Hello Jaqueline! Thank you so much for visiting Written Butterfly with me today! It’s such a pleasure to chat with you. So tell me…
Q) Is this book part of a series? If so, can you tell us about it?
Yes! Challenge Accepted is a part of the Cheat Chasers series. Cleat Chasers follows the passionate, exciting and dramatic lives of Callie, Zade and their friends as they go through college and navigate what lies beyond. There is baseball…lots of baseball as Callie, Greta and Zaria follow the men in their lives.
Q) Can you give a fun or interesting fact about your book?
All of the food or recipes that are mentioned are the ones my dad taught me. In the story, Callie rebels against her dad for forcing her to learn how to cool to support herself. Rather than tell him she enjoys it, she puts up a fight. That may or may not have a little truth to it.
Q) What gave you the inspiration for your book?
Baseball. Plain and simple. Its my favorite sport – and its romantic. My husband and I went to Cubs games once we began dating ten years ago and it became a tradition. Last year, the Cubs made the playoffs and eventually won the world series. (I sobbed tears of joy and we sprayed champagne in our place after. We still regret that) That is when the inspiration hit to write Challenge Accepted.
Q) Do you have any habits that get you in the writing frame of mind?
Music is key for me. Every time I sit down to write, each character or book I’m working on has a specific playlist. Once a song or two is essentially “assigned” to a book, I make a short ten song playlist that I put on repeat. I know it takes hours writing and you would think I get sick of the same ten songs, but I don’t. Even now, whenever I hear a certain song out in public, I’m immediately transferred back to a chapter or scene. Also, there is always lots of coffee. Copious amounts of black, strong coffee.
Q) Do you plan all your characters out before you start a story or do they develop as you write?
Callie and Zade formed in my head and bothered me until I got their story out. The story developed from there. I sat down one day and began typing and continued until my fingers and wrists hurt. Callie and Zade seemed so real to me, so their interactions and personalities were easy to write.
Q) How much real life do you put into or influences your books?
I remember reading once that every book someone writes contains elements of their real life and I have to agree. Zade comes from a family of strong, independent women. I do as well. Callie likes to cook, but refuses to tell her dad he was right. Again, that hits home.
But the biggest element that comes from my real life is the passion my husband and I have for baseball. The scene where Callie and Zade meet, she is wearing a hat that is not well known at all, unless you were a die-hard Tigers fan. My husband has that hat and every time he wears it, someone out of the blue will comment. In the world of baseball, there are diehard fans and I set out to write a ‘love story’ to baseball.
Q) What are your upcoming projects?
The second book in Cleat Chasers has kept me quite busy. Greta is different from Callie. More forward, confident, and wild. Her story has changed paths from my original intention – which is sometimes more fun.
Also, I’m working on another series centering around sports. The Fair Game series follows three couples—even if they don’t know it yet—as they tackle the first steps of finding their dream jobs in the fast-paced world of sports. They’re just starting out in life and love…and everything between. The high-drama, challenge-filled time in their lives where they are expected to have everything figured out blends the excitement of a new romance with the anxiety of the unknown. There will be more info to come, it’s still in the works!