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Injured in a ski accident that ended his Major League Baseball pitching career, Dallas Stone opens a sporting goods store in a small Missouri town. Julie Russell teaches English in the high school and is from such a sports-minded family that it turns her against sports in general. An unlikely pair? Absolutely. But can gentle persuasion bring them together?
Q and A with Veda Boyd Jones regarding Gentle Persuasion
Q: Do you know a lot about baseball?
A: Nope. Our three sons played Little League, so from the time the oldest one started in the program and the youngest one got out, we had been to Little League and Senior League games for seventeen straight years. Some nights we had three games. Jim and I would pass on the road as we took boys to different ballparks. So, I know a little about baseball. Jim played baseball in high school. So he told me all about pitching.
Q: Is the character of Julie based on you?
A: Maybe a pinch of her. My siblings were all into tennis, but not me. I played, but not on the high school team like all my brothers and my sister. It just wasn’t my thing, but they never made me feel left out like Julie feels.
Q: Again the setting is Missouri. Why?
A: I made up the town of Tribune, but I placed it in the area where I live so I would know the terrain and how the people go about their normal days. I based the committee wanting a baseball team at the high school after a similar event at a town in Arkansas. There’s always a bit of truth in my books, although most of the plot is made up.