David Evans is a Toronto-based pain consultant with an interest in all types of chronic, intractable non–cancer pain. An avid fly fisherman, crossword and Sudoko aficianado and global traveler, The Arkansas Connection is David’s first novel, but he is hard at work on a second one!
Author links - Website | Goodreads | Amazon
About the Book
Book Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Publisher: Jemsdale Publishing
Release Date: February 21, 2013
Buy Link: Amazon
Frank Munro, manager of the New York Mets, leads a turbulent life trying to win with a team of dysfunctional underachievers. Soon after the Mets lose the final game of the season, Frank finds out his mother has died, and he must return to his hometown of Catsville, Arkansas, to arrange her funeral. His attempt to give her remains a grand send-off results in mayhem, and out of pity his mother’s friend Alice invites him to a "tea party” with three other ladies, where the tea is actually moonshine. Frank gives them a play-by-play of that final game, and manages to survive the evening. He returns to New York to find the Mets’ owner has decided to give him one more chance.
Meanwhile, Bobby Sherward, a doctor-turned-right fielder who sustained a concussion from the fly ball and lost the Mets' final season game, decides that his future is in medicine, not baseball. He takes a position at a veteran’s hospital in Arkansas. Upon arrival, he is amazed to find it's within spitting distance of Frank's hometown.
That’s not the only unsettling coincidence Bobby must contend with, for it soon becomes apparent that Broken Arrow Memorial is the medical equivalent of the Mets. Run by a psychotic medical director, the hospital is the home of indifferent or incompetent doctors, electro-convulsed patients, and assorted weird experiments.
Bobby soon has enough, but before he leaves town he encounters a remarkable sandlot baseball player named Jonathon Brown. Besides being a phenomenal player, Jonathon is also a mathematical genius who runs a highly successful investment group in the back room of a local diner.
Bobby manages to convince Jonathon to try out for the Mets, and his incredible skills both on the field and in finance bring him and the team fame and prosperity. But Jonathon also raises the ire of the brokerage firm losing customers to his sound investment advice. As a result, the company's CEO makes plans to “eliminate” the new competition. Will Jonathon survive his trip to the big league, and complete the Arkansas Connection?
PLEASE NOTE: There are some suggestive scenes and swearing in the book- so it’s not for children.
What inspired you to write this book?
I work as a pain consultant and have seen quite a few sports injuries and thought that I would like to write a novel considering I spend most of my time writing non-fiction. . The baseball parts involving the Mets are based on the fact that they really at one time were the laughing stock of the sport. The financial part is based on my innate distrust of bankers and stock brokers. The medical part, is based on my experiences somewhat exaggerated.
Excerpt from The Arkansas Connection:
The baseball season ended dramatically for Frank Munro, when he was ejected in the eighth inning of the final game of the regular schedule for saying unkind things about the first base umpire. At precisely the same time, Frank’s elderly mother, who happened to be watching the game in her home in Catsville, Arkansas, just as dramatically dropped dead from a heart attack in front of her television set.
Two days later Frank was airborne, heading south to attend his mother’s funeral. Frank hated flying, and the captain’s announcement that they would be running into a little turbulence only made him more nervous and depressed. His dark mood was not so much brought on by his mother’s death, which in many ways was a godsend, but by the fact that her funeral merely postponed his annual show-and-tell luncheon meeting with the team’s owner, Steve Conroy. Frank had been manager of the Mets for five years, and inevitably Steve would bring the meeting to an end by making the same demand: “Frank, give me one fucking reason why I shouldn’t fire you.” And Frank would just as inevitably answer that he didn’t have one.
This year was even more critical, because the team had managed to pull off one of its worst seasons since Steve had bought the club ten years previously. To make matters worse, the final game against the Giants would probably go down as one of the greatest debacles in the history of baseball.
Frank stared morosely into what was left of his third Scotch, and pondered the fate that had led him into managing such a bunch of dysfunctional, psychotic underachievers. The problem wasn’t that they lacked talent, but that most of their energy seemed to be directed toward their extracurricular activities – drinking, self-medicating with dope, beating up their wives and girlfriends, fighting in bars, and generally whoring around. Baseball just seemed to give them something to do between all the other stuff.
After landing in Dallas, Frank took a white-knuckle hedgehopper to Broken Arrow and rented a car for the last leg of the trip to Catsville. The airplane food and multiple Scotches had left him with heartburn and a major hangover, but he still felt a pang of unfamiliar nostalgia as he drove the eight miles down the road to his hometown. Besides being the home of Potter Plastics, the biggest employer and polluter in the county, Catsville was also a major trading center for the vintage moonshine liquor that was distilled in the pine forests surrounding the town. If you looked carefully as you drove down the winding road into the valley, you might see wisps of black smoke sneaking through the trees, indicating that there would soon be new product hitting the market.
For Frank right now, Catsville was a retreat where he thought he could relax, say a final good-bye to his mother, and hide for a couple of weeks from the New York media, which was vicious in its criticism of his handling of the team. Apart from the usual carping that he should never have been hired in the first place, there were more serious charges that cast aspersions on his birthright and sexual proclivities. One caller to a radio talk show, mixing him up with a serial killer of the same name, suggested he should have his testicles cut off and stuffed down his throat.
What exciting story are you working on next?
Actually I’m working on another novel, but this one will be a little closer to my area of expertise one set in the medical field. Not sure exactly what is happening with it but I’m interested to see what I arrive at!
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’ve never sat down and made any declaration that I’m a writer. People write all the time whether it’s a simple report for work or articles for journals. In the medical field your whole life revolves around paperwork of some kind and since part of that profession is publication in medical journals I just did it. I’ve never really thought about whether I was a writer or not. I think sometimes that too much attention is paid to labeling people and not enough to what they are producing. I am who I am and if that also includes being a writer then that’s great.
Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
No, I’m a full time doctor (specialty in Anesthesiology) and I work with patients who have all types of chronic, intractable non-cancer pain. Most people I see have had pain for many months or years and have often seen many care givers. I work and treat them through many different means. So I find that writing is a good way to unwind at the end of the day, and that’s generally when I write.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I don’t know that I have one. Unless a quirk is to sit down and just write. Some people find it difficult to sit down in front of a blank piece of paper. I’ve never had that problem so maybe that’s a quirk.
As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I think I was a typical kid growing up, but back then ( I’m in my 70’s) you either went to school and then later found your vocation or you ended up doing basic jobs. I always had a love of learning and helping people so I went the doctor route. Little did I know how much time you had to devote to your studies, but it was an area that I’ve always loved.
I think that it’s good to remember that you can achieve what you want to no matter what age you are. I didn’t think to start writing a novel until I was in my 70’s and that’s okay. If you want to do it you will. Don’t let other people make it seem like you are running out of time, you aren’t. It’s even easier to publish now that you can take advantage of e-book technology, so take your time and do a good job.