By JIM MISUNAS
LARNED — Larned native Ryan Shelton will stage a book signing from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday at Scraps, 612 Broadway.
The sequel’s name is “The Captain,” after his first book “The Mentor,” earned a five-star Amazon rating.
“My main focus was to write a sincere novel — real-to-life,” Shelton said. “It’s great to come back home. My hometown supported me very well the first time. When I finished ‘The Mentor,’ Vincent’s story was just beginning. I left it open for a sequel. Now, the story will take care of itself.”
Shelton said he has enjoyed the writing experience. He learned the best type of places to market his work and what businesses were welcoming.
“In ‘The Captain,’ Vincent will face many more issues with his first year of college, even some tragedies,” Shelton said. “It will be all important for Vincent to remember that you will get knocked down. You just have to get back up.
“When I wrote The Captain, I wanted it not just to be an entertaining read, but to be a must-read for anyone heading into a new adventure, especially college,” Shelton said. “I don’t want to say it’s an instructional manual for college, but it does show how easy it is to get trapped in the pitfalls of college life, and how easy it is to find the right paths as well.”
In “The Mentor,” Vincent was just coming into his own. He was discovering his strength, or more accurately, that he had strength, and by the end of the novel, he was on top of the world.
“But it’s when we are on top that we are most susceptible to being pulled down,” Shelton said. “For Vincent, that will become his reality.”
Larned-born Shelton graduated from Larned High School in 1993. Hew up in the great outdoors, hunting and fishing. In high school he played football, baseball, and tennis, choosing the latter as a way to help pay for college.
When Ryan was a senior in high school, his English teacher asked the class to write Christmas stories for a regional newspaper contest. Clairvoyance prevailed and Ryan turned in a hunting story, much to the chagrin of his teacher. Amazingly, the story took second place place and Ryan decided then and there that he wanted to be a novelist.
Ryan graduated from Northwestern Oklahoma State University in Alva, Okla. with a teaching degree in English. He taught English and coached football and track from 1999-01 at Larned moving to Ponca City, Okla. in 2001. He teaches high school English and boys tennis at Ponca City.
Against all odds, Vincent Preston has graduated high school and earned a scholarship to play baseball in college.
With his talent, he soon wows his coaches and teammates, earning the No. 1 pitching spot. However, Vincent quickly realizes his perception of college is naïve. Competition to stay on top is fierce, his college workload is challenging, and his social life is demanding.
Compounding Vincent’s difficulties, his party-conscious roommate parades a constant supply of alcohol, drugs, and coeds through their room.
Bombarded by temptation from all angles, tragedy strikes, putting Vincent’s faith to the test.
With his baseball career and much more in the balance, how will a friendship with the team captain and a mysterious girl impact Vincent’s course?
Vincent Preston is in real trouble.
With absentee parents, he raises himself, barely graduating high school, and has one chance to get out of his small town: baseball. He has a strong arm, but unfortunately he is wild, out of control.
Thankfully, his English teacher, Mrs. Dean, introduces him to her husband, “Grandpa Dean,” a gruff WWII veteran and former baseball scout who missed his shot when he was injured in the war. He is riddled with cancer and is looking for one last chance at atonement for carrying around his anger for so long.
Vincent’s mentor teaches him not only how to take advantage of his natural talent, but to trust in God. He’ll need his newfound faith in Christ to overcome his shady coach, the coach’s bully of a son, and the local drug dealer, all of whom are intent on wrecking his dreams.