“You know, all those statistics, all those numbers, they’ve all been done before. You’re not going to make it into the Hall of Fame or whatever. All you can do is make more numbers, right?”
Journeyman relief pitcher Jonathan “Ditch” Klein was all set to be a replacement player during the 1994-1995 baseball strike…until the strike ended. Offered a contract in the minor leagues, on the same Upstate ballpark he once found success in high school, Ditch has one last chance to prove his worth. But to whom? A manager with an axe to grind, a father second-guessing his pitching decisions, a local sportswriter hailing him as a hometown hero, a decade older than his teammates and trying to resurrect an injury-ridden career…Ditch thinks he may have a possible back-up plan: become a sportswriter himself. The only question is whether he is a pitcher who aspires to be a writer, or the other way around…
Published Feb 2015 (Kinoshita Kajitsu Press).
NEW: Ebook versions now come with a preview of Notes from the Nineties
For excerpts please follow the links below:
From Chp 10 (annotated): http://ericjamesolson.com/2015/02/23/writing-as-art-approaching-twi-night/
Reviews for Approaching Twi-Night
“M. Thomas Apple’s contemporary fiction novel, Approaching Twi-Night, is all about baseball, but don’t let that discourage you from reading this marvelous story if you’re not a baseball enthusiast. The author’s writing is eloquent and lyrically beautiful as Ditch surveys the field and town of his youth and considers his future. It’s been some time since I sat and watched a baseball game, and longer still since I played, but despite that, the story of this pitcher and his teammates totally drew me in; it was just so compelling and real…Approaching Twi-Night is masterfully written, and the story line is first-rate. I had a marvelous time reading it.” — Readers’ Favorite
“While the allure of baseball has been explored in a variety of books, not least Don DeLillo’s Underworld and Chad Harding’s The Art of Fielding, Approaching Twi-Night distinguishes itself by sticking to the minor leagues. This is baseball as personal quest, without an emphasis on glamour or personal wealth…the level of detail and elegant prose makes it a worthwhile read. By exploring the reality of playing baseball as a metaphor for understanding how a man defines himself as an adult in the world, Approaching Twi-Night elegantly explores the reality of reaching middle-age.” — IndieReader
“This is a quiet novel in terms of scope, but in terms of the power of its sentences, it’s dynamic and moving. Approaching Twi-Night is literary fiction at its best…Some books are page turners not because of its plot, but the sheer joy of reading how every moment is expressed. No, there’s no high-concept action in Approaching Twi-Night, but there is high-caliber prose. Apple is an elegant and understated writer, and Approaching Twi-Night isn’t just a fine literary baseball novel, it’s a lyrically rich novel about life, work, and family by a writer in command of his craft.” — Self-Publishing Review
“Apple’s writing is at its best in the extended play-by-play descriptions of individual games (sportswriting, like middle relief, is an often undervalued skill), including the culminating double-header referenced in the title, in which he effectively conveys not only the mechanics of play, but also the psychology of pitching. Readers who are more casual baseball fans may prefer the often comic, sometimes-poignant off-the-field antics of Ditch and his teammates…An overall solid effort; readers will find that it’s worth sticking around for the last pitch.” — Kirkus Reviews
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Read the author interview at The Adirondack Journal: From the Hudson to the Kamo and back again.
Interview with the author at Book Goodies, including some advice for writers and brief discussion about the writing process.
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