I first got to know Tim Brookes’ writing through his advert at the social media site LinkedIn. Tim mentioned that he had a book for sale called Thirty Percent Chance of Enlightenment and he offered a sample of the work to group members. It being a travel book - and one about India at that - I longed to be able to buy it, but alas, my funds at the time did not allow me to do so. I contacted Tim and said I had enjoyed the sample and dearly wanted to read the rest, but I had to “wish list” the book for a future happy date. Tim graciously said I could read the whole text for free, and sent it accordingly.
I read the book with great pleasure. I so appreciated Tim’s wit and the fascinating climate-related stories, such as the tale of rainmaker Charles Hatfield and activity at Mount Washington observatory, home of the world’s worst weather. The regions where Tim Brookes traveled - Kerala, for example - were just the areas I would have wanted to visit if I ever had a chance to explore India myself, so I was doubly intrigued. When I was through reading the text I was so grateful that I contacted Tim and offered to index the book as a way of showing my appreciation for his freely giving it to me.
At the time I began to index the book my mother-in-law began her process of dying, so it was at times difficult to concentrate, but Tim was extremely understanding about delays. Additionally, I was at the very end of my mentoring course with the renowned indexing instructor Kari Kells. When I showed her the finished index she was pretty much blown away - she said that the keywords chosen made her want to buy multiple copies, as the indexing terms made it seem like the text held tremendous promise, not to mention entertainment value!
I appreciated having Tim’s index to add to my marketing portfolio, and as the months passed I also enjoyed subscribing to his blogs. I became a Brookes evangelist and posted tweets and Facebook mentions whenever one of Tim’s new blog posts came out.
Tim contacted me at the beginning of November and asked if I minded if he mentioned me in one of those blog posts - like I would say no? Imagine my shock and delight when I read, “What About the Worthy Indexer?” where he praises the art of indexing and excerpts some of my key words! I was speechless, to say the least.
I knew that such appreciation for indexing would boost the spirits of indexing colleagues, so I sent a link to the review to every one of my indexing contacts. The next day, my email box was completely flooded with congratulations - and most importantly, new fans of Tim Brookes. Many indexers went on to re-post the article or to comment on it in their own blogs. Tim definitely caused a sensation and gave the indexing world a boost.
Influential members of the American Society for Indexing became aware of the now famous blogpost, and inquired about the possibility of having a member interview Tim for a future edition of Keywords. Indexer Chuck Ashton of Vermont was chosen and spent a lovely day doing the interview and visiting Champlain College, where Tim heads the Champlain Publishing Initiative.
I very much look forward to Tim’s future books and hope to get the chance to work with him again - it would be my great pleasure!