Kelli's Pine

Book Cover



Jay Grochowski

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Eddie Blackburn saved his family and vacated his dreams. Kelli Swanson longed to be anonymous despite her incredible basketball talent. Their son Cole was born with incredible athletic talent, pushing Eddie and Kelli to make decsions that altered the course of their lives and family narrative.



Short Summary

Eddie and Kelli Blackburn leave their home for the last time, alluding to how their lives changed dramatically in the past one hundred days. Along for the ride is a gift-wrapped box from their son Cole. The wonders if they lost the house, what's in the box, where are Kelli and Eddie going and why

The story ends with their son Cole gifting them an RV, cash, and a chance to run away from home thanks to a multi-million dollar baseball contract recently signed. The final chapter returns to the first chapter, revealing the gift and a trip to see Eddie's estranged father and foregiveness.


Mankato, MN

Based on a True Story


Plot - Premise

Rags to Riches,Internal Journey/Rebirth,Other

Plot - Other Elements

Coming of Age,Happy Ending,Meaningful Message,Philosophical Questions

Mature Audience Themes


Main Character Details

Name: Edde Blackburn

Age: 14 through 37

Gender: Male

Role: Protagonist

Key Traits: Masculine,Modest,Selfless,Funny,Visionary,Romantic,Strong Moral Code,Underdog,Naive,Insecure,Honorable,Engaging,Empathetic

Additional Character Details

Name: Kelli Swanson Blackburn

Age: 14 through 37

Gender: Female

Role: Emotional

Key Traits: Modest,Insecure,Gracious,Empathetic,Complex

Additional Character Details

Name: Roger Swanson

Age: 55

Gender: Male

Role: antagonist

Key Traits: Masculine,Badass,Aggressive,Narcisstic,Confident,Blunt,Sarcastic,Educated,Unapologetic,Manipulative

Additional Character Details

Name: Krissy Blackburn

Age: 14

Gender: Female

Role: sidekick

Key Traits: Adventurous,Charming,Engaging,Funny,Sarcastic

Development Pitch

Eddie Blackburn is a character so unique, so engaging, his story grabs the reader from the start. Everyone roots for Eddie, admiring his dedication, laughing at his self-effacing humor, feeling the loss of his dreams while running their portable toilet business. Kelli's Pine is a love story. Eddie falls for Kelli Swanson a basketball star. She longs to be anonymous dealing with her celebrity while battling Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) and battling her father who is the perfect antagonist. SAD, the craziness around youth sports, and the great lengths parents will go to in today's society to help their kids earn a scholarship are themes that weave in and out of the story. Even the lesser characters are relatable and unforgetable. Kelli's Pine will make readers and viewers, laugh, cry, empathize, relate, and pull for them. Cole Blackburn is born to teenage parents with Kelli's family superman athletic DNA and the Blackburn love of baseball. He becomes a focus of the story. Cole, like his mother, has SAD so the Blackburns make tough decisions about home schooling and youth sports. Ultimately the love, sorrow, triumphs and risk playing throughout the novel, culminate in a series of plot twists and tying of loose ends that makes the reader whole the story complete. The book blends comtemporary themes with family struggles and small town midwestern values. Kelli's Pine is character driven with an unforgetable ending.

About The Author

Jay Grochowski graduated in 1982 from Indiana University's perennial Top 20 School of Journalism. Grochowski was a two-time captain and all-Big Ten outfielder for the Hoosiers. The summer after graduation the Lisle, IL native accepted the head baseball coaching position at George Williams College in Downers Grove, IL where he served as the Sports Information Director and taught journalism. GWC ultimately went out of business and Grochowski embarked on a 36 year sales career.

Target Audiences

Age: 18-34,35-54,55+

Target Gender: Universal

Group Specific

Information not completed

Publishing Details

Status: Yes: self-published

Publisher: self published

Year Published: 2020

Hard Copy Available







Kelli and Eddie had big dreams as teenagers. They were star athletes, ready to take on the world. Then life took an unexpected turn. They changed their goals to raise their son and now Cole has a chance at sports stardom.

Overall Rating


Point of View


Narrative Elements

Authors Writing Style: GOOD

Characterization: GOOD

Commerciality: FAIR

Franchise Potential: FAIR

Pace: FAIR

Premise: FAIR

Structure: GOOD

Theme: GOOD

Accuracy of Book Profile

Yes, the book profile accurately reflects the book.

Draw of Story

The story deals with very relatable situations. Life does not always go as planned and many people do not reach their dreams. Circumstances come up in everyone's life and things change.

Possible Drawbacks

The story drags on and on. There is no real plot, it is a revisit of Kelli and Eddie's life leading up to the birth of their son. They had big dreams, but life change drastically for them. There are so many mundane moments of life which add color to the world but most of the story consist of these. It loses the interest of the audience quickly.

Use of Special Effects


Primary Hook of Story

The hook is that Kelli and Eddie gave up their dreams to raise their son who now has an opportunity to do what they didn't. This movie is inspirational because it explore real life and the pain of letting go of ones' dreams.

Fanbase Potential

This would not have a large fanbase. There is little excitement to hold the attention of the audience. Sports is a major them and might draw some fanbase but this story is more of a slice of life. It is inspirational but there is no driving plot.

Awards Potential

This could have awards potential because this story is character driven. If more depth was given to the characters and if it delved more into there experiences and difficulties accepting change then it might garner award recognition.

Envisioned Budget


Similar Films/TV Series


What’s New About the Story

This story is original because it shows how dreams are lost or have to change based off of circumstances in life. The story as a whole is not unique and could use some dramatic events to liven it up.

Lead Characters

The lead characters are young but dedicated individuals that learn at a young age that life does not always unfold as planned.

Uniqueness of Story

This is not a rare gem. It is a pleasant, realistic story but there is nothing exceptional or memorable about it.

Possible Formats

Film - Streaming, TV Series - Cable, TV Series - Streaming

Analyst Recommendation



While the story has many positive points, it has room for improvement (see possible paths below). If you can't change the story at this point, my suggestion is using your notes as a guide to highlight the best aspects of it when taking the next steps, either putting a pitch page together, a treatment, or a presentation.

Tips for Improvement

This story needs more of a driving plot. It is character driven but not interesting enough to only be that. There isn't much strife or drama between the characters that make this entertaining. Cole could have more going on as well. Maybe he is working towards a big goal and that parallels with his parents story.