Did I quit writing? Not on your life! But boy, what a year it's been!
Where to start? 2019 was a year of immense change for me. From April through June, I was running back and forth between my home in South Carolina and my aging parents' home in Louisiana. It was a bittersweet time that ended with the Lord taking both of them to be with Him within three weeks of one another. Those of you who have lost a loved one may empathize with me regarding the relief you felt when their suffering ended, only to be followed by a new kind of sadness the first, second, and twelfth time you thought, I ought to give them a phone call. Oh . . . no, I don't suppose I can do that.
But God has been gracious and given me great hope.
My wife and I moved last summer, as well. Just across town. But you know how it is. A lot of work goes into a move. We love the new home, and I really love my new office, where I've been doing a ton of writing.
"A ton of writing? Where is it all?" you may ask.
Well, very shortly now (March 15), I will be releasing two books on the very same day--a novella titled Over the Right Field Wall: A Yarn from the Early Innings of America's National Pastime and a full-length novel called Dead Ball: A Novel of Murder and Passion.
"Whoa, whoa, whoa," you say. "Are those cowboy baseball stories?"
No, they're not Westerns (although my character Cimarron Jack Wheatley did discuss baseball with his friend Billy Douglass in Cimarron's Law). Over the Right Field Wall is a more-or-less period-accurate baseball story set back East in 1891, and Dead Ball tells the tale of a young pitching phenom from St. Louis in the mid-1910s, not too long before the famous "Black Sox Scandal" of 1919.
Readers who revel in the historical and cultural aspects of Westerns will probably enjoy both of my new vintage baseball stories. In each book, I've endeavored to capture something of the authentic spirit of the times and let it genuinely flavor the story. Over the Right Field Wall and Dead Ball both allow readers to indulge in a bit of nostalgia--or perceived nostalgia--without resorting to maudlin sentimentalism. And like most Westerns, both books are populated with colorful characters destined to face tall odds.
You'll be happy to know that, for the foreseeable future, the ebook edition of Over the Right Field Wall will be offered absolutely free. And as an extra bonus, it will include the first couple of chapters of Dead Ball.
Will I be writing additional vintage baseball novels?
You bet. That's the plan. I'm already very excited about stories set in the 1920s or '30s with professional baseball as a backdrop.
What about new Westerns?
I just spoke with my publicist last week about fresh ideas for some new Westerns, as well. The thing is, whatever I write, I want my stories to be top-notch, worthy of a reader's time. And that's my promise to you--I'll put in the time and effort to make each book an experience you'll enjoy for hours on end.
Did you notice the new "America's Pastime" page here on gphutchinson.com?
Click HERE to hop over to that page, and watch for news on upcoming vintage-baseball-themed novels.