BBB: What inspired you to become a writer?
RMC: I've always had stories swirling around in my head, ready to be written. One winter's day I got an "aha" moment and and started plotting a story about an empty time capsule. I set out to write this novel in early 2007 and finally finished it later that year. It was not publishable, but I proved I could complete one. After I wrote another manuscript, I realized my voice was better suited to a younger audience. I kept at it and now have seven completed middle grade novels (and one in progress). It was all a matter of getting to THE END. That's key for me. Never leave a book unfinished.
RMC: I've always enjoyed the game and reading about its history. Drawing upon my nineteen years of coaching teams at various levels, I decided to write a story from the viewpoint of a girl who is a "baseball savant," because there is no reason a girl can't be a diamond know-it-all. I wanted to include some history in this novel, so I had her character connect with a Negro Leagues player from the early 1940s. This is a vastly under-appreciated era of baseball, unfortunately. Toss in an old scoreboard and an owner's regrettable mistake and a mystery was born.
BBB: Tell us about your main character.
RMC: Twelve-year-old April O'Day wins an essay contest, which allows her to be the bat retriever for her favorite minor league team for a week. She wows the team so much with her knowledge of the game that they ask her to stay for the summer. She can hold her own with the players, the coaches, and even the manager when it comes to talking baseball. When she becomes entangled in a mystery involving the owner of the team, her passion for the the game and its history help her change the past, present, and future of the main characters, her hometown, and her life.
BBB: What do you think readers will enjoy most about your book?
RMC: Although this is not your typical baseball book told from the viewpoint of a player, the story does take the reader "on the field" to experience the action of minor league baseball. It's a kid's book at heart, and the reader will enjoy going on this journey with April and her best friend, Darren Plummer, as they solve a mystery, meet fascinating people, and have the experience of a lifetime.
RMC: My book is available now. It was released on September 16, 2014.
BBB: How can reader's connect with you?
RMC: Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RMClarkauthor
Author website: http://www.rmclarkauthor.com
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