I recently turned my fourth book in the More Than A Game Series to my editor. After a few rounds of revisions, final copy edits, and galley proofs, Earning A Ring will be available in January 2016 (I think, I don’t have a final release date). I’m really excited about Bryce Baxter and Rachel Parker’s story, and I know many of my readers are too. But this book wasn’t any easier to write than the first one. Or the second. Or even the third book.
In some ways, this book was even harder than the first three. Part of it, I’m sure, has to do with expectations. Mostly my own, but I feel like I need to set the bar higher with each book. I’m sure some of my readers will enjoy Earning A Ring more than any of my other books, some who will think Better Than Perfect was almost perfect. I hope some of my readers will have a special place in their hearts for Worth The Trade, and some will make room on their keeper shelf for Making A Comeback.
I started taking my writing seriously in 2010. The San Francisco Giants won their first World Series since moving from New York that year. I have three books available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Nook, iBooks, Books-A-Million. The Giants have three World Series Championships. Coincidence? Maybe. All I know is that I have a fourth baseball book coming out, so we’ll see if the boys in Orange and Black can pull off another title.
This season is off to a dreadful start. (Funny, that happens to the Goliaths at the beginning of Earning A Ring.) I mean, the worst since moving from New York. But the season is young. Very young. And if one team in the division can go through a
seven eight game losing streak, so can all the others.
In every baseball season there are challenges. Really, it would be boring to win all 162 regular season games. Just like it would be boring if the hero and heroine met, fell in love, and had no conflict from page one. Would anyone want to read about two perfect people who never made mistakes, never second guessed themselves, and always had everything go their way? I wouldn’t. If I read a book where everything is going right for the main character I’m wondering what catastrophe awaits them.
The challenge in writing a series is in keeping the conflict fresh.The ballplayers all want the same thing, success on the field. It’s how they define it, and how they execute it, that makes the stories different. Johnny Scottsdale had all the personal triumphs on the field, he is looking for the team success before he retires. Marco Santiago had moved from team to team in his career, he wants nothing more than a long term contract. Nathan Cooper has made mistakes that cost him playing time and perhaps his health. He is trying to make it back to the game. Bryce Baxter has been rewarded with success. He just needs to feel like he has earned it.
That’s what we want for all of our heroes and heroines, we want them to earn their happily-ever-afters. We want to see them overcome obstacles, rise above challenges, and come out stronger than ever. We read to feel the emotions of the characters in the books.
We have similar relationships with our sports teams. We feel elated when they have success. We feel the agony of their defeats. And we absolutely feel the joy of winning it all. We are a part of the journey, wherever it takes us. And if the ending isn’t satisfying, well, we’ll wait for the next chapter–or the next season.