Larry L. King is at work on a novel about minor league baseball in Texas in the fifties. Breaking Balls is a fictionalized account of his experiences covering the “miserable 144-game schedule” of the Midland Indians as a $55-a-week reporter for the Midland Reporter-Telegram in 1951. “I went to all the home games and traveled with them to the away games,” King says. “I had to ride the team bus because the paper was so damn cheap.”

The large and pesky rodents called nutrias played a role in the genesis of Austinite Shelby Hearon’s untitled work-in-progress. The primary settings of her novel, which centers on the intersecting lives of two sisters, are Metairie, Louisiana, and Maastricht, Netherlands—locales that became linked in Hearon’s mind when she was in Maastricht for a conference and glimpsed the head of a nutria, a critter typically found in Cajun country. “The more you try to leave home,” she says, “the more you find things are the same.”

Houston Chronicle columnist Mickey Herskowitz is ghostwriting golfer Tom Kite’s memoir, which will focus on Kite’s lifelong friendship with his late mentor, Harvey Penick, and his ascent to the top of his sport. Look for the as-yet-untitled book to be published next summer, when Kite will lead the U.S. Ryder Cup team.