The Long Road to Release
Lose Yourself release date and story revealed
Depending on how you look at it, Lose Yourself has been either a three-year journey or a two-decade quest.
To really start this story, we have to go back to my honeymoon to Maui in 1999.My wife and I were Living La Vida Loca (or at least according to Ricky Martin on the radio played every hour on the hour). It’s hard to imagine, but we were fully disconnected. I brought three books with me, including two baseball novels - Shoeless Joe (which would become the movie Field Of Dreams) by WP Kinsella and Man on Spikes by Eliot Asimof. I loved the baseball novel and using the game to set a tone for exploring larger themes.
Later that year, my wife and I went to see For Love Of The Game with Kevin Costner (based on the book by Michael Shaarma). I enjoyed the movie and two storytelling devices stuck with me - telling a story during one single game and alternating between current reality and flashbacks.
As we drove home after the movie, my mind raced. I wanted to write a baseball novel. I had an idea of a sportswriter at the end of his career covering his last baseball game. I wrote strong for about 100 pages, but as all aspiring novelists, I lost my steam and eventually I dropped the project. In 2006, I picked up another string in my head and wrote 100 pages, before life with two small kids refocused my priorities.
Cue to 2018 and Friends in Low Places. Though not releated to baseball, using flashbacks to reveal the backstories of Jim, Paul, Rob, Jesse and MIHO is a direct descendent to the inspiration I felt from For Love Of The Game.
As I prepared FILP for publication, I was talking to a friend who asked if I ever thought about writing short stories. At the time, I wasn’t that interested. (Now, I write one every month.) I liked the process of writing novels. But as I thought more about it, I wondered if I could write six different shorter stories and set them at the same game. Then, I could smoosh them all together and have a creative narrative.
So, in January 2021, I began writing. I wrote six stories separately. I started with All-Star Bret Austen and his quest to hit .400 for the season. That provided the game narrative. Then I focused in on sideline reporter Dana Peck and her desire to become a play-by-play announcer. I went on to lemonade hawker Derek Phan (who was a character in my failed 2006 draft), then to Will, Fred and finally Lizzie. (Side note: In the final draft, Lizzie is an adult daughter dealing with her dad in hospice. In the first draft she was a college freshman who finds out she’s pregnant. My, how things change)
I finished the first draft in 10 months, then nearly two more years editing, drafting, seeking feedback from my writing group and other readers. And I’m finally ready to reveal its release date:
April 2, 2024
I chose this date for several reasons. One, Baseball Opening Day is just a few days before and the excitement and hope for that time of year can only drive book sales, right? Two, it’s my dad’s birthday. So what better way to celebrate.
It’s The Final Game of the Season…
All Star Brett Austen has a chance to secure the first .400 batting average for a season in more than 80 years. But increasing pressure and his own hubris threaten the apex of his career.
A sideline reporter wrestles with a choice between career and her mom in crisis.
A retiring usher takes in his final game before moving in with his son’s family.
A lanky 15 year old can’t understand his future stepdad while pining for a girl from school.
A lemonade vendor agonizes over a big score to settle gambling debts and fulfill his daughter’s dreams.
An adult daughter navigates uncomfortable family dynamics at home while her father lies in hospice.
In the coming months, you’ll have the opportunity to join in this journey of bringing Lose Yourself to market.
The Intern: Beginning next week, I’ll be publishing a monthly serial story (five parts) set in the world of Lose Yourself. Follow Javier, an intern working for a big-league club, as he manages this dream job and young life. You’ll be introduced to several characters in Lose Yourself and follow the season as we get to the events of the novel. I like to think of The Intern as the movie Rogue One as it relates to the original Star Wars trilogy.
Cover Reveal: I’ll be sharing the cover in the November 24 (Black Friday) edition of the newsletter.
Character Profiles: In the six weeks prior to the book’s release, I’ll use this newsletter to dive deeper into the characters and share where they are heading into events of the novel. You may also want to re-read some of the Short Fiction I’ve released in the last few months. Some of these characters have already been introduced!
Paid options coming (but with added benefits): Currently, this is a free newsletter and most (if not all) content will remain free. In January, I’ll be allowing a pay option to allow you to support the work and the newsletter through subscriptions. In addition, I will be adding extra benefits for those paid subscribers. Stay tuned.
Thank you for your continued support. I truly appreciate it.