Category Archives: Books

The life of a writer

When you’re writing a book, you don’t get to see the final product until months, if not years, later — particularly when you’re working with a traditional publisher.

Just last month — December 2021 — I received a request by my publisher for my sports careers book to edit my manuscript. The contract had stated I was to submit a manuscript with 90,000 words, but I had sent in one with more than 160,000 words, which was well over the maximum number of words the publisher wanted to see.

Of course, it’s easy for an observer to say, “Well, just cut the book in half and then do a second volume.” It doesn’t work like that. That brings me to the following point: I’ve seen reviewers on Amazon criticize fellow sports authors for not including certain information in their book, etc. without realizing that often times publishers dictate some of these things. From personal experience, I know that in my 1988 Dodger book, I had a section with the aftermath of the Mets and A’s, but the publisher said to get rid of all that. Even photos, too. Some reviewers will mock fellow sports authors for being too “cheap” to put photos in the book without realizing sometimes the costs are massive. To give a personal example, one professional sports franchise wanted to charge me $1,000 per image to use in my book, so I said no and went elsewhere.

Anyway, getting back to my Christmas “break” in December 2021, it wasn’t much of a break. My publisher contacted me on Dec. 20th and wanted me to cut the 160,000 words to 90,000-100,000 max. And they were expecting me to have this done by Dec. 29th.

So, every day I worked on this bit by bit, cutting out massive chunks of content. In the background, I had MLB Network on for a distraction here and there. (Now, not to go off on a tangent, but MLB Network during the off-season is awful. I literally charted this and noticed the programs just kept repeating themselves. For example, the Billy Martin documentary would air on a Tuesday at multiple times and then re-air on Saturday and again the following week on two different days. Same with the Johnny Bench, 1988 Dodgers, Randy Johnson, etc. documentaries. They would air it on a Thursday at multiple times, and then repeat the same documentary the following Monday and then Friday, and then the following week again.)

When I cut out 500 words from one chapter, I considered it a major victory, only to realize that it didn’t move the goalpost much, so to speak. In a few chapters, I literally cut out half of the content, making sure things still flowed. I did this every single day, staying up past 1 am some nights. Finally, on the night of Dec. 28, I kept going at it until past 1:30 am, and completed all these cuts and managed to have the manuscript at roughly 108,000.

Since the due date for these cuts was Dec. 29, and the publisher worked on the East Coast (while I’m out west, three hours behind), I knew I would not have any significant changes on Dec. 29 itself. So, at 2 am, I submitted everything by email and then went off to bed.

But it was a difficult week, editing my work and going hours and hours at it, all the way until the night of Dec. 28 and finishing just before 2 am (on Dec. 29). It was tough.

After that, I took some time off writing. Even now, in mid-January, I’m still not doing any writing. It’s tough to stay motivated, so to speak, or have that drive to keep going — especially after that final week in December.

It’s tough, especially when there isn’t a lot of support from peers and others around me. In fact, I’ll say almost none.

I can recall the time when I was writing the 1988 Dodger book, and someone I considered a friend responded in a patronizing tone “So what?” when I was discussing the fact that it was the 30th anniversary of the Dodgers’ championship season. This was from a sports fan. When I chose to be upset because of his comment, he disowned me as a friend. He no longer responds to my calls and texts.

There was a guy, Rod, who basically is a troll. I was explaining that I was heading to LA for a charity golf event, and I was invited by the former GM of the Dodgers. It was like an extension of the book that I had written, having a chance to be introduced to some of those former players. Rod scoffed and said those peple were just using me and just wanted me to donate my own money, etc. etc. Very negative comments. Why are people so negative?

During the process of writing the sports careers book, numerous people whom I reached out to chose not to respond. For professional purposes where people don’t respond, that’s very deflating and demotivating. It’s changed me in the sense that I find it difficult to stay motivated — it’s like people are cancelling me or don’t want me to succeed, FOR A BOOK AIMED TO HELP YOUNG PEOPLE!! Hello? Do people want to see my book fail? One that’s aimed to help students and others looking for a career in sports business?

