Why I Created Three Fictional Characters-And How

It started so strangely.

There was a real person named Charlie Faust, 1880-1915, who once pitched for the New York Giants in 1911. Sort of.  A biography of Charlie, though much of his life is unknown, was written by Gabriel Schecter, called Victory Faust.

But who was Charlie?

That is what baseball people wanted to know. He was strange, and though many of his famous Giant teammates talked about him, and wrote about him, Charlie remains elusive. He could have been the most naïve country hick in history. Or he could have had mental issues. Perhaps-in the language of the day-retarded. But nobody knows for sure.

A few people have tried to write a fictional story of his life, but according to Mr. Schecter, nobody had. So a few years ago I decided to explore Charlie. To tell his story I used a rookie fresh off a Storden, Minnesota farm. Chet Koski was born in 1888 and in 1911 at the time of the story he is 22, his birthday being in October. He is not the rube that Charlie is, but it is his first time in a big city, and in a true sense it is his coming of age story, though by stories end, Chet does not fully bloom.

So we see Charlie through Chet who ends up as Charlie’s friend and at times guardian angel.

Now a young man in New York needs a girlfriend and she is Eveleen Sullivan, born in Ireland, 1890. Red hair, green eyes, she is all Irish. Her dreams are of the Broadway stage. When we meet her she is doing small parts, mostly in the chorus. She has another suitor, a British actor, who I will say little about. I won’t say he is a cad, but there is something about him I don’t trust.

Chet and Eveleen, like any young couple whose dreams lie in different direction, are unsure of themselves, of each other, and of any future. They might have a chance together, but then again, who knows.

The e-Novel is a satire on fame and celebrity. Charlie after all, though he is more a good luck omen, like a rabbits foot, or a horseshoe, becomes famous, not only in New York where he appears on Broadway within weeks of his mysterious arrival in New York, but all around baseball and the cities he sort of played in.

The baseball action and the scores are accurate. I researched the season and the games. Since Chet is fictional, I substituted him for a real player from time to time, but though he is fictional, what he does is what really happened.

Not only do we meet Christy Mathewson, Rube Marquard, manager John McGraw and other Giant players, we also meet Bat Masterson, George M. Cohan, and sportswriter Damon Runyon.

I said in the heading there were three fictional characters and I have mentioned only two, Chet and Eveleen. The third is Clancy. At the time of this story she is eleven years old and is not in Loonies in the Dugout. She shows up at the age of 22 in Loonies in Hollywood. She is the daughter of a rich California banker, and a carpe diem flapper with an extroverted personality. She is, as anyone would say, a handful. She was to be a plot device, nothing more; enter and leave the story in one scene, and a brief one at that. But she dominated the scene and as writers know, a character, yes a fictional one, can force their way into a story. She has become my favorite character. As I said she is a handful. 

And of course Clancy became friends with Eveleen and Chet, helping their murder investigations in two published books and one mystery in progress.

Though the three characters appear in two stories, Silent Murder being the second, you do not have to read them in sequence as each is a stand alone story.

You can find them on Amazon here. Loonies in the Dugout, with two four star reviews, only 99 cents.

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HUH? Amazon approves ad campaign, then suspends when it starts HUH?

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The above e-novel was my first, of what is now five, e-Books published on Amazon.  It has been reviewed twice, both with four star reviews. If you want to learn more about it, you can tap the link at top of page. I loved writing the book and the two main fictional characters in this book, based on a true story, have now appeared in three e-novels. Baseball fiction does not sell well, unless you are named W.P. Kinsella, or Darryl Brock. So in order to gain more readers, because, as I said, I love this satire on fame and celebrity, I lowered price to 99 cents. 

I also decided to avail myself of Amazon’s marketing services and created an ad campaign with them. It is easy to setup. When submitted, either robots, humans, or some digital logarithms places the campaign in review to make sure it meets their standards of decency and all that jazz.  The campaign was approved. It was to begin May 9th and on that day I received an e-mail from their marketing service stating the campaign was stopped due to ‘low relevance.’

What, you ask, is ‘low relevance.’ Amazon says the following “There are a number of factors that impact relevance including the targeting you choose for your ad. Refining your targeting options to focus on related products or genres may improve your ad’s relevance.”

When I created the campaign you have a choice on whether to target by ‘interest’ or ‘product.’ For writers ‘interest’ is best. As I said baseball fiction is not a big seller and when choosing targeted relevance I chose literary fiction because neither sports fiction or satire was listed. But literary fiction was as close as I could get. I could select up to two I believe, so thought I should select another.

I redid campaign and submitted it again, this time adding ‘sports and outdoors’ under ‘other.’  I don’t know if this will work as campaign is under review, and even if approved, it may, like my first attempt, get approved then stopped on my new day to begin the campaign.

The only other problem I had in marketing with Amazon was the knife you see on the cover that I had to remove because of the image and what it means. I dealt with it, not a deal breaker. So I will see what happens with my new ‘relevance’ and in the interim I will contact marketing services to suggest they expand their list to include sports fiction and satire.

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