It's amazing how many people have been contacting me with reaction to my novels in the last few days. There are two I must share. Today I heard from Chris Carmichael, Lance Armstrong's personal coach. He wrote my publisher: "I read The Race and found it interesting. He has a good knowledge of cycling and the book reads easily as excitement builds. I was impressed."
I also heard directly from Aron Ralston. You might recall that he amputated his own arm to save his life when trapped in a Utah slot canyon. He's a very impressive guy. I'd like to share an insightful e-mail he sent me regarding The Tour:
"It's true that athletes are role models, and the effect of cheating on spectators is a disenchantment. Athletes show us what we are capable of doing, providing motivation and inspiration. We want to believe we too would be as capable as those we watch. For this to work, we need to see humans accomplishing superhuman results, and then be able to place ourselves in those other human's minds and bodies and see the potential in ourselves. Exposed cheating breaks the charm and effectiveness of that process. While particular individual cheaters may not get caught, cheating will always be exposed at some time or another, and then the sport loses its ability to captivate the imagination.
The Tour presents a uniquely open discussion of the complex pressures and circumstances of cheating. It gave me an inside-the-race understanding of what athletes cope with, saying in fiction what real sportsmen would love to say, and I admire those who race clean all the more for it. The Tour is the most compelling and open discussion of cheating I've ever read."