Recently a literary festival asked me to appear on a panel of regional 'Women Writers.' I'm early enough in my career as a novelist that I'm damned grateful to be invited anywhere, but the panel title gave me pause.
Nobody's expecting Wharton to ever be as popular as Jane Austen. After all, Wharton had a much more jaundiced view of life than Austen did, and she's unlikely to be hijacked as a writer of romances, the way Austen has been.
There are major risks to writing a baseball novel, one, you can easily lose the baseball-loving reader with one false note, and two, you can lose everyone else if the balance between "baseball" and "novel" tips too far toward baseball.