Local sportswriter Jon Kerr’s first book The Boys in Brown covers the 2010 season of the Carmel Corsairs football team. Kerr visited Aspen Library last week for an author event, and spoke to a group about his book, writing process, and experiences. In 2010, the Carmel Corsairs football team had a pretty successful season (no spoilers!), but the book goes beyond football and into the core of the team. Kerr follows the stories and personal lives of some of the players and their relationships with the coaches. To Kerr, his book focuses on the question: What do we owe each other?
Beyond plot synopsis, Kerr explained what it takes to commit to a nonfiction writing project of this kind. He attended every football practice, game, and meeting during the season. Privacy and trust were major issues for him while he was working on the book. Many of the players were under eighteen at the time, and parental consent was required to interview them. Kerr also didn’t start recording or interviewing anyone for the first two weeks he was there. He wanted the players and organization to trust him, and allowed the relationships to build naturally and authentically. Writing of any kind takes time, commitment, and flexibility.