#LetsGoBucs: USC Grad Writes E-Book
Scott McMurtry, 22, didn’t discover his love of writing until his junior year at Penn State University. However, that didn’t stop the Upper St. Clair High School graduate from writing his first book—an e-book consisting of more than 300 pages.
#LetsGoBucs: A Summer with the Pittsburgh Pirates chronicles the team’s 2012 season from a social media point of view. It was released in May by McMurtry, three months before he graduated with a degree in history and political science.
Over the course of the last year’s baseball season, McMurtry said he attended nearly 20 games along with following players,fans and the team using Twitter.
“I really love to talk about baseball and sports,” McMurtry said, adding the topic of his first book was an easy choice. He had played baseball since 4 and even played on his high school varsity team.
“The more I played, the more I wanted to learn,” McMurtry said of baseball.
A self-proclaimed statistics fanatic, McMurtry said he enjoys all of the record-keeping in baseball.
McMurtry admits that in high school he never thought of himself as a good writer.
“It really took off in college,” he said. He added as a history major, he had to write many papers. He also took a creative writing class as an elective.
McMurtry said his writing style comes from what he reads.
“I think if you read anything, it can have a positive effect on your skills,” he said. He said he tries to make his writing, which is often about statistics, fun and easy for the reader to understand.
He draws his influences from writers like Dave Cameron of the website www.Fangraphs.com and sports writers from the website www.Grantland.com. As far as radio and television broadcasters, McMurtry counts Pirates broadcaster Greg Brown as one of his favorites because of his passion. Brian Kenny of MLB Network has also influenced McMurtry.
One of the major points McMurtry makes in his book is that the experience of watching a game and following the baseball season using social media allows people to absorb more information.
“You can watch a game by yourself, but you’re also watching it with a 100 different people,” McMurtry said of Twitter.
“I think it’s a really significant change in the way games are experienced.” McMurtry added that people who Tweet about the Pirates “have a lot of intelligent things to say.”
The most rewarding part of the book so far has been the positive feedback he has received from readers. “People I don’t know directly are commenting on the book. That’s especially rewarding,” McMurtry said.
McMurtry said if he writes another book it will most likely be about baseball or sports, but added, “I enjoy writing about lots of things.” He said baseball is a good topic because “I get to be creative, You never run out of things to say because there are so many different things to talk about.
#LetsGoBucs is available for download on several devices including the iPad, iPhone, Nook and Kindle. In addition, McMurtry blogs at www.wordsabovereplacement.blogspot.com. His twitter handle is @Scott_McMurtry.