Recently I was asked to do an interview for Authority Magazine about standing up against Antisemitism, Racism, Bigotry, and Hate through the power of the printed word. Using my novel The Girl Who Stole J.E.B. Stuart as an example, I tried to explain why stories like this are crucial in starting discussions among our young people about those problems that plague our society, and why the banning of such books only holds us back. It is especially at this time of year, with all that's going on here and abroad, that we take the time to consider the lives of others, and how we in some small way can make this world a better place. As you will see from the magazine's homepage, there's a pretty impressive lineup of people from all walks of life who are interviewed about a variety of timely topics. Anyway, this is a pretty cool magazine, and both I'm pleased and proud they contacted me!
On September 1 I had the pleasure of speaking to the Stratford Men's Club at the Baldwin Senior Center about The Kid From Dodgertown. Many of the men were longtime baseball fans, and we had a great dialogue about the Brooklyn Dodgers and Baseball History. These conversations continued through the book signing. Overall, it was a great experience with a knowledgeable group. Special thanks to Bob Mastroni for the invitation. I hope to see you again.
On August 3-5 Maria, Caroline and I journeyed North to Cooperstown, NY for my second speaking appearance at the National Baseball Hall of Fame. We took in all of our favorite sites around town including Doubleday Field, the shops on Main Street, and Lake Otsego before touring the museum and setting up for my talk and book signing in the Hall's Bullpen Theater. Our audience, which included a surprise visit from my former teaching colleague Cheri Balckom and her son Jesse (my former student!) were attentive and asked some great questions. Afterwards we had a fine meal at the legendary Otesaga Resort, where the Hall-of-Famers and their families stay during Induction Week. Then it was time for a stroll down by the lake before our trip home through the scenic Catskills. Special thanks to Caroline for handling the tech duties during my talk; Bruce Markusen, director of the Hall's Education Dept. for extending the invitation and making sure everything ran smoothly; and those fans who purchased books. Your interest led to the Hall placing another order!
As a prelude to my appearance at the Baseball Hall of Fame on August 3, I was featured on News 12 Connecticut to talk about The Kid from Dodgertown and the honor of being asked to speak at the Hall of Fame. Reporter Mark Sudol, cameraman Frank Bruce Rosen and I had a blast talking Baseball in the "Man Cave". Below is the link to the resulting video spot. Thanks, News 12!
This week I had the pleasure of being interviewed by radio host Mark Moses on central Florida's all sports station The Fan 1560. We talked about The Kid from Dodgertown, my upcoming appearance at the Hall of Fame on August 3rd, and a lot of other baseball topics. I think he did a great job. Mark is very knowledgeable and enthusiastic, and it comes through in this interview. I hope to speak with him again down the road. So sit back and enjoy our little chat!
This weekend I had the pleasure of connecting with my buddy Brad Meltzer at the Vero Beach Bookstore, where he was making an appearance for his newest bestseller, The Nazi Conspiracy. Brad and I met back in 2013 at Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut, when my debut novel, Last Ghost at Gettysburg, was coming out, while he was already an established literary star. Since then Brad has been a sounding board and constant source of encouragement for me, as well as hosting two hit TV series on the History Channel, (Decoded & Lost History) while turning out both adult best-seller thrillers and biographies of notable Americans geared to young audiences. He's also a top-notch speaker and promoter, which is imperative in this industry. But more important , Brad always has time for everyone, be it his thousands of fans or a fellow writer like myself. So, it was very cool to do an author book exchange in Vero Beach, signing our novels to each other at the same time. I'm glad we got to meet up again and hope to see him down the road.
I was saddened to learn of the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, who came to the throne of England an amazing 70 years ago. In good times and bad, I always felt she carried herself with class and elegance. So, when I included "The Queen" as a character in my 6th T.J. Jackson book, Terror in the Tower, I was ever so careful to treat her with the dignity she deserved. You can imagine my joy - and relief - to later receive a letter of thanks from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge regarding the book. Obviously, they considered my portrayal of Her Majesty to be favorable. I shall treasure this memento from the Royal Family forever. And hopefully, when my readers come to the scenes involving Her Majesty, especially the one in which she interviews T.J., Bortnicker and LouAnne and displays a maternal concern for their welfare as they undertake this dangerous case, they will smile at the memory of her humanity and grace.
I was saddened to learn of the passing of legendary broadcaster Vin Scully at the age of 94. Then I thought back to this past winter and my wonderful encounter with him. I had just put the finishing touches on my novel The Kid From Dodgertown and was seeking notable baseball people with Dodger connections to offer "advance praise" quotes for the book's jacket. So, on a wing and a prayer, I sent Mr. Scully a snail mail cover letter and a detailed plot synopsis, expecting little. You can imagine my shock when he called me at home a few weeks later. Long story short, after offering his assistance, he asked me about myself and what made me write the book, and then proceeded to regale me with tales of Dodgertown and Vero Beach. He was absolutely charming, and by the time our hour-long conversation was through I felt I'd known him for years. I'm proud that his words found their way into my book. You know, in this business there are many people who will "big time" you at the drop of a hat. Mr. Scully was the opposite. Thanks for your kindness, Vin, and God bless.
Recently I had the pleasure of participating in the second annual Paraconn in Ansonia, CT. The T.J. Jackson Mysteries table was lively all weekend, and we even sold out a few titles. Making it more fun was being adjacent to my daughter Caroline and her husband Sean, whose popular podcast Ain't it Scary With Sean and Carrie attracted many fans of the horror/paranormal genre. On Saturday I had a speaking engagement on the big stage with fellow author Tim McLaughlin, and new T.J. fan Lori Salerno won the raffle for a cool Voodoo Cult's Treasure tee shirt! Special thanks to Charles Rosenay and Nick Grossman (AKA "The Shaman and the Showman," their official moniker which was coined by yours truly) for putting together this huge event. See you next year!
Recently I had the pleasure of being interviewed on WTTB Vero Beach during their Morning Drive show. I hope you will enjoy my conversation about The Kid from Dodgertown with WTTB radio personality Bob Soos. My thanks to Bob and the folks at WTTB for the opportunity.
My thoughts on past, present and future ideas relating to my writing.