The Fat Lady Never Sings is about a high school baseball team that makes up for a disappointing year on the football field. If you like sports, high school and things that involve sports and high school, this book is for you. If you don't like those things, this book is still for you.
Reilly has spent the last 20 years as an assistant high school baseball coach in Connecticut. He lives in Seymour, Conn. where he has spent the last 10 years coaching. You can buy your copy of The Fat Lady Never Sings here. If you don't? Your penis might fall off.
2. You're a high school baseball coach and also an author. How do you juggle the two?
After I decided to write the book, I mulled over an outline for a few weeks. At the same time, I starting reading every book and magazine I could get my hand on about writing. The book On Writing Well by William Zinsser was probably the first. Its one of the classic guides on writing non-fiction. It has a chapter in it about sports writing. Almost every issue of Writers Digest and The Writer has something helpful in it. I also downloaded Nick Daws e-book Write Any Book In Under 28 Days; it was helpful. Take a look at his synopsis of the e-book here and you’ll see what I mean. ( No, I’m not a reseller). I played with the outline trying to see how the story might sound from different starting points and different points of view. One weekend, my wife had to go to a YMCA conference in Albany so I decided it was a good time as any to start the book. Once I started, I couldn’t stop.
It took me about six to seven weeks to write the first draft. I sent the manuscript to a professional editor in Washington state and asked him to critique it. After I got back his critique, I asked him to give me a more in-depth critique which goes chapter by chapter. It was then that I learned the difference between a critique, a full edit and a line by line proofread. (Industry lingo, which if I had fully understood before jumping into publishing might have saved me some cash). My editor was very adept at not discouraging me while at the same time offering very insightful as well as constructive criticism. Critiques and edits can take months to complete. I had three goals for the book. The first was to get the book out by the 15th anniversary of the season I was writing about. The second, was to get the book out before I turned 50 (just a life goal I guess) and the third was to get the book published before the World Series began last year because I felt that once the World Series was over, no one was going to care about baseball anymore and the launch of the book would most likely have to be delayed. Fortunately, my editor was not insulted by a cash offer to complete his full critique faster.
I purchased a giant baseball glove from a company called Akadema (it’s the same company that produces Manny Ramirez’s glove) and I use it as a prop at all my events. It’s an instant conversation piece to lead into the subject of the book. I just got back from “The Big E,” the largest fair in New England. I was one of the featured authors in the Connecticut Author’s and Publisher’s bookstore in the Connecticut Building. I met hundreds of people, many of whom loved baseball, pitched my book, allowed many of them or their kids to have a picture taken with the gigantic Akadema glove, talked to them about how Jason Giambi of the Yankees could use it or how the Red Sox catcher could snag Tim Wakefield’s knuckleball easier with it, but...in five hours only sold four books. To sell those four books was a challenge.
I would have started on a cover concept earlier as that aspect took more time than I thought it would. Unless a cover designer has read your book, it took me more time than expected to get across the book’s concept. For example, the first cover submitted to me contained a rather large football helmet on it. Although my book does have a football aspect to it, the predominant story concerns a baseball team. The concept of putting a football on a baseball field’s homeplate was suggested to me by a separate cover designer. But due to my own self-imposed time constraints, I took a picture myself and after it was changed a bit, it was used for the cover. If I had more time, I think I would have a professional photographer also help with the cover.