* * *
The book’s been out for over two months now. The typical questions I get are as follows:
1) How true is this story?
2) Did you marry a reporter?
3) Did you date a ballplayer?
4) Did all these things happen to you?
People are always fascinated by writers and where they get their ideas. Even friends with whom I’m close are probably wondering if aspects of the book are true and what I’ve held back from them. (Nothing…well, maybe…)
What is more interesting, as the person who wrote the story, is how many stories I left out of the book (of course to protect the innocent). Seriously, I could tell some tales, but the beauty of Baseball Girl is that it is actually fiction, loosely based on real occurrences that took place while I worked in the sport. There were more stories that I could have told, but some of those stories are treasured ones that I didn’t want to morph into fiction. Some of those need to remain standing as nonfiction.
The driving force behind Francesca’s need to secure the job with a baseball team is that she is getting over the loss of her father; he dies at a very young age, and she is left as a 19-year-old who cannot seem to let him go. Francesca’s story is quite different from my own. My father and I just hung out with my mother on Friday. In fact, when I was about to release the book, my father asked me jokingly why the dad had to die. “Someone had to go,” I told him. I needed a starting point for the story, and didn’t want it to mimic my life too closely. I didn’t want people wondering if it was a memoir. It’s not. I started my career at the Orioles when I, too, was 19, but it was because I wanted to try working in public relations while I was in college. I happened to luck into working for a Major League baseball team. Francesca secures the job as a form of therapy.
When we read stories, we are always looking for the truth on the pages. But the fact is, there is truth in everything we write, or we wouldn’t write it. Even when we write fiction, there are still stories to be told and lessons to be learned, even if it happens in a fictitious place like Bay City with a team called the Blackbirds.
As for what I left out of the book, I admit, I did leave some juicy things out. Perhaps I’ll save them for the sequel.