Then, there was a publisher from Montana who asked me to write a book about baseball cards, and that publisher then bailed on me. He said he would connect me with others in the industry, and when I responded the same day via email, he completely ignored my email and follow-ups. Why do people do that?

So, I’m tired. I’m sick. If you’re getting an email or request from me — and follow-ups — and it’s for a professional purpose, and you’re choosing to ignore it, then I’m going to say you want me to fail. You don’t care about helping people. That’s very unfortunate. But I guess that’s what a lot of people are like.

Yes, there were some great moments along the way. But the bad ones stick out. Those make me question humankind.

And before we leave this subject, peers who are posting garbage like “This is why I NEVER buy anything from Amazon” and similar posts with a story about what Amazon has done wrong, etc., again, these people are simply wishing for me (and other writers) to fail, particularly when authors rely on Amazon for book sales. So, do these peers really wat me to fail?

Finally, podcasters: I’m grateful to go on a podcast, but it’s painful when hosts don’t take the time to do some prep. There was a podcaster whom I got to know. He had me on to talk about my John Cangelosi book but didn’t know how to pronounce the former MLB outfielder’s last name. I told him off-air and also said it on-air, and the podcaster kept butchering the name throughout. Like, do you think I would be proud to share this with others? How do you think John would feel if he hears this?

Anyway, we’ll see when I decide to get back into writing again. Maybe if people don’t want to talk to me or respond to me, I’ll do what a former 1986 Montreal Canadien Cup champion told me (very abruptly): “Why are you asking me what the coach said in the locker room [prior to a key Game Seven which the team actually won]? Go Google that s@%£!”

Yup, I guess I’ll just go Google that s@%£ if I choose to write again — if I get ignored by people whom I reach out to.

Today in Knuckleball History: June 21, 1997

Candiotti Throws Seven Shutout Innings as Emergency Replacement

June 21, 1997

Los Angeles Dodgers 11, San Francisco Giants 0 At 3Com Park

Tom Candiotti:  7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 SO.

So that’s why the Dodgers kept Tom Candiotti around. As insurance, just in case one of their starters went down.

Sent to the bullpen to begin the season, Candiotti finally made his first start of the year, filling in for injured starter Ramon Martinez, who’d complained the night before about a sore right shoulder. The knuckleballer responded by flummoxing the San Francisco Giants for seven shutout innings, lifting the Dodgers to an 11-0 victory over their arch rivals.

Candiotti had been sent to the bullpen because of the emergence of right-hander Chan Ho Park, who joined a Los Angeles rotation which already included Martinez, Hideo Nomo, Ismael Valdez, and Pedro Astacio—a pitching staff that was second in the majors only to the Atlanta Braves’ staff headed by Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and John Smoltz. 

Although Candiotti, with 126 wins and a 3.53 ERA in his 13 big-league seasons entering 1997, was rumored to be traded all spring, Dodger general manager Fred Claire hung on to the knuckleballer, and it proved to be the right decision. 

Through June 10, pitching exclusively out of the bullpen, Candiotti had three wins and a 2.03 ERA in 22 games, with five walks and 18 strikeouts, holding opposing hitters to a .212 average. 

Then, on this Saturday afternoon, he held the Giants to just four hits in seven innings as the Dodgers bounced back from a 5-2 loss in the series opener on Thursday and a blown 7-0 lead on Friday night—a game which saw L.A. use six pitchers. Candiotti even delivered at the plate, driving in the Dodgers’ sixth run on a squeeze bunt. The other Dodger heroes offensively were Raul Mondesi, who smacked an RBI triple and two-run single, and Tripp Cromer, who had three hits and three RBIs.

Candiotti and the Dodgers expected this would be his only start, as Ramon Martinez was expected to return after skipping just this start. As it turned out, though, Martinez’s injury was revealed to be a torn rotator cuff, and the Dodger ace would be sidelined for two months.   

