Kieran's "Leaving Anchorage for the Summer" Newsletter, April 29 2005
January 1, 1970I don't tough out Alaska winters so I can up stakes and move to Washington, D.C., of all places, for the summer. But that, starting this weekend, is just what I will be doing. It's going to be hard to leave: it's been a beautiful April in Anchorage, with record-breaking temperatures, and everything looks set for a fantastic few months in he Last Frontier. DC, on the other hand, wll be hot and humid. As always.
But I don't have much choice. One of the reasons it has been so long since my last newsletter is that I wasawaiting an opportunity to provide an update on publication of my book on Las Vegas boxing. Unfortunately, there hasn't been anythig to report.
Oh, I had plenty of compliments from publishers: "I enjoyed Kieran Mulvaney's tour d'horizon of the Las Vegas boxing scene and his passion for the sport and its denizens" (Broadway Books); "I was really impressed by Mulvaney’s writing and his knowledge of his subject. I’m not a passionate boxing fan, but he piqued my interest nonetheless and I enjoyed what I read" (Random House); "Mulvaney's one of the best nonfiction writers I've come across in the last couple of years" (Henry Holt); "Mulvaney has unearthed a really entertaining world in the form of Las Vegas boxing" (Crown); "I was very impressed with Kieran's writing and the way he gets to the heart of the sport. He definitely shows that boxing is much more than an exercise in violence, and I like how he explores its history while grounding the narrative in real-time Vegas fights" (Bloomsbury); "Mulvaney's insights into the complex and competititve world of professional boxing are often fascinating" (FSG)
But, and there was always a "but": "Boxing books are a notoriously hard sell" (Broadway); "Alas, boxing books continue to be a tough uphill battle" (Warner); "As much as I enjoyed this, though, I'm afraid I had a hard time seeing the book transcend a niche audience. I just wasn't confident that it would find a wide enough readership" (Bloomsbury); "Boxing books are often a tough sell in the current market" (Penguin).
And so, after much time, effort, and expense, I find myself without a publisher. And this weekend, I would, as a result, have finally and completely run out of money, if not for Mark Warford.
Mark, with whom I co-wrote "Witess: Twenty-Five Years on the Environmental Front Line" in 1996, recently returned to Greenpeace to head the media department in the United States. And he asked me if I could join him in helping to breathe some life into the place, for a few months anyway.
I'll be helping devise long-term media and publicity strategies, and generating print and video features, for the organization's campaigns in the United States. And I'll be particularly focusing on an exciting new campaign that will require me to spend August on an icebreaker off northern Greenland.
Meanwhile, the boxing venture continues. I continue to attend Las Vegas fights, I have a regular gig for TigerBoxing.com, I hae recently been elected a member of the Boxing Writers Associaton of America, and who knows? Maybe that book will still end up being published.