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How Do You Write a Book?

In the winter of 1998, I was sitting at my desk at Fidelity Investments when the phone rang. The caller was Stephanie Capparell, an editor at the Wall Street Journal, who wanted to talk about my eccentric hobby, the leadership qualities of Antarctic explorer, Sir Ernest Shackleton.

Stephanie's article appeared in the Journal on April 2, 1998. By 9:00 that morning, the first editor called from a top publishing house asking if I'd be interested in writing a book on the subject. My answer was, "How do you write a book?"

It took about a year for all the pieces of the puzzle to come together - a literary agent, more inquiries from publishers, and, most importantly, a couple of dinners with Stephanie. Late one evening, we agreed to co-author a book on Shackleton. I had been researching Shackleton's leadership since 1984 at libraries and universities across America, in the UK and, in Antarctica. Stephanie was a polished business writer. We were off and running.

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