Thursday, February 6, 2014

The To Do List

I’m getting so excited that my next book, How To Date a Hockey Player, is almost done. Of course, “done” has so many meanings. At this point, I'm almost done writing the final draft of the book, which means everything that happens from now on will be fine-tuning.

Here are the stages of finished that this book will go through.
- Rough draft (done)
- Final draft (almost done!)
- Editor changes (25% done, and editors are standing by. One anyway.)
- Beta reading (not done, but I don't have to do this)
- Re-editing after beta feedback (minor, I hope)
- Final read-through (ack)
- Formatting (cue pulling of hair and tantrums)
- Cover (already started)
- Proofing on different platforms (double ack)
- Corrections and links (triple ack)
- Publish (hooray! champagne for everyone)

But I’m a shirker compared to some, I recently read about an author who does 15 separate edits. Whew. In any case, you may not be interested in all the blood, sweat, and tears that goes on behind the scenes. What about the book, Mel? When’s the book coming out? I would say late March, but I’ll warn you that I have a tendency to be too optimistic.

Meanwhile, an excerpt from the first book of the trilogy. Yup, it’s a trilogy which takes our heroine from high school to university to a real job. And there are tons of hockey players, including our heroine herself, Kelly Tanaka. She’s half-Japanese, half-Irish, and all hockey.

To set this excerpt up, Kelly is seventeen, but she’s always been more interested in hockey than boys. I guess you could describe her as a bit of a tomboy. However, she’s just started dating for the first time, and her best friend, April Lachance, is very keen to meet the lucky guy.

April had been bugging me about getting to meet Nicklas. She had heard he was cute and she was extremely curious about someone she referred to as “the guy who turned Kelly Tanaka into a woman.” The problem was that Nicklas and I ran in two different social circles, which never seemed to overlap. When April began threatening to stalk us, I finally figured out a night when he had a game at Ice Sports, and I had a game after him. April could come to the rink with me and meet him in the half hour overlap between those two events.

April pulled up in my driveway, and I was all ready. I ran out and stuck my hockey bag and sticks in the back of her mom’s VW Golf, and then I hopped into the passenger seat.

“Okay, let’s go!” I said, cheerily.

April turned off the ignition.
“What, in the name of all that is ugly, are you wearing?”

I looked down. “Oh, this? This is my team tracksuit. It’s not too attractive is it? But we have to wear it to every game, you know, because we’re a team.”

“Team Totally Hideous! And are you wearing a sports bra again?”

“Duh! I’m playing hockey, which is a sport, therefore the sports bra.”

“Okay, but aren’t we meeting your boyfriend first? A boyfriend who is allegedly one of the cutest guys on the North Shore?”

“Yeah, but he knows why I have to dress like this. Besides, who can look sexy in a track suit?”

“Have you never seen Victoria Beckham? For starters, you could get a suit that fits a bit tighter. Okay, let’s go to your room,” she said as she opened the car door.

“What? April, this is not a makeover situation! Everyone else on the team is wearing their tracksuits; I have to wear mine too.”

“Oh Kelly, and if all the other girls were jumping off the bridge, would you too? Do you know how eight-years-old you sound? Don’t worry; I won’t make you change completely, only a bit.” She saw I was hesitating, “Quick now, it will go faster if you just obey me. Have I ever steered you wrong?”

“Yes, what about the time when we drank Hard Lemonade at the grade seven grad?”

“Okay, that was a mistake, but that was not a fashion decision. I am never wrong about fashion.”

Ten minutes later we were back in the car. I looked ridiculous, in my opinion. April had safety-pinned the tracksuit in some weird way, so that was now tighter at the waist and bust. I was wearing a push-up bra and a low cut tank top underneath a strategically unzipped jacket that I wasn’t allowed to zip up any higher. Luckily she hadn’t made me change from my running shoes into hooker heels, because then I could not have lugged my hockey gear into the arena.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Olympic Winners ... And How You Can Be One Too!

I met these guys! Photo source: Wikipedia

The dawning of the 2014 Winter Olympics is sending me down memory lane. Cue harp music. Since I live in Vancouver, I was lucky enough to partake in the amazingness that was the 2010 Olympic Games. It was like a big two week party and everybody in the city was invited. There was music, public partying, cultural exhibitions, and of course, sports. 

I did get to go to some hockey games. The women’s games were great, the smaller university arena was full and it had the atmosphere of an intense amateur game with many fervent fans and parents in the stands. Team U.S.A. demolished Team Russia, and I discovered what it was like to sit in front of an oblivious father and his hyperactive four-year-old—with a cowbell! We left early. 

The men’s game was more exciting, as I got to see Team Canada and Team Switzerland. The game was way closer than we had expected and quite exciting. I went with Mr. Xm and we were sitting next to three people from Washington State. The woman sitting next to Mr. X kept asking him questions about hockey. I don’t think she was actually flirting, but I do think she thought he would enjoy explaining the game to an attractive woman. Wrong! Mr. X insisted on changing seats with me at the end of the first period. “She’s driving me crazy! I just want to watch the game,” he declared. So, ladies, may I say that understanding the game of hockey is very attractive to men. Especially ones who have paid hundreds of dollars for tickets.

I have to admit that when the Olympic Games ended, I was so sad that this wonderful event was over. Then a friend told me that if the facilities at Sochi were not ready in time, the Olympics would have to be here again! I’ve been sticking pins into my Putin voodoo doll every since, but obviously I failed in my mission. I hope this year’s games are safe and fair. I’ll always have my memories of 2010. 
Well, Olympians are not the only ones winning. In celebration of the Olympics, I am taking part in a sports romance blog hop. Just leave your email address in the comment section below or send me an email. Everyone will be added to my mailing list, where you get access to previews and deleted scenes. And one lucky person will win an ebook copy of any one of my books, including the upcoming one, How To Date A Hockey Player. To find out more about my books, check out my new book page.
Be sure to check out the links below, and explore all the sports romance writers in the Olympic hop. The blog hop ends on February 5th. Everyone is offering prizes, so good luck!

3. N Kuhn
18. Megan Linden

Woot! We have a winner. Congratulations to Amy Bowens! I will email you to find out which book you would like to receive.