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da bushes
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A Major League Talent!

Title of Book:  da bushes
Author:  Rich Kisielewski
ISBN #:  1-59286-309-4
Publisher:  PublishAmerica
Genre/Market:  Fiction
Publication Date:  2003
Book Length:  251 pages
Price:  $21.95
Trade Paperback

Rating: Highly Recommended


Get ready for a wild ride with Harry Mickey Shorts, intrepid private eye, in the first of a series of Harry Mickey Shorts adventures.  da bushes sets out to solve  the mystery of why a seemingly unbeatable minor league team suddenly tanks in the middle of its first season and it is up to Harry to find out not only why, but who is behind it all.


 Harry is a 31-year-old divorced father, private eye, and almost-was baseball player.  After some hard times, Harry has made his way back into his children's lives and has developed a civil relationship with his ex after moving back onto Long Island to be close to his kids.  He rents space in an office that his brother-in-law owns and gets by OK, although he is not in the greatest financial shape.  Then out of the blue, he is suddenly handed a case that could make his career.  One day, Mr. M. Randle Trundle, corporate and very wealthy CEO of a "major New York conglomerate calls Harry and asks him to help him out with a situation he is having.  It turns out that Mr. Trundle is the owner of the Bayport Schooners, a minor league team which started out looking as if it was ready for major league stardom in its first season.  But halfway through the season, things mysteriously changed.  The players suddenly weren't feeling right anymore - they moved more slowly, couldn't seem to hit or catch the balls the way they had earlier in the season, and it was obvious that something had happened, but Mr. Trundle needs Harry's help to find out exactly what.


 Harry goes undercover to solve the mystery and becomes a player-coach for the team, earning the trust of the players while the pieces of the puzzle start coming together. He also gets to live his seemingly lost dream of playing baseball for a real team.  Working for Mr. Trundle, Harry now travels in style to various ports of call.  And Harry enjoys the ladies as much as he enjoys his Becks - and the ladies enjoy him in return.  Readers be warned - there is a great deal of salty language in the book as well as adult situations, but none of those scenes are graphic or in bad taste.  We come to know that Harry does have a heart of gold beneath his rumpled and cynical exterior.  He truly loves his kids and we see how he enjoys his time with them.  And once he knows he can trust someone, he will go the distance for them.  He is like a bulldog, with a tough exterior, but a tenacious and loyal interior.


 As Harry delves deeper and deeper into the mystery, certain things start becoming clearer to him while others become more confusing and dangerous.  There is an interesting and eclectic cast of characters inhabiting the pages of this book and we are taken inside the world of minor league baseball on a detailed and intimate level.


 Readers will enjoy the author's wry sense of humor as they try to see if they can fit the puzzle pieces together along with Harry.  Rich Kisielewski's writing is snappy and fast-paced, honest and funny.  He obviously has an expansive knowledge of and deep love for baseball, which comes through in the book.  It is also apparent he has a deep affection for Harry, which, as the reader gets to know him, will be something the reader will feel as well. 
da bushes is a fun read and I will very much look forward to the next adventure of Mr. Harry Mickey Shorts.


   An Interview with Richard Kisielewski 




To start this off, why don't you give an idea of what the book is about?


da bushes is a sports/mystery with a private detective as the main character and minor league baseball as the major backdrop for the story.


A short description:


Mr. M. Randle Trundle, the CEO of a major New York conglomerate, is beyond outraged. Somebody messed with his minor league baseball team - The Bayport Schooners and he is taking it personally.


He hires Harry Mickey Shorts, an unconventional, street-wise private investigator, to find out what caused the suspicious collapse of his team during its initial season. Added to the team as a player-coach, Harry gets a second chance to go back and do what has always been his first love, play baseball, while he helps Trundle solve his problem. Complicating the issue, Harry is simultaneously dealing with the trials of rebuilding a life with his ex-wife and two kids.


Seen through Harry's eyes, da bushes treats us to glimpses of life in the minor leagues, both on and off the field. Harry works hard and plays hard, with equal doses of ladies, partying and hilarious times intermingled with catching the bad guys.



Where did you grow up and was reading and writing a part of your life?


I was born in Brooklyn, New York but grew up in Woodside, Queens another of the Boroughs in New York. Growing up with athletics as the primary focus at that time, any reading I did revolved around sports. I cant say that either reading or writing were major activities for me other then what was required for school.



Who were your earliest influences and why?

The earliest influences in my life were the people who sacrificed their time to teach and coach youngsters like myself. Ive given back over 30 years of coaching to kids just like me.

My high school baseball coach taught me not only how to be a winner, but most of all, to want to be a winner. Never having said thanks in person, I do so in my book. Perhaps my never-ending determination to be the best at everything I do, including my writing, is due in part to him.


What would a typical day be like for a writer?


I would love to have the opportunity to answer this question, but working a demanding full time job forces me to find time to write. I can envision starting the day reviewing and reworking the prior days work and then continuing on from there. The continuity of working on a project on a daily basis would truly allow for picturing the next events and enabling creative flow. Now it is write large amounts and then go back and edit whenever I can. 



How long have you been writing and in what capacities?


