Mike Carey, the former superintendent of the Sebastopol
Union School District, started writing after he retired from another school district last summer. Now he has
bragging rights to two new novels. On Saturday afternoon, he plans to discuss both of them at Copperfield’s Books in Sebastopol.

“Going the Distance: To the Kings, The Story of the
National Chess League” (Seven Locks Press, $11.95) tells the story of two
unlikely crusaders bent on proving that chess is a sport. The inspiration for
Carey’s second novel, “Heading for Home, A Baseball Odyssey” (Publish America, $19.95) is based
on true events. It describes the journey of a young boy who flees Russia in
1917, resettles in Japan, and becomes the country’s greatest baseball player.

Recently I caught up with Carey and asked him about his
reinvention as an author.

“I started writing both books right after retiring. However, I had the idea for the chess book back at the time Bobby Fischer had
made the game so popular in 1972,” Carey said. “The baseball book
came from two angles–the first being the true story of Victor Starffin and the
other about what happened to Japanese-Americans right after Pearl Harbor,
specifically in Sebastopol. “

To help celebrate his books, Carey said Copperfield’s is
creating an ongoing location in the Sebastopol store for chess players.
“Folks can drop in to play a game or reserve the board for a scheduled
match. Players will be encouraged to sign up as individuals or teams (and name
their respective teams). We are still working on the final details, but will be
able to share those on Saturday,” Carey said.

He added: “For newer/younger players, we will encourage
them to join the Copperfield’s 64 Club. Once a youngster has completed 64
games, he/she is eligible for a special award. There will also be drawings for
prizes (ranging from chess boards to t-shirts featuring the six teams in the
book). Students will also be
encouraged to design their own chess pieces (a display of various chess pieces
will also be at Copperfield’s). “

Currently Carey is working on another book about 1880s
baseball. “I formed a league in Amador County three years ago where we
play using the old rules and equipment and dressed up in the baggy uniforms of
that time. There are some very interesting events from 1850 to 1890 related to
baseball and northern California,” added Carey.

Meet Mike Carey, Feb. 28. 1:30, Copperfield’s Books, 138 Main St., Sebastopol.