Friday, April 30, 2010

My Novels are Now Available as E-Books

With all of the technology that has been introduced into our society in just the past ten or fifteen years, the way in which authors write and readers read and the two groups interact has completely changed. How many high school students still head to the local library the night before a big project is due to find the history book they need in the card catalog? How many writers spend hours sequestered away in front of a typewriter as they create their latest novels? We now are using laptops, iPads, Amazon Kindles, and even our cell phones to access the articles and books we want to read.

I have joined this literary revolution and all three of my published novels--Lifetime Loser, Finish Line, and Tuey's Course--are now available through my publisher as e-books. The e-books also are available through Barnes and Noble's The Nook and Sony's Reader. If you prefer to read through the convenience of your computer or handheld device, the characters and controversy at Prairie Winds Golf Course are now ready for you! Of course, if you prefer the feel of paper, my books are still are still available through Amazon and the website for Barnes and Noble.

One feature of the e-book that has me particularly excited is that the titles are now more easy to purchase overseas. Worldwide exposure is now affordable. Readers in Australia, Europe, the southern hemisphere, and Asia now have immediate access to the stories generated from Prairie Winds Golf Course.

Whether you read the book as a .pdf file while sitting in a coffee shop or with the spine cracked open as you turn each page to learn what happens next, I hope you will read my novels and then let me know what you think!

Some people lament the fact that a whole generation is being raised without the opportunity to get lost in library stacks or hold worn pages of classic novel between their hands. Others are excited by the greater accessibility that these electronic tools bring to untapped readers. Do you fall on one side or the other, or do you see merits to both points? Let me know!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Does This Sound Like Your Caddy?

Are you having a difficult time getting motivated and energized on this Monday morning? Maybe you didn't play your best game of golf over the weekend and you can't get that horrible shot on the 12th hole out of your head. Or, even worse, maybe the weather in your area prevented you from being able to play golf at all! In an effort to lift the spirits of my readers as we begin the work week, I decided a lighthearted post was in order.

I found a Top Ten list, attributed to David Letterman, of statements that were overheard being made by caddies on the golf course. Here are a few of my favorites:

Golfer: “This is the worst course I’ve ever played on.”
Caddy: “This isn’t the golf course. We left that an hour ago.”

Golfer: “Do you think I can get there with a 5 iron?”

Caddy: “Eventually.”

Golfer: “How do you like my game?”

Caddy: “Very good, sir, but personally, I prefer golf.”

Please visit the website to read the rest of the list. I'm sure most of you can come up with your own ways in which caddies offer their not-so-positive opinions on the play of the person whose clubs they are carrying.

In my series of novels, which take place at the fictional Prairie Winds Golf Course, readers will encounter quite a few amusing characters and moments of laughter. If you enjoy books that look at the lighter side of life while also tackling some of the most difficult and controversial issues in our culture, I hope you will give Lifetime Loser, Finish Line, and Tuey's Course a try!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Golfer Does the Honorable Thing in Admitting Penalty

Golf has long been known as a gentleman's game. Even the "golf clap" is synonymous with refinement and restraint. Of course, we all know there have been some recent incidents that have somewhat changed the reputation of those who participate in the sport. Particularly in light of these recent tabloid scandals that have detracted from the game that I have, it was nice to read an article over the weekend about a person who did the right thing.

Brian Davis was participating in the Verizon Heritage tournament on Sunday and was on the first hole of a playoff round that might result in his first PGA victory. As he tried to hit the ball out of some weeds, Davis' club brushed against a few random blades of grass during the backstroke. Here's the problem. If a player hits any material around the ball during a back swing, this constitutes a violation of the rule against moving loose material. And, the consequence is a two-stroke penalty. Knowing that admission of guilt would most likely result in a loss, Davis called himself out and let the replay officials know what he had done.

With television cameras present, Davis' rule breaking may or may not have been noticed by others participating in the tournament. So, even though he may have gotten away with what technically was against the rules, Davis did the honorable thing and cost himself a tournament victory.

Brian Davis
-- working to restore the honor to the game of golf one admitted penalty at a time!

