Hi friends! I’m beyond excited to welcome super star author Beverly Jenkins to ALBTALBS with a guest post for Smithsonian Women’s History Month (SWHM).
“Lozen is my right hand … strong as a man, braver than most, and cunning in strategy. Lozen is a shield to her people.”
This quote, attributed to the great Apache War Leader Vicotorio describes his sister, Lozen, remembered by the Apache as a kick ass warrior and one of the most powerful medicine people in tribal history. She was born in the late 1840s into the Warm Springs band of the Chiricahua Apache who made their home in the mountains of what is now New Mexico. Some historians believe Lozen means, “Little Sister”, while others say Lozen is a war title given to a person who steals horses during a raid. Regardless of what her name means she is a legend. At a young age, she eschewed the traditional female lessons of basket making and child care to ride horses and learn to fight. She also vowed never to marry. As she grew older, she was as good with a knife as she was with a rifle. She was also a formidable horsewoman. During her coming of age spirit quest, Useen, the Apache Creator God gifted her with not only the power to heal wounds, but the ability to sense the enemy; a sixth sense that would prove invaluable in the Apache fight to remain a free people. Continue reading →
I’m totally stealing her thunder, but today we have the awesome Sierra Dean. She writes a variety of genres, and happened to be in my “neighborhood” (state, whatever), and she took me to my second ever baseball game! It was awesome, and I still have the tan line. 😀
But you don’t care about my rambling. Here’s what Sierra has to say.
When you’re primarily known as an urban fantasy author, a lot of people are going to raise some eyebrows when you announce you’re releasing a contemporary romance series. And not just ANY contemporary romance… a SPORTS contemporary romance.
I mean, I write about vampires and werewolves and fairies (oh my!) so where does baseball fit into the mix? That’s the question I get asked a lot, especially now that I’m contracted for the second book in my Boys of Summer series. “Why baseball?”
There’s an easy answer and a longer one. The easy answer? I love baseball. Plain and simple, it’s just that. Baseball ignites a weird, fiery passion in me and I simply can’t get enough. They say write what you love, so I wrote about baseball.
Here’s the longer answer…
I’ve never been a sports fan. For a brief period in elementary school, after the sole Canadian team (Toronto Blue Jays) won the World Series in back-to-back years, I liked baseball. Then the 1994 baseball strike happened, and since I was eleven, my attention span couldn’t last through a skipped season. I let the sport go. I had a passing interest in hockey because I lived in Winnipeg, but when we lost the Jets, my passion for hockey waned as well.
Two years ago (three seasons if we’re talking in terms of baseball), I was re-introduced to baseball through my boyfriend at the time. I think he expected me to be bored by it, but the opposite happened. I latched onto it. I loved it. He was a Detroit Tigers fan, so by extension I became a Tigers fan. I watched as many games as I could that first season, and soon found myself looking up baseball terms and learning as much as I could about the sport.
I will admit it… I was obsessed.
Anyone who follows my Twitter feed from April through October will know that obsession hasn’t gone anywhere. I subscribe to MLB.tv so I can see all the games. Half the Twitter feeds I follow are baseball related. I check the MLB Trade Rumors page on a daily basis to see what’s happening around the league. I can’t get enough.
Early into my obsession I joked with my ex (he remains my best baseball buddy, thank goodness, because he can appreciate all my Tigers-related rants) that I should combine my job with my baseball addiction and write a sports romance. He sneered at the idea and I decided he might be right, it was a silly idea.
But as I started to read more romances, some with a sports theme, I got more and more frustrated. Why were the heroines always so ignorant about the sports? Why did they have to be the ditzy female clichés of girls who don’t “get” sports. In my Twitter feed, I know literally dozens of fellow female baseball fans, and these women are just as dedicated to their teams as I am to the Tigers. So where were the books for women who loved baseball?
I decided to write one.
I wanted to write about a heroine who was in the baseball world, and in my research discovered a paltry offering of jobs for women in the MLB. I did find, though, one very cool job: head athletic trainer. The position has only been held by one woman in all of major league sports, and that woman is LA Dodgers head athletic trainer Sue Falsone. So, since I’m naturally persistent and annoying, I reached out to Sue and asked her for an interview.
The results were better than I could have hoped. With Sue’s insider wisdom and my own relentless obsession with the sport, I wrote Pitch Perfect. My goal when I started writing it was to put out a book for girls like me: women who loved romance novels but were also die-hard sports fans. I wanted it to ring true, and I wanted to let my love of the sport shine through. Judging from the early reviews (even the ones that say “too much baseball!”) I feel I’ve done my job.
And if I’m being totally honest, there’s a third reason I wrote the book (shh, if I spill it, don’t rat me out): I like that going to baseball games and looking at the player’s butts in tight pants legitimately counts as “research.”
Just ask Limecello, I brought her with me on a “research trip” to an Indians game.
She totally did! Great seats, and the home team won! (And they were doing really well at the time. Of course, now they’re in a chase, because, let’s face it. Cleveland. Sports. Enough said. In fact, I coined “tragiteam” which Sierra said she’s going to use in a book. ;D I’ve also said in the past – although this about football – “Cleveland: Ruining sports for everyone.” Which, if you follow sports, know Cleveland often a) fails b) beats teams they “aren’t supposed to” and thus ruining the other team’s championship bid. 😀
As you can tell, I’m a sports fan, but my poison is football, so all you long time blog friends know I’m about to lose my mind come college football time. 😀
So tell me. How do you feel about sports? Do you have a favorite? And if you don’t like sports (although why not?!) – how about sports romances? Have you read any? Enjoyed them?