In 1979 God put UPI on Tom's and his wife, Carin’s, hearts. A year later, the ministry became a reality. Tom ministered to players thru chapels, in camps and clinics for 28 years. He has had the honor to serve Christ through UPI in many venues, including speaking and conducting clinics in over 60 countries.
Tom and Carin reside in Winona Lake, Indiana and have two daughters, Amy and Lindsay, and 6 grandchildren (Hannah, Luke, Faith, Tommy, Sam and Lainey).
Welcome to The Book Connection, Tom. It's a pleasure to have you with us. Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I grew up with a deep love for baseball. Signed with S.F. Giants in 1967, but that was a very short lived career! Upon graduation from college, I spent the next 9 years in coaching, 3 at the high school level and 6 at the small college level. In 1980 founded UPI and have worked there for the past 30 years.
Where did you grow up?
What is your fondest childhood memory?
Playing baseball or whiffle ball 12 months a year…in rain, snow or good weather.
When did you begin writing?
This is my first book.
Do you write during the day, at night or whenever you can sneak a few moments?
I spent 6 weeks at my cabin in Wisconsin doing the research and the outline. Started taking days at a local coffee shop pounding out the story. Then I would write mostly in evenings.
This is a story of God’s moving in the game of professional baseball. Released tells the remarkable story of the birth, growth, and development of a unique Christian outreach to the world of professional baseball-Unlimited Potential Inc. Beginning with a phone call from Hank Aaron during a miserable Indiana blizzard, the fledgling start up work has grown to a world-wide ministry that has impacted thousands with the gospel message through baseball clinics and instruction. Of special interest are the chapters on the culture of professional baseball and the life of a pro baseball player’s wife, with all its unique challenges and issues.
What inspired you to write it?
Our board of directors told me to write the history of the ministry. Rather than making it a dry year by year account, I attempted to make it a story that had humor, stories of faith and real life experiences.
Who is your biggest supporter?
Are you a member of a critique group? If no, who provides feedback on your work?
Not a member of a critique group. Most feedback has come from friends and family.
Who is your favorite author?
Do you have an agent or are you looking for one?
Yes, Maryanna Young.
Was the road to publication smooth sailing or a bumpy ride?
It was pretty smooth. A local publisher, BMH, had seen the work of UPI and believed in the mission so picked up the book.
If you knew then, what you know now, is there anything you would have done differently?
I would have spent more time shopping the book to publishers.
Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?
Our web site http://www.upi.org/ or at Amazon.com.
Do you have a website and/or blog where readers can find out more?
Yes, http://www.tomroy.org/ or http://www.upi.org/.
Do you have a video trailer to promote your book? If yes, where can readers find it?
What is the best investment you have made in promoting your book?
What is one piece of advice you would like to share with aspiring authors everywhere?
Start writing! Do not feel like you have to do this alone. This is a group effort with many edits and eyes. But you have the story.
What is up next for you?
I am co-authoring a book on betrayal with Jerry Price. Manuscript is finished…now the process begins!
Is there anything you would like to add?
Thank you so much for caring about this book!
Thanks for spending time with us today, Tom. We hope and pray your ministry reaches many.
RELEASED IS ALSO AVAILABLE IN A KINDLE
Now that you've learned about this amazing book and its author, you have a chance to win a free copy. Here are the details:
1) You must be a follower of The Book Connection to win.
2) Leave a comment telling me how you follow with a valid email address so I can contact you if you win. You cannot win if I don't have your email address.
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6) You must be 18 years of age or older and reside in the U.S. or Canada to be eligible to win.
Deadline for entries is 11:59 PM Eastern on Sunday, February 13, 2011. Winner will be selected out of all entrants who followed the rules governing this contest. Winner will have 72 hours after being contacted to email me their mailing address. If I have not heard from the winner within that time frame, I will select a new winner. The Book Connection is not responsible for lost or damaged goods.