I was honored to be interviewed last week by Gerry Dick, host of Inside INdiana Business. Perhaps he will publish our brief talk sometime this week.
Gerry wanted to know what inspired me to write a novel. It was a good question because there are many who say they are going to write one someday but they never follow through. In my case, I had told so many people I would write one in my retirement years that I HAD to follow through or I’d feel guilty every time I was in their presence.
The inspiration for my novel began after I attended a Los Angeles Dodgers adult baseball camp at the Dodgers’ spring training site in Vero Beach, FL. Among the eighty or so who participated were nine or ten of us from Indianapolis. Governor Mitch Daniels, then a VP at Eli Lilly, was part of our group.
During the winter preceding that February 1991 camp (held the week prior to the start of spring training), I told all my friends to make certain they got into great physical condition because “the last thing you want is to go down there and get hurt.” By the way, such a camp is an opportunity for grown adults to relive their youth by learning to run, hit, throw, and slide as taught by former Dodger greats and current managers and coaches of the parent club and the minor league franchises.
I worked hard at physical conditioning but guess who got hurt the FIRST day of camp? If you could see through this screen, you would see my right arm in the air. In fielding a simple ground ball hit to me at shortstop, my lower back gave way. I spent nearly the entire week of camp in the bed of my Dodgertown villa, unable to move but an inch or so because of the intense pain.
The story is long but the dark cloud had a bright silver lining, which I owe all to faith.
Anyway, the germ of an idea for a novel began growing after that camp. I attended another in 1998 and further developed my thoughts. Let me say here that although you can guess baseball plays a role in the novel, it is not a “baseball book.” Unfortunately, due to career I was unable to find the time to write. Finally, in retirement, after nearly twenty years of thoughts and developing parts of the story and some of the major characters on paper (and sometimes all of it gathering dust on a shelf in my brain for periods of time), I began writing on April 1, 2009. Exactly two years later, after writing/researching three to five hours daily, I finished the manuscript. I hope you enjoy what you read if you get the book. Knuckleball will provoke a lot of thought. I believe it could be a good book-study book.
In a future blog, I’m going to talk about what you can do in regard to writing some important leave-behinds even if you don’t tackle something as difficult as a novel.