Sports Romance with Rachel Spangler

Sports Romance with Rachel Spangler is the topic of this episode of The Lesbian Review Podcast

Anna is joined by Rachel Spangler today to talk about Sports Romances.

Find out

  • what Rachel Spangler feels about being considered sporty
  • why sports is a big deal in Spangler’s life
  • why sports is such a romantic topic for readers
  • writing sports bodies when they are not traditionally beautiful
  • how Rachel Spangler did research for her sports romances
  • how Spangler balances writing the play by play without boring or confusing the reader

Books discussed in this podcast

Trails Merge by Rachel Spangler

Publisher Bold Strokes Books

Narrator Lori Prince

Synopsis

Every skier knows that anything can happen when trails merge. After a devastating ultimatum from her lover, Campbell Carson returns to her childhood home, Bear Run Ski Resort, seeking her family’s unconditional solace and support. Parker Riley escapes to the mountain after the high-powered world of Chicago’s political machine leaves her questioning her judgment in both life and love. Despite their initial wariness, the women find their budding friendship snowballing toward romance. The idyllic mountain resort is the perfect setting for them to learn to rebuild trust, and perhaps to find a second chance at love. However, when Parker’s past resurfaces, Campbell is forced to face her own hard truths. As barely healed wounds reopen, the unexpected obstacles in their path threaten any hope for a future together.

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Edge Of Glory by Rachel Spangler

Publisher Bywater Books

Synopsis

As Olympic snowboarder Corey LaCroix and skier Elise Brandies ride the razor’s edge between victory and defeat on the slopes, they also face a heat neither of them is prepared for in their safe worlds of snow and ice. The stakes become steeper than any mountain either of them will ever face when legacies and hearts collide at breakneck speed.

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Heart Of The Game by Rachel Spangler

Publisher Bold Strokes Books

Narrator AJ Ferraro

Synopsis

Sometimes baseball is just a metaphor for life, and sometimes it works the other way around.

All Sarah Duke ever cared about was baseball, and she’s finally earned her shot as a full-time sports writer. She loves the work, she loves being one of the few women to ever gain access to a man’s world, but most of all, she loves the game. When Duke meets Molly Grettano and her two sons at the ballpark, she instantly connects with the young family, but Molly isn’t sure Duke’s ready for something more. Molly wants someone softer, more feminine, and more importantly, someone steady. She and her boys have been abandoned before, and she’s vowed to never to put them in that position again. If she were ever to trust anyone, it would have to be someone fully dedicated to her and her children. Duke has a lot of heart, but neither woman is sure there’s enough room left in it for anything other than baseball.

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Delay Of Game by Tracey Richardson

Publisher Bella Books

Synopsis

Passion and patriotism sizzle on the ice at the Winter Olympics.

It’s been a dozen years since two of the world’s best women hockey players, Niki Hartling and Eva Caruso, first competed against each other in the Olympic Games.

The pressure of the intense USA–Canada rivalry forced an end to their love affair, and both women moved on—Niki to coach and to marry, Eva to stretch out a playing career that her ravaged body can barely sustain anymore.

The Games are upon them once again. Eva wants one last chance to beat the Canadians and win hockey’s biggest prize. Niki, now a widow and single mother, strives to coach her country to gold, even as the obstacles against her mount. The locker room seems to have ears and there are few people Niki and Eva can trust.

Rivals and former lovers on hockey’s biggest stage, will Niki and Eva feel the same spark that first brought them together? And can they win on—and off—the ice with the whole world watching?

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Love All by Rachel Spangler

Publisher Bywater Books

Synopsis

Throughout her long career, professional tennis player Jay Pierce has been burned by both players and the press. She’s learned the hard way that she can trust no one and nothing, especially her own judgment. So, when she starts one last career comeback, she knows the only hope she has to redeem her legacy is to go it alone.

Sadie Larsen knows virtually nothing about the world of professional tennis when her daughter, Destiny, breaks onto the women’s tour at the age of 17. She learned everything she needed to know about single parenting on her own, and she knows she can do the same now that the stakes are higher than ever—all she has to do is stay laser-focused on protecting her family of two.

Neither Jay nor Sadie expects the path ahead to be easy. Each believes she’s prepared to face every single challenge with the stony resolve of a woman who has been counted out and bet against her entire life. The only thing neither woman had counted on was each other. 

