“Wisdom and Things” is a collection of essays from the final decade of Vera Koo’s pistol shooting career, documenting her journey from a 12-year-old immigrant who didn’t know a word of English to the pinnacle of the action pistol shooting world. The book charts the drive and ambition that led Vera to achieve great success, and shows the perseverance and determination that helped her survive failures and setbacks. This collection paints an indelible portrait of a person who never gave up, no matter how difficult the challenges. 

“Wisdom and Things’ is Book #2

For readers familiar with Vera’s first book, “The Most Unlikely Champion,” these articles will deepen your understanding of the quiet, behind-the-scenes moments of Vera’s life — the motivations that inspired her, the setbacks that nearly broke her. For those who don’t know Vera’s story, the writing here will provide snapshots of inspiration and advice — how to learn new skills no matter your age; how to handle slights with humility; and how setting small goals can help you achieve big things. 

These pieces show that despite thriving in multiple worlds, Vera has always remained true to her values: faith, discipline and kindness. They’re values she learned from her parents and her husband, Carlos, and that she’s instilled in her three children. It’s Vera’s hope that readers, new and old alike, will walk away from this collection with the same lessons — that even the worst tragedies don’t have to break a person, and that through hard work and belief, anyone can achieve their dreams. 

More About ‘Wisdom and Things’

Wisdom and Things: Essays From an Unlikely Champion has been designed by Amy Swan. Foreword by Mickey Fowler. Introduction by Justin Pahl. 8.5” x 8.5” softcover, 156 pages. Over 40 essays [42 essays and 4 section introductions] organized into four sections. Full color with over 130 photos [131 photos accompanying the essays and 3 cover photos and 4 author photos]. The book is scheduled for publication on April 1, 2021.

About the Authors

Vera Koo is an eight-time women’s division national champion at the Bianchi Cup, also known as the National Action Pistol Championship. She won two World titles. She retired from competitive shooting in 2018 at age 71. Born in China and raised in Hong Kong, she is an Asian-American who immigrated to the United States at age 12. Vera and her husband, Carlos, live in California, where they own and operate a successful real estate business. They have three children and six grandchildren. This is her second book and follows the publication of her memoir, The Most Unlikely Champion. Visit VeraKoo.com to learn more and follow Vera on her social media platforms. Vera also contributes a monthly column at Women’s Outdoor News.

Blake Toppmeyer is a national award-winning sportswriter. He met Vera in 2014 while on assignment at the Bianchi Cup. Blake is the Tennessee Vols football beat writer for the “Knoxville News Sentinel.” He lives in Tennessee with his wife, Brenna. This is his first book.


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