He’s been here before, chatting up The Game and the man who helped make it in his novel “512.” One year later, author Ralph Peluso returns with a fresh interview and a WIP very different from his debut. Congratulations, Ralph, on your ground breaking new work.
You’re writing an anthology…
512, as you may recall is a historical fiction, re-imaging the outcome of the immortal Babe Ruth’s career. My second work is pure fiction, a compendium of short stories. The characters have some sort of competitive prowess in their back ground, for example the high school star athlete, but the outcome of their lives follows a twisted path. Taking a page from Stephen King.
I love departures. Keeps the creative process fresh. Have you gained any new insights in the process?
Yes. I tip my hat to all fiction writers. It is a lot more difficult than I thought it would be. Unlike biographies, or even historical fiction, you need to keep the story, rolling with only that which you can create, or the experiences you can draw on.
You’re writing directly from experience this time out?
One of the things I have discovered is that there is a setting for a story in every situation. You just need clear your mind, turn off your transmit button and go into ‘receive’ mode. It does not matter what you’re doing; walking, at dinner or even watching TV commercials. Although I said fiction is hard to write because it is completely made up, I think that it is completely creative is more to the point. Reaching into the recesses of our experience leads to the creation.
Did you rely wholly on your experiences in the current work? That’s pretty bold, my friend!
Ha, more than I care or ever will admit. I’d say the stories are based on what people around me experienced, not necessarily what I did directly.
Have you decided on a title for the anthology?
After three tries, I have finally settled on “Inglurious Days”. And, yes, I intentionally followed the misspelling Tarantino used in his movie.
Ha! As a fan of the maestro, I just knew it! What’s the connection?
Well, I finally decided on the name sitting on the upper deck at our home on the Outer Banks. I had the Oldies station playing Springsteen’s ‘Glory Days’. It is about looking back at where you grew up, and about those you grew up with never letting go of the past. That would have been all too simple for these characters. In my novel the characters get over the past and propel forward, just not necessarily in a good way.
You were kind enough to share a fan fave: requests to be ‘written in’ to the next work. Can you tell us how you respond to such requests?
Interesting. When they learn you’ve had a book published, you are always asked if there is another book in the works. Everyone sees themselves as a potential character in the book and asks if I can write them in. Absolutely. Always. The trick is tacking a sliver of a personality or a physical characteristic someone can easily relate to in, and they are in the story.
When does INGLURIOUS release?
Next spring is the new target, April 2017. My daytime job still gets in the way.
You write after work?
Between 4:45 AM and 7:00AM. The house is quiet. The day has not yet begun. All my dreams still so vivid!
You mentioned King earlier. He generally has a centerpiece in his short story compilations. Do you?
Of course. Common thinking has everyone with a great love in their life. The main character is an academic genius, destined for greatness. Except he has a flaw: a combination of Casanova and Don Quixote, but mostly suffering from a Sir Lancelot complex, he suffers through seven great loves.
Winding up with the truest?
I cannot give away the ending. But the outcome is inevitable
What is the one thing you’d like readers to take away from Inglurious Days?
Be careful what you wish for, you just may get it!
George Herman “Babe” Ruth is widely regarded as the most recognized American sports icon. In 1902 at age 7 disheartened parents abruptly delivered him to an “orphanage”. Called incorrigible” his father coldly turned and walked away. Emotionally scarred Ruth forever craved acceptance. Painfully he mistook the exploitation of his talents for emotional bonding. Decades later his emotional void finally filled by the love of a strong and determined woman.
At the turn of the 20th century, popular American sports had fallen prey to the evil influence of gamblers, baseball was not immune. In a game controlled by mean spirited and cheap owners, players were the real victim: chattel tossed aside when no longer having purpose. Impoverished players easily lured into the web of deceit. In 1903 with the advent of the World Series, the stakes increased. Players had big paydays altering the outcomes. Baseball’s little secret hidden until 1919 when news shocking the nation broke. The World Series was fixed!
Enter a self-serving and biased federal judge handed absolute power to save the crumbling sport. He looked for help in the one player unapproachable by gamblers. In Ruth, Landis found a perfect and unsuspecting accomplice for control over every aspect of baseball. Ruth, with popularity soaring, was not controllable. A second scandal erupts in 1926 threatening to end the Landis grip on baseball. Never more fragile, the game was on the precipice to status as another corrupt sport. Landis looked to Ruth once again. This time Ruth wanted assurances about his future.
This is the remarkable journey of Ruth’s assault on the baseball record book including his attempt to surpass the unreachable record of 511 wins as pitcher. He meets an assortment of unique characters and experiences colorful events; leading to a dramatic showdown with his chief adversary, Commissioner Landis.
About the Author
Ralph was born and raised in New York City. At a very young age his father introduced him to baseball. He has been a sports enthusiast since. Active in youth sports for over thirty years, he has coached high school and middle school teams to many successful seasons. He has served on the board of several regional youth team organizations. He is an advocate of player and parent sportsmanship. In 2006 he became a member of the Society of American Baseball Researchers and currently serves on the Overlooked Legends committee.
He has an MBA in Finance from Bernard Baruch College (Zicklin School of Business) of the City University of New York. Ralph has had a successful and award winning business career, serving in senior executive positions for several major corporations including MCI, WinStar and Cisco. Today he is a partner in a boutique consulting practice that helps emerging companies fulfill their promise.
Ralph has published a series of short stories including ‘Outer Banks Chronicles’ and ‘Jersey Shore Fever and Other Seaside Maladies.’
Ralph and his wife Renee currently reside in Virginia.
Published Short stories: Jersey Shore Fever and Other Seaside Maladies (2012); Jersey Shore Fever and Other Seaside Maladies, Part 2 (2012); OBX Chronicles (2013)
Thanks for joining us, Ralph. Let us know your release date when available! Cheers. ABF