He positions himself in front of the laptop, yellow dish gloves still sudsy, and strikes his best version of a Vogue-worthy pose. I only get through fifteen seconds of pretending to ignore him when a soapy drop lands on my foot. That’s it – the writing momentum is gone. I look up from the word-filled screen.
“Just providing some inspiration.”
“Great, thanks,” I mutter, eyes rolling. Chuckling at his own joke, my fiancé crosses back to the sink and I wade through what I’ve written, trying to get back into what I was doing – and trying not to let him see quite how much I’m still giggling at his Brad Pitt impression.
I couldn’t begin to count how many times the aforementioned interaction has played out in my house. Providing “inspiration” is probably his most frequent contribution to my fledgling writing career (second-most frequent would be picking up whatever I’m reading and faux-humblebragging, “Well that’s embarrassing, they’ve put me on the cover again.”). I groan, and I grumble, and sometimes I’m forced to launch a projectile in his direction – but you know what? He’s not half wrong.
My forthcoming debut, The Striker’s Chance, is the story of Kepler de Klerk, a high-flying soccer player who hits the ground hard when a car crash ends his illustrious European career and lands him in a bottom-of-the-league American team. Kepler is every inch the swoon-worthy hero: wealthy, handsome, charming, and in possession of exactly the body one would expect from someone who makes their living chasing a ball down a pitch.
Yet my favorite moments to write about Kepler weren’t the ones washed out by paparazzi flashbulbs or lit by the pulsing strobes of expensive nightclubs. Instead I loved getting to know the normal, everyday guy behind the multi-zeroed salary. What does he eat for breakfast? Does he like to cook? What kind of clothes would he pick out for himself? What car would he buy? One of my favorite scenes begins with Kepler putting together flat-pack furniture, because nothing reveals your inner nature more than trying to find the right funny-shaped screw to attach tab A to slot E.
As much as I love writing about big-name sports stars and the glamorous lives they lead, in the end it’s the simple, mundane detail of everyday life that inspires me. It’s what gives characters that extra dimension, it’s the backdrop on which all of life’s high dramas ultimately play out, and it’s what we can all relate to.
Have you ever read a seemingly mundane detail in a romance that brought the character to life in a way that surprised or excited you?
Landing the PR contract for North Carolina’s new soccer team could take Holly Taylor’s career to the next level. Her task? Make Kepler “Killer” de Klerk, an athlete with a party-hard reputation, a star. But revamping the sexy footballer’s image while battling her unwanted attraction to him is easier said than done.
The car accident that derailed Kepler’s European career also gave him some much-needed perspective. He’s ready to give up on fame and focus on the game he loves. The last thing he needs is a headstrong brunette pushing him back into the spotlight, even if butting heads with her is the most fun he’s had in ages.
The more time Holly spends with Kepler, the more she sees how different he is from his tabloid persona. But when she’s offered her dream job for a price, she finds herself torn between the career she’s spent years building and the man she doesn’t want to give up.
The Striker’s Chance releases on September 2, 2013.
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Photo credit: Some rights reserved by afroboof.