It is with great pleasure and a slight sense of smugness that I announce to the five people who read my blog on a regular basis that my first book will be published this October, by Darton Longman and Todd. It is a biography of Ayrton Senna, but with a sense of balance. There are many Senna books out there and they all essentially tell the same story, with a couple of noteworthy exceptions, but I have attempted to do something a little different.
What set this all off was the release of the Senna movie last year, which I reviewed at the time. Although I considered it a fantastic piece of work, it rankled with me that the filmmakers went for the usual ‘he’s dead so we’ll roll out the slow-motion replays and sad music treatment,’ and essentially painted him as some sort of Christ in a crash helmet. I was going to call my book this until I was advised by Mike Doodson, a veteran F1 journalist that both knew and annoyed Senna during his career, that this may result in concrete Bibles being thrown through my bedroom window. So I changed it to The Messiah of Motor Racing, because that is how I believe so many people see the great Brazilian.
Don’t get me wrong: I have nothing but supreme respect for Ayrton Senna: he was an icon and a superstar through and through. No-one who claims to like F1 could ever deny how huge a force and incredible a driver he was. But he could also, in short, be a total bastard. He said it himself, so please don’t write in. Plenty of people who worked with him said the same thing. The book (only a couple of hundred pages long, easily digested on a flight or while waiting for a blind date to show up) looks at both sides of Senna, and explores why he and other celebrities who die young have so many of their misdemeanours smoothed over after their passing.
Above all, I hope it is an informative and entertaining read (using the same style I employ for the blog but better) and that readers might even learn a thing or two.
Anyway, if you want to order a copy and keep my ale tankard nicely topped up, it’s available to pre-order on Amazon. I see they’ve taken 90p off the price already: I may have words with them about that…
DISCLAIMER: MUSHY BIT COMING UP
I am still amazed that I got asked to write a book thanks to the blog, so thanks must go to Will Parkes at DLT Books and for everyone who helped me.
The book is dedicated to my mum and dad, and especially to my dad who fractured his knee today and is in hospital waiting for an operation, which can’t be much fun. Get well soon.