Prism Book Alliance® would like to thank Kate McMurray for taking the time to talk with us today.
Title: The Windup (The Rainbow League #1)
Author: Kate McMurray
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: unknown
Genre/Sub-Genre: Contemporary, M/M Romance
Ian ran screaming from New York City upon graduating from high school. A job offer too good to turn down has brought him back, but he plans to leave as soon as the job is up. In the meantime he lets an old friend talk him into joining the Rainbow League, New York’s LGBT amateur baseball league. Baseball turns out to be a great outlet for his anxiety, and not only because sexy teammate Ty has caught his eye.
Ty is like a duck on a pond—calm and laid back on the surface, a churning mess underneath. In Ian, he’s found someone with whom he feels comfortable enough to share some of what’s going on beneath the surface. The only catch is that Ian is dead set on leaving the city as soon as he can. Ty works up a plan to convince Ian that New York is, in fact, the greatest city in the world. But when Ian receives an offer for a job overseas, Ty needs a new plan: convince Ian that home is where Ty is.
No one is defined by any one interest. For example, I once read a story in which the hero and heroine didn’t like the same movies, and this was supposed to foreshadow the end of their relationship. That could be a subtle clue about these characters; maybe in the middle of a date that is otherwise going really well, they have a conversation about how he thinks Empire is the greatest of the Star Wars movies to date (because obviously) but she likes Phantom Menace because Jar Jar Binks is cute. As a precursor to a deeper conflict between the characters, it works, but if their only conflict is that she still hasn’t even seen Empire, that’s not really enough to sustain a book plot.
I knew when I sat down to write The Windup that it was the first book in a series about guys who play for an LGBT baseball league, but just baseball was not enough to sustain a series. (And believe me, if a love of baseball were enough to sustain a relationship, I would not currently be single.) Elements of baseball do certainly play a role. What I like about any kind of book about people who have to work together to achieve something—sports teams, military units, etc.—is the camaraderie between the characters. And as a fan of the sport myself, I like all the little details about the mechanics of the game.
But these guys aren’t professionals. (Well, Mason is, but he’s the hero of Book 2. More about that when I start talking up Thrown a Curve.) So they don’t live, eat, and breathe baseball the way (for example) Iggy and Matt in Out in the Field do. Plus I wanted the series to be accessible to everyone, not just baseball fans.
Think of baseball as the setting of the novel, in the way a police precinct, a law firm, or the Death Star are settings. They affect the characters in that the setting is unique to something they do, but the characters have interests and desires outside of that setting as well. So, in The Windup, Ian and Ty meet when Ian signs up to play for the Rainbow League, and they get to know each other at practices and games. They play baseball together. But they’re a lot more than that, too. Ian works in hotels and has an anxiety disorder. Ty works as a graphic designer, though he’s also a self-conscious artist. Ian wears his anxiety like a tee-shirt, but Ty hides his beneath the surface, and one of the conflicts in the novel is between these two characters trying to find common ground.
The whole series is like that. Ty and Ian’s teammates come from different walks of life, and the men they love do as well, but they’re all united by the one thing they have in common: they play together in a hobby baseball league.
Basically, I tried to strike a balance between including enough baseball stuff to get fans of the game excited but enough other stuff for the people who aren’t so into baseball. The Windup is an upbeat, fun contemporary set in New York. With baseball.
About the Author:
Kate McMurray is an award-winning author of gay romance 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, the LGBT romance chapter of Romance Writers of America. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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