ve been doing phone interviews and email interviews and scheduling new ones, amidst excitedly reading early reviews of the book on blogs — some of my favorite blogs, no less. It’s like a dream, and one that I’m doing everything I can to appreciate while it lasts.
It is beyond incredible that all this has happened. And while I’m feeling lots of different emotions right now — giddiness, nervousness, excitement, fatigue, missing my wife and kids — the one keeping me centered and integrated is gratitude.
Gratitude that so many of the blogs, podcasts, magazines, and people I’ve reached out to have been so eager to help the book reach new readers. Gratitude that the message — one that is so meaningful to me — is being spread in a new way. And gratitude, of course, that my book and the scary, crazy, who-do-you-think-you-are idea to do a self-supported, self-organized tour across the country, is being so enthusiastically embraced by No Meat Athlete readers.
It’s convenient and easy to call it “my” book. But just as I don’t want to be called “the” No Meat Athlete (I’m only one of many), it doesn’t feel like the book is “mine.” On the front cover alone, there are three names! Open it up, and gracing the inside covers you’ll find pictures of the 40 or so others, kicking ass in their own way in their No Meat Athlete shirts. And in the book, there’s of course plenty from me and co-author Matt Ruscigno, but there are also contributions from 23 experts, chefs, and readers. The book is not mine, but ours.
I used to skip the acknowledgements page at the beginning or end of a book. I still don’t really read it, but I force myself to at least skim it, because more often than not it leads me to someone else, someone who influenced the author and whom I can learn from.
Which is why I’m posting the acknowledgements page from the No Meat Athlete book here — in hopes that you might discover a new source of information and inspiration in someone who has inspired me.
Thank you to my mentors and inspirations, in writing, entrepreneurship, and (in several cases) veganism:
Sonia Simone, Brian Clark, Tony Clark, Jon Morrow, and everyone at Copyblogger Media. It’s easy to look at No Meat Athlete’s history and pinpoint the exact moment when I started learning from you all, and to this day I continue to do so.
Caitlin Boyle, whose support in the early days of No Meat Athlete made all the difference.
Karol Gajda, Gena Hamshaw, and Robert Cheeke, without whose examples I might never have found the inspiration to become vegan. Brendan Brazier, Rich Roll, and Scott Jurek, the pinnacles of what’s possible that I always like to point to, all three of you generous supporters of No Meat Athlete from early on. And Douglas Hofstadter and Richard Dawkins, the first to (very likely inadvertently) plant the seed in this one reader’s head that maybe I didn’t want to eat other thinking, feeling beings not all that different from me.
The experts who contributed their collective wealth of knowledge to this book: Matt Ruscigno, Brendan Brazier, Jason Sellers, Christine Hein, Mo Ferris, Jason Fitzgerald, Robert Cheeke, Meredith Murphy, Ed Bauer, Erika Mitchener, Sara Beth Russert, Hillary Biscay, Adam Chase, Leo Babauta, Gena Hamshaw, Mike Zigomanis, and Susan Lacke.
The readers who were kind enough to share their stories to inspire others: Tina Žigon, Pete DeCapite, Greg Watkins, Tom Giammalvo, Janet Oberholtzer, Tori Brook. Hearing stories like yours is the best part of this gig, bar none.
Recipe testers for this book: Tim Frazier, Vickie Craven, Christine Hein, Bren and Joe Dendy, Pete and Kristin DeCapite.
My family: Mom, Dad, Christine, Erin, Holden, and Ellarie. You’re the reason for all of this.
Supporters of No Meat Athlete from day one: Colleen and Joel Baldwin and Pete and Kristin DeCapite.
Jamie Halberg, who helped me keep my head on straight throughout the daunting task of writing a “real” book.
Marcus Leaver, Cara Connors, Winnie Prentiss, Kevin Mulroy, and everyone at Fair Winds Press, for your help in making this project a reality and reaching far more people with this message than I could ever do on my own.
Last and most important, the No Meat Athlete audience, including but extending far beyond those who contributed photos for the inside covers of this book. Without you to support, share, interact with, and care about our work, No Meat Athlete would be a long-ago abandoned blog with a few recipes and a clever name — and I would still be a guy searching for something meaningful to do.
Thank you all. So much.