GUEST POST: A little background from Richard Gootee

January 10, 2018 1:08 am Published by 2 Comments

Last week, Michelle asked me to write a blog for this site. I eagerly agreed – after all, writing normally comes naturally. But it’s taken me a few days to figure out what I wanted to write. So here it goes.

For those who don’t know me, my name is Richard Gootee, and I’ve been working with Michelle since July to make her book dreams come true. My hope is that If You Give A Mom a Marathon is exactly what Michelle envisioned when she set out to write this book way before she ever met me.

I have actually known about Michelle since the 2013 Boston Marathon. Before moving north to West Lafayette just before I joined Michelle’s project, I was a newspaper reporter in Evansville who begrudgingly dabbled as a runner. I am glad that Michelle thought that was enough for her to allow me to help tell her story.

As most of you can attest, Michelle doesn’t give herself enough credit. Not only are her accomplishments impressive, but she’s a talented writer too. And those skills come out the most when she’s writing about her family and friends. Her love for the people in her life is so obvious, and my goal was to make sure that shined through the entire book.

In fact, when I met her husband Allen, and three of their children when I was back in Evansville in October, it felt like I had already known the family for years because I had spent months reading their stories.

Even now, I smile when I see one of Michelle’s friends who is mentioned in the book comment on her Facebook wall or like her book’s page on Facebook because I feel like I already know them.

During one of our first conversations, Michelle told me that she didn’t care if she sold a single book, and for a while, I think she truly believed that would happen, despite my assurances. Of course, she had nothing to worry about.

When I was a reporter, I often told people that I was thankful that they were willing to share their most personal stories with me. I am honored that Michelle gave me that same trust.

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This post was written by Richard Gootee


  • Michelle Walker says:

    Richard, I am honored that you agreed to work with me. It was one of the best things that happened to me in 2017.

  • Billy peveler says:

    I remember driving to Michelle’s book signing at ultimate fit. I said to myself driving there no one’s gonna show up on a cold dreary Thursday nite but I’ll be there for her,
    Needless to say when I got there I never got a chance to talk to her. She was preoccupied the entire time selling books autographs and photos shoots.
    I did however enjoy the food and chatting with our mutual friends, yes I think she will sell a copy or two

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