The original release date for Behind The Drive, my book about the crazy story behind Kenney Moore’s building of Hwy 55, the North Carolina-based burger joint that’s recently gone international and poised itself to become a billion-dollar company, was December 17, 2014. This was an ambitious release date, but one we were confident we would meet.
Sometimes, a project just needs to be finished, just needs to be good enough and sent out into the world. You can always tinker with a book or a story, always find a way to make it better, but at a certain point, you have to let it go and let people read it.
But other times, when you’re in the home stretch of a project that you know is going to be good enough and maybe even great, you see something else that can make it not only great, but even kind of special.
That’s what’s happened here.
As it’s written, Behind The Drive is a pretty straightforward account of who Kenney Moore is and the different things that drive him and the demons he’s fought along the way. And it’s good, if not great. If we were to go to print, it would be a fair account of who Kenney is and what he’s done, and I think it would entertain if not also speak some good truth, and I think it would sell well, and I think it would be a good inspirational book.
That would be a safe bet.
In the editing process, my editor and I got to talking about a new structure. There’s something that’s unfolded over the past seven years of Kenney’s life that takes him through hell and as a result is dramatic as all hell, a saga of epic proportions. Kenney comes thisclose to not just going bankrupt, but to losing his company and everything he’s spent his entire life building. Hwy 55 and Kenney’s vision for it isn’t just a burger joint, but a lifestyle for thousands of people and a charitable foundation that’s changed lives.
This hell starts in 2007 and 2008 as Kenney tries to do the right thing to correct some mistakes he made in his past, then it all goes sideways in a horrible way, and as it plays out and he tries to wrangle things back under control, he just keeps getting kicked around by greedy, scared bankers.
All of that’s bad enough, but what it does to him on a personal, emotional, psychological level is even worse: It drags him through all of his worst nightmares, drags him through buried memories that he thought he’d gotten over long ago. It all explodes to the surface one fateful day and … man alive, every time I talk about this book, I nearly give something away.
Point is: That all unfolds in such a great way that it provides a movie-thriller-quality narrative that builds to the most spine-tingling conclusion — all while also, my editor and I think, allowing me to explore Kenney’s and Hwy 55’s backstory along the way.
Thing is, I won’t know if it works until I get in there and outline it all and basically rewrite the whole book. I started on that last week, and it seems to be working well, but it’ll still be a little while before I really know if it’s working.
But this is the process. This is writing, this is creation. You build something out of the mountain that is your story, and sometimes, after building it, you realize that it can be something else even better, and the only way to make that better thing is to tear it all down first.
I’m pretty sure it will work. And when it does, the whole book will build up to this one scene, this one incredible beautiful scene, that hits the heart hard.
It will accomplish in a powerful, powerful way what I want all my work to do: Move.
I want the story to move, as in move along, but I also want it to move you, the reader.
So that’s what I’m doing right now.
And that’s why the book won’t be out in December.
It should be out no later than March.
We’re shooting for earlier than that.
I’ll keep you posted.
And, yeah, it’s a lot of work. I’ve already been paid in full to write the book, as per finishing what we thought was the final draft and sending it to my publishing editor. I’m not doing this for more money — I’m doing this because telling the best story in the best way possible is the most important thing.
So, hey. Let’s tear it all down and make something even better.