Where I'm from
A recent interview and upcoming book event have me thinking about my hometown of Lancaster, Pa.
Lancaster, Pa. holds a special place in my heart.
I was born and raised in Lancaster County and graduated from high school and college there. If you’re unfamiliar with Lancaster, it's located in the southeastern part of the state, between Harrisburg and Philadelphia, and it’s best known for two things: its robust Amish community (no, I'm not Amish), and for the home of James Buchanan, who up until recently was probably the worst president in U.S. history.
Given the hometown connection, it was meaningful to speak to LNP sports columnist Mike Gross and freelance sportswriter Gordie Jones for their After the Buzzer podcast. The conversation focused on my background and career and the elements that influenced my book on Ken Caminiti.
We spoke quite a bit about Ken -- his magnetic persona, his talent, his presence, and steroids in baseball. Our talk even delved into politics! Which I wasn't expecting, but which I appreciated.
All in all, a great conversation. You can listen to it here.
The interview comes ahead of an in-store book signing at the Lancaster Barnes & Noble that's tentatively scheduled for Aug. 21. My high school friends and I would meet up at that same bookstore to discuss our homework, and now my book is being sold there! It's surreal to think about that. I'll share more details about the event as it is finalized.
The feedback keeps coming in for Playing Through the Pain. I was touched by a review from Micah Wimmer for Fansided that also highlighted two other awesome books by awesome writers, Rickey: The Life and Legend of an American Original by Howard Bryant and True: The Four Seasons of Jackie Robinson by Kosta Kennedy. Wimmer wrote:
"It is impossible to imagine a more thorough rendering of Caminiti’s life ... Readers will find themselves cheering for Caminiti, despite already knowing how the story ends. It is a masterclass in how sports writers can treat sensitive subjects without condescending towards them or offering judgment, a work that reckons with a complicated, and almost mythic figure without ever losing sight of his humanity. It is a book that captures the ultimate highs and lows, not only of sports, but of life."
Other readers and listeners have been equally complimentary.
Feedback like this fuels me. When you publish a book, it's so easy to worry about the number of copies sold or the Amazon rating or the reviews, but ultimately, the goal with any piece of writing is to make your reader think and to feel something, to take them on a journey, and I'm honored to have been able to do that.