John Shea

in conversation with Phil Cousineau

Recorded August 15th, 2020

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John Shea in conversation with Phil Cousineau

Saturday, August 15, 2020

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John Shea is the co-writer of the instant New York Times and San Francisco Chronicle bestseller  24: Life Stories and Lessons from the Say Hey Kid in which the legendary Willie Mays shares the inspirations and influences responsible for guiding him on and off the field.

John is the San Francisco Chronicle’s national baseball writer and columnist. He is in his 33rd year covering baseball, including 28 in the Bay Area. He wrote three baseball books, including Rickey Henderson’s biography (“Confessions of a Thief”) and “Magic by the Bay,” an account of the 1989 World Series.

John has also won several Associated Press Sports Editors awards, including first place in the nation for a World Series game story. He’s a two-time Bay Area chairman of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America and created the Bill Rigney Good Guy Award, given each year to a Giant and Athletic who is most accommodating to the media.

Phil Cousineau is an award-winning writer and filmmaker, teacher and editor, lecturer, and travel leader, storyteller and TV host. His fascination with the art, literature, and history of culture has taken him from Michigan to Marrakesh, Iceland to the Amazon, in a worldwide search for what the ancients called the “soul of the world.” With more than 35 books and 15 scriptwriting credits to his name, the “omnipresent influence of myth in modern life” is a thread that runs through all of his work. His books include Stoking the Creative FiresOnce and Future MythsThe Art of PilgrimageThe Hero’s JourneyWordcatcherThe Painted WordThe Oldest Story in the WorldThe Book of Roads, and The Accidental Aphorist.

“Willie Mays has been the subject of multiple biographies, documentaries, and print and broadcast appreciations. But Willie and John Shea have found a fresh way in, and here’s how: Twenty-four chapters, each illuminating a chapter of Wille’s remarkable Career and life.

– Bob Costas,  from his forward to 24, Stories and Lessons from the Say Hey Kid.

Get ready to join John in conversation, Wednesday August 5th.

In the meantime, we invite you to take a moment now to help shape this upcoming conversation.

Check out the list of questions submitted by other registered attendees, and then vote to support any that match your interests.

Feel free to add your own question. Then spread the word to make sure others have the chance to help move your question to the top of the shared list.

  • 3

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    What made you shift from journalism to novels? What is the major difference for you between the two types of writing?

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    What is the last thing you read or saw that moved you?

  • 3

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    What is the draw for you in telling “sport stories”? Have you always been interested in sports in culture?

  • 2

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    What, during the course of writing this book, did you learn about Willie Mays that you didn’t already know?

  • 2

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    What do you think of MLB’s approach to baseball during COVID?

  • 2

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    What did you learn about baseball–as opposed to Willie Mays personally–in the process of writing this book?

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    What was it like working with Willie Mays?

  • 1

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    It was the mid-1950s, and I remember walking to Thomas Jefferson High School (Brooklyn) that my friends and I would regularly see Willie Mays and Monte Irvin standing on the steps in front of their liquor store (Willmont Liquors) on Pennsylvania Avenue. Looking back, it is unbelievable that a superstar of his magnitude would be so publicly available. In today’s world either of them would have commercial careers. Please comment on the difference between superstars of yesterday (Mickey Mantle, Duke Snider and Willie Mays) and today. Was Willie even aware of how good he was and what he deserved to earn? Thank you.

  • 1

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    Greatest outfield of all time? Greatest Giants outfield?

  • 1

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    What advice do you have for young writers? Can you talk a little about the process of getting a book published? Thank you.

  • 1

    votes

    Does Fernando Tatis, Jr. remind you of Willie Mays?

  • 1

    votes

    what is the process of co-writing like? how did most of the writing get done?

  • 1

    votes

    Who are some of your favorite authors, whether fiction or non-fiction, and have they influenced your writing?

  • 0

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    HOW DOES A FREELANCE WRITER GET THE ATTENTION OF LOCAL NEWSPAPERS OR SPORTS PUBLICATIONS TO PRESENT HIS WORK?

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