As Jay and Destiny fight their battles on the court, Sadie and Jay fight their attraction off it. Can they survive the crushing crucible of competition, press pressure, and parenting, or will love allreally mean no one goes home a winner?

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About Anna

Anna is a reviewer for The Lesbian Review, Music Editor, Sound Editor, Animal Advocate and Hopeful Romantic.

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Transcript

please note this transcript has not been edited and is automatically generated meaning certain words will be incorrect

Music] hello everyone welcome to The Lesbian Review Podcast, I’m Anna Gramlich and I’m with my very special guest Rachel Spangler I make no promises right now that I won’t fangirl a few times what we’re talking today so I’m just giving you a heads up on that one we’re talking today about something that we are both very excited about that we both like reading and writing about and everything and that’s sports romance in let’s pick and everything else so yeah it’s like you’ve written like three of these right am I correct on that oh yeah so there’s there’s three that involve sports as like the the serious main theme or central setting right um and then the one actually my wife was asking about this morning she was like his trails merge of sports I was wondering that myself it was like like so I would say no but said in the world of skiing so you do get you do get sort of the mechanics of skiing in a couple scenes but I don’t think it’s no one’s competing so I wouldn’t call it a sports romance would you like consider like it could have easily been a plot that just happened in another sport like you could have easily like maybe switch them out cuz I’ve read stories where that’s the case where it’s like they have a sports element but it’s not as intricate to the storyline as say like you know edge of glory or part of the game they just chose this specific sport for this specific setting um so I chose trails merge setting based off of a really awesome ski trip we had in college okay so it was very much essential to the location of the story but not necessarily to driving the characters plot right yeah character are you yeah did you do a lot do you play a lot of sports growing up oh no I’m like woefully unathletic I I feel like I’ve done a great fraud in our community and I’ll go ahead and apologize for that now anyone listening who thinks I’m athletic there is like this Facebook poll that went around like five or six years ago like the most athletic person in your circle and like all the let’s pick people picked me and I was like oh no I have told a lie without meaning to because I’m really not particularly coordinated I do ski and sometimes I ski fast but rarely on purpose like it’s usually I get out of control and I just hope that I can ride it out and there’s a big space to burn out at the bottom yeah my one time skiing it was like I’m going too fast I’m going too fast and going too fast I need to fall down so I don’t die yes but sports was a very was a big party you’re growing up because you’re a big Cardinals fan you may not have played it but it was there oh yeah like I’m I come from a sporting family my dad is a huge sports guy everyone in my family is a Cardinals fan so that has just been a huge part of who we are and honestly when things get bad politically or even personally sometimes like the Cardinals are always something that we have to talk about it’s always been this real connector for me and I I really feel even when I meet new people that’s something I sort of fall back on is usually books or sports and if someone doesn’t like to read and doesn’t like sports we may get into some trouble like holding up those early awkward stages where you’re trying to get to know someone because right for me that those are two real touch points in my life yeah I went home for the holidays and I have a brother-in-law we don’t talk really but every time but I say at their house you know when I visit we don’t really talk about much but we bring up the Arkansas Razorbacks we do something like that we have a common ground that we can you know connect on and everything and it kind of leads to other things but it’s the same deal it’s like we don’t talk about politics we don’t talk about what’s going on in the world but this is our connecting element so yeah I totally get that I know why I like reading about sports romance but can you as a professional doing this what makes sports such a romantic topic to write about in your opinion okay well I’ll go first cuz I’m on the hot seat here but I do want to hear your answer to that as well um but I think it has its own inherent drama in it which is really nice from an author standpoint you know you come into this place where emotions are already heightened where the stakes are already high for two individuals and then you have to make them connect in what is essentially an emotional pressure cooker particularly when they don’t necessarily share those goals and that was something that really came to the forefront in edge of glory because they’re in two different sports that happened to be on the same mountain so they’re in two different places in their sport what’s once coming towards the end and one still kind of beginning yeah really trying to prove herself and that so that they’re they’re both really amped up on their own and then suddenly you add this sort of extra tension between them um and you’ve really got a lot of swirling things to deal with the other thing is that there’s almost always a time crunch in heart of the game you have a long baseball is a long long season but you know that there’s going to be a natural arc to that you know that you’re going to have the excitement of a beginning you’re going to have moments where you slip and falter