Candee is graciously offering to giveaway a copy of her book! To enter, answer the question at the end and leave contact information. (If we don't know who you are, you won't win without that!)
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I’ve loved to read since an early age and my favorite characters lived on in my imagination long after the story ended. As I grew up, I came across books that fell short and I wondered if I could do better. I always did well in school putting my thoughts into words, so writing non-fiction came naturally. However, the fiction craft took much longer to hone in order to do the stories in my imagination justice.
What does your writing process look like?
I tend to have several ideas percolating on the back burner, but when it’s time to start a new project, one seems to rise to the top. After developing my characters enough to know what they want, their fears, and what lie they currently believe, then I move on to craft the signpost scenes that anchor the flow of the story. I’m old school enough to place index cards out on a chart to check the pacing and spot any weak spots. When it’s time to write, I try to get a very rough draft written as fast as possible while ignoring my internal editor and then go back to layer in the emotions and senses before passing it on to my critique partner. (I used to try to write clean copy the first time through but found myself stalling out.)
Is there a certain type of scene that's harder for you to write than others? Love? Action?
The romance is the hardest for me to write. In fact, I can feel my face heating up right now just thinking about it. Something about imagining my husband or my mother reading the kissing scenes makes me want to crawl in a hole. However, I’ve learned that those scenes are easiest if I can just get into character and write the scene as fast as I can with as much emotion as possible before my embarrassed internal editor can get a word in edgewise.
How did you decide upon the title of Catch of a Lifetime?
I wanted a title with multiple meanings that would be understood by the readers. This phrase implies a good romantic match, but it also applies to a football player making a great play worthy of a highlight reel. Since Reed coaches the receivers, it fit perfectly. And then when I gave Cassie a background in gymnastics, I could add in the metaphor of catching the bar before crashing to the mat below.
Are any experiences in Catch of a Lifetime based on personal experiences? Did you draw upon any stories or movies for inspiration for the novel?
I love the classic football movie “Rudy” and listened to the soundtrack while writing the football action scenes. In addition, I’ve watched countless football games and so that understanding of the game naturally helped in certain scenes. But on a more personal side, there’s a scene where Cassie tries to encourage Reed after a loss and he takes it personally and is unable to think logically. As a coach’s wife, I’ve been there and done that many times!
Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?
Yes, I do. (It’s my first book, so that might change!) In addition to gleaning tweetable quotes for marketing purposes, I want to know what is resonating with readers and what disappointed them. For bad reviews, I look for the nuggets of truth while graciously thanking them for actually reading the book and taking the time to offer their opinion. But then, it’s time to remind myself of the good reviews, the truth that was spoken, and move on to the next story. (And if I ever get slammed by a troll, I’m not the first author to experience it and I believe readers are smart enough to spot the difference between an honest review and an attack.)
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Susan May Warren and the My Book Therapy gang. I bumbled and stumbled along in my first few manuscripts by going with my gut of what worked in stories I liked. Then at an ACFW conference (where I was actually up for an award!), I discovered one of her craft books in the bookstore. Suddenly the whole process was laid out in a way that I could easily understand and I’ve re-read her craft books many times since.
What are you working on now? What is your next project?
Dance Over Me will be releasing in September 2016 and I’m currently brainstorming and plotting the sequel. Set in a dinner theater, imagine Broadway meeting small town, a cast of tap dancers pounding out a rhythm, and the sounds of Big Band trumpet playing.
As a teaser, here’s the rough blurb for the first book: Danielle, a fledgling actress raised to the lullaby of Broadway, searches for her long-lost brother and her place on the stage, but a jealous cast member and numerous fruitless leads threaten to drop the curtain on her dreams and shine a spotlight on her longing for a place to belong. Meanwhile, Alex is living his dream except for someone to share it with. When Dani dances into his life, he hopes he’s found the missing piece to his heart but fears the bright lights of the stage could steal her away. Will the rhythm of dancing feet usher in their deepest desires or leave them stranded in the wings?
Answer this question to be entered in giveaway: Do you like football? Which team is your favorite if you do? Remember that all important contact information!
BLURB: He breathes football. She shudders at the very mention of the sport. After a tragedy involving a football player destroyed her family, athletic trainer and graduate student Cassie moves across the country looking for a fresh start, but a change in financial aid lands her in the middle of her worst nightmare. Meanwhile, rookie coach Reed worries his dream career will slip away as injuries plague his players and his star receiver teeters on the brink of ineligibility. As the two work together to salvage the season, sparks fly, and Reed must eventually choose between the game he cherishes and the woman he loves.
BIO: Candee Fick is the wife of a high school football coach and the mother of three children, including a daughter with a rare genetic syndrome. When not busy with her day job or writing, she can be found cheering on the home team at football, basketball, baseball, and Special Olympics games. In what little free time remains, she enjoys exploring the great Colorado outdoors, indulging in dark chocolate, and savoring happily-ever-after endings through a good book.