I’d like to thank Nancy Adams and Gail M. Baugniet for inviting me to participate in a neat blog series called called the Next Big Thing. Gail tagged me to participate first, but I procrastinated and then Nancy’s invitation came along so I decided it was time to see what The Next Big Thing series is all about. I’m glad to finally sit down and answer interview questions about my work-in-progress, as well as invite five other authors to answer the questions on their own blogs. Below is my interview about my work-in-progress Offsides.
What is your working title of your book?
I have a couple works in progress. One of them is Offsides, the sequel to my young adult hockey novel Face-Off. Offsides isn’t coming out for awhile, as I’ve had so many projects in the works, (including an audiobook edition of Face-Off due out in February) but I already have a page devoted to it on my website.
Where did the idea come from for the book?
Face-Off is the story of Brad and T.J. McKendrick, feuding twin brothers who become co-captains of the high school hockey team. The boys need to put aside their differences for the sake of the team, and they also need to come together for the sake of their younger siblings after their parents separate. I wanted to write a story about what happens to Brad and T.J. after Face-Off ends – what choices they make about college, what happens to their family in the aftermath of their parents’ separation, and how all of the pressure strains their new bond.
What genre does your book fall under?
Young adult sports fiction.
Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?
Well, when I originally wrote the first book, I could have seen Rob Lowe as one of the boys. (after watching him in the hockey movie Youngblood.) And Matt Dillon could have played the other one. But alas, that ship has sailed! I’ll have to look around for some hot young actors from today’s generation. I could see Zac Efron as one of the boys also, but even he is too old now!
What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
Here is a long sentence: Twin hockey stars T.J. and Brad McKendrick have finally forged a friendship, off and on the ice, and have set their sights on a state championship to end their high school careers, but what should have been the best year ever takes a nasty hit when a rebellious kid brother, divorcing parents, college pressure, and jealous teammates threaten to drive the twins apart.
Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I’ll self-publish this one as I’d like to get it out there quickly once it’s written and edited. A lot of kids have been requesting a sequel. I’ve already got the cover art picked out.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I wrote the first draft of this manuscript about 18 years ago, after the original publication of Face-Off. I put it in my drawer for several years as there was a lot of turnover at the original publishing house. That first draft needs some work though, and that’s where I’m at now, rewriting that manuscript.
What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Years ago, Face-Off was compared to the kids’ sports books of Matt Christopher. I’m not sure what would be the best comparison today. There are not a lot of hockey novels for middle grade and young adult audiences. That’s why I originally wrote the books, as they were the kind of books I wanted to read when I was a teenager. I wrote Face-Off when I was sixteen years old, in high school study halls, and it was published two years later.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I was a huge hockey fan when I was a teenager, and had such fun writing about Brad and T.J. They have so much conflict between them, so there was never a dull moment writing their scenes, and I was eager to revisit the McKendrick brothers.
What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
I think lots of kids can relate to the sibling rivalry, and unfortunately, a lot of kids can relate to having their parents go through a divorce. The sports scenes catch the attention of reluctant readers, but I think even kids who aren’t huge hockey fans will enjoy the Face-Off books, both boys and girls. Even adults have told me they enjoyed the first book as it brought them back to their high school days. If you’d like to be in the loop when the sequel comes out, please join my newsletter email list.
Next, I’d like to invite some other authors to help keep this series going. Since I was invited to this event twice, I am inviting more than the traditional five to help keep the series going: Tracy Krauss, Nina Pierce, Stephanie Queen, Jill Hughey, Donna Fletcher Crow, Vicky Delany ,
Ronald Fischman, Tori Scott , Sarah Glenn and Shar Dimick.
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