Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Sports in Books by Morgan Mandel

Our White Sox have faded from first place to a dingy four games out.. Not that I'm a big sports fan, which I'm not, but I do enjoy the thrill of victory, like when the Black Hawks took it all.

In Two Wrongs, the hero for a bit is a  basketball star, first for DePaul, then for the pros. I've heard some publishers steer clear from manuscripts with sports in them. Do you like sports? What about sports in books? Do you know of any books with sports in them? Or, maybe you've written one.

Morgan Mandel


Elise Dee Beraru said...

I love sports, and a hero or heroine who is an athlete would not put me off a book, even a romance. I've made notes on a technomystery set in the baseball world, but plotting mysteries is not my forte.

Traditional romance publishers usually only allowed retired athletes who had moved onto other things to be heroes, mostly football players, because the philosophy was that women neither like nor understand sports and can no longer relate to the kind of money professionals make.

I'm glad the small presses have room for this world.

Elise in Lynchburg, VA

Debra St. John said...

I don't mind sports. I'm pretty excited that football season is underway (pre-season games, training camp).

I guess in a book, I wouldn't mind if the sports were part of the background of one of the characters, but I wouldn't want too many details which would detract from the story itself.

Stephanie Burkhart said...

Great topic. I love sports. Liana Laverentz has a great book out called "Thin Ice" which features a hockey hero. I, myself, have played around with a sports story. I have a couple chapters up on my Writing.com site, but I need to flesh it out a bit more.


bo parker said...

I have a bias regarding “sports heroes” in novels, one that was formed during the years when I was a sports writer, fortunate enough to cover the spectrum of major sports (excluding ice hockey) at the high school, collegiate, and professional level. Having experienced the “inside” world of sports, the one the public never sees, I have found few novels that put the “hero,” regardless of the sport, in a realistic perspective.
I’m not certain that a writer who has not “lived the life” can ever capture the essence of the sport about which he or she is writing.
Now a few former athletes, like Peter Gent, as he did in NORTH DALLAS FORTY, have attempted to capture the inside story. But both the book and the movie left me thinking it was a story overblown for its shock value, and not in perspective.
On the flip side of the coin, I have always considered Dick Francis one of the best among those who took their real life experience in a sport and carried it over into creative writing, keeping things balanced and in perspective.

Cheryl said...

I have a client who writes sports into almost every story he's ever written. I'm cool with that. He's involved in youth sports, so it's a good fit for him.

A YA romance story I read once had a baseball game and a special baseball in it that lead to some fun stuff. One of Pump Up Your Book Promotion's clients this month wrote a book about a woman who tries to escape her problems by becoming a trainer for the U.S. Olympic hockey team.

If it works, use it. If not, don't. You can always tell when something is dropped in for effect.


Anonymous said...

The most recent book I read with sports involved was "Playmates" by Robert B. Parker. The topic was corruption in college sports. Prior to that the last novel I read with sports involved would be various Dick Francis novels.

Morgan Mandel said...

I absolutely love the Dick Francis novels. He was the best. I believe I've read all of them. He got me started reading mysteries.

Morgan Mandel

Margot Justes said...

Whe I watch Football, (it doesn't happen very often) I see a bunch of men in tights trying to find an odd shaped ball, well not really a ball, it's not round, it's ovoid.
Margot Justes

Chester Campbell said...

Funny you should ask. My fifth Greg McKenzie mystery, due out next month, is titled A Sporting Murder. The sports of pro basketball and hockey are background to the story. Greg and Jill attend a hockey game in one scene, but the basic story is about a group's effort to bring an NBA team to Nashville, and another bunch (Predators hockey fans) devising ways to keep them out. There's more on my website.


The Belle in Blue said...

All my books have lots of sports in them, probably because I'm married to Mr. Jock/coach extraordinaire! I'm a professional spectator myself and know more about football and baseball than a lot of men, but I always get my husband to check my sports scenes for accuracy. So far, I've gotten them all right!