Monday, July 12, 2010
Author Nancy Lennea stopped by Sports Romance to promote her latest book, Secret Love Match.
K.T.: What’s the first thing you did when you received word you’d sold a book?
NL.: I stared wide-eyed at the e-mail from Red Rose Publishing in disbelief, then scratched my head. What book are they saying “Congratulations” for? It was August 29, 2009. Diving into my office closet, I whipped out my binder for SECRET LOVE MATCH. Yep, I’d sent them the manuscript for consideration in October 2008! SECRET LOVE MATCH , which was released on June 25, 2010, is my third completed manuscript and I was already working on number 6. I calmly discussed the contract with family, filled out the papers, mailed it away, and took my husband and youngest adult son out for dinner!
K.T.: Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
N.L.: I love Taylor Adams. I wrote him first. I saw him as this older guy looking back on life. He’s turned forty and has money, but nothing else to show for it; no wife, no family, no career. His five years of fame on a TV Space Western ended 15 years earlier. Hi’s decided to follow his dream and be on the big screen. Of course, Becka appears and everything changes and for the better. I like how he goes from a stuck-up Hollywood has-been to her knight in shining armor.
K.T.: What part of the book is the easiest for you to write? Why?
N.L.: The beginning is easiest because I have all these stories running around my head screaming to get out. Then I have to stop and fill out a storyboard so I know where my characters are headed. Then I keep writing until the end.
K.T.: What part of the book is the hardest for you? Why?
N.L.: The end. This is when the revisions start. Every time I read my stories, I find another way to describe something, or a better way for the story to flow. I finally have to say STOP. Then, an editor will come along and change it all.
K.T.: What made you pick tennis and the Olympics as your heroine’s dream?
N.L: I grew up in Huntington, New York, on the north shore of Long Island. We lived within walking distance of the beach and my parents scrimped and saved in order to join the Bay Hills Beach Club with its sandy beach, lifeguards, swimming lessons, locker rooms, playground, movie night, and tennis courts. I remember taking lessons and playing with friends. I continued playing for fun through high school and into college. I never thought to play professionally. I just wanted to have fun!
K.T.: How does being an athlete keep Rebecca Delacourt from obtaining her hero?
N.L.: Becka, as I call her, is earning her way as a pro at her parent’s posh Glen Cove, NY Country Club. She refuses to give up her life’s dream to capture a spot on the United States Olympic tennis team by falling in love—like her mom did. Her mother, a former TV actress, gave it all up for love and a family. At 21 years of age, Becka feels she has a lot to look forward to and not one minute of that includes a man. I loved making her fall for Taylor.
K.T: Are you very sports minded?
N.L: I grew up somewhat gangly. I enjoyed lacrosse until my shins turned blue. I liked volleyball, but I ended up sliding over the floor a lot. I did manage to be the best archer in my high school gym class. I ended up teaching archery to kids at a day camp, so I guess that went somewhere. After I married my lacrosse-playing college sweetheart, I helped keep score when he coached Little League. After the birth of our two boys, I watched my sons when they played either soccer or baseball. Today I am a great NASCAR fan, though I’ve only attended one race and that was while I worked as a Track Team EMT. I walked up and down the stands with a medical kit wearing earplugs. Exciting! My goal is to watch a race as a spectator. The best I can do is watch it on TV.
K.T.: Having achieved your goal to be a published author, what is the most rewarding thing?
N.L.: I enjoy every minute spent with other aspiring authors. Whether with my local chapter of Romance Writers America, or on-line with several writer groups, I feel their pain and celebrate their triumphs. Only another writer can truly understand the loneliness surrounding this vocation. I hope my openness and attentiveness to others helps someone achieve their goals. That is the ultimate reward. I am NOT in this for the money.
K.T.: What hobby do you enjoy when not writing?
N.L.: Reading. Traveling while I read. Swimming while I read. Eating while I read…you get the picture. I belong to a local Romance Book Club http://briercreekromance.webs.com. We meet on the second Wednesday of the month at the Brier Creek Barnes & Noble in Raleigh. Made up of HCRW writers as well as local readers, we have a blast! I have read genres I might never have tried because of the monthly ‘picks’.
N.L. BIO: Nancy lives the dream. After growing up in Huntington, New York, and raising two handsome sons in New Hampshire, Nancy and her husband moved to North Carolina where she writes full-time. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, Celtic Heart Romance Writers, Fantasy-Futuristic & Paranormal Romance Writers, and Sisters in Crime. She also writes paranormal romance such as DRAGON’S CURSE from Whispers Publishing as Nancy Lee Badger: www.nancyleebadger.com
Visit her website: www.nancylennea.com for more excerpts.
