Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester is happy to shine our spotlight on Carl H. Johnson, local author and student of baseball whose work as a columnist inspired him to write and publish books about the sport. He will be swinging into our 65 James Street store on Sunday, May 22 from 12:00 – 2:00 PM with his newest book, The Baseball Buff’s Bathroom Book, a collection of articles about major players, games, series and other events in major league baseball, both historical and contemporary.
Welcome, Carl! Would you please tell us briefly a little about yourself and your writing? How would you like us to introduce you?
I write a weekly column for the Biddeford, Maine, Journal Tribune, entitled “Baseball World,” covering the Boston Red Sox. I also write articles on baseball and other subjects for the Insider Sports Network online, and for the Westerly, RI, Sun and Sanford, ME, News. I manage a blog about Major League Baseball at baseballworldbjt.com. I have lectured on baseball history and contemporary baseball issues.
I live in Sanford, Maine with my wife who is also a rabid baseball and Red Sox fan.
For readers unfamiliar with your work, how would you describe what you write? What can readers expect from the newest/spotlighted release?
I attempt to recreate the excitement that existed when the baseball events that I am describing occurred. My first book, From Beer To Beards, Boston Baseball’s 2011-2013 Roller Coaster Ride chronicles one of the most exciting times in Red Sox history when the Sox went from Worst to First. The book contains not only a summary of each game in this three year period but also recalls and recreates the events off the field that contributed to this remarkable transformation. One reviewer called it “One of the best baseball books he had ever read: and said it was “A must read for Red Sox fans.”
My most recent book The Baseball Buff’s Bathroom Book details some of the most exciting events and people in baseball history from “The Gashouse Gang” of the 1930s to the 2004 comeback of the Boston Red Sox against the New York Yankees. I attempt to give readers a sense of the event or player that they will enjoy. The book contains fifty articles designed to be read in short periods of down time, hence the name The Baseball Buff’s Bathroom Book.
My second book, Wait ‘Til Next Year, 2016, From Worst to First, Part II, follows the evolution of the Red Sox young’ last place team of 2015 into a pennant contender and possible World Champion in 2016. I try to give the reader insight into the ability of this young team and how they matured over the past year.
What kind of research went into writing this book?
Covering the Red Sox on a weekly and sometimes daily basis, most of my research is done either at the ball park or watching games on television. My work requires me to keep voluminous notes about daily happenings so my research, unlike most other writers, is done on the spot. There is also a tremendous amount of information available online through such sources as MLB.com, baseballreference. com and similar sites. Much of my research for the latest book came from online sources, from my own library and public libraries.
What was the inspiration for the newest release?
While the Red Sox were journeying from worst to first in 2011-2013, I was covering them for the newspaper and, when they won the World Series in 2013, I realized that the story was too good a story not to retell so that people could relive it and so decided to write it.
My latest book grew out of the many positive comments I have received from newspaper readers about the historical columns that I have written over the years. Baseball is constantly changing and young and older fans enjoy reading about the earlier days of baseball and the evolution of the game.
Where can people find your work?
My books can be found at Annie’s Book Stop in Worcester and at independent bookstores throughout New England. More prominent locations include Annie’s Book Stop in Laconia, NH; Bayswater Books in Center Harbor, NH; River Run Books in Portsmouth, NH; all of Sherman’s Book Stores in Maine; Longfellow Bookstores in Maine; Bank Square Books in Groton, CT; and Savoy Books in Westerly, RI. They are also available online at Amazon and Kindle.
How can we follow your work, share your awesomeness, or otherwise stalk you in a non-creepy way?
I update my blog every three to five days and have a Facebook Page at Carl H. Johnson, Author. I can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and make an effort to answer all email. Signed, personalized copies of my books can be ordered by contacting me at the email address.
Thank you very much for the interview, Carl, and we look forward to having you at the bookstore this Sunday, May 22, from 12:00 – 2:00 PM!