Recently I had the pleasure of attending a small get-together of my Iona Gael teammates from the 70s...coincidentally, all of them have appeared as characters in my books! (That's one of the fun perks of writing...you can slip your family and friends into the story). Anyway, from left to right, Pat Garvey was in T.J. Book #1 AND The Rovers, Matty Paul was in T.J. #1, Kenny Ali was in T.J. #2, Mike Florio was in T.J. #3, and Paul Jarboe was in T.J. #4. Altogether, a dozen Iona luminaries have graced the pages of my novels, and there should be at least one more in The Voodoo Cult's Treasure, coming out in August.
Hello everybody, T.J. here. As far as any new stories, 2016 was kind of quiet for us. However, that doesn't mean there wasn't a lot going on. For example, Paul's first adult novel, The Rovers: A Tale of Fenway, was published in April, and now is sold side by side with Roberto's Return: A T.J. Jackson Mystery at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. There were also many appearances Paul made for our books during the year, highlighted by Fairfield's Halloween on the Green event, in which Curse of the Fairfield Witch completely sold out. As for what lies ahead, Paul said it was okay to let you in on a secret: he'll be making an announcement around Mardi Gras of this year (hint, hint) about our next T.J. Jackson Mystery, which is now entering its final edits. As always, he'll keep you posted about any 2017 speaking/signing appearances. And so, from Bortnicker, LouAnne and myself, our wishes to you for a happy and healthy New Year!
Our last appearance of 2016 was a good one. Barnes & Noble was filled with holiday shoppers and good cheer. We sold a bunch of books, but the highlight was one generous lady who purchased the entire Ferrante catalog: all four T.J. Jackson Mysteries and The Rovers: A Tale of Fenway. Thanks to Tricia Tierney for making us feel at home. We hope to return to Barnes & Noble in the future!
On November 17 we had the pleasure of speaking at the Westport Center for Senior Activities about our two baseball theme books, Roberto's Return and The Rovers. Thanks to everyone who came out and purchased books, and special thanks to Program Manager Holly Betts, who has herself visited over 90 major and minor league ballparks!
On Sunday, Oct. 30, the T.J. Jackson Mysteries had the pleasure of taking part in the first Halloween on the Green, sponsored by the Fairfield Museum and many other local organizations. The event in general was an unqualified success, with thousands of Halloween revelers both young and old enjoying the numerous vendor tents, food trucks, and children's activities (including access to historic buildings decorated for the occasion) in and around the Town Green on a beautiful Autumn day. Our tent was situated near the site of Edwards Pond, used as an actual witch ducking pond in the 1600s, and portrayed in Curse of the Fairfield Witch: A T.J. Jackson Mystery as the scene of accused witch Charity Blessing's ordeal by water. And we are happy to announce that in addition to distributing over 1,000 lollipops to young trick or treaters, we completely sold out of our inventory of Fairfield Witch, as did the Fairfield Museum gift shop, with whom we hope to continue our partnership. Special thanks to Museum coordinator Christine Jewell for the invitation to this great event. See you next year!
Hi Everybody - T.J. here. As you know, during the past couple weeks two horrible hurricanes tore through the Caribbean and Atlantic - Matthew and Nicole. I just want you to know that Bortnicker's grandparents, Morty and Doris, came through Matthew just great. Boca Vista Royale, their retirement village in Boca Raton, sustained no serious damage, mostly some downed trees and branches, and flooding was minimal. As for our friend Ronnie Goodwin in Bermuda, Nicole, which was a category 3 hurricane by the time it passed over the island, never officially made landfall. But they were still hit with 100+ MPH winds, heavy rain and a big storm surge. Something like 27,000 people, over half the population on the island, lost power. But Ronnie's family and the Blue Lagoon Dive Shop, except for some minor damage to their Reef Seeker II dive boat, got through it okay. Let's hope this is the end of Hurricane Season for 2016!
And by the way, rumor has it that you'll be hearing from Paul next Spring about a new T.J. Jackson Mystery. Just saying.
We had a wonderful day at this year's Trumbull Arts Festival. The weather was perfect, and the crowd flow steady all day, helped by an impressive 5,000 motorcycle cruise commemorating 9/11 that passed through Trumbull town center, where our event was being held. For the first time we actually sold out on one YA book - Curse of the Fairfield Witch - and nearly sold out on our adult book, The Rovers: A tale of Fenway. Overall, it was our best selling day ever. Thanks to Emily Areson, event coordinator, for the invitation. We hope to be back in 2017 with a new T.J. Jackson novel to add to our table!
Congratulations to my friend, best-selling author Brad Meltzer, whose TV Show, Lost History (H2), prompted the return of the "Ground Zero Flag" from the iconic photo taken on 9/11 that mysteriously went missing shortly thereafter. There will be a TV special on its finding called America's 9/11 Flag: Rise from the Ashes this Sunday at 10:30 PM ET. You will find it surprising and uplifting.
On June 23 we spent an enjoyable evening talking baseball with the good folks at the Bigelow Center in Fairfield. Since baseball was the focus, our presentation focused on Roberto's Return and The Rovers: A Tale of Fenway. Our sizable audience really got into it, and the post-presentation Q & A session was lively and entertaining, with many audience members sharing stories about old time baseball. Everyone from Ted Williams to Babe Ruth to Joe DiMaggio - and even Marilyn Monroe - came up. And to top it off, we sold a bunch of books! Thanks to coordinator Margaret Andrews for putting this event together, and we hope to see you again.
I was excited to receive an advance copy of Finley Ball from my friend Nancy Finley, the niece of controversial A's owner Charlie Finley, whom I had profiled a couple years back in SCD. The book is her recounting of the time she spent as a front office insider during the A's dynasty of the 70s. Basically, Nancy's dad, Carl Finley, who was Charlie's cousin, was plucked from his existence as a high school administrator and put in charge of a MLB franchise by the mercurial owner, himself an insurance salesman in the Midwest. Together, on what what can be generously be called a shoestring, these men built and maintained one of the great teams of all time; and Nancy, ever at her dad's side, filled a variety of roles... while still a high-schooler! The story is as fast moving as it is improbable. Considering that the Moneyball regime, though much ballyhooed, has yet to produce a championship, this story is even more compelling. I highly recommend it. You just might come to the conclusion that crazy Charlie Finley wasn't so crazy after all. The publisher is Regnery History, and you can find the book on Amazon.
My thoughts on past, present and future ideas relating to my writing.