Hasslein Blog: Bob Gale No Longer Thinks I'm Insane


Hasslein Blog

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Bob Gale No Longer Thinks I'm Insane

Last December, I received an e-mail from Back to the Future screenwriter and producer Bob Gale regarding my first BTTF book, A Matter of Time: The Back to the Future Lexicon, which left me grinning wider than Biff Tannen's shoulders. It read:

"Rich, you are certifiably insane! But I'm glad you are! And now YOU are THE authority on all things BTTF! Jeez, there's stuff in here even I didn't know...or didn't want to know...or wanted to forget! (However, I admit that I never played the 8-bit Nintendo game for more than 10 minutes—and if you did, you are either dedicated beyond the pale or a masochist!) Anyway, two gigantic thumbs up from me!"

Great Scott! To say I was excited by such praise, given the source, would be an understatement potentially capable of disrupting the entire space-time continuum. (Click here and you'll see what my dorky reaction was at the time. I'm actually a little embarrassed about it, in retrospect.)

Well, a few days ago, I heard from Bob again, this time regarding Back in Time: The Back to the Future Lexicon, which I co-wrote with Greg Mitchell. And here's what he had to say this time:

"Your new book is amazing! OK, Rich, you get the crown for sure now—I don't think anyone knows more about the BTTF universe than you do! I'm blown away by all of the info—scary that I unleashed all of this! Anyway, I hope you sell lots of copies, and thanks for being such a committed fan! (Let's just hope you aren't committed as a result of all of this!)"

This kind of praise is truly staggering, and I'm humbled. That said, I want to make something clear: I am NOT the greatest expert on Back to the Future—not by a long-shot. People like Greg Mitchell, Stephen Clark, Steven Greenwood and others out-class me by a mile in that regard. In fact, it was Greg's idea to write this book, and he did a fantastic job of penning the first draft, so a lot of Bob's praise should go to him, and not me. But I am certainly among the most OCD-affected, which helps with books like these. Plus, I surround myself with people who ARE experts on the subject, as well as publishing professionals who know what they're doing, which just makes me look good by association (because, hey, I'm not a stupid fellow).

So thanks, Bob, for your amazing praise about our writing, and for giving us something even more amazing to write about in the first place. And thanks to director Robert Zemeckis, as well as the amazing casts, crews and creative teams who brought Back to the Future to life in the films, cartoons, comics and video games. If our books are worth reading, it's primarily due to the efforts of these brilliant individuals.

Thanks also to Paul Giachetti, my Hasslein Books partner and long-time close friend; Pat Carbajal, whose brilliant cover and interior artwork is so phenomenal it defies words; Stephen C. and Steven G., for all of their guidance and support; Dan Madsen, the founder of the original BTTF Fan Club, for writing the timeline book's foreword; Steve Cafarelli, another long-time friend, for building and maintaining this Web site; and Joseph F. Berenato and Paul Simpson, for their invaluable proofreading assistance. This book was truly a collaborative effort, and without the above buttheads, both of our Back to the Future books would have made like a tree and never been published.

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