Greetings readers, bloggers, geeks, and authors and welcome to The ToiBox of Words. I’m your host Toi Thomas, author of Eternal Curse, and today I’m sharing a special interview with author, Elley Arden, about her fiction book entitled, Running Interference. Enjoy!
Where did the idea for Running Interference: Cleveland Clash 1 come from?
During revisions for Heal My Heart: Kemmons Bros. Baseball 3, my editor expressed much love for a secondary character, Tanya Martin, who played women’s full-tackle football. I jokingly made a note in the margin that I would be willing to write an entire series based on these women football players. My editor jumped all over that.
What genre is this book and why did you choose to make it so?
The book is a short contemporary romance. I like setting my characters in today’s world, where there is so much color and flexibility. I write shorter (50,000-60,000 words) because I’m a busy reader who often doesn’t get to finish longer books. I like to read short romances that pack as much punch as possible, so that’s what I write.
What would you say is the overall message or the theme of this book?
The overall message was captured best by my publishers when they came up with this for marketing materials: Who says tough isn’t sexy? I love the idea that women are stepping into traditional male roles and rocking them while still maintaining the beauty and allure they’re noted for. It’s empowering to know we no longer have to pick one or the other.
Tell me about the experience of writing this book; how long did it take.
It took about two months to write this book. It took another month to edit and revise. I’m blessed to have a sports medicine doctor husband who was once a team physician for a women’s football team, so I picked his brain endlessly. I wrote this book during the NFL’s domestic violence explosion, so that was interesting. There were many times when I wondered if I was writing a football book at the wrong time.
Tell me about the main storyline within this book.
NFL MVP Cam Simmons comes home to convince his mother to move to Boston with him, but while he’s there, he bumps into his high school friend/crush, Tanya Martin, who has run into trouble with debt collectors at her father’s gym. They ban together to keep the gym, a neighborhood staple, from foreclosing. But banning together brings a whole lot more than they bargained for.
Who is the protagonist of this story?
Tanya Martin is the main character of Running Interference. She’s fiercely loyal and strong. She’s also guarded with her heart, having seen too many people in her life messed up by divorce. She’s a protector on the football field and off, always anticipating the next threat so she can thwart it. Like I said, she’s fierce.
Who is your favorite character in this book?
Wild child Jillian Bell, the heroine’s roommate, and the Cleveland Clash’s star wide receiver is my favorite character. Even though she’s a secondary character, she really stands out to me. She has a sleeve of tattoos, one of which is rather alarming, and I adore her for it. I’m hoping other readers will gravitate towards her big personality and fun-loving spirit, because she’s the heroine in the second Clash book, Crossing the Line.
Are there elements of your personality or life experiences in this book?
There’s one element of this book that is highly personal and on purpose: the location, Cleveland. I was born and raised a Cleveland Browns fan, so I’ve lived through many disappointments. When I knew I was writing about a football team, I knew it was going to be a Cleveland team, because I desperately wanted a Cleveland football team to win a championship.
What is one thing from this book you wish was real or could happen to you?
I’d love to participate in a bachelor auction. It would be hilarious Of course, I’m happily married, so I wouldn’t be bidding on anyone, but I would pay to see the shenanigans.
Let’s say your book is being turned into a feature length film; quick- cast the main two characters and pick a theme song or score.
Cam Simmons, would be played by Morris Chestnut. For the heroine, I love the strength and humor of Queen Latifah, and the sass of NeNe Leakes, but Tanya Martin appeared in my head looking more like Serayah McNeill, from Empire, or Chaley Rose, from Nashville. The song would be Eminem’s Lose Yourself.
Do you have any special plans for this book in the near or far future?
The second book in the series, Crossing the Line, releases in May. I’m happy to build on this world and give other characters their own HEA. I’m hoping at some point the entire series will be bundled into a box set, but that’s up to my publisher.
Okay readers, bloggers, geeks, and authors, that’s all for today. Be sure to follow this blog to see who will be visiting next time. To obtain your copy of Running Interference, please visit the links provided.
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