Now available at Amazon.com, The Ultimate Outsider by Alex Rummelhart is the first novel about the game of ultimate.
Writer and ultimate player Alex Rummelhart has written and recently released his first novel, The Ultimate Outsider. Geared towards both young adults and adult ultimate players, the book explores the story of Jimmy Anderson and a fictional high school ultimate team.
The goal of the novel, according to Rummelhart, who has bylines on both Ultiworld and Skyd Magazine, is to continue to grow interest in the sport of ultimate and help people develop passion for the game through the story he’s crafted.
We sat down with Rummelhart, who he gave us insight into the origins of the book and how it relates to his own experiences with ultimate:
MLU: Where did the idea for the book come from?
AR: I’ve always loved writing; I try to write something new every week. I’ve done a lot of writing in the ultimate world, especially in regards to reporting and covering tournaments, as well as trying to help younger players improve their game or team. I’ve also done a lot of coaching in ultimate. At the same time, I love fiction and love telling stories- making people feel excited about the thrill of action and making them laugh. The idea of writing an ultimate novel – the intersection of all these passions – had been in my head for a while, but I could just never find the right story in my head. Last spring I was driving in my car, listening to an ultimate podcast, and thinking about how I wasn’t the only one out there that would be interested in reading such a book, and that as a kid new to the game especially I would have loved it. Suddenly, ideas started flowing about a high school team and the characters, and it all clicked.
MLU: What genre is the book?
AR: The novel is sports fiction, specifically young adult sports fiction. Young adult fiction is growing in popularity, and it really seemed the best fit to capture ultimate from the perspective of a young person new to ultimate. The book has the feeling and experience of an ultimate season for any player, while also combining the themes – and humor – of growing up and trying to fit in, both concepts that every single person, regardless of age, can relate to. I hope the book is a great read for any age and that new youth players and veteran pro’s alike can enjoy it.
MLU: How much research did you do before/while writing the book?
AR: Most of the book is drawn from experiences I’ve heard about, read about, or experienced myself. I had a large group of ultimate players that I would talk to when I was writing and asked their opinions on various aspects of ultimate life.
MLU: Where does the story take place? How realistic or unrealistic is the setting?
AR: The story takes place in a fictional town in Wisconsin. Besides the fact that the characters, schools, and towns are made up, it’s entirely realistic even referencing real events and teams in the ultimate world.
MLU: Are there any personal ultimate experiences shared in the book?
AR: The Ultimate Outsider definitely draws on my ultimate experiences; in fact, I tried to write it to draw on global experiences as a player and lover of the game for everyone out there. The characters, the style, and the jokes of the team are all designed purposefully so that everyone can relate. I really wanted to capture the flavor and fun of ultimate. A lot of that is a combination of my own playing and coaching, of what I’ve seen and what I’ve heard from others, mashed up into a brand-new, totally fictional team.
MLU: When and how can people read your book?
AR: The book is available on Amazon and can be ordered via paperback. A kindle version will likely be available in a few days.