The Bold They Rise book launch, for me, was the high point of everything it took to write and publish this book.
It was a day to bask in the feeling of accomplishment, first that it was done. It feels amazing that it’s just done.
But beyond that, I could bask also that it’s a good work.
A few months ago, I was scared for people to read it. What readers thought would be the true test as to whether or not we did well what we set out to do. But we’ve had nothing but good reviews so far, which has added to my confidence that we did a good thing.
The epitome of that, though, is that the astronauts who spoke at the launch — Robert “Hoot” Gibson and his wife Rhea Seddon — had heard of Bold They Rise even before I contacted them to come talk for us. Not only had they heard about it, they’d pre-ordered a copy and by the time of our event Hoot had read most of it.
He read words that I/we wrote about his experiences and he liked the words that he read.
That’s a HUGE compliment.
It’s great that the lay reader likes it. But when the person who lived the story likes it, that’s something else all together.
I loved hearing them talk. Both of them, but especially Rhea Seddon.
Below is her sharing the story and photo of her first spaceflight and the giant hug her son gave her upon her return. Isn’t this photo just precious?
I was fascinated that this couple both pursued very demanding careers yet also had a family, and even after retiring as astronauts continued to have very full careers, she as a doctor and he as a pilot and businessman. They were the first astronaut couple, and 30-plus years later they’re still together. The accomplishments of the space shuttle is an amazing story, but so are the accomplishments of these individuals and the family they represent.
It was fun, during the down time, to ask Rhea about her children and grandchildren and what they were doing now, about their love story — “did he ask you out?” — and even silly things like “do you call him Hoot at home?” The answer is no; she calls him Robert.
Having them headline the release of Bold They Rise was as good as I could make it, and a satisfying point on which to to end this journey.