Wednesday, February 26, 2014

A change in focus

As regular visitors will no doubt have noticed, this site has not been kept up much lately. Over the past year I've shifted my focus to my own writing, particularly my new novel, Nine Bucks a Pound, which I released this week. With a finite number of hours available to me each week, it grew harder and harder to devote them to reading and writing about other people's books. I'm also less comfortable reviewing other writers' babies, now that I have two of my own to focus on.

And I can't deny there was something of a burnout factor over the past year. I saw a lot of books that reminded me of books I had reviewed a year or two earlier. I found myself spending more and more of my reading time on *gasp* non-baseball books. As a fiction writer I actually prefer reading fiction as well, as it helps me improve my own writing.

For now, this site will remain, as a reference for readers (and a target for Russian and Chinese spybots, who seem to make up a disproportionately large chunk of my audience). I may post an occasional update from time to time, but for the most part I'll be working on new projects. Right now I have a short story I need to finish drafting and a third novel to develop.

If you enjoy baseball novels, by the way, please give my new one a look. Here's the description from Amazon:

For every A-Rod or Manny Ramirez seeking to boost his game to elite levels via illegal means, there have been scores of unheralded players toiling in the minor leagues, desperate to impress the brass enough to simply survive and advance. Young men who have dreamed of playing in the big leagues since they were old enough to swing a bat. When their natural ability alone isn't enough, the black and white blurs to gray, their fear of getting caught using banned substances outweighed by a more consuming fear of failure.

Three seasons into his professional career, Del Tanner can read the writing on the wall. A contact hitter at a power position, he recognizes his days in the Twins organization are numbered if he can't match the production of the other first basemen in the system. When his aspiring agent suggests he try steroids, Del makes a choice that will shadow him for the rest of his career.

In his second novel, James Bailey (The Greatest Show on Dirt, 2012) humanizes the players fans are so often quick to demonize. Nine Bucks a Pound ponders life on baseball's fringe and the dreams that tempt a young man to heed the devil on his shoulder. ESPN.com's Jayson Stark says, "Bailey hasn't just given us a great read. He's given us an important window into a topic we can't seem to stop talking about." Adds Russell Rowland, author of High and Inside, "Bailey expertly explores how the desire to succeed at any price can lead to unexpected consequences, mostly involving a man's relationships with others, not to mention with his own conscience. This is a powerful story about the perils of success at any price."

Cheers.

4 comments:

  1. You definitely come with exceptional articles and reviews.

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  2. Really a great story. Captured a lot of the emotion of the PED era of baseball in a story from the per perspective of a fictional player. Even if you are not a big baseball fan, this is a good story. Believable characters and plot line. I'm sure there are some liberties taken that professional ball players might reject, but I didn't find enough to be distracting.

    Mica
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  3. I love your new writing style and the course this blog has taken! good job.

    Kevin

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  4. That team choice will be a major decision because that child could grow up to be a professional baseball player some day. More article

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