Write what you know…Yeah, well, I’ve never actually played the game of hockey unless you count games on outdoor rinks where you spend more time crawling out of snowbanks than playing the game, or maybe teaching power skating to little wanna-be hockey players count. Regardless, I wrote a book that includes hockey (make that two books. Frozen Hearts is coming out in August)
Since Picks & Pucks was released, I’ve been asked where the book is set, so tonight, I’m spilling the beans. When I was writing the book, I decided not to get specific about the location. It’s easier to be vague, but it’s easier to use real locations to get the descriptions right. And since I grew up in a college hockey town with a stellar team and beautiful arena, I went with what I know.
This is the arena I used. It’s one of the best venues in the country. It was built especially for viewing hockey and playing the game. The Ralph Englestad Arena is gorgeous, inside and out.
When I attended a game at the Joe Louis arena, where the Red Wings play, the first thing I thought was…this is a dump compared to our college arena. I didn’t say it out loud. I’m not that stupid.
The building has two sheets of ice. One regulation hockey, the other an Olympic size sheet of ice. I’ve skated on both sheets and been in the underbelly of the building. I’ve only seen pictures of the hockey locker room though. The arena seats close to 11,700 people and is regularly sold-out for the games.
So there’s the answer. I used the University of North Dakota hockey program for inspiration when writing Picks & Pucks and Frozen Hearts.
If you ever have a chance to see a hockey game up in the frozen north at the palace on the prairie, I highly recommend it.
The release of Picks & Pucks has been a pretty lovely experience. For every author who releases anything into the general public, it’s nerve-wracking and sometimes, ego damaging. But for the most part, it’s been great. The process of writing the book was hard work, sometimes painful, like having a root canal without the numbness, and sometimes joyous.
So today, I wanted to share some cool things I used in the book. There are a couple of scenes where the hockey players show off some of their more stellar moves. I stole a lot of the moves from Tomas Jurco, except my main character did a dance on the ice with the puck and stick. Here’s a link to the vid I used to inspire the scenes. And seriously, if you’ve never seen the Patrick Kane stick handle video Check it Out!
And don’t forget to check out Picks & Pucks Now available at Dreamspinner Press, Amazon and several other sites.
Let’s just get this out of the way. I’m about blogged out AND I have a new release on Monday where I will be spending the day…wait for it… blogging on the Dreamspinner Blog. I’ve spent the last few days trying to figure out what the heck I’m going to talk about ALL DAY! And to top it off, I’m always a little freaked out on release day. Because it’s release day and with this particular story, no one has read it except my editors, which I suppose is totally wacked. I have no idea why didn’t send it to my beta.
The same thing is going on with my evil, still-nameless WiP. The story is making me crazy. I’m so close to finishing the first book of two that each time I open the doc I catch a glimpse of the finish line. But days like today, the damn line keeps blurring and I wonder if I’m ever going to type Fin. Plus, I’m a little nervous about where this story will fit. The first book the MC’s are 18 years old and still in high school. Although they’ve known of each other for years, their romance starts quickly and turns into a ranging forest fire in a matter of days. I tried to age the guys up, but it didn’t work. I tried to do flashbacks, but that failed too. They demanded I tell their story in chronological order. Stupid characters can be so demanding sometimes.
And to add another cherry to my already overloaded plate, I need to figure out what sort of cover art I want for Frozen Hearts, which will be released in August 2014.
I better get back to the evil WiP. It’s shrieking my name.
Today I’m going to introduce you to the hockey side of Picks & Pucks. Justin has a problem with all things hockey. He has a bad habit of hooking up with the wrong guys who happen to be hockey players. Let’s meet the guys. First up is Danny Jackson.
He’s a cocky ass who plays hockey on Justin’s dad’s college team. When Justin comes home to train, it’s Danny who picks Justin up at the airport. Justin’s demons come out in full force and torture him with thoughts of being with Danny.
The next guy to stroll into Justin’s life is another hockey player who transferred to play hockey under Justin’s dad. Meet Colton Daly or CJ
So who does Justin pick? Either, neither, both? Hahaha, just kidding. He doesn’t get both, but man, that would have been a hot scene to write. Fans self.
I’m having a hard time writing this post. I keep scrolling back up to look at the pictures of CJ and Danny. You can blame for my inability to write a coherent sentence. My spelling is also atrocious today. Thank you autocorrect. Anyway, to get back on track, Picks & Pucks will be out on April 21. Take the journey with these boys. Pick your favorite.
I’m also over at Michael Rupured’s Blog today. There’s an excerpt from the book.
Since it was an Olympic year, the World Figure Skating Championships fell under the radar. If you didn’t know, the United States didn’t medal in anything. Nothing. Nada. Zippo. On Monday, April 21, I have a book coming out called Picks & Pucks. Pretty sure my main character would have medaled at Worlds. In fact, Justin would have settled for nothing less than gold.
So who is Justin Corrin?
This is how I picture Justin. And I should know, he resided inside my head for many months. He was a young hockey phenom who gave up the sport to compete in figure skating. This decision did not sit well with his hockey coach father, his hockey playing brother, and his sister, who felt he took the spotlight off her budding skating career. The only two people in Justin’s corner are his mom and his coach, until tragedy strikes and he loses his mother in car accident. HIs life spirals out of control, and instead of facing his demons, he runs to California to a training facility far from home. Tomorrow I’ll introduce the boys in his life. As if he didn’t have enough problems, he seems to have a thing for hockey boys.
I guess I’ve officially kicked off promotion for Picks & Pucks. You’d think I’d be better at pimping my stuff, but alas, I’m terrible. I’d rather be working on my WiP or oh, I don’t know, going to the dentist. Okay, so maybe it’s not that bad. Today Grace Duncan is graciously hosting me on her blog. The post is about writing what you know and love.
It’s really the perfect day to talk about hockey because it’s the semi-finals of the Frozen Four and my alma mater is playing. My town is decked out in Green and white today, and everyone is ready for the boys to demolish the MN Gophers and move into the finals.
Your publication has now completed the Editorial queue.
So there you have it. Picks & Pucks is now off for the final processing. That must mean someone is formatting it for E-publishing and the actual book. I’m excited and incredibly nervous. It’s the same for each release because the stories are my babies and releasing them to the world is nerve wracking.
This story started out as a title. Picks & Pucks was the first thing that popped into my head and it grew from those three words into what it is today. I hope you decide to meet Justin, Danny, and CJ on April 21st.
In other news, there was a massive storm in my region yesterday, which left us with snow every where. I love hockey and skating, but this never ending winter is getting old. I’m sick of snow and am so ready for spring I can’t handle looking out the window at all the white stuff covering the ground. It’s depressing.