and start to think oh my god how am I ever gonna get through this and then the the tension amps up again at the end and then it’s the same thing with the natural season of tennis and even more you know times a hundred with an Olympic year because these accolades only get every four years which is just I mean can you imagine knowing that you’re not gonna get a shot at the top of your career again for four years there’s there’s so much built into that sort of time crunch it just it helps with the pacing of a novel and it helps keep from falling into a trap of ever sagging into one moment to deeply right yeah and it’s like you talked about every four years and it’s like it’s not just time is standing still that you’re like oh I’ll do in the next four years you’re aging athletes are aging at this time that the Olympics are happening here for any of your 20s you don’t think about it that much because you’re like oh I’m young I got the body for it I got I can do all this but when you start hitting late 20s early 30s mid 30s it’s like how long can i really keep doing this yeah and those are things that I really got to deal with with Corey and then you can be in your mid-30s and be washed-up like what does that do to a person psyche you know at a time when when most regular humans are just kind of starting to hit their stride or maybe not yet hitting their stride and thinking I have time I have a whole career ahead of me to think that you might be done at 33 or 34 that’s just the life of an athlete I mean you look at it at any professional sports I think it’s almost harder for ones that had like their regular seasons like year in and year out because that takes a really big toll on the body while you’re doing that adds two more drop dramatic effect as well because it’s like it’s like you’re asking me is I like the built-in drama of it as well it’s like it’s the adrenaline rush even as a fan it’s like I may not participate but you get the adrenaline rushing in a way it’s kind of like being attracted to somebody it’s like your heart starts beating really fast you’re just hoping that they liked you at the same time and when it happened you’re like great I just hit a home run and when it doesn’t you’re just like crap you know you feel kind of letdown you feel this point you feel like it was something you did there’s just all that internal mental stuff that happens that is very similar to being attracted to somebody else anyway and it’s it’s I love it even more when it’s like I write I read sports where it’s like you have two people on opposite sides like they play the same sport but they’re like technically enemies or you know opponents but they’re attracted to each other it’s like what the hell do I do that’s what I liked about Tracy Richardson’s delay of game it was a similar thing you had a Canadian hockey player you had an American hockey player but it was still also a same situation where one got out of the game because had a kid you know and became a coach and the other one was in her mid to late 30s fighting for that extra you know trying to get that gold medal and everything but her body just wouldn’t let her do it yeah but it does and and going on the point of bodies you know when you’re writing a romance it never hurts to have people you know like if you’re trying to ramp up you know a romance or sexual tension it doesn’t hurt to have people who are professional athletes you know oh yeah those are traditionally bodies that a lot of people aspire to although I will say an edge of glory it was it was hard because they’re not classically feminine body types but they’re really awesome body types so learning to talk about these women who have these huge thighs and normally that’s something that women get put down for in our society like first in anyway yeah yeah so so being able to look at the ways to describe to discuss women’s thighs as being huge but awesome oh that was a really kind of fun body image issue that I got to work with there yeah I love the scene in the ice patch when they’re both just like that was a fun scene right I guarantee you any athlete will tell you ice baths are not fun no any way shape or form no they are not I also love sports because you do get people were like well I want to read a story about women who look like me who are very similar to me and my body and there are stories out there but with athletes you kind of do get that ability to be like well these people got to be really fit to be able to so they can have like the desired body that most people strive to do when they go and workout and everything like that and you can kind of get away with it in that regard too cuz yeah as a downhill skier you you got to be fit you got to be slim you got to have the muscles the muscle tone but you can’t have you got to have as least little resistance as possible Cory could probably get away with a little bit more because she’s got me she can wear baggy clothes you know and but she still gotta be able to get down the hill as fast as possible there’s actually and I got to call this research um but there are actually several issues of the body issue in Sports Illustrated that has skiers and snowboarders naked um and there’s not many books you get to research where you get to see your models actually naked alright and so I got to sort of look at those body types and very few of them are were what you would call thin they’re my got a lot of muscle they are very very muscular but even Lindsey Vonn who posed in a swimsuit that was literally painted on she’s got big hips she’s got big thighs and it’s inspiring to see women sort of own that and say that power is something they strive to instead of you know just being thin or skinny or something that appeals to a certain gaze that they chose this this high level of functionality and I really admire that yeah I’ve