Interview with Gary Morgenstein, author of Take Me Out to the Ballgame
Our special guest today is Gary Morgenstein, author of the political thriller, Take Me Out to the Ballgame.
New York native Gary Morgenstein is the author of four novels. Jesse’s Girl is a thriller about a widowed Brooklyn father who searches for his adopted teenage son who has run away from a Montana wilderness drug treatment program to find his biological sister in Kentucky. In the romantic triangle Loving Rabbi Thalia Kleinman, a divorced middle-aged man falls in love with a beautiful, enigmatic woman rabbi, while still in love with his ex-wife. Take Me Out to the Ballgame, a political baseball novel — baseball and bailouts, as American as appple pie –follows a Cinderella baseball team led by a ruthless owner with political ambitions. “The Man Who Wanted to Play Center Field for the New York Yankees” is a baseball Rocky.
He’s also the co-host of Purple Haze, the Media Blvd Pop Culture Hour Show which airs on Blog Talk Radio every Thursday at 9 p.m. (eastern time).
You can visit his website at www.gary.garymorgenstein.com.
Q. Thank you for this interview, Gary. You’re certainly an author of many hats writing everything from thrillers to romance and relationship books to political thrillers. Of all the books you have written, which genre did you enjoy writing the most?
To me, it isn’t about genre, but the characters and the story. If you don’t grab the reader by involving them in your characters’ lives, then all the razzle dazzle plot twists mean little. The reader must care about the people you have created.
Q. Since you are presently on a book tour with your political thriller, Take Me Out to the Ballgame, let’s start with this one. Where did you get the idea for it?
Our nation is in trouble, polarized, fearful, uncertain. I have a passion for baseball and a passion for politics so I thought it would be fascinating to combine these into one story, where the baseball fans chant, as a rally cry, “Where’s My Bailout?” Come on, that goes to the heart of the disconnect between fans/voters and their so-called representatives in government. This Cinderella story of a baseball team, the Buffalo Matadors, which becomes America’s Team, unsheathing a dark underside along the way, was a wonderful opportunity to shine a light – without presenting an agenda – on Barack Obama’s America.
Q. Did you outline before you wrote your book or did you just go with the flow?
Outline, what’s that, lol? I take down notes, often wildly scribbled, and try and give myself a notion of where I want to end up. But the fun part of writing, and there is not a lot of that, it is work, is surprising yourself.
Q. Who was your favorite character in Take Me Out to the Ballgame and why?
I think Mickey O’Brien, a good-hearted guy, somewhat bitter over the economy, who finally opens his eyes at the impending disaster and how he and the fans of Buffalo have been cruelly manipulated.
Q. Who was your least favorite character?
Harry Witowsky, the owner of the Buffalo Matadors. While I had some sympathy for him, his ruthlessness and amorality ultimately offended me.
Q. Can you tell us about the setting and why you chose it?
I choose Buffalo because as a blue collar town it was the perfect venue for disconnect and the Us versus Them, liberal versus conservative, elitist versus working class/middle class story line that develops along the team’s meteoric and unlikely rise. I also attended Buffalo State College my freshman year, so there is that personal angle of remembering various bars along Elmwood Avenue where I fell face forward into the snow.
Q. What was the hardest part to write?
Some of the political scenes because I wanted to be balanced. Even though I am a political conservative and sympathetic to the Tea Party movement, I didn’t want to preach. That required pulling back a little on my own views. Sometimes I sounded bloody liberal, which alarmed me.
Q. Do you plan on writing more political thrillers or do you have something else in mind for your next book?
I talk politics on my weekly radio show, “Purple Haze,” Thursdays at 9PM/ET on blogtalkradio.com/mediablvd, so that is allowing me to vent for now. And vent I do!!!
Thank you for this interview, Gary. I wish you much success!