Coach Coop in real life!

The other day, I bumped into the real-life Coach Coop at a baseball game at Bond Park in North York, Ontario.

My son is one of 10 young baseball players that Coop (and several other North York coaches) have coached over the years. A bunch of those kids happened to be playing, so he came by to see how his young proteges were faring.

As you’ll know if you’ve read Tagged Out, the real-life Coop let me use his name for the Coach of the fictional Toronto Blues. “Coop” will also feature in the upcoming Home Team (to be published in 2018).

In Tagged Out, I gave Coop a faux hawk but I think the real-life Coop was none-too-pleased about that. For Home Team, I’m thinking I’ll let him keep the beard. What do you think?

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Rain, rain, go … into my new book!

This 2012 photo is from the Bridgewater Eagles website.

It’s raining.

The rain has cancelled my son’s two games today and all of the games at Christie Pits. But if you read Tagged Out, you know what “rain” means to the kids on The Blues — Mudball!

So, instead of writing the chapter about the Blues vs. the Pirates for my new book, Home Team, I’m instead writing the Mudball chapter.

I’m listening to the sounds the rain makes on my roof, and putting Miguel in that situation. And what it looks like on the window, and on the street, and in the trees. We all have memories of rain, but it’s great to have the rain dictate its characteristics, directly, in its own way. All I’m doing is listening, and writing it down. And calling it “Chapter 9.”

Rain, rain don’t go away — because it’s Mudball time.

Not it!

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CCBC author profile – with insider info!

Want to know more about the sequel to Tagged Out, and how Tagged Out came to be?

Or how I got out of gym and recess for a whole year in elementary school (not that it’s a good thing…)?

Check out this profile in the Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s newsletter.

Yeah… probably not the principal’s best call, to let me out of gym and recess… but I do thank him for it!

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Some people will do anything to avoid being tagged out!
Blue Jays’ Chris Coghlan sprints for home… catcher about to tag him… leaps in the air and performs a somersault *over* the catcher, to touch home plate. Safe!
Baseball is awesome.
Blue Jays baserunner Chris Coghlan's dive over the head of Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina to score in the seventh inning on Tuesday night in St. Louis has play of the year potential.
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Tagged Out in hardcover! (US only)

Tagged Out hard cover edition*knock knock*

Nope, it’s not a joke–that’s me knocking on the cover of the new US version of Tagged Out. Exciting! Seeing as this is my first novel… these are my first hardcover editions. Oh, and you can order one from Amazon.com here. Um, if you’re in the States.

 

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Tagged Out on Glad Day’s Top 20 list

I’m extagged-out-15-on-glad-day-best-seller-list-2016cited and thrilled that Tagged Out is the #15 book at Glad Day Bookshop in Toronto.

Glad Day is an incredible bookstore–the world’s oldest LGBTQ bookstore, in fact–and the staff are smart and knowledgeable. I’m super-proud and pleased that Tagged Out is on their best-sellers list, in very good company.

Co-owner Scott was a beta-reader for Tagged Out, so how’s that for a bookstore that cares about and supports authors? Amazing.

 

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When characters do their own thing…

playground-children-pixabayI’m writing a scene for my baseball novel, Home Team.

In the scene, Miguel is babysitting a boy in the playground. He stops to talk to someone else, and when he’s distracted, the child runs away.

But here’s the thing. The kid did that on his own–nowhere in my synopsis or chapter outline does it say, “the boy runs away.” He just took off!

So now I need to write a scene where my main character looks for him.

Kids, these days! Sheesh!

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Tagged Out: 4/4 **** “Highly Recommended”

cm-review-tagged-out-screen-captureTagged Out has received a coveted 4/4 star review from CM (Canadian Review of Materials) journal and a “Highly Recommended” rating.

Well-written and full of relevant kid friendly information, Tagged Out, is an excellent read… Grant reflects the attitudes and behaviours of today’s young teens and made each of her characters real. Middle school kids will really enjoy reading this novel.

Thank you to CM and reviewer Elaine Fuhr. Read the whole review here.

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Baseball at the Ontario Summer Games

Photo: Allen Gou, Summer Games

Photo: Allen Gou, Summer Games

One of the reasons I wrote Tagged Out is that my son has played baseball practically since he could walk. In the summer, our entire family lives at the baseball diamond.

For many years, that diamond was at Christie Pits, where Tagged Out is set (and he still umps there). This year, he joined the Hamilton Cardinals Bantam Elite team and they were given a great opportunity–to participate in the Ontario Summer Youth Games in Mississauga. They had an incredible time, and took home the bronze.

Congratulations to all of the competitors — and yes, my next baseball book will include some scenes that happened right on the field during the Games!

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