seen a few of the body issues and one thing I was noticed with the women’s actor core is like really defined really tone it’s like soccer players skiers anybody like that they know that a lot of that comes from their core so that’s the thing they definitely develop most because that’s also what your stamina is gonna come from yeah I mean we’ve been talking about about the athletes and stuff in Grand I’ll give you most people when they think of sports they think of athletes and stuff they I like the direction you took with heart of the game where dude wasn’t an athlete she was an actual reporter and she got to go to the games and do all that that’s still an important component of being a sports romances like yeah you can write about athletes but there’s so much more than just athletes or coaches or anything like that there’s the reporters there’s people there’s even fans you know there’s massage people there’s physical trainers there’s everything around it that you could seriously just take a lot of time and just delve into these other professional just show people oh that’s what that is yeah and I got to to dip into parenting an athlete and love all and what that you know because I am a parent and I’m actually a parent of a very athletic child didn’t get that from me I must have skipped a generation but he’s he is and and what that does to your heart to see your kid alone you know it’s not as bad on a baseball field because there’s all the other kids running around a bit in tennis yeah I’m often behind a glass wall and I can’t I can’t so much as say you know good job it’s gonna be okay he can’t hear me and and what that does to to be so involved in an outcome that you have zero control over and I think that that is something else that Sports gives us right this this sense of connected connection to something we can’t control right I mean I know people like to have their kids in team sports because it helps build social you know interactions and stuff like that but yeah when you have the the sports like tennis golf stuff that you know yeah it’s like they have coaches they have people but it’s all it’s only them out there once the time comes they can’t get any help from anybody not their coaches not their you know support system or anything like that so I know that can be very isolating in a lot of ways and I really liked how you um I’m sorry I’m blanking on Gussie’s mom’s name right now Sadie thank you I should have known that um but yeah I mean she’s sitting there and she wants to just go out there and you know comfort her daughter and be her mom but she can’t do that right now she has to stay quiet you know say something maybe later or anything like that but it’s just it’s very hard on a parent or I think anybody who has to just sit there and just watch their child or their you know their Protege or whatever have to go through this stuff by themselves and I really thought you capture that very well and love all thank you I I really liked I really liked the ball between Duke and the is in heart of the game too I felt like she is such a good person she has such a good heart and that was very evident when she tried to take him oh wait I’m not supposed to do this you know but she had she wanted it all she wanted to have the career she wanted to have the girl she wanted to have the child and I think she realized very quickly that it was a lot more work than she anticipated and that caused a lot of issues between her and Molly at points and everything and I know when people read it they said they didn’t like Molly’s like no but I understand you know I was raised by a single mom yes so she’s wanting to protect her kids is what she’s wanting from heart a guy any good parent is going to want to do that even Sadie wants to do that she wants to make sure that destiny has the best you know possible and doesn’t wants her to win everything so she doesn’t have to experience that but unfortunately that’s just not the case and I I think like you know we’re talking about sports but like this the single mom is like the paragon of great things for me because you have to be that person all the time like there are days you know as someone who co-parents that I can say look I just don’t want to be the one who yells at him about his shoes today but somebody’s got to do it so it’s your turn you know but but Molly and say to you they didn’t have those options they don’t have the option of getting swept up in a game because there wasn’t a game for them you know and that’s sort of the flip side to sports is that there there is a dark side to it there is there are times where it can be all-encompassing and as a mother you don’t have that luxury you have to be the mom all the time you have to be the mom when your kid wins you have to be the mom when your kid loses you have to be the mom who says I know you really really love baseball but you have to go to school tomorrow and I think that’s I really think very highly of single moms and I try to write them with a great deal of care and part of that mean it’s being realistic about them I think you also take a great deal of care when you write about the athletes as well cuz like you said there’s a dark side of sports and usually that could involve you know drug use abuse something and their long life but you’ve never gone there and I appreciate that in a lot of ways you have shown that athletes can be a little narcissistic which again is understandable this is all they know you know they have to take care of themselves they have to take care of their body they have because they know any kind of injury that happens you know they could be done and then it’s like well what am I gonna do now you know I put my entire life into this so but I appreciate you taking those I don’t ever want to write perfect characters I think perfect characters are boring um I