Gabriel Busch's new novel, "Circle Change," is an inspiring baseball story filled with romance, remarkable character depth and a detailed illustration of New Orleans, where the book takes place.
A former New Orleans resident and longtime baseball fan, Mr. Busch took the time to answer some questions for the HuffPost regarding his new e-book, which retails for the4.99 on Amazon's Kindle store.
For more updates on the book, follow Mr. Busch on twitter @gbuschbooks.
What inspired you to write the book?
My love affair with the city of New Orleans played a prominent role (having lived there for 13 years prior to Hurricane Katrina) as I drew from that profound experience to help shape the background to the story. And, like countless boys growing up across America, I aspired at a young age to be a professional baseball player. I even attempted, unsuccessfully I might add, to change my first name to Mickey (after Mickey Mantle) during my middle school years.
What type of impact would you like the book to have on baseball culture, and not just the major leagues?
The book honors yet transcends baseball culture and challenges the reader to explore and tackle much deeper and more profound life questions. Baseball is a game near and dear to my heart and very much a part of our country's sports heritage. This novel explores the big league dreams of a young man and seeks to capture the essence of his journey to the show and beyond. The impact, I would hope, would be that dreams do become real and are attainable both on and off the baseball field. I attempted to depict the inside world of baseball in a way and manner that hopefully resonates with fellow baseball fans.
In the end, I presume Traynor (the protagonist) reminds us that baseball is merely a game -- and a beautiful one at that. There are numerous odes to the game of baseball throughout the novel, and every number hidden within the story has baseball significance. For example, there are 42 chapters in the book, specifically paying homage to Jackie Robinson.
In your mind, what makes this book special and what differentiates it from other sports novels?
For starters, “Circle Change” is a rare combination of a profoundly moving love story intermixed with the athletic aspirations of a young professional baseball player. The protagonist's spiritual quest across the country and its profound effects upon him serve as inspiration for anyone looking for deeper answers to existential questions, no matter one’s faith.
But it’s Traynor’s life choices and quest to understand why things happen in life that should have the biggest impact and resonate most with the readers. The response I have received to date has been phenomenal and supports just that notion. The novel has the ability to easily translate into a movie and I am hopeful to sell the adapted film rights which would enable it to have an even greater cultural impact. I like to think of the story as “Field of Dreams” meets “Dances with Wolves."
How did you come up with the name?
The title, “Circle Change,” became a central element to the storyline and articulately honors baseball, the mystical elements infused in the story and the path of transformation.
How much of the book has to do with real-life events and things you experienced?
I certainly utilized aspects of my own passions, fears and curiosities to fuel writing this novel, while equally relying upon my imagination. The late author E.B. White once mused that "reality and fantasy make good bedfellows" and this book is a testament to that.
Plus, check out my brand new Huff Post sports blog, The Schultz Report, for a fresh and daily outlook on all things sports.