Rebecca Moen is the Minnesota Author in the Spotlight this month on Booksnob. Rebecca worked for the Sioux Falls Canaries minor league baseball team and she writes about her experiences as a woman in a man's sporting world. Down and Inside is a fun, entertaining, lighthearted read and will have you rooting for the hometown girl. Read on to learn more about Rebecca and her book Down and Inside.
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m a pretty typical Norwegian-looking Minnesota girl, with the round cheeks (both kinds) that are common around here. I was a big nerd in high school, really focused on my grades and very straight-laced. It was a little nerve wracking having people that knew me then read about my lifestyle as an adult. I’m still pretty much a nerd and love my job. I work in biomedical research for the Duke School of Medicine and work from my home in Minneapolis. I do a lot of grant writing, which is very different from creative writing, but it does make it easier to at least get words on paper. I love living in Minnesota and came back here because I missed the lakes and, honestly, the winter. The fact that I work from home makes the winters a lot easier to bear. My husband and I go out to my mom’s house on the lake in Willmar as often as we can. The water soothes a place in both of our psyches.
2. Why did you decide to write Down and Inside?
For several reasons - first, it was the challenge of it. I’ve wanted to write a book since I was a kid (who doesn’t?) and I wanted to see if I could do it. Second, I was told by so many people that the stories about the Canaries were so funny that they should be written down. Third, once I had decided to do it, I couldn’t let it go. It took me years to finally actually write, but it had been in my mind since my best friend told me I should in 2004. Finally, all of the other books about minor league baseball have been written by men. I thought a female perspective should be in the mix.
3. Do you like to read? What authors or books influence you?
Of course, I love to read. My favorite books are Pride and Prejudice, Gone with the Wind, and the Grapes of Wrath and I read them over and over again. I love stories set in historical times. As a kid, I loved reading Stephen King - I still think he is one of the best storytellers in the world. He suspends disbelief in a way I’ve never otherwise experienced. The Talisman is my favorite book from him.
4. Why are you drawn to minor league baseball and not major league baseball?
Major League Baseball is a corporate venture - it’s too perfect. I like the grittiness of minor league ball, the same way I like dive bars - they’re more real to me.
5.Did you marry “Mickey” in your book?
Don’t tell anyone, but no. I wrote the book before I met my real husband. I liked the twist and it seemed like a sweet way to end it. My real husband is far better than the imaginary “Mickey.”
6.What are the best and worst parts of your experience working with the Sioux Falls Canaries?
Best part by far was the people - the families, the fans, my friends in the front office, the summer workers, the ownership and coaching staff, and sometimes the players. I’ve maintained long friendships with many of them. I knew these people at a time in my life when I was figuring out who I was - they kept me on the right course.
7. Worst part was the stress. It doesn’t come through well in the book, and most people would be surprised to hear that working in baseball could be stressful, but those summers were more stressful than any management position I’ve ever had since. The hours we put in just amplified it - there never seemed to be enough sleep and fresh fires to put out every day.
8. Do you plan to write a second book? If so, can you tell us a little bit about it?
I would love to write a second book and maybe someday I will. I’ve thought about writing a story about the stray dogs that live on the beach in Costa Rica. I’d like to do it from the dogs’ perspectives - what a life they lead - running in packs, making friends with the tourists, but sleeping hidden in the forest, and living off scraps. I’m concerned that this type of story may require better writing acumen than I possess, but we’ll see...
9. In one sentence, tell us why we should read Down and Inside?
It’s fun, a quick read, and cheap.
If you would like to win a copy of Rebecca's fun book about minor league baseball enter here: Down and Inside Giveaway