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Munro follows his own advice with new books

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Posted: Saturday, December 17, 2011 1:15 am

Many people give advice, but rarely do they take it.

However, Dick Munro of Crawfordsville took his own advice and is now the author of two soon-to-be available books.

“So many times people will say ‘I should write a book’ and then they never do,” he said. “I always give them two words of advice — do it.”

The first book, “Tales of a Scottish Freewheeler,” is set in the 1790’s in the Scottish Highlands. It is historical fiction featuring the Scottish and Gaelic dialog. The main character, Shamus, is somewhat of a scoundrel who travels about generally trying to eke out a living, Munro said. All the tales are tied together by this one man on a life-changing quest.

“The book will likely appeal to people who are interested in Scotland,” he said. “Those who read it will enjoy a joke here and there, too.”

Munro describes the book as character-driven.

“These are the people he meets along the way and ultimately it all ties together in the end,” he said.

Munro said those who read the book will immediately notice the Scottish dialog.

“I very well couldn’t write about Scotland without the characters sounding Scottish,” he said.

Munro enlisted the help of Morag Dunbar, a Scottish guide he met on one of his trips abroad, and her friend Doli. The book includes a translation dictionary to aid the reader. Joe Boswell of Crawfordsville took the photograph that graces the cover.

“This is really a fun book,” he said. “It’s meant to be a fun read.”

Munro started the book nearly 10 years ago, working on it part-time.

“There are two kinds of writers,” he said. “Those who plan out everything and those who just start writing and see where the story goes.”

Munro practices the latter.

“Even I sometimes didn’t know how I was going to get the main character out of some of the predicaments he got himself into,” he said. “I had an ending in mind, but didn’t really know how to get there.”

Munro said how the book wraps up is a surprise, and he isn’t revealing anything.

“Tales of a Scottish Freewheeler” is self-published through AuthorHouse of Bloomington, Ind. It will be available through the publisher at and on in a few weeks. Anyone wishing to preview the book before ordering may visit Munro’s wife’s store, Merle Norman Cosmetics at 136 W. Main St., Crawfordsville. Those who wish to purchase the book locally will receive a $2 discount on the retail price of $16.95. Munro will issue a gift certificate to the purchaser and mail the book as soon as it arrives.

Munro’s first book took longer than expected to complete because five years ago he started another project, canoeing Sugar Creek from its origin to the Wabash River.

Again, taking his own advice, Munro decided to write a book about the adventure he shared with his children and grandchildren and “Paddling Sugar Creek from the Source to the Wabash” was born.

“I knew the journey, which is mostly paddling and dragging the canoe, would be pretty boring,” he said. “So I added historical notes from along the way.”

Munro completed the four-year journey Labor Day weekend 2010. He spent the past year crafting the book and working with a different self-publisher.

He calls the 210-page book and photographs the most comprehensive book about Sugar Creek. It covers his journey from the creek’s origin in a Clinton County ditch through Boone, Montgomery and Parke counties, to where it joins the mighty Wabash River.

“It’s my journey, but it’s also a historical look at the communities and the creek itself,” he said. “It’s also a great travel guide for anyone who wants to canoe it.”

The book is in the final stages of production and should be ready within days. Once the book is published Munro hopes to have it available locally and at many of the canoe liveries that serve Sugar Creek.

“I don’t care if you think you know everything there is to know about Sugar Creek, I guarantee there’s something in here you didn’t know.

Excerpts from the book are available for review at Merle Norman’s. Interested buyers may also pre-order the book and receive a $2 discount off the retail price of $16.95.

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