Saturday, January 16, 2016

Interview with Christian Romance Author Candee Fick

Candee Fick is the wife of a high school football coach and the mother of three children, including a daughter with a rare genetic syndrome. When not busy with her day job or writing, she can be found cheering on the home team at football, basketball, baseball, and Special Olympics games. In what little free time remains, she enjoys exploring the great Colorado outdoors, indulging in dark chocolate, and savoring happily-ever-after endings through a good book.

Catch of a Lifetime is a super sweet love story. I didn’t know much about football until I read this book. The author knows so much about football that she was able to help me understand this sport. I learned that a college football coach has a lot more work than probably anyone realizes. There is more to it than just teaching techniques only. I also didn’t realize that the boys have to watch film clips to help them with strategy. I grew to respect what a coach has to go through to get his team ready. This was a fun story and I was able to feel the excitement of the game along with the tender romance. Towards the ending, there are some tense moments.” –Review by Author Linda Weaver Clarke

Welcome to my blog, Candee. Please tell us about your sweet romance, Catch of a Lifetime.

Catch of a Lifetime tells the story of a first-year college football coach and a graduate assistant athletic trainer who hates football but has to work with the football program in order to pay for her schooling. It’s a clean and wholesome read even as it deals with real life issues inside a college football program. Here’s the back cover blurb:

He breathes football. She shudders at the very mention of the sport. After a tragedy involving a football player destroyed her family, athletic trainer and graduate student Cassie moves across the country looking for a fresh start, but a change in financial aid lands her in the middle of her worst nightmare. Meanwhile, rookie coach Reed worries his dream career will slip away as injuries plague his players and his star receiver teeters on the brink of ineligibility. As the two work together to salvage the season, sparks fly, and Reed must eventually choose between the game he cherishes and the woman he loves.

Where did you get your inspiration for this story?

This story nugget arrived in a dream. I woke up living a scene that was so real it stayed with me for at least an hour. As the details began to fade, I realized it had the makings of a good story and so I scribbled down as much of the scene as I could and filed the paper away with other ideas waiting for the right time. Of course, when I pulled out my notes, the characters needed a bunch of tweaking in order to make the situation believable and book length, but the essence of the conflict was still there. Cassie did not want to work with the football program but Reed was hero enough to help change her mind.

Of course, they say to write what you know so several of the individual scene ideas came from my personal experiences as a football coach’s wife and mother to a player who got hurt during a game. I knew a lot about football from my guys, but I still needed to do a lot of research.

What kind of research did you do?

While I fictionalized the college, it was based on a very-real team’s schedule because I needed to know how many games there were in a season, how they would qualify for a bowl game, and a typical week’s practice plan. I also needed to know about NCAA eligibility requirements for athletes, the test schedule for a biology class, athletic training certification protocols, and how to diagnose or treat specific injuries. All those tiny details and many more from sideline game action helped create realism in my descriptions and bring the setting to life.

Please tell us about the main character in this story and what you love about him or her.

Cassie Parker hates football, mostly because she blames a football player for the tragedy that destroyed her family. But she’s also a fierce competitor who remembers the commitment to excellence required in her previous sport of gymnastics as well as the agony of career-ending injuries. She’s dedicated to her new field of athletic training because she wants to help others and resolves to put up with the football players in order to fulfill her vow to her late mother and finish her education. I love how her empathy toward an injured player opens the door for her to face the past and learn how to forgive so she can move forward to a bright future. She’s a spunky fighter in a petite package.

Now it’s time to tell us something about the real you that we’ll never forget.

I get to read and write for a living. Unfortunately, what I get paid to read is thousands of pages of depositions from asbestos cases and the writing involves summarizing work histories for legal reports. I’m blessed to get to work from home with flexible hours, but it’s definitely my dream that the income from my fiction would someday replace the need to read and write about asbestos. Can you blame me? I guess in that way I’m like my heroine Cassie because I’m doing something I don’t like in order to support my real dream.

Thank you so much for this interview, Candee. It was a great pleasure reading your book. It was so much fun and I hope my followers will check it out.


BookHounds said...

thank you for posting!

Dianna said...

It's great that this book can reach older teens as well as college students.

bn100 said...

nice interview

bn100candg at hotmail dot com

Videoclimber said...

I love football. This sounds like a great read.


videoclimber AT yahoo DOT com

Mai T. said...

Question to the author: how did you come up with the names of the main characters?

Sonja said...

What a nice way to have a story come to you. True inspiration! Love it!
Sonja dot nishimoto at gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

would love to win.

Mary Preston said...

This does sound like sweet read.


Linda Moffitt said...

How cool about the story coming in a dream, looks very good Thanks for the chance 2 win.

Unknown said...

With so much discussion today about football, it's nice to see a fresh
true to life story which encompasses so many areas of the sport. Raised
in a green/white University town where we walked to home games at State,
I've viewed so many changes over the years, yet it remains the sport we
never tire of. It's wonderful you take time to share this and with the
responsibility of your sweet daughter and family. I think you've got a
winner,Candee. :)

Karen said...

I enjoyed reading about the inspiration for the story, thanks for sharing.

Candee Fick said...

Thanks everyone for stopping by and your kind words. This story was especially fun because of how I got the original idea and how passionate some people (my family included) get about their team.

Mai T. asked how I came up with the names for my characters. The shorter answer is I search baby books, phone books, and yearbooks for lists of unique first and last names. I also make sure different character names don't start with the name letter so that the skimmer/speed readers among us don't get easily confused about who did or said what. The longer answer is that I really get to know my character's personality, appearance, and goals ... and then a name just seems to fit them perfectly. For example, Reed is not a "reed" since he's a really big muscular guy, but with his last name of Worthington, I hope I've given readers a sense of his integrity and moral convictions.

Funny story about names: While waiting at the airport for my flight to a college weekend visit, I did some people watching with a friend and we made a game of trying to come up with someone's name based on how they appeared and acted. One cowboy-type just looked like a Tom. Turns out the cowboy was on my flight and visiting the same college. As we chatted on the shuttle later, I learned his name was ... Tom. (We met again the following fall at school, became friends, and shared rides back home for several years.) Hmm. There might be a story nugget in there.

Linda Herold said...

I always like to hear how an author comes up with story ideas! Liked your interview post!

LAWonder said...

This sounds absolutely intriguing! I am unfamiliar with this author but she sounds like one amazing new author!
I would love to win, read, review her book.
Thank you both for the giveaway!

Library Lady said...

Your book information describes my husband and I to a T.
He eats, sleeps, and breathes football.
Me, I don't hate it but I could care less who is playing or whether they win or lose.
I'd much rather have my face in a book instead of glued to the tv.
Janet E.

justwin4once said...

I love how much research went into the book. I love also how the author can relate to the main character with her real job not what she really wants to do, but is necessare for her to do what she wants to do.

Julie Donahue said...

This looks like a fun book! I like the way the character struggles with football because of tragedy, but needs to love it due to her job.

And the airport name game sounds like fun! :)

Jeanna Massman said...

I love the plot of this book! The main characters are a fun match!

Melanie Backus said...

I am intrigued by this one! Thank you for the opportunity!

mauback55 at gmail dot com

Daniel M said...

liked the interview sounds like a fun one! - regnod(at)yahoo(d0t)com

michelle k said...

Sounds really interesting, I like to watch football.

Unknown said...

She is one busy woman I wonder how she finds the time to manage all she does? Amazing

Unknown said...

Very intriguing and inspirational !

Linda Weaver Clarke said...

Congratulations to Tia Dalley. You are the winner of this wonderful book. I know you'll enjoy it. I surely did.