Two for the Road is a hangout for mystery writers Tammy Kaehler and Simon Wood to chat, reminisce, gossip, speculate and argue about all things motorsport.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Best Laid Schemes

by Tammy

In his poem "To a Mouse," Robert Burns famously said, "The best laid schemes of mice and men/Go often awry." We all know this to be true, and most of the time our best laid plans are shot straight to hell. But once in a while, they turn up trumps.

The news last week of the merger between the American Le Mans Series and Grand-Am (which Simon and I discussed on Friday) threw me for a loop. First, the surprise that it would happen. Second, wondering what it would mean to me.

See, in 2010, as I was preparing my first book for publication, I faced a dilemma. I'd written the book in 2005, which was before Lime Rock Park revamped its track and before the ALMS restructured its racing classes. So my book didn't match the current state of the world. At the time, I made the decision to add a note to the book asking for readers' indulgence, and leave it as-is.

Well, now the ALMS is changing again, but bigger. And I dodged a bullet that the ALMS will still be the ALMS in 2013, when my second book set in the ALMS is published (BRAKING POINTS, due out April 2013, set at Road America and Road Atlanta).

Where it gets interesting is because I'm starting to think about Book 3, which I plan to set at the 24 Hours of Daytona and hope to publish in early 2014. The nagging worry in the back of my head has been how to forge the same kind of contacts with teams and officials in Grand-Am that I have with the ALMS--contacts that are vital to do the kind of insider research I like to include.

But you see what happened here, didn't you? I think my work just got easier. Because now I'll know some teams (and even officials) in the new combined series whose first race will be the 24 Hours of Daytona 2014. Not to mention there will be a whole bunch of new drama to write about, with new competition, new rivalries, new rules, new suppliers ... and plenty of the above who've been left out in the cold, because, let's face it, we're downsizing from two series to one. Yeah, I can work with this.

But it just goes to show: you never know what's going to happen to change your plans, and you never know if the change will be for the better or worse. Has anyone out there had a situation where you thought a change would ruin everything, but found it was the best thing in the end?


  1. can have one racing series official (alms) eliminate the other racing series official (grand-am).in a power struggle to run the whole series...long live the ALMS.and corvette racing.

  2. You see my point! Hahaha, thanks, Ken.