Although the Dodgers did not win the division in 1997, losing out to the Giants by two games, Candiotti did do the job for L.A., going 6-2 with a 3.62 ERA in 11 starts during Martinez’s absence. It should have been at least seven wins; he nearly beat San Francisco again on July 12, handing the bullpen a 2-1 lead only to see the Giants rip two relievers for seven runs in the ninth. 

Candiotti pitched well enough as a starter that when Martinez did return in August, the Dodgers dealt fourth starter Astacio (4-8 with a 5.19 ERA over a three-month stretch) to Colorado for second baseman Eric Young while keeping the knuckleballer in the rotation for the rest of the 1997 season.

A free agent after the season—he signed with the Oakland Athletics in the off-season—Candiotti would finish his six-year Dodger career with a 3.57 ERA but just a 52-64 record, thanks primarily to a paucity of run support. No Los Angeles pitcher with an ERA as low as Candiotti’s had a lower winning percentage than his .448 in a Dodger uniform. (It should be noted that Ramon Martinez, who received much better support from the Dodgers, was 72-48 with a 3.67 ERA during that same stretch. In 1995, for instance, Martinez was 17-7 with a 3.66 ERA and a league-leading 81 walks and 138 strikeouts over 206.1 innings. Candiotti, perhaps L.A.’s unluckiest pitcher ever, was 7-14 with a 3.50 ERA in 190.1 innings with 58 walks and 141 strikeouts.)

But, as Charlie Hough often told other knuckleballers, “When the other guys get hurt or don’t pitch well, be there when they need someone.” And that’s exactly what Candiotti did for the Dodgers in 1997.

So they say, “Go Google that #@!”

In the latest episode of the podcast, I shared with the guest host a story about the time when I interviewed a former athlete who told me to “go Google that @#!#” in response to a question about a game in which his team won.

This reminds me of a recent incident when I expressed frustration in using a new system to a colleague. This was a fellow whom I respected — and, in fact, I had written two glowing recommendation letters for him for professional reference purposes recently — but what did he do?* No, he didn’t say “go Google that @#!#!”

He came close, though. He essentially told me off — in a condescending manner — commenting that the system was “pretty easy.” But the tone was definitely condescending. I was disappointed that he would react that way, especially since I had just written those letters for him. I guess you just never know.

*I even personally spoke to the two places about him, giving glowing verbal recommendations. Both places were extremely interested in his services, but he decided to brush them off — despite the fact he had asked me to get in touch with them in the first place. I’d even shared teaching resources with him umpteen times. Never again. But come to think of it, I should have known better. When I told him a couple of times about my podcast, he didn’t show any interest or give any words of congratulations or encouragement. His only response was succinct: “I only listen to Tim and Sid.” Okay, whatever.

Get your copy of The Case for Barry Bonds in the Hall of Fame — today!

Get your copy of The Case for Barry Bonds in the Hall of Fame: The Untold and Forgotten Stories of Baseball’s Home Run King by yours truly — today! A perfect gift for the baseball fan or Giants fan in your household!

Sportswriter K. P. Wee asks the question that many MLB fans have been thinking—Should Barry Bonds be in the Baseball Hall of Fame?

In his 22 years in the Major Leagues, Bonds, who played for the Pittsburgh Pirates and the San Francisco Giants, was:

•the All-time Home Run leader with 762 home runs

•a seven-time MVP

•a 14-time All-Star

•an eight-time Gold Glove winner

As the final year to vote this home run king in begins, The Case for Barry Bonds in the Baseball Hall of Fame looks at his stunning career from all aspects including his personal life as the son of a baseball legend, as well as never-before told stories of his generosity and mentorship towards other ballplayers. The book also looks at the stories of his distaste for the sports press, as well as the role of racism in professional sports, and how this impacted his career.

Join sportswriter K. P. Wee as he shares insights and interviews from baseball insiders, Hall of Fame voters and baseball legends, as he puts to rest the question “Does Barry Bonds belong in the Baseball Hall of Fame?”

