I'm not the most dedicated self-promoter in the world, but I feel I would be remissed if I failed to mention the fact that I have two books hitting the shelves this summer.
My first novel, The Bridgeport Hammer, will be available on May 29 through indie publisher Black Rose Writing. It will make its way to other online booksellers (Amazon/ B&N/ etc. ) by mid-June. The story is set in 1942 and follows the adventures of Emmett Drexler--a U.S. counterintelligence agent who goes undercover as a ballplayer in an attempt to thwart a Nazi assassination plot. What do counterintelligence agents and baseball have in common? More than you think. While on an All-Star tour of Japan in the 1930s, catcher Moe Berg captured the Tokyo industrial landscape on film. The footage was later used to plan U.S. bombing raids during WWII. After his retirement from baseball, Berg worked for the Office of Strategic Services--precursor to the CIA.
The Bridgeport Hammer is constructed as a fantasy baseball memoir. I have taken great pains to capture the spirit of the era. One editor who rejected the manuscript commented: "the narrative is so authentic, it reads too much like a work of nonfiction for our tastes." I took that as a compliment since it was exactly what I was going for. Nearly all of the characters and situations are firmly rooted in historical fact. Die-hard fans will have fun identifying the parallels between fact and fiction.
Originally scheduled for a June 6 release, my third nonfiction project is currently available. Produced by Taylor Trade Publishing, the book is entitled: Mudville Madness. I have always been fascinated by unusual events on the field. While researching my first two books, I found more oddball anecdotes than I knew what to do with. I eventually decided to write a volume dedicated entirely to out-of-the-ordinary baseball occurrences. Mudville Madness carries the subtitle of: Fabulous Feats, Belligerent Behavior and Erratic Episodes on the Diamond. The name says it all. Beginning in the mid-1800s, the book takes readers on a wild ride through the Deadball Era to the present day. While many of the events described will be familiar to hardcore fans, other entries will surprise and delight the most dedicated students of the game. There is something for everyone here. I am giving away a signed copy of the book for free through the Goodreads Author program. The offer expires soon, so enter to win ASAP.
I will be doing virtual tours for both books during the month of June and will be making scattered appearances in Northern New York beginning with he Potsdam Summer Festival in July. I will post details at a later date.