The majority of my writing before da bushes was of a business nature revolving around strategic and business plans for major corporations. Some people considered a few of them as pure fiction, but I guess they cant really qualify. I started writing da bushes late in 1999 and have been working on writing real fiction since then. I wish I had started much, much sooner.



Which is more difficult to write - Fiction or nonfiction and why?


Never having written nonfiction excluding a few business plans - it is difficult for me to comment here. I would think the research must be very time consuming and in my opinion would somewhat constraining from a creative standpoint. I like to let my mind wander and go wherever it chooses and I would have to think that would be a bit difficult writing nonfiction.



Has there ever been a time when you wanted to throw in the towel and give up? And if so, how did you defeat those instincts?


When starting in this business, and it is a business, I was very nave and under the impression writing the book was the hard part. I soon learned the real hard part is getting published. It is the age old Catch-22: it is extremely difficult for an unknown first time author to secure an agent and most publishing houses wont take a manuscript unless an agent represents it. Hence, the Catch 22 aspect of the writing business.


The worst thing anyone can do is tell me no confidence, and probably more so stubbornness kept me from quitting. 


What is the hardest part about being a writer?


As I have said, for me it is stealing bits of time to write. Perhaps I am fortunate, but when I sit down the words flow no matter how long it has been since I last put words to, well, keyboard. The hardest part is not having the freedom to be creative and allow Harry Mickey Shorts, my main character, to roam the pages of his next adventure; and also being able to stop even though Im not sure Im totally satisfied with what I have written. 



Do you have any hobbies? What are they? How do they enhance your writing?


Hobbies I have time I dont! I have always enjoyed various sports and now play golf and tennis. Unfortunately, not as well as I would like. I enjoy playing bridge and of course reading whenever possible.


Not only just while enjoying a hobby, one is always coming upon circumstances or events that spark an I can use that thought that translated into a character or part in one of our works. Sometimes thats as much fun as writing about it.



Articles and media alike make it sound as though the only way to rise to the top is to sacrifice. What do you find to be good sacrifices?


We all sacrifice at times during our lives for our family, job, etc. My writing requires me to devote time that could have been spent doing other things necessary or just for fun. Having a full time job, I dont rely on my writing to pay the bills so it is easier for me than many others.


A good sacrifice is one you choose to take.



What question do you get asked more than any other?

The most asked question is How long did it take to write the book? I cant begin to figure out why that is asked most, but it is. By the way, the answer is 4 months to write and what seemed like a lifetime to get published.



Whats the coolest thing a reader has said to you?


Loved the book and cant wait for the next one to be available!



What has been your feedback from readers? What do they say to you about their interpretations of your book?


So far, knock on wood, I have received very positive feedback from the people I have spoken to and from the reviews posted. Character development and the flow of the story have been the most prominent part of the feedback. The main character is well liked and the humor within da bushes was mentioned often. In my mind, the best compliment is their feeling it was a fun read.



Do you think that as a writer you are more prone to watching what goes on around you and observing behaviors than most people are?


I have always been a people watcher. Perhaps writers arent more aware of what is going on around them, but they will remember what they see and hear, store it away, and utilize it later on in their writing. Or maybe were just nosier than most people you decide!



Who are some of the authors you consider to be "don't miss"?


Many of the mystery writers too many to mention - are dont miss for me. Both of the Pattersons (James and Richard North), Stuart Woods and Robert Parker are particular faves, as are Patricia Cornwell, Michael Palmer and Jeffery Deaver. I love the Alphabet mysteries and the character Matthew Hope who doesnt appear enough for me. The list just goes on and on



If one were looking to start his/her own career as a writer, what would you suggest his/her first step to be?


Talk to writers, both successful and struggling. Attend a convention and try and speak with several agents and/or publishers about the business and the process of getting published as it exists for them and their genre. Prepare for the long haul and the failures that may get in the way of their success. And most of all win the lotto first!



What kind of movies do you enjoy?


All kinds of movies. I try and steer clear of heavy dramas and go for the action adventure or mystery types. They are a means of escape and enjoyment and Id much rather have fun then think heavy thoughts, that is unless Im trying to figure out who the bad guy is and how he did the deed.



What is your favorite city to visit, but one that you wouldnt want to live in?


This is a tough one, but Id have to say Chicago due to the cold and snow. Im from New York and I love New York City, but dont know if Id want to live in Manhattan itself. Id have to give that much thought.



Whats the strangest question youve ever been asked in an interview?


Ive actually done few interviews to date, so Id have to say, Whats the strangest question youve ever been asked in an interview?



Whats the best part of being a writer?


To be lost in your own little world creating what no one has ever done before, for your own enjoyment, and hopefully the enjoyment of many others.


The satisfaction of the creation is satisfaction enough.


Ill take the money though.



What's next?


Harry Mickey Shorts rides again! While marketing and pushing da bushes, I have been working on the next HMS adventure called da sticks which has the world of insurance as its main theme. Not to worry, though, Harry still dabbles in his two passions in life - baseball and the ladies.


 We'd like to thank Mr. Kisielewskifor allowing us to conduct this interview. Here's to your great success!