I was pretty anxious when I decided to rewrite Behind The Drive, my Hwy 55 book. That was in September. You might remember, from this post, that I had a draft finished, and my editor had gone through it, and we got to talking about a new structure idea, and then I decided to go for it. I wasn’t sure if it would work. It was a big risk. I’d already gone through 13 drafts of the first structure. I had to push back the release date from December 2014 to March 2015. And if it didn’t work, then that mean a lot of wasted time.
Good news. It worked. Better than we imagined.
It was a solid book before the rewrite. Gave a good, entertaining account of Kenney’s life and what it took for him to build Hwy 55 Burgers, Shakes & Fries into the successful and exploding chain it is today. (Hwy 55 only started expanding outside of North Carolina in 2008; now it’s in several states, with plans to expand across America — and not only that, but it’s also in Abu Dhabi.)
The rewrite went through seven drafts. But now, the book reads like a gripping thriller about a wildly compelling character whose narrative just so happens to include Hwy 55.
Fans of Hwy 55 will love it, but now, I feel like anybody could pick the book up, give it a glance, and want to keep reading, regardless of whether they know what Hwy 55 is or not. And frankly, this is what I was hoping to accomplish all along.
Instead of simply telling Kenney’s story from beginning to end, like most biographies, the rewrite frames his chasing of the American Dream around the past seven years. During the past seven years, Kenney has been fighting to save his company from destruction — there are bad franchisees who wrought all sorts of carnage, and then there is a greedy bank that tried to take everything from him, and on top of it all, he has to deal with some hard, dark truth: Deep down, he knows that it’s all his fault.
Not only all that, but Kenney, who’s always been a volatile, emotional guy, has to also fight his own demons and figure out a way to control himself, in a few different ways.
It’s downright harrowing.
And it’s almost ready for the world. Proofreaders are working it over for me. We’re sending it out to advance readers for blurbs and such. It’ll be out in March. And I can’t wait.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll have the cover reveal, some giveaways, and I’ll be posting more about some of the behind-the-scenes stuff that went on over the past year while I was working on the book. So, you know, stay tuned and such.