Monday, October 22, 2007
Game, Set..Match? by Kelsey Lewis
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
I'm an American ex-pat living in Canada with my husband and three kids, and eternally grateful to the Canadian education system for keeping them occupied a few hours every day so I can get some work done! We’ve been up here for twelve wonderful years, but my husband’s company finally realized our assignment was long past it’s expiration date, so this summer we’re moving to New Jersey. The selling and buying of houses, packing, new schools, etc., has already been a big adventure, and I’m hoping the move will be too.
Like most writers, I've been writing as long as I could put paper to pencil. I got a typewriter when I was in fifth grade and wrote my first novel (still unpublished). Off and on I've gone back to writing, but really only got serious the last ten years, taking classes, going to conferences, and working with critique groups. My husband moved us up here in '95 with his job, when my kids were little, and I couldn't work (visa thing). I needed some adult contact, and it was either this or therapy.
In 2005 I was one of the Amber Heat contest winners (Amber Quill Press) with a story I wrote called 'Reunion'. I had two more stories come out for AQ Press in the Spring of 2006, Desirable Enemy and Cooking With K.C. All three have just been collected in an anthology that came out this December, Hot and Bothered (now available on Amazon!!)
I also had a new story come out in December 2006, Game, Set ... Match? which is part of the Best In Game Amberpax. Game, Set … Match? is part of a series set in Texas around a family who grew up on a tennis ranch. This scenario is vaguely autobiographical for me (we took a four month sabbatical when I was in high school and lived on a Texas tennis ranch). I’m hoping to continue work on the series when things settle down a bit this summer.
Why did you become a writer? Was it a dream of yours since you were younger or did the desire to write happen later in your life?
Like a lot of writers, I've been creating stories since I first heard them. I can remember telling stories to other kids on the school bus when I was in 4th and 5th grades. When I was in 5th grade, I got a typewriter and wrote my first children's novel (lost to posterity, thank God).
I lost the dream a bit as I grew older and looked for a more serious profession, one that would pay the bills, and became a programmer. We had a bit of a life change when we moved to Canada for my husband's job, and I was home with three little kids and no real ability (no work papers) or desire to reenter the work force. At that point, I took a writing class at the local community college and really got serious about writing again.
What do you love about being an author? Is there anything you dislike?
I love the finished product - looking at a piece of writing and being thrilled that it says or does exactly what I wanted it to do.
I hate first drafts. I think I should write one that's twenty-five thousand words 'boy meets girl', 'boy and girl have a problem' 'boy and girl solve problem' 'boy and girl live happily every after', and then edit the work. I'm good at editing - ripping passages apart, throwing stuff out, rewriting, etc. But not so much at the first draft. I'll drive my critique group nuts with many 'first drafts' until I finally get a handle on the characters and the plot.
How do you balance your personal and writing time?
Hard, hard, hard! I still have 2 of my three kids still home, the two with learning disabilities, and we just moved from Canada to the US after twelve years up there. My non-writing life is pretty full. Still, I have several portable writing devices, and often try to grab a few moments when I can (I'm writing this now at Dunkin' Donuts while my car is being inspected, the final step in a very long odyssey of getting my NJ driver’s license and car registration). Other than that, I just try to write as much as I can when the kids aren't around. I find it very hard to write when they're in the house.
How do you write? Do your characters come to you first or the plot or the world of the story?
Yes. Different stories come different ways, which is why I often have trouble with the first draft. My first story for my publisher, Amber Quill Press, titled Reunion, was part of a contest. Since I could write anything I wanted, I wrote the story of my heart - about a couple who’d been separated for twenty years. They'd stayed friends, through marriages and kids, and get together to plan their children's wedding (his son, her daughter). So with Reunion, it was definitely a plot idea first. But in my one romantic comedy, Cooking With K.C., all I had was a character to start with. I saw the movie Chocolat and was moved by the sensuality of the main character. I wanted to write a character and a story like that - infused with sounds, tastes, touches and smells. So, I started with K.C., my caterer, and went from there.
What genre(s) do you write? Why do you write the stories that you write?
