The cover art is almost complete. Wait 'til you see it -- it is gorgeous! If you could tell a book by its cover, this book is going to be fabulous!
David Ritz has agreed to write the Foreword. You all know David, I'm sure. He wrote Brother Ray, Ray Charles' autobiography. David was actually the ghost writer. (I hate that term. David is not a ghost, but he is a writer.) He worked with Ray throughout the process, spending hours upon hours with him until the book was completed. I'm very excited about having him involved since he knew Leroy and Fathead when they were both youngsters.
Joel Dufour, contributing writer for Soul Bag Magazine in France is also providing a lot of help. He's known as a top Ray Charles archivist and discographer. He is putting together Leroy's discography for the book.
I'm gathering photos that many of you have never seen before, both from the old days and after Leroy left Ray's band. I have two professional editors and one proofreader ready and waiting for the manuscript. Once they tear me to shreds, I can make any necessary edits and then it's off to the publisher to be paginated. Pagination will facilitate the building of the Table of Contents and Index.
Then galleys, publishing and then the BIG PARTY!!! The first book release party will be here in Orlando. Location is being worked out but most likely it will be at a major blues club (hint, hint) in late October. There will be live music performed by members of the bands that Leroy played with during the last years of his life. Tissue boxes will be on every table. More about the party as deadlines are met and the release date is determined. That's the news for today.