Press Release – Barry Bonds book: The Case for Barry Bonds in the Hall of Fame

“Does Barry Bonds Belong in the Baseball Hall of Fame?” 

New Book from Riverdale Avenue Books Asks

Sportswriter K. P. Wee Explores why 

Barry Bonds Should be in the Baseball Hall of Fame

New York, NY – April 7, 2021 – In Riverdale Avenue Books just published The Case for Barry Bonds in the Baseball Hall of Fame sportswriter K. P. Wee asks the question that many MLB fans have been thinking—Should Barry Bonds be in the Baseball Hall of Fame? 

In his 22 years in the Major Leagues, Bonds, who played for the Pittsburgh Pirates and the San Francisco Giants, was the All-time home run leader with 762 home runs, a seven-time MVP, a 14-time All-Star and an eight-time Gold Glove winner. 

As the final year to vote this home run king into Cooperstown begins, The Case for Barry Bonds in the Baseball Hall of Fame looks at his stunning career from all aspects including his personal life as the son of a baseball legend, as well as never-before told stories of his generosity and mentorship towards other ballplayers. The book also looks at the stories of his distaste for the sports press, as well as the role of racism in professional sports, and how this impacted his career.

K. P. Wee shares insights and interviews from baseball insiders, Hall of Fame voters and baseball legends, as he puts to rest the question “Does Barry Bonds belong in the Baseball Hall of Fame?”

“If you evaluate Barry Bonds as what he really was—the best baseball player of his generation, if not all-time—and acknowledge the fact that the Hall of Fame is a museum and not a shrine, then it’s a no-brainer that he belongs in Cooperstown,” said Author K.P. Wee. “Bonds entertained baseball fans for 22 seasons, he was the best of his generation, and there’s no question he should be in the Hall of Fame.”

Riverdqle Publisher Lori Perkins added, “For the past three years, I have had this heated discussion with every baseball fan I know, and almost all fans of the sport agree that Barry Bonds was a Hall of  Famer before the steroid era and belongs in Cooperstown.  I’m proud to publish this book that lays out the reasons why.” 

Books and downloads are available on Amazon, Barnes & Nobles Nook, iTunes, and Kobo.


About K. P. Wee

K. P. Wee is the author of several sports books, including Tom Candiotti: A Life of Knuckleballs (2014); The End of the Montreal Jinx: Boston’s Short-Lived Glory in the Historic Bruins-Canadiens Rivalry (2015); Don’t Blame the Knuckleballer: Baseball Legends, Myths, and Stories (2015); The 1988 Dodgers: Reliving the Championship Season (2018); and The 1993 Canadiens: Seven Magical Weeks, Unlikely Heroes and Canada’s Last Stanley Cup Champions (2020). In addition, he co-authored the biography of John Cangelosi: The Improbable Baseball Journey of the Undersized Kid from Nowhere to World Series Champion. He also has a podcast titled “The K. P. Wee Podcast,” which can be heard wherever podcasts are available

About Riverdale Avenue Books

Riverdale Avenue Books is an award winning, innovative hybrid publisher at the leading edge of the changes in the publishing industry.  We publish e-books and print titles under 13 imprints: Desire, an erotica/erotic romance imprint; Riverdale/Magnus the award-winning imprint of LGBT titles; Pop featuring pop culture titles; Afraid, a horror line; SFF, a science fiction fantasy line; Truth, an erotic memoir line; Dagger, a mystery thriller imprint; Sports and Gaming featuring sports and gaming titles; Verve featuring lifestyle titles; Hera featuring both the true and fictional lives and loves of women aged 35 and up; 120 Days an LGBT pulp fiction line and Circlet, an erotica/erotic romance imprint. Started in 2012 by industry veteran Lori Perkins, Riverdale is a full service publisher, with a subsidiary rights department.  Visit us at www.RiverdaleAveBooks.com