Mail on Sunday
What in the world? I wondered as I walked outside to pick up my Sunday newspaper. A large white package was perched on the top of my mailbox. It wasn’t on top of my box yesterday when my regular mail arrived. I suspect it was misdelivered and someone dropped it off on my box. In any case, I was glad to see it and instantly knew what was inside.
Several months ago, I was assigned to write a lengthy story for Sports Spectrum. It took a number of calls and emails to line up that interview with Shane Doan, captain of the Phoenix Coyotes Hockey team. The complication was not reaching Shane Doan but the added request from my editor to interview Shane’s wife, Andrea. The Doans have three small children so finally my interview was set up at a nearby McDonald’s. Admittedly it wasn’t your ideal setting for an interview but I managed to gather the content for my story.
It was one of those experiences I’ve had repeatedly with interviews. The person I was interviewing had no idea how I was going to put together the story from the jumble of thoughts and stories. Yet I had a clear-cut plan of attack for eventually writing the story.
Immediately following my interview, I took a few minutes to scratch down some outline points. I used these outline points to ultimately write the story and the sidebar with it. From my years of writing for various magazines and my years as a magazine editor, I suspected this story could be a magazine cover story. While I hoped it would happen, I didn’t write anything about it because I know often magazines shift those plans at the last minute. I was waiting until I saw the printed story—and it happened this morning. Yes, you can receive mail on Sunday—even the first day of a new year.
While the entire story is available only to subscribers, you can read the first portion online. During the interview (and toward the end of the story), Shane talked about participating in the Winter Olympics next month in Italy. A Canadian, Doan was one of 35 NHL players selected to attend the Canadian Olympic Training Camp. “There are 700 NHL players and 67 percent of them are Canadian or 469 players,” Doan explains. “It was an honor to be one of the 35 guys to possibly play on Team Canada.” Shane has never been on this hockey team and at the time didn’t know if he would be one of the 24 players ultimately selected to play in the Olympic Games. “If I get a chance to play on Team Canada. I will be there.”
Since our interview, Shane was selected to play on Team Canada. It’s something to watch in the Olympic Games next month. For my writing life, I’m celebrating the honor of this cover story. In recent years, I’ve mostly written books with a few scattered magazine articles. It was a thrill to read this story—and a good start to a new year.