Cover Copy: Reigning beauty queen Samantha Winger is launching her pet project, a music program for kids. All she has to do is follow the pageant's rules—no smoking, drinking, or "cavorting" in public.
That's fine, until D.J. Thomas—God's gift to baseball—throws her a wild pitch. He slams her in an interview, and the video goes viral. Sam's no shrinking violet. She parlays D.J.'s apology into a national T.V. appearance—and a very unexpected, very public kiss.
Soon, paparazzi catch the couple in a steamy make-out session, and Sam's music program is on the block. The blazing hot relationship is threatened even more when D.J.'s son begs to trade in Little League for music class.
Can Sam and D.J. sizzle past the sour notes and find their perfect pitch?
Author Bio: Mindy Klasky learned to read when her parents shoved a book in her hands and told her she could travel anywhere through stories. As a writer, Mindy has traveled through various genres, including hot contemporary romance. In her spare time, Mindy knits, quilts, and tries to tame her to-be-read shelf.
Link to where to buy the book!
And now the interview:
1. First, introduce yourself!
I'm Mindy Klasky. Once upon a time, I was a lawyer, and then I was a librarian. Now I write books full time.
I've changed genres almost as often as I've changed careers. I started out writing traditional fantasy (e.g., The Glasswrights Series) and then I wrote light paranormal romance about a librarian who finds out she's a witch (The Jane Madison Series.) After that, I took a spin through category romance. I've written for several traditional publishers and I've published works independently through Book View Café, an author-owned publishing cooperative.
2. Now give us the Hollywood pitch version of your new book/project. Two sentences max. Something along the lines of "[Book Title] is Harry Potter crossed with Aliens, with a touching twist of Knocked Up humor!"
Perfect Pitch is Bull Durham crossed with old-fashioned category romance, with a hot splash of Fifty Shades of Gray (for the heat of the love scenes not the, ahem, writing style.) It's the first of nine short, hot contemporary romance novels in the Diamond Brides Series.
3. Give us an expanded description of the book/project. What makes this project different and worth checking out? What sets it apart from everything else in the field?
Perfect Pitch (and the other Diamond Brides books) are perfect summer reads. They're short--around 150 pages each--and they're fun. Each book tells the story of a different player on the (imaginary) Raleigh Rockets baseball team.
Perfect Pitch is different from most of my books, because there isn't a hint of anything magical or paranormal in the story. Also, each book is narrated from two third-person points of view--the hero's and the heroine's--which is different from the first person narration of my Jane Madison Series and the As You Wish Series.
(Savvy readers will probably realize they're reading a Klasky book, though. I couldn't get away from the descriptions of food that mark my writing. And I had to keep a strong line of humor running through the books!)
Oh! And the books aren't just for baseball fans. They're for anyone who enjoys reading hot stories about men and women who are smart, confident professionals. Each one stands on its own, telling a complete love story that just happens to have a baseball stadium as its backdrop.
4. What part of the writing process for this book/project did you struggle with the most? Why was that particularly difficult? What did it teach you about the writing process (if anything)?
The Diamond Brides Series is hitting the market on a rapid release schedule--nine complete novels in eight months. (Perfect Pitch launched on March 31, Opening Day for Major League Baseball. Catching Hell hits stores on April 13, and Reaching First will be out on May 4. After that, each book will launch on the first Sunday of the month, through November 2.)
Although the books are self-contained, they all involve the same baseball team, and there are many recurring characters, along with a number of common places (Artie's Steakhouse, the Club Joe coffee shop, etc.) In order to manage the massive number of details that anchor the series, I needed to change my writing process. Instead of keeping each novel in a separate "Project" on Scrivener (my preferred writing software), I kept all nine in one massive Project.
That single huge Project allowed me to cross-reference details. For example, I could make a global change to a character's name and be confident that I'd made the adjustment in every book. Along the way, I discovered that the single Project also allowed me to track writing tics. I discovered that far too many of my characters used certain phrases ("one hundred percent certain" was a particularly glaring one), and way too many characters shared actions and reactions. (At one point, I had more than ten different people "offering a mock salute" at various points in the series!)
Ultimately, juggling these nine stories has taught me a lot about my writing "defaults," the words and phrases I fall back on without thinking. I've learned to recognize many of my weaknesses, even correcting a number of them in the drafting stage, instead of waiting for edits.
5. What was your favorite part of writing this book/project? What gave you chills when you wrote it and made you think, "Oh, this is GOOD!"?
Many of my books have had romantic storylines, and several of my characters have ultimately found their true loves. Perfect Pitch, though, was the first of my books to have a flat-out, not-behind-a-closed-door love scene, in quite graphic detail.
And I found, while writing that scene (and ones in the other Diamond Brides books) that it's fun to write sex! Especially when there's the added challenge of making each scene different from the others, true to the specific characters, and inventive enough to entertain readers of the entire series. A good love scene isn't just a graphic description of body parts and what they're doing. It's also a revelation of character--it shows who the hero and heroine truly are, what they value, what they believe. (In that respect, a good sex scene is like a good battle scene--the careful blocking reveals far more than the unadorned events.)
I've had a wonderful time writing Perfect Pitch and the other books in the series. And I hope you'll have a great time reading them!
Thanks, Joshua, for the chance to stop by and talk to your readers!