Currently, I’m writing and publishing erotic romance with Amber Quill Press. I started actively reading romance (Harlequin and Silhouette) after my kids were born, as I was nursing, riding the exercise bike, etc. I started writing straight romance and cut my teeth on that with my critique groups. Several members of my critique group were published by Amber Quill and told me about their annual Heat Wave erotic romance contest. Up to that point, I'd never read any erotic romance and wasn't sure I could write it. Before entering the contest I read all the winners from the previous year and found I liked them - they were good romances, with strong themes and characters, just with the bedroom door open.
I can write what I want for AQ but right now the erotic romance market is hot (so to speak) so that's what I'm continuing to write. However, I'm also interested in science fiction and have a young adult story started in that genre. I'm in the middle of a series for AQ, but when that's finished I'd like to go back to it.
What is the biggest misconception about being an author?
I would say it's largely about the money and the way careers go. One of the reasons I gave up on writing was because I didn't think it was a career I could make enough money in to live on, and that's probably true. I know very few people who write full time and support themselves exclusively on it. The really lucky ones supplement their income with writing related activities like school author visits and teaching writing. Everyone else either has writing as a second family income or else they have another full or part-time job. But if I'd known that it was 'okay' to write in addition to having a full-time career, or that that was how most writer's survived, I would have done it a long time ago. A good friend of mine, who just had a short story published in a major Canadian sf magazine, is a full-time doctor! That, for better or for worse, pretty much says it all.
Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?
No one particular character is based on a particular person. However, when I’m creating a character I often think of characteristics of people I know and start there, although I’ve never totally based a character on a real person. When I wrote Reunion, I gave Sam, the hero, a lot of the characteristics of my husband, Steve – he physically looks like him, and has a lot of his honesty and solidness of character (the sexiness goes without saying!). When I wrote Cooking With K.C., the hero, Charlie, owns his own business. I struggled with him for a while until I thought of my very casual brother, who owns his own business and has a corporate dress code that could best be described as shorts and Hawaiian shirts. I tried to give Charlie that laid back attitude when I created a scene with him in his office.
Out of all the characters that you've written, who is your favorite and why?
This is like asking which of your children do you love the best! If I had to choose, I’d probably say Allie, my heroine in Reunion. She gave up the love of her life to follow her dreams, but never forgot him, and had the courage to ask him to come back when the opportunity presented itself. She’s also an older heroine, mid-forties, and shows that great love and passion is available to people of all ages, not just the very young.
If you were writing a script for the big screen, who would you want to act in your movie?
I fell in love with Matthew McConaughey in Contact, so I’d love for him to play Sam in Reunion. I think Demi Moore would be great opposite him as Allie. As far as Game, Set … Match?, my latest release/tennis story, Adam Rodriguez, who plays Eric on CSI, Miami, would make a great Mac Garza, the tennis pro from Texas. I think wild child Drew Barrymore would be great as his mischievous, over-the-top love interest, Jaime Alexander.
What would you want readers to take away from your books?
Isn't this weird, but I've never been asked that before and I've never thought about it! I guess I hope they get the themes and spend some time thinking about them. Desirable Enemy, my one futuristic story, was really about intransient, ever escalating conflicts between people of differing cultures - I actually had the Israeli / Palestinian conflict in my head when I wrote it. However, I didn't want the baggage of that conflict, so I created two warring factions on an Earth colony in the distant future. In it, the two main characters realize that they are in the unique position of making some progress towards peace, if only they can let go of the past and move forward. So, I guess I hope that my readers can look at the struggles of my characters and find some ideas in the stories that are relevant to their own lives.
Do you have any advice for beginning writers in regards to writing a book?
Run, don't walk, to your nearest community college, university, etc., and take a creative writing class. You'll learn the jargon (POV; McGuffin; Goal, Motivation, Conflict; head-hopping; 'as you know, Bob'), how to critique, and meet other writers. It's very hard to go forward without all those tools.
Who are your favorite authors?
Nora Roberts (romance – strong characterization and plot), Robert Sawyer (science fiction – great thematically), Jody Picoult (all aspiring writers should read her - she takes all the rules you're taught in writing class and breaks or plays with them, especially in My Sister's Keeper. She does this under control and with great success). Audrey Niffenegger, who wrote Time Traveler's Wife, does the same thing, and it's amazing.
What are you reading right now?
A lot of science fiction author Allen Steele's stuff, which I picked up off of Fictionwise (an awesome site for quick fiction fixes at midnight, and for a new favorite author's backlist). I just finished Jeanette Walls' The Glass Castle, a memoir, for my book club - a breathtaking story and great for studying characterization.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
This title is part of the Best In Game AmberPax™ Collection. To purchase this title individually, use the shopping cart HERE. To purchase this title as part of the entire AmberPax™ and receive a 25% discount off the normal price, use the shopping cart on this page.
When Jaime Alexander runs into old family friend and former tennis pro Mackenzie “Mac” Garza at the Bar None Tennis Ranch, she starts busting his balls...
In more ways than one.
But will demons from Jaime’s past prevent her from allowing a simmering week in the Texas heat to grow into more than a vacation fling?
...The elevator beeped for their floor, and Jaime pulled away from him. When the doors opened, they walked toward the car and she looked around the lot.
“Hmm,” she said. “We’re alone.” Then she smiled lasciviously at him.
“Yeah, until they come back.” Mac pointed to the one other car on the level.
“It’s only one car.” She increased the pace, tugging him along. “They might come back in a minute. They might not come back at all. That’s what makes it…exciting.”
Mac pressed the buttons on his remote to unlock the car. When he got to the passenger side she opened the door first, sat down sideways, and slipped her hands around to Mac’s bottom, pulling it toward her.
“Jaime, what are you doing?” She could hear the warning in his voice.
“I’m hoping to convince you that you don’t want to wait.” She put her hands on his belt buckle and quickly undid it. Then, before he could protest further, she undid his pants and pushed them and his boxers down just slightly. Just the right height. His penis, swollen and rigid, came free. She took him in her hands and guided him into her mouth.
“Oh, Jaime,” he moaned. She smiled inwardly, knowing she had him. That became her last lucid thought, as he skimmed his hands down the swell of her breasts.
Streamers of delicious sensations swirled all over her body, making the area between her legs soft and wet. She greedily sucked on his erection, pursing her lips tightly around the shaft and slowly sliding them up and down. In hungry response Mac’s fingers found her nipples and rolled them round and round. Jaime rocked her pelvis on the edge of the seat, aching for release.
When Mac thrust into her mouth, Jaime knew she wanted more. She moved back, lifted her head and gazed into his eyes. They were hooded and dark with passion. Without taking her eyes from his, she found the edge of her dress and lifted the skirt. When she reached her hips, she grabbed her panties, ripped them off, and tossed them on the floor of the car.
Mac shook his head, but Jaime reached up and sheathed his erection with her hand. One hand on his penis stroked up and down, using the little bit of liquid that dripped out to slicken the shaft. Mac gasped as she clutched one butt cheek tightly and pulled him closer. While she tortured him with pleasure and enjoyed the sight of him writhing under her hands, her clitoris throbbed, burning with need.
Finally he bent over her, poised to take her. She reclined back on the leather console between the seats, grateful the stick shift was far enough forward so that it wasn’t in her way. Leaning over, he parted her inner lips with the tip of his penis, slathering it with her wetness as he teased the head back and forth between her opening and her clit.
“I can’t believe I’m asking you this, but are you comfortable?”
Jaime cupped his buns with her hands. “Comfort is not my overwhelming concern right now.” Then she pulled him forward, taking what they both wanted...
"Two friends find an unexpected love on the courts in GAME, SET ... MATCH? The chemistry between Jaime and Mac sizzles... "
-- Jennifer Bishop, Romance Reviews Today
"Jamie and Mac’s sexual adventures are fun and creative. ... I will watch for more Kelsey Lewis stories."
-- Tara Renee, Two Lips Reviews
"Game, Set…Match? is a story of two tennis champs and the sparks that fly when they meet up again after several years. Their sexual encounters are a bit risqué and most definitely hot."
-- Georgia, Joyfully Reviewed
"Romantic Times Magazine, 4 stars: This romance has a family dynamic that displays wonderful potential for future stories. … the overall concept is refreshingly new. This is an entertaining read."
-- Lisa Kelly
Game, Set..Match? by Kelsey Lewis
ISBN-10: 1-59279-649-4 (Electronic)
Publisher: Amber Heat
Genres: Contemporary/Sports & Athletes
$5.00 from Amberquill.com
Purchase Game, Set..Match? by Kelsey Lewis HERE!!!