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September 21, 2018

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Susan Petrone: How to Throw Like a Woman

July 5, 2018

 

 

The idea for my novel Throw Like a Woman kind of sprang fully formed into my head during a bike ride. I’m a cyclist—I love the feeling of autonomy and freedom you can only get on a bicycle. One weekend morning a few years back, I was out riding on Chagrin River Road in Gates Mills, Ohio. It’s a gorgeous stretch of road, and it’s one of my all-time favorite places to ride. I was going along, happy as a clam, not a car or another bicycle in sight. Then a car turned onto the road directly in front of me and cut me off. It was uncalled for and way too close for comfort. I was okay, just shaken up and really ticked off. I was filled with a wave of anger and adrenaline. I pedaled as fast as I could in a vain attempt to catch up with the driver of the car and give him a piece of my mind. Cars on that road routinely go 40 or 45 mph—needless to say, I didn’t catch up to it. However, I still had miles to go and plenty of time to start thinking and dreaming about anger. So I went home and started writing a book.

 

I used play baseball in a wood-bat pick-up league on Sunday nights. It had a huge range of ages from high school to seventy-plus. About the only lack of diversity was in the number of X chromosomes on the field—I was generally the only woman or one of two. So while my bicycle daydreaming started with “Wouldn’t it be cool if all that adrenaline could make me pedal as fast as a car?” it quickly shifted to “Wouldn’t it be cool if all that adrenaline could make me throw 90 miles an hour?” The idea just grew from there.

 

 

 

So, Throw Like a Woman is a book about baseball. And about anger. I don’t think female anger is dealt with in a respectful manne