Visit her blog for the latest news: www.nancylenne-inlove.blogspot.com. You Tube book trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k21mhLa-0Nc.
SECRET LOVE MATCH is available now from http://redrosepublishing.com
Red Rose Publishing buy link: : http://bit.ly/diHVbn
“Hi,” he said. He stopped opposite the low bench, not intruding on her space. His hands lay motionless at his sides. One fist gripped the borrowed tennis racket against shorts that suddenly grew tight. He slid his other hand into his front pocket to camouflage a growing bulge before taking a slow, steady breath. She might not approve of a rampant erection making its presence known so early in their relationship.
“Could I challenge you to a set?” Taylor kept his voice calm while his chest pounded from a sudden desire to run the other way. What the heck was going on? Where had his macho Hollywood persona, built to perfection during cattle calls and late night parties, gone?
With another deep breath, he watched her thinking. He could almost detect her mind as it quickly evaluated the man standing in front of her.
“I see you’re considering my request before answering.” He hoped he wasn’t out of his league, here. Yes, he might be twice her age, but he kept his body trim and healthy with daily workouts. He jogged wherever he happened to be, no matter where he traveled. He’d cut out smoking long before it was in vogue to do so and had slowly cut out the drinking. His friends might not agree with that statement.
Yeah, I still have a way to go with that problem.
He hadn’t joined Alcoholics Anonymous. He didn’t follow their teachings. He’d take a drink now and then, but he no longer drank to excess.
He towered over her. Her eyes flashed with desire as she checked him out. Is she staring at my hair?
During his show’s run, the studio added white-blonde highlights. He’d detested the look, but the fans loved it. Gray hairs had so far refused to make an appearance.
Her gaze settled uneasily on his face. Supermarket tabloids touted his eyes as his best feature. They described them as “The deep blue of the night sky just before sunset.”
He fought the urge to laugh aloud. Contacts kept his vision going strong. The blue-tinted lenses made the color even more intense, but he didn’t wear tinted ones due to vanity. In all honesty, they were easier to find when he dropped one.
He took pride in how his skin pulled tight across his jaw and he still had all his hair. His slightly crooked grin was legendary due to the show. His smile, perfected on his television show, had turned women’s heads for years. He hoped it worked on this cute blonde.
“I was going to have lunch with my parents, but…”
Why did she hesitate? Listening intently, he waited to see how she’d finish her sentence. Surely playing with him would make better use of her time than a family get-together. Maybe the little beauty is hungry.
Hopefully she is hungry for more than just food.
He didn’t want her to starve, but he could certainly persuade her to get to know him better. After that, who knows where they may end up?
“Could you delay fifteen minutes or so? Won’t they wait? It’s such a lovely afternoon. My host is attending to business. I came here to play tennis, but if my partner-in-crime doesn’t show up soon, I’ll have to leave without my exercise. Please?”
Crap! Now he sounded desperate. She gazed over his shoulder at someone before returning her attention to him. Then she smiled. His heart thumped inside his chest.
“Okay. I can give you one set. Then I have to eat before I leave for an afternoon appointment.”
Her bright smile flashed a heated spark straight to his groin. She set her water bottle back down on the bench and grabbed two tennis balls. She tossed them his way and Taylor caught both then stuffed the balls in the back pockets of his tennis shorts. She grabbed two more.
“As a guest of the country club, why don’t you serve?”
“How do you know I’m not a member?” he asked. “Am I wearing some kind of sign across my chest?”
“You mentioned your host is off somewhere.”
Dropping her gaze to his waist, she walked to her side of the net. Was she admiring how he filled out his shorts? Their cut left little to the imagination. Only fair since he had quite the imagination concerning her. As he made his way to the service line, he smiled at her quick deduction that he didn’t belong here. Nodding to her, he bounced the ball twice, set his feet by the right-hand serve box, and swung the racket. Relief flooded his body when the ball made it over the net and landed on his opponent’s court. It wouldn’t do to embarrass himself in front of her so early in their relationship. They hadn’t even exchanged names, yet.
In a flash, she flew across the court and the return volley sailed past his racket. He watched as the bouncing bit of yellow hit the court inches inside the fault line.
She got me.