It doesn’t take much time living in Texas to realize that football is king. Baseball may be “America’s sport” but Texans live for football. Whether you love football or love someone who does, you’ll want to check out Candee Fick’s new novel, Catch of a Lifetime. (Candee is offering to give away a copy this week!) Before we meet Candee, here’s a summary of Catch of a Lifetime (in case you missed last week’s review).
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.
Welcome, Candee! What inspired you to write Catch of a Lifetime?
This story actually started years ago with a dream that was probably inspired by an invitation to my high school class reunion. I woke up emotionally involved in a scene between a college girl and a handsome young football coach, yet knew that she hated football. I scribbled down the details of my dream as fast as I could and saved my notes in a folder until the idea wouldn’t leave me alone. Who were these people? Where were they? Why did she hate football? And what would it take to change her mind?
You are married to a football coach yourself. Did you enjoy football before meeting your husband or did that come later?
I’ve always been a bit of a tomboy. Way back in kindergarten and early elementary school, I remember playing football with the boys at recess instead of jump-rope or pat-a-cake chanting games with the girls. With two younger brothers, I was often pulled into games in the park with our dad while waiting for my mom and grandmother to finish preparing our Thanksgiving or Christmas meal. And I could throw a pretty decent spiral if I do say so myself.
However, in high school, I drifted away from the game when I ended up as more of a nerdy wallflower than running with the “in” crowd of football players, cheerleaders, and other athletic types. I find God’s sense of humor amazing when several years after college I met and married a former college quarterback. Since I was more of a backyard-football enthusiast with little true knowledge of the strategy of the game, I quickly realized that I needed to take notes if we were going to carry on a regular conversation. After all, a simple “How was your day?” can easily turn into a dissection of an issue at practice and it’s hard to be supportive when I have no idea what a Z receiver does or why a tackle plays offense instead of defense.
I think that many of our negative opinions about football stem from the same high school cliques and stereotypes I encountered growing up. As my heroine Cassie discovers, stereotypes are just boxes based on external expectations and generalizations when we really should get to know the individual people behind the labels. After all, man looks at the outside, but God sees our hearts. There is also an element of forgiveness where Cassie has to let go of the pain of her past and move on toward her future.
I wonder what percentage of the time we are wrong about the stereotypes and generalizations that we make? I suspect we would be surprised at how often those are not true… And yet how often we make decisions based on them! What is your favorite part of the writing/publishing process?
My favorite part of the process is brainstorming new situations and then hearing the characters take over with a free flow of snappy dialogue that has me frantically typing to keep up. I really try to record as much detail and emotion out as I can during this playful, creative romp because it’s harder for me to recapture that same sparkle during the editing phase. However, a close second favorite part has been opening a box of reviewer copies, holding the finished book in my hands, and realizing I actually wrote a real book.
I imagine that must feel a bit surreal, but at the same time, so exciting! Could you give any hints about your next book?
My next book coming out is set in a dinner theater and centers around a fledgling actress looking for her place on the stage and her long-lost brother. Think tap dancing, Broadway musicals, and Big Band trumpet. It’s scheduled for release in September 2016 and I’m currently brainstorming a sequel.
Music? Now you’re speaking my language! 😉 I’ll definitely have to keep an eye out for that one. What does your ideal writing space look like (whether you actually write in an area like this or not)? What do you have to have handy, and what would you surround yourself with to make it easiest, and most inspiring, to write?
My ideal writing space has plenty of light, soft background music, green plants, a great view or inspiring pictures on the wall, and a steady supply of dark chocolate chips to go with an ice-cold Diet Dr. Pepper. Once the space gets me in a relaxed and happy mood, I need photos of my main characters positioned above the screen to help me get into character. When I’m writing from one character’s point-of-view, it often helps to look at the other character’s “face” as if I was experiencing the scene with them.
That’s a great idea, to have pictures of the characters’ faces. Thanks so much for sharing with us, Candee!
More about Candee:
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.
You can connect with Candee online:
www.CandeeFick.com (website, blog, email list)