Sara Rider came to my attention with her awesome book Going for the Goal. I am so fortuante that she answered all the questions I had while reading the book! If you are a fan of hockey/sports themed contemporary romance novels, you must check out her books!
Sara Rider writes contemporary romances full of heart and heat about strong heroines and the men who can’t resist them.
Growing up, Sara Rider dreamed of becoming a professional soccer player. When that dream was squashed by her extreme dislike of running, she decided to do the next best thing: write about professional soccer players. By day, Sara spends her time working in the field of research ethics and daydreams about plotlines and character arcs. She spends far too much time at public libraries and never leaves the house without a paperback or an e-reader stuffed into her purse. For the Win is her first novel.
Check out her website here…
Going for the Goal
Book 3 in The Perfect Play Series available February 2017 from Pocket Star.
In this perfect book for romance and sports fans, professional sports agent Jillian Nichols knows how to play the game to get what she wants. But admitting to what she needs has always been a challenge. Will she ever let her guard down long enough to let someone in? Or will the bad boy hockey player Nick “the Punisher” Salinger have to fight harder than ever for a chance to win her heart?
Q and A
- Was there a particular hockey player you based Nick on?
Nick wasn’t specifically based on any single hockey player, but I did draw a lot of inspiration from John Scott since I started writing this book right around the time of the NHL All Star controversy. For those not familiar, John Scott is a 6’8 enforcer who had a solid but unremarkable career in the NHL. For some reason, he became a joke candidate for the Fan Favourite pick for the NHL All Star game, and ended up winning the slot. The NHL pushed back hard, calling him an embarrassment and urging him to step down, but he decided to play anyway and ended up scoring two goals, proving he actually did belong in the game after all. He was traded right afterward in what many believe to be a revenge move, and sent down to the minors, effectively ending his career.
On the surface, it would have been easy to dismiss Scott as a goon, but he wrote an article about the experience that really stuck with me. The articled talk about how he stumbled into the enforcer role despite never expecting to make it in the NHL at all, and how he decided to play in the All Star game to make his daughters proud. I had initially conceived of Nick as a hotshot superstar with a bit of a temper problem, but after reading Scott’s story, I ended up changing his character to be someone who has a deep sense of loyalty and a lot of unexpected layers. Once I added in his brother, Ben, to the mix, Nick’s character developed really organically from that point.
- Which team do you cheer for?
The Winnipeg Jets, though I will support the Vancouver Canucks when they aren’t playing against my hometown team.
- The book Going for the Goal is full of really interesting information about the process of sports agents and contract negotiations. What research did you do?
Much more research than I anticipated! I read a lot of legislation and policy documents to understand the scope of practice for sports agents, and supplemented that with blogs by sports agents who talked about the dark side of the profession. I was fascinated by the fact that there are some agents out there who engage in practices so much sketchier and more immoral than anything I could have dreamed up.
There are a lot of small, true facts thrown into the book, like the fact that anyone in New York can pay $100 and call themselves a sports agent, but there were a few things I made up for the sake of the plot, like the New York Association of Sports Agents, which doesn’t actually exist. Also, while there are a lot of agents who represent athletes from a big variety of sports, most agents involved in the NHL tend to stick to hockey exclusively.
- What interested you in writing sports themed contemporary romance novels?
I’ve always been fascinated by the challenges faced by women in the world of professional sports—the financial hardship, the sexism, the constant need to prove themselves. Focusing on the less glamorous side of sports lets me write about determined, passionate women who are willing to fight for their dreams in spite of the obstacles and sacrifices. I also love the inherently high stakes of professional sports. The goals and desires of the individual characters are often bound up with the hopes and dreams of so many other people, like their fans and teammates. But most of all, as someone who has always loved playing sports but didn’t quite have the talent to make something of it, writing these books is a form of wish fulfillment.
- What’s next?
I’m not sure. My contract for the Perfect Play series was only for three books, so I’m working on some new ideas that will hopefully get picked up.