My third novel, Bricktown Boys was released to the wild yesterday.
Book release day is a special day. The day all that hard work comes to fruition. Bricktown Boys has been a while in the making. And to me, it’s a special one.
When I first began to take writing seriously, I had all these crazy hopes and dreams. I remember finishing edits to that first awful beginner novel. My mentor and stepmom—an established author in her own right—bounded up the manuscript and sat back as we’d just finished final edits.
“Congratulations. Don’t forget about me when you get on the NY Times bestseller list.
She, was clearly joking. I, however, nearly crashed my car on the way home because I had stars in my eyes. I believed her. I though you wrote a book and poof.
There you go.
Ha. Anyway, in that beginner novel—which, I swear, anyone who wants to write needs that first terrible starter novel—were several flashback scenes to the protagonist as a kid. A kid and a football team. Poverty. The coach. My 90 year old grandmother at the time, also my favorite beta reader, took a look at it and jotted down that she thought I did the kid parts really well.
So began my life as a middle grade novelist. And maybe she was right, it’s been my middle grade and young adult stuff that has brought me here, to release day.
Bricktown Boys contains some of the remnants of that first novel. Much changed but the boy’s hope and determination remained even as the writing got better (at least I think so). The message remained. The fight in the story is still there.
So this is my new book. I hope you read it. I hope you like it. Because I’m always going to say my latest novel is my favorite, but with this one, I mean it. Probably
It's 1987 and twelve-year-old Sam Beasley only wants two things: to play football and for his mother to stop dating losers. Only there's no money for a football team in Bricktown, while there's an endless supply of losers for his mother to bring home.
Sam finds a friend in the elderly widow down the street. While he's careful not to let on about his crummy home life, Mrs. Coleman always seems to know when he needs to do wash or eat a hot meal. When he mentions his football dilemma, she surprises him by offering to fund the team. It's a dream come true, until she names the team The Gospel, declares herself head coach, and arms herself with a whistle, Bible scriptures, and a mouthful of grammar lessons. But Sam has bigger worries, like his mom's latest loser, Troy, easily the worse one yet. As Sam's home life spirals out of control, the boys of Bricktown become more than a football team, and football becomes more than just about winning.