If I would’ve done this book 15 years ago, or even 5 years ago, it would have looked very different than it does now. Perhaps the biggest difference would be in the writing. In the past, I would’ve had one professional author write the whole book—the way it’s usually done.
Instead, together with Chuck Wechsler from Sporting Classics, we agreed to have 6 contributing authors. Each one is a longtime friend or close relative of mine. And in many ways, each one is an expert on a small part of my life. The 6 authors and the chapters they wrote are as follows:
- “Introduction” by Jeff Sieve—my older brother
- “My Dad” by Heather Sieve—the older of my twin daughters
- “A Signature Style” by Jim Rataczak—a fellow artist whose work I greatly admire and close friend of over 20 years
- “The Spirit of Hunting” by Rick Grooms—a hunting partner, art collector, and friend for almost 40 years
- “Partners in Photography” by Mark Newman—my worldwide travel partner, friend, and role model since the 1980s
- “A Commitment to Conservation” by Scott Bestul—a professional outdoor writer, expert bowhunter, conservationist, and friend since he wrote one of his first articles about turkey hunting with me 30 years ago
Some of these contributors know each other; others have never met and probably never will. They know me very well, and I know them equally as well. Taken together, and including the dozens of stories that I personally wrote, their writings provide a pretty good idea of who I am, how I work, and what it takes to paint the way I do.
A Special Thank You
As a bonus, Heather has worked with me from the very beginning of the process. She first took on a very small role, but as we continued and she proved to be incredibly competent, her role expanded. Not only was she a co-editor with Chuck Wechsler, but she has been instrumental in the design of the book, the layout, and the many judgement calls that are necessary to get it right. And now she is helping promoting and marketing the book. This book would not be what it is without her. Heather’s influence starts on page 1 and doesn’t end until the book is closed, and I am deeply grateful for that.
It’s been a wonderful working and bonding experience with each contributor, and I only regret that I’m not starting over and doing it all again. I think when you get the book, you’ll understand what I’m talking about.