A Peek into the Bullpen with Kate McMurray – Post + Giveaway

May 17, 2016

A Peek into the Bullpen

Hi, Dreamspinners! I’m Kate McMurray, author of Out in the Field, a romance between Matt Blanco, a legendary MLB baseball player at the end of his career, and Iggy Rodriguez, a promising rookie player whose star is on the rise.

Those who know me are probably aware that I’m a big baseball fan. Before I wrote Out in the Field, I had long thought that the world needed more romance novels with baseball players. The idea for the book came out of that; I thought the world needed a gay baseball romance, and since I couldn’t find one, I wrote it.

It took me almost a year to write the first edition of the novel. I had to do a ton of research, but not all of it was typical. For example, I wanted to get the cadence of how sportscasters and fans talk about the sport, so I listened to a lot of baseball podcasts. There’s a range of these. A few professional sports journalists do podcasts where they talk about the ins-and-outs of the sport in exhausting detail. There’s also a podcast done by the guys who run a blog about my beloved Yankees, in which they discuss the ins-and-outs of the Yankees in exhausting detail. But that’s good; aside from the fact I find wonky baseball talk really enjoyable, it helped me gain some perspective on what the characters in Out in the Field would care about, what their discussions with each other about the sport might sound like.

I wrote whole sections of the book while parked in my living room with a baseball game on in the background. I think the ambient noise of that helped; it was easy to imagine standing in a stadium with the roar of the crowd around me, or to think about the level of concentration it would take to drown out all that noise. (I mean, have you ever been to a baseball game? It gets LOUD in the stadium.)

I pulled in current events. I remember writing one morning when I saw a news story about fans yelling homophobic slurs during a Yankees game. (If I remember correctly, the fans changed the lyrics of “YMCA” to something like, “You are so gay!”) That’s been an ugly element of the game and its fandom for as long as I’ve been a fan. I’m happy to say that Major League Baseball is cracking down on that sort of thing—shouting a homophobic slur at a player is a good way to get yourself escorted out of the stadium now—but it wasn’t very long ago that this was commonplace.

And then you have the players themselves. I will admit, Matt Blanco is modeled after Derek Jeter a little bit. I’ve been following the Yankees with fanatical devotion since the early ‘90s, so I witnessed nearly all of Jeter’s career from rookie to being the Captain. He’s one of those players that even non-Yankees fans admire. That’s what I wanted Matt Blanco to be—the sort of player everybody likes, who is clearly Hall-of-Fame bound, but whose career is waning. Iggy is entirely a product of my imagination, however. I liked the idea of the contrast between Iggy’s shiny newness and Matt’s slightly more cynical view of the sports-industrial complex.

The first edition of the book came out in 2012, so I’ve been living with these characters a long time. It was fun to revisit them to revise the book for the second edition. I made a lot of updates to the book to reflect how opportunities for LGBT athletes have changed in the last 4+ years. I added some new scenes between Matt and Iggy that I think flesh out their relationship. I fixed some gaffes. (I sometimes get email from baseball fans pointing out tiny flubs. The sad thing is that it’s totally the sort of thing I would notice if I were reading baseball romance written by somebody else.)

So that’s some about the background behind the book. I do hope this new edition has something for both fans of the book and new readers to like.

OitFCard

I’d like to give away a book from my backlist—and if you’re a sports fan, may I recommend The Windup?—so I’ll pick a random winner from the comments. Tell me below if you have a favorite sports romance, sports movie, or just a favorite sport. (Or all of the above.) You have until midnight on 5/20 to let me know, then I’ll pick a winner.

Check out Out in the Field today!

OutInTheField_postcard_front_DSP

BLURB:

Matt Blanco is a legend on the Brooklyn Eagles, but time and injuries have taken their toll. With his career nearing its end, he’s almost made it to retirement without anyone learning his biggest secret: he’s gay in a profession not particularly known for its tolerance.

Iggy Rodriquez is the hot new rookie in town, landing a position in the starting lineup of the team of his dreams and playing alongside his idol, Matt Blanco. Iggy doesn’t think it can get any better, until an unexpected encounter in the locker room with Matt proves him wrong.

A relationship—and everything it could reveal—has never been in the cards for Matt, but Iggy has him rethinking his priorities. They fall hard for each other, struggling to make it through trades, endorsement deals, and the threat of retirement. Ultimately they will be faced with a choice: love or baseball?

BIO:

Kate McMurray is an award-winning romance author and an unabashed romance fan. When she’s not writing, she works as a nonfiction editor, dabbles in various crafts, and is maybe a tiny bit obsessed with base­ball. She has served as President of Rainbow Romance Writers and is currently the president of the New York City chapter of RWA. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Website: http://www.katemcmurray.com
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/katemcmwriter
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/katemcmurraywriter

 

4 Responses to “A Peek into the Bullpen with Kate McMurray – Post + Giveaway”

  1. Trix says:

    Big hockey buff here (hoping the Sharks can even things up tonight, it’s been stressful)! Most of my favorite hockey bromances have been broken up thanks to NHL trades, but since hockey boys unwittingly slash themselves with teammates within ten seconds of being interviewed, there’s always something to console me. I recently enjoyed Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy’s HIM (though there’s NO WAY Northern California boy Jamie would root for the Ducks!), and Jeff Adams’ HAT TRICK series is lovely. The baseball play TAKE ME OUT is pretty momentous (I’d say it’s gay-themed rather than an m/m romance of any kind, but God almighty, the man candy throughout!), and I always enjoy seeing the sweet Team USA boys in MIRACLE…

  2. Angela says:

    Congrats on the re-release of Out in the Field, i have the first edition and loved it, so i’m looking forward to see the updates in this one :) I’m from Europe so i love to watch a Football (some call it soccer) game. As for (sports) movies i loved the Karate Kid (first two movies)with Ralph Macchio. I do love to read m/m sports romance and there are so many great ones for example: Grand Slam by JT Cheyanne, Exposed by Skylar M Cates, Aquamarine by Sara Bell, Horizons by Mickie B Ashling, The Rainbow League serie by You ;) , The Right Words by Lane Hayes and many more (i better stop now LOL)

  3. tkj says:

    I’m European so baseball? No clue. Football? No clue. ‘Real football’ (yes, I refuse to call it soccer. We play with our feet, so football)? Now that I know. Unfortunately it doesn’t appear much in MM romance. But I can definitely get behind hockey as well. I have not yet given up hope they will one day make a new, gay version of the Youngblood movie.

  4. H.B. says:

    I’m not really much of a sports watcher. I do tune in for the Olympics and I think that’s about it really. Maybe extreme sports when it’s on….I do like reading them in books though. Favorite sports in novels to read about are: football, baseball, basketball (not too many of this one) and hockey.

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