Romance and Mystery Novels

by Alina Adams

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Thursday, November 17, 2005


2002 Co-Olympic Pair Champions Jamie Sale and David Pelletier will tell their story in a new memoir, out from McClelland & Stewart on March 3, 2006.

Though past titles, such as Peggy Fleming's "The Long Program," Ekaterina Gordeeva's "My Sergei," Scott Hamilton's "Landing It," and Rudy Galindo's "Icebreaker," were best-sellers, more recent titles, like Sasha Cohen's "Fire on Ice" failed to generate much buzz. Olympic Champion Alexei Yagudin's autobiography, "Overcome," did not even get an English language release and was published exclusively in Japanese due to U.S. editors' doubts that a book about a male, non-American skating champion would have much appeal.

“Publishers are more and more concerned now about a book's breakout potential and the ability to be marketed in a wide variety of venues,” revealed an insider. “Unfortunately, as the general audience for figure skating -- the ones who tune in only once every four years for the Olympics -- has dwindled, so too has the interest for skating books with limited appeal. Even though Yagudin's story may be fascinating within the sport's inside world, it's not seen as having broad-based appeal to others."

Interestingly enough, the last skating memoir to make a mass-market splash was actually the tale of a skater who never even came close to making the Olympic Team, much less winning.

Kathryn Bertine’s “All the Sundays Yet to Come,” dealing with the author’s years on tour and her battle with an eating disorder, was released in November of 2003, and went on to sell almost 10,000 copies in hardcover.

“The reaction from the skating community has been interesting,” Bertine recalled. “Many skaters have written to me to tell me their stories and say kind words about my book. A few have asked for my advice with body image concerns, either for themselves or loved ones. This has made me feel like I am able to help people, and so in my eyes, my book has been a success of the emotional kind. On the other hand, I have received some adversity in trying to talk to skating clubs. Some clubs think that because I had a lousy experience in professional skating, that I'll talk negatively about figure skating in general. Obviously, these folks haven't read my book because otherwise they would know that my experience with amateur skating was nothing short of wonderful, positive, and one of the best memories of my life.”


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