The career of being a literary and film manager has its ups and downs, like any job. What really makes me happy are the ups and particularly when I can be present for the inception of an idea that could ultimately become a book and a film.
In my seasoned career, I’ve dealt with many people from all walks of life and some of them are extraordinary human beings. My client, Neal Asbury, is one of those special people. When he invited me to hear him speak in January of 2018, whereby he was lecturing about his extensive map and engravings collection. It’s a memory embedded in my mind that I will never forget.
Neal is an entrepreneur and runs a very successful business called the Legacy Companies. As a young global traveling salesman, who was very successful in building McDonald’s restaurants throughout Asia, he started collecting antique maps, atlases and engravings of Asia, the Middle East and Holy Land, Africa and the Americas. These beautiful works of art tell the stories of the late Medieval and early Renaissance explorers that sailed the world. It was trade that fueled the age of discovery. Upon their return from their lengthy voyages they reported back to their kings and queens, about the vast opportunities and discoveries they made. It is these documents produced from these voyages that created so much debate and intrigue at court as empires struggled to thrive in a new world order where knowledge of what lay beyond the horizon was tantamount to their survival.
Neal’s collection was prominently displayed at Nova University was amazing. The collection has taken over three decades to assemble including several priceless treasures. I was fortunate enough to listen to Neal’s lecture which was approximately an hour and twenty minutes long, and was in complete awe not only of Neal’s wisdom about the world’s history but the significance of the visionaries that were creating what was called “The New World.” After experiencing this lecture, I suggested to Neal that this amazing history be a book. Lo and behold, my vision of this possibility is coming true.
Included are hand-drawn battle illustrations that we rushed back to London. They were quickly engraved into copper plates, pressed onto handmade paper then hand-colored and given to King George and his court to plot their strategies to put down the rebellion and punish its leaders. They provide an unprecedented “front seat” view on crucial engagements between the British and Continental Armies when the future of our nation hung in the balance.
The Birth of America was written by Neal in concert with best-selling author Jean-Pierre Isbouts. Dr. Isbouts’ books for National Geographic have sold more than 2 million copies. His latest NatGeo books, The Story of Jesus and The Atlas of the Bible, have both sold close to 200,000 copies in retail each.
The book will be published by Apollo Publishers late in 2020.
I sincerely hope you enjoyed this story of connecting some wonderful literary dots as much as I like sharing it.