With most of my creative attention devoted to either music (songwriting) or marketing my first full-length novel (Extra Innings: The Diamond Thieves), I’ve been getting the itch to write again. Originally, my next project after the Extra Innings Trilogy was going to be a non-fiction story called “Sheldon’s Falls.” The main character in this novel is named Sheldon Andrus who is a young, retired medevac pilot return from the Vietnam War to his home in Massachusetts and a alcoholic, pill-popping, complicated bi$%@h of a mother. This unforgettable story that takes a surprising and dark turn gave me a great deal of excitement, however, I’ve decided to put it on hold to pursue a different writing direction in the meantime.
This new direction is to author a book based on my research in strengths based leadership. The topic is Integrity and I’m excited to dive into what I believe this means in the professional world. Notes for this book began last weekend and I’m excited to do some deep thinking while I’m traveling across the mountainous and grassland terrains of southern Africa. I’m hoping that some time away in another land will give me some headroom & inspiration to discover a deeper understanding of integrity in terms of interpersonal relationships and exchanges. The intent of this book is for my own observation and understanding of how I experience and conduct myself in the world (both professionally and personally). I’m excited to see my own personal growth through the production of this book. Writing has not yet begun, however, the book does have a title: “The Integrity Pie.”
Teenage TWIN brothers Jimmy and Billy McGee are fictional characters, from a fictional town in Eugene, Mississippi. The story begins on their 13th birthday in their attic bedroom of their parents home. I was nineteen years old when I began writing Extra Innings. The plot begins with the twins and their friends confronted by the neighborhood bad boys threatening to take full possession of the school’s baseball diamond. A dispute of this gravity can only be settled but one way … the boys would have to play for it. Whichever team wins the game will claim dominion of the baseball diamond forever.
After the game, I took a few years off to focus on college. Then I moved to Massachusetts to start the Rock ‘n Roll band that was intended to launch my musical stardom! I had one particular semi-successful run before our brotherhood fell apart after which I escaped to NYC for a brief blink of an eye until the tragedy of 9/11 overhauled my perspective on the importance of family and I moved to Ohio to be with my parents, sister, brother-in-law and newborn nephew Brevan.
I was broke, living back with my parents and heavy-hearted from a soul searching quest for my identity. Finally, I landed a decent paying job. . That’s when my creativity got squashed by small-corporate America and I began craving a therapeutic outlet from the Real World. Being a few years older and more mature, I felt ready to tackle the heavier subject matter of the latter half of the twin’s teen years and finally, Extra Innings, the book, was completed in 2008.
Most authors probably don’t require ten years to write a modest 600 + page novel … but maybe they do. I loved the story and the characters but the storytelling did not meet my vernacular standards for a “smooth and easy read.” I wanted a piece of work that readers would breeze through without feeling any sort of burden from its length. Many sentences and paragraphs were awkward and clumsy. Perhaps this is from my lack of experience as a reader. I’ve only ready maybe 10 or less books in my entire life (including all school literature reading assignments as most of them I didn’t actually read … shhh! – don’t tell anyone) so, as a result, revising Extra Innings to make it more reader friendly took years!
The book is now being edited. I can’t wait for everyone to read a finished copy!