The upcoming Apex Legends book, "Kyle Loves Racing," was announced today by Kyle Larson and Chip Ganassi Racing to the media in advance of this weekend's Brickyard 400. As Kyle is the featured subject of the book, one racing fan has already suggested that this may be a mere copying effort from my other driver-centric book, "Josef, The Indy Car Driver," which features IndyCar star Josef Newgarden.
At face-value this is an understandable question, so I figured I'd provide some added context to answer the question: "is 'Kyle Loves Racing' a simple reskin of the Josef book, with illustrations featuring Kyle?"
The answer is no. There are some core similarities to how each book is structured in terms of basic flow (i.e. interacting with my familiar characters Avery & Cooper plus their little brother and teaching them followed by a race sequence, for example), and that was by design. The "Josef" book was well-received, so why completely re-invent the wheel?
But the similarities end there. While Josef's book was very focused on his personal journey on how he became a race car driver after starting by racing motorized scooters as a teenager, Kyle's path started much younger and across a very different type of racing / race cars. Josef's is all about IndyCar action at my favorite road course, Road America, and features a realistic but fictitious race. "Kyle Loves Racing" branches off to talking about some challenges Kyle faced and how he overcame them to get his first win in Cup, and uses the actual events of his Fontana win to showcase the race sequence. Plus, differences between dirt track racing and pavement racing are discussed. And as the title indicates, Kyle's book embodies his love of the sport and his race "anything, anywhere, anytime" mentality.
I could go on, but I don't want to give too much away! Point is, I think if you would read both books back-to-back you could see how I, as the author/illustrator, started with the same basic top-line concept and then crafted Kyle's book in a very different way so that kids can see the personalities of the drivers and the differences between the types of race series and cars. A bit of continuity can be a good thing, and I envision a few more driver-focused books in other disciplines to round out the series.
Any other questions? Please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org; I welcome the dialogue and feedback!
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