I’m super-proud of the lead cover feature that I wrote for the issue of Yachts International that is on newsstands now. It’s about the use of virtual reality in everything from the design to the construction to the marketing of yachts—a nascent field that has amazing potential thanks to the huge technology investments that many of today’s yachts represent.
Yes, superyachts are of course playthings for the rich and famous, but they also can be engineering marvels built with financial investments far greater than anything seen on land. (When was the last time you saw a $200 million house?) The addition of virtual reality to the industry presents some truly mind-bending possibilities, with some of the world’s wealthiest individuals now exploring the technology’s possibilities on multiple levels.
Look for the new edition of Yachts International on newsstands now, or head over to the Yachts International website to get a subscription.
Today is the official publication date for my new book, The Dog Merchants: Inside the Big Business of Breeders, Pet Stores and Rescuers. It’s time to celebrate!
My new book The Dog Merchants: Inside the Big Business of Breeders, Pet Stores, and Rescuers will publish May 2 with Pegasus Books. It’s a follow-the-money look at the whole of the dog business, with the first half about breeding and the second half about rescue. My hope is that it will show dog lovers what we’re buying into with every dog we bring home, so we can work together for the good of all kinds of dogs, everywhere.
The first “sneak peek” came online yesterday at Salon.com, which published “The Big Money Behind Best In Show” just in time for this year’s Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show (which will conclude tonight on the USA Network). This is the first adapted article from the book to be published anywhere, and it was so widely shared in its first 24 hours online that it became one of the top Google News results for searches about the dog show itself.
Obviously, this adapted article pulls information from the first half of The Dog Merchants, which is about breeders. The next adapted article, scheduled to be published this month in The Bark magazine, pulls from the rescue half of the book.
Stay tuned, or simply read it all by pre-ordering your copy of The Dog Merchants today.
My piece titled “Florida’s Aging Bridges” earned first prize in the category Boating Issues, News and Analysis. It appeared in the November/December 2015 issue of Yachts International, where I am copy editor and contributing editor. The piece was an investigative analysis of federal, state and local data regarding bridges in South Florida, where yachts regularly cruise. The online version of “Florida’s Aging Bridges” is here.
I also earned a Certificate of Merit in the Travel and Destinations category for my piece “Into Antarctica.” It appeared in the August 2015 issue of Yachting, where I am charter editor and consulting editor. The Antarctica piece was about a luxury sailing yacht offering charters in a part of the world where most other yachts are not equipped to go. The online version of “Into Antarctica” is here.
It’s particularly gratifying to win awards for these two pieces, which contain entirely different styles of writing. The bridge article presents hard, cold data in a compelling way, while the Antarctica piece makes readers feel like they are in a remote part of the world. I am grateful that my editors at Yachting and Yachts International give me the chance to write in such a wide variety of styles.
My sincerest thanks to the judges and sponsors of the BWI Writing Competition. A press release listing all the winners is here—congratulations to every single one!
I had the pleasure of writing Yachting magazine’s February issue centerpiece: a nine-page preview of the upcoming Miami International Boat Show, which is moving to a new home this year on Virginia Key. The coverage also includes the new Yachts Miami Beach show, which is an evolution of the Yacht & Brokerage Show that has long been held concurrently along Collins Avenue.
If you’re thinking of attending either or both shows this year, then you can check out the digital version of the coverage that just went live on the Yachting website.
Even better: That link is a hub that will be updated with all kinds of news and information throughout the show, which will be February 11-15.
I’m about as psyched as any author can be this week, because I’m finally able to release the cover art for my forthcoming book! The Dog Merchants: Inside the Big Business of Breeders, Pet Stores, and Rescuers will be published May 2, 2016—and is available for pre-order now on Amazon.com.
The Dog Merchants will be the lead spring hardcover title for Pegasus Books, with North America distribution by W.W. Norton.
In just the three days that the pre-order link has been online this week, and following a keynote speech I made at a Penguin Random House librarians’ event two weeks ago, The Dog Merchants has already become the No. 1 new release in one of Amazon’s top animal-book categories.
I’m so thankful for the early reader response, and I look forward to sharing all kinds of great information with you as we bring The Dog Merchants marketing campaign fully online during the next few months.
Stay tuned here, and please add my new website dogmerchants.com to your bookmarked favorites. There is much, much more to come.
The September issue of Yachting magazine is one of my biggest efforts each year. I’m the charter editor, and for this issue I had to select and organize somewhere in the neighborhood of 60 of the world’s most interesting charter yachts while writing 29 pages of columns and features about what’s happening with these boats everywhere from New Zealand to the Florida Keys.
One of my favorite articles in the issue is about the new Christophe Harbour marina development on St. Kitts. It’s the vision of the man at right, Buddy Darby, who is also an owner of the 154-foot Perini Navi sailing yacht Andromeda la Dea, which charters through Churchill Yacht Partners. Suffice it to say that Darby knows a thing or two about all the tiny nuisances that can add up when you bring one of today’s big, modern yachts into marinas built 50 years ago or longer. It was fascinating to interview him and to learn about all the small details he’s tying together at this Caribbean property, which will cater to superyachts that are getting bigger and bigger with every season.
You can read my article about Darby and Christophe Harbour here at the Yachting site, or pick up the September issue on newsstands to see it along with all the other great charter content in the magazine.
Yes, I know, normal people drive a few hours to relax at a beach house for vacation. I simply don’t fit that mold, which is why I just returned from a stay halfway around the world in the Timbavati private reserve section of Kruger National Park in South Africa, near the border with Mozambique. This is deep in “the bush,” animals roaming freely without fences across an area that totals about 7,500 square miles (bigger than Connecticut, smaller than New Jersey). My base camp didn’t even have fences. Monkeys stole bananas at breakfast, and guides walked me to my tent each night in case hyenas or leopards were lurking. It was exhilarating, and I can’t wait to go back. Here’s a look at just a few of the amazing encounters I was privileged to experience. All photographs Copyright 2015, Imagine Media LLC