Do you think that golf is a particularly honorable sport? Or, does the game attract the same diverse personalities as you find in any other athletic venue? If not honorable, is there a certain stereotype that you associate with golf and golfers?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

How Does Tax Day Make You Feel about the Government?

Today is probably the most popular day of the year to complain about the government. It's also the day that every radio talk show host feels compelled to play "Taxman" by The Beatles for bumper music. Of course, everyone knows that April 15 is the day that the federal government (and most state governments) takes what it believes to be its portion of your earnings. Many post offices will remain open until midnight as procrastinators across the nation mail their completed paperwork to Washington, D.C.

For the second year in a row, tax day will be accompanied by protests both in our nation's capital and in cities and towns across the United States. Members of the "Tea Parties" have declared their frustration with the size and scope of government and are gathering essentially to give the message to elected officials--"get out of our lives!" Recent polls show that the Tea Party philosophy does have significant support among voters and many candidates admit that a Tea Party endorsement means something to their chances for victory.

In my third novel, Tuey's Course, a poor African American man also has more than his share of frustrations with City Hall. However, unlike the individuals in the Tea Party movement, he does not find a group of concerned citizens to rally around him and the media takes no interest in his plight. With these difficult circumstances, the outcome is startling and will make you think long after you finish the book. I hope you will check it out!

What thoughts go through your mind on tax day? Maybe you don't even need tax day to remind you about your frustrations with the government! Are you sympathetic to the Tea Party cause? Or, do you think they are completely off-base?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Both an Underdog and a Champion

The moment that so many of us have been waiting for finally happened today. Tiger Woods returned to golf to play his first round at the Masters. He received a warm reception from his fellow golfers and the spectators alike. However, you might be surprised to learn that Tiger Woods is not the only golfer who is participating at Augusta this weekend.

A golf website out of the United Kingdom featured an article yesterday about Phil Mickelson with the heading "Underdog Mickelson Lies in Wait for the Tiger." Of course, it's unusual to consider someone who is a two-time champion on this course to qualify a player of underdog status, but the label just may be accurate in this instance.

The author of the article, Will Tidey, points out that Mickelson likely would have at least doubled the three major titles he now holds and spent good part of his career as the number one player in the world. But, he has the difficult reality of playing at the same time as the person who many consider the greatest golfer in the history of the game. So, underdog status it is.

In my upcoming release, Opur's Blade, I develop another underdog story for the readers to discover. While perhaps not carrying the same tradition and reverence that The Masters brings to Augusta, my underdog from the fictional Prairie Winds Golf Course is in a fight for his life at The Classic in Muscle Shoals. It provides a great backdrop for the plot to unfold. If you find yourself cheering for Phil Mickelson this weekend, maybe you find a connection with the underdog in Opur's Blade as well. While you are waiting for Opur's Blade to hit bookshelves, I hope you will check out my three published novels and let me know what you think.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Countdown to the Best Weekend in Golf

If you are as passionate about the game of golf as I am, or even if you are just a casual fan, you know that the biggest tournament in the sport is less than a week away. The 2010 Masters Tournament will tee off in Augusta, Georgia on Thursday, April 8. For golf enthusiasts, it is four days that are steeped in tradition, superstition, the shot that got away, and that magical green jacket. This year may be even more riveting than usual, as a certain golfer who has received a fair bit of media attention recently is expected to make his professional return for this occasion.

The first Augusta National Invitation Tournament took place way back in 1934. Horton Smith claimed the championship and the landmark moment was captured on a radio broadcast. Five years later, the magical weekend was renamed the Masters. In 1963, Jack Nicklaus won the first of his remarkable six Masters championships. With this sixth victory, Nicklaus became the tournament's oldest winner. On the opposite end of the age spectrum, Tiger Woods became the youngest man to wear the green jacket in 1997. He also claimed the widest margin of victory in Masters history.

I could go on and on about all of the wonderful history and significance of the Masters tournament. It is four days of golf for which people like myself mark off their calendars months, if not years, in advance.

Is there an annual event to which you look forward every year? Do you have a personal countdown to the Super Bowl, the Academy Awards, your community's Fourth of July fireworks display? Let us know what deserves that big red circle on your planner!