- Name: How the breed got its name, what it means in English and how it is pronounced.
- History of the breed. In this section, I take a good hard look at the available evidence and try to piece together the most likely scenario of each breed's development. In the process, I challenge some long-held assumptions and even bust some myths.
- Current Situation: Who's breeding them, where are they being bred, how many are there, what clubs represent the breed.
- Appearance. I briefly describe the coat type, colour, height and overall look. I avoid the common cop-out of just cutting and pasting the published conformation standards. I mean c'mon, world does NOT need another lame book with nothing more than show ring standards for content.
- Performance. I give a description of how they run, point, track, swim, fetch, and protect (if applicable).
- Tests and Trials: A look at the performance related events used by breeders to select stock.
- Breeding programs. Basically a look at what went into the breed to create it...and what may still be going in officially or by the light of the moon.
- Personal Observations. My own impressions of the breed after having seen it and spoken with breeders and hunters who know it inside out.
- In a Nutshell. In this section I sum up the pro's and con's of the breed, its hunting niche, clubs, etc.
- Caution Index: I rate the risk factor associated with trying to find a good one. The range is from moderate to extremely high; no breed is a sure bet, none are rated low or no risk.
- Homeland: The breeds are presented in sections according to the country of origin. In each section, I offer an overview of the hunting history and traditions of that particular country as well as a description of the gundog scene there today.
A: My crystal ball tells me "soon", but the fortune cookie I got with lunch the other day said "eventually". The truth is probably somewhere in between.
Q:Will you self-publish or shop it around?
A:I'm leaning toward self-publishing. With print on demand services now offering fantastic print quality and the ability to control all aspects of the content, design and layout, I am very tempted. That does not mean I'd refuse a publishing deal though.
Q:Why is it taking you so long to write it?
A: Short answer: I'm slow.
Long answer: If I wanted to publish a quick and easy book, I could have taken the same route as so many authors of so-called dog bibles: copy and paste a bunch of show ring standards, add a few words based on crap found on the net or put out by the AKC and be done with it. Instead, I decided to write a book based on the best information I could gather from breed experts, well regarded authorities, reputable authors and above all, hunters. And that has meant a heck of a lot of travel. Since I really can't afford to go to Europe and the US more than once a year (if that) I've had to plan my trips very carefully and use the time in between to work on the book...and hunt with my own dogs course! That, and I have a full time job: I'm a photographer/educator/stand-up philosopher.
I should also add that the whole project is one of those "its the journey, not the destination" kind of things. What could be better than combining the three keen interests my wife and I share :dogs, photography and travel? We don't really care that its taken us years to get where we are now. It's been a wonderful adventure.
That said, I should point out that if you have your ass-kicking boots on, remember to send a swift one my way once in a while...I really need to get this book thing done!