Major League Bride: An Inside Look at Life Outside the Ballpark details the triumphs and tribulations of family life in major league baseball. It brings you inside the day-to-day life of a professional baseball player, sharing an emotional and economic trapeze act, spanning parts of three decades, six Major League teams and three work stoppages. You’ll come face-to-face with larger than life personalities and stories rich with humor and honesty as you join on a cross country journey, squirming with each inning, feeling the pressure as the games and years unfold. You’ll celebrate the joys and experience the anxiety of coping with the threat, and eventual fulfillment, of a career ending injury. Showcasing the strength of strong and supporting spouses Major League Bride is a story of growth, a tale of struggle, a diary of friendship and a manual of survival.
Tell us something about yourself.
I was brought up pretty sheltered during the decade of the 60’s. Three days after I graduated from Regis College (a Catholic women’s college outside of Boston) I married my husband, Skip Lockwood, and joined him on a road trip to Detroit and Cleveland where I received a totally different type of liberal education. I spent the next 12 years agonizing in the family section of the ballpark watching my husband attempt to throw a tiny leather ball past a large wooden bat in the company of some incredible characters with whom I shared this adventure, racking up 35 different addresses as we were traded, sold, sent down, brought up and released by six different organizations as we moved from Milwaukee to California to NY and on to Boston.
I was selected as the Brewer’s representative for the 1972 Parade Magazine’s All-Star Wife edition and featured in Kathryn Parker’s 1976 New York Mets memoir, We Won Today (Doubleday & Company, 1977). The mother of five and an 18 year breast cancer survivor, my husband and I celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary in June.
What inspired you to write this book?
Over the past few years there has been so much negative coverage about steroids, high salaries and low motivation of certain players. Baseball was a central part of my life for over a decade and the majority of the players we shared this life with were very dedicated. I had so many wonderful memories of so many very special team mates that I thought it was time to tell stories that highlighted the positive impact of the sport rather than to continually focus on the negative.
What role did music play in writing your book?
While writing my story I had music from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s playing in the background. I believe this really helped to transport me back to that time period of my life. Originally I had a few lines of especially poignant song lyrics starting off each section, but due to copyright restrictions I was forced to delete the lyrics.
What obstacles did you encounter in getting this book published? How did you overcome them?
It was a quite a challenge. Book agents wanted you to have a connection to a publisher and publishers wanted you to have a book agent. I sent out dozens of query letters to both. In the end another author Lou Gorman (One Pitch From Glory, High and Inside) suggested I contact his publisher at McFarland, who responded positively to my query.
Why did you decide to write this book now?
I think it came down to a perfect storm of timing circumstances. For years I have entertained my friends with stories covering our baseball experiences. As my youngest child (of five) entered high school and my 20+ years of time-intensive school volunteering was winding down I finally felt I had the time to pursue this project. At about the same time my oldest daughter was “undiagnosed” with a disabling illness that forced her to move back home and prompted me to spend countless hours in and out of hospital waiting rooms. In an effort to keep my sanity I started writing, focusing on happier times and losing myself in some incredible memories. I am happy to report that finally (after almost 5 ½ years) my daughter is on the mend and my book has been published.
Did you learn anything from writing and publishing this book? What?
My world has expanded so much over the past few years. From attending writer workshops and networking receptions I have learned how to create my own website and blog. I also have a whole new community of “blogger” friends and have reconnected with many of my former friends on Facebook.
Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?
Having gained a new respect for sports fans I am working on a book that considers their impact. In addition, as a long time breast cancer survivor I am working on a book that focuses on the impact that cancer has on the family.
What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?
Embrace your passion. If you believe in your story stay strong. It doesn’t matter how many “No thanks” you receive, you only need that one “Yes, Please send me the entire manuscript” to get published.
Who is the perfect reader for your book?
Major League Bride: An Inside Look at Life Outside the Ballpark appeals to a wide audience: baseball fans of all ages and genders, baby boomers and sports history buffs, along with married “single” parents across the country.
“At one time I thought that it was only the wives of professional athletes who were thrust into this protective custody role. I now recognize this same quintessential quality in strong and supportive women from all walks of life. The gift of creating an oasis of serenity has been bestowed on countless families across our country by ordinary women just “doing what needs to be done at the time.” The military bride whose husband can be deployed at any time, the politician’s spouse who needs to maintain a serene presence in her home State as well as entertain constituents in Washington, DC, the corporate weekday widow whose husband is constantly traveling, the family of the fire fighter who can be sent to “put out the fires” anywhere at any time, and the wife of the doctor who is constantly managing life and death situations all recognize the need to provide a sanctuary for her hero to regroup in the comfort of home.”
Where can readers learn more about you and your book?
Major League Bride: An Inside Look at Life Outside the Ballpark is available at bookstores and libraries across the country and as a Kindle edition from Amazon.com.
Readers can visit my website: www.majorleaguebride.com
Publisher: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers – Box 611, Jefferson, NC 28640
ISBN: 978-0-7864-4560-8, $29.95, Format: Soft cover, $9.95 Kindle
25 photos, notes, bibliography, index
To contact the author directly: