I’d like to welcome our guest today, Patricia Sargeant, who also writes as Regina Hart. It’s a pleasure having you come visit us again at Much Cheaper Than Therapy, where chocolate is plentiful and advice is free. So grab some chocolate and a lounge chair. Your therapy session has begun.
It’s a pleasure to be here, Kim. Thank you so much.
You're welcome. I understand you have a new release out called Smooth Play. Can you tell us a little bit about your fabulous new book?
I would love to. Thank you for asking. Smooth Play is the second book in my single-title, contemporary romance trilogy, featuring a fictitious National Basketball Association team, the Brooklyn Monarchs. I’m writing the Brooklyn Monarchs trilogy under my contemporary romance pseudonym, Regina Hart.
Smooth Play’s hero, Troy Marshall, is the franchise’s media executive. The heroine, Andrea Benson, is a sports reporter. Troy and Andrea start as adversaries. He wants to protect the team from the media. She wants to cover a big story to redeem her career. Smooth Play’s theme is forgiveness. Andrea can’t forgive herself for a mistake she’s made in her past and that prevents her from moving on. Troy can’t forgive someone else for a past betrayal, which prevents him from trusting Andrea.
Smooth Play is a very interesting title. How did you arrive at that name?
I wanted a title that reflected sports because basketball is the backdrop for the story.
What made you decide to write in this genre?
Basketball is one of my favorite sports. I loved the idea of using that sport as a backdrop for my contemporary stories. Now I can consider all of those hours spent in front of the television watching college hoops and the NBA “research.” LOL!
Are you a plotter or a pantser and how did it affect the writing of this book?
I’m definitely a plotter. Plotting the story helps me identify specific areas of research before I need to describe it in the draft. I do a lot of revisions while I’m outlining the story.
Did you have to do a lot of research for the book? What are your favorite research books or sites?
Yes. Although I’m a basketball fan, I still needed to research specific dates of the pre-season, regular season and post season; official names and locations of each arena; which players were with what teams. Oh, man! The player trades caused havoc with my game scenes. After I submitted Smooth Play to my editor, Carmello Anthony was traded to the Knicks, so I had to write him into one of the playoff scenes.
Where did you get your idea for this particular book?
One of the things a lot of players and coaches talk about is the need to remain focused on the next game. They say the media can cause distractions that negatively impact the team’s performance. I thought the conflict between Troy’s job – shielding the team from media distractions – and Andrea’s job – getting the story – would be an interesting place to start.
But I also love themes in stories, which is the reason I enjoyed working with the theme of forgiveness and building that into the characters’ journey.
Which character did you like writing about the most, and why?
I enjoyed writing the relationship between Troy and Andrea. My goal was to show how they helped each other grow, Troy by encouraging Andrea to forgive herself and Andrea by encouraging Troy to forgive others.
Do you have any authors that inspired you?
Oh, so many authors … Beverly Jenkins for her emotion; Jayne Ann Krentz for her dialogue; Susan Elizabeth Phillips for her world building. So many authors.
What do you feel is the most effective promotion you have done for your book?
I really haven’t figured that out. Word-of-mouth marketing is the best form of promotion. But I haven’t yet figured out how to build that buzz.
What do we have to look forward next?
Thanks for asking, Kim. The final book in my Brooklyn Monarchs trilogy, which I’m writing as Regina Hart, is Keeping Score. Keeping Score will be released July 3, 2012. I’m very excited by this release as well.
Thank you, Kim. It’s always a pleasuring visiting with your community.
To celebrate her book release, Patricia is offering a free book of Fast Break to one lucky commenter on today’s blog. (please check the blog Monday night to see if you won. Chances of winning determined by the number of entries.)
She will be around all day today. I'm sure some of you have questions or comments for her, so please ask away...
Award-winning author Patricia Sargeant writes romantic suspense and, as Regina Hart, contemporary romance. Patricia’s suspense features ordinary people in extraordinary situations. Regina’s contemporary romances showcase the franchise members and friends of the Brooklyn Monarchs, a fictitious National Basketball Association team set in Brooklyn, New York. Regina and Patricia love chatting with readers. You can contact both at BooksbyPatricia@yahoo.com.
Check out author’s website at www.PatriciaSargeant.com.