want to write characters that everyone can relate to some aspect of them and I always always the key that I asked my beta readers is do you understand why she did this even if you don’t like it I don’t need them to like everything every character does and I I occasionally will hear things from from people saying well I didn’t like this character in this moment and my response is good you weren’t like if I wrote these characters that were perfect all the time eh why are they still single and be you know what what’s interesting about that the great things about humans is that we’re all conflicted we’re a bunch of things we’re not good or bad we are all of these things mixed together we have tempers we have egos we can all be narcissistic at times but we also have dreams and better angels and things that scare us and make us feel insecure and that’s the fun of writing for me is finding the point where all those things mix I know a lot of people myself included I had trouble liking destiny a lot through level but I knew that was by design and everything and in the end she does the right thing and honestly when you honestly hear her reasoning for a lot of it – it’s just like okay coming from the perspective I understand why she did the thing she did and why she had the attitude she did but at the same time it doesn’t mean I have to agree with it right you know it just means I understand it you’re listening to the lesbian talk show the lesbians or choke on your hub of podcast information well and maybe people are maybe people are better parents than me that’s quite possible people whose kids who have never done anything that embarrassed you or horrified you in public I mean good for you you are winning at this parenting thing but like I was a real asshole when I was 17 like I had I shot off my mouth I thought that I knew everything I thought that I should control everything I thought everyone should really be listening to me a lot more than they were you know I think that’s the nature of being 16 17 years old and I don’t think that I would have liked having those moments broadcast on national TV especially yeah it had to be hard for her being 17 years old being technically a professional athlete at that point when everybody’s like you’re the newest hot thing people want to know but she’s like I don’t want to tell anybody anything and I think she absolutely reacted to that poorly that was the whole point if she was this perfect kid once again the story doesn’t move right if she just immediately says y-yes J I would love to play doubles with you and I’ll do whatever my mom says like there’s no book there that’s not that doesn’t add conflict to the plot it doesn’t make her have any sort of developmental arc so yeah people who are like well I didn’t really like it when destiny did that I think well good I would think there was obviously less of you if you did enjoy destinies temper tantrums yeah let’s get it on a little bit more happy stuff okay what do you love best about writing sports romance I know for me of you like researching a little bit cuz of like oh I can go to this game or I can go to that game or something like that I do enjoy their research quite a bit Melissa Braden will be so annoyed to hear that she doesn’t like it when I say that I like Reese because she doesn’t enjoy it but um I have found that people are really eager to talk about what they know so when I have done this research on all the three books that we’re talking about people have said yeah that sounds fun I would like to help so I was able and part of the game to work with Jennifer Lange Kosh who is a sports writer that covers the st. Louis Cardinals she she has Dukes job – atif Dukes job is her job and so she was really wonderful about I would shoot an email just and say oh yeah what time do you get to the ballpark and what time do you leave you know and she would shoot back and then and it was it was during most of it was during the season so she was busy but she always took the time when I would shoot her a quick email and say um could you be on the field during batting practice and she was like oh I not usually but actually now that you mention it yes no one would stop me I have a press pass that would allow me to be down there during that time on an edge of glory I had both a snowboarder and a ski reporter who were very eager to sort of take on the same role the snowboarder is now in college but she had an Olympic an Olympic run and the ski reporter has actually sadly passed away since then but we had some of the most wonderful conversations he’s actually from the town that I’m living in now and he just talked about you know all the places he could visit all of the things that he got to see the different places he was at and just little things that add authenticity a lot of them came from Hank and so I’ve just said his name there Hank is who Hank in Louisville is named after okay I wanted to honor him with tennis I didn’t get to do as much with the players I did have some people who were collegiate players and I was able to talk to a coach who has coached people to Grand Slams and then did you watch a lot of tennis yeah yeah we watch a lot of tennis and actually long before we started we I started working on this book my family had visited Wimbledon and toured that and we’d been at the US Open and we toured that we jealous right now I’m really just so we saw the US Open Wimbledon they weren’t playing but that was kind of nice because we got to go in the press booth we got to go in the locker rooms so when I described these locker rooms that they’re in you know at one point you know she shuts the wood panel blocker and I’m like that’s because they have wood paneled lockers I saw them and so I actually know a lot more about the sports than could ever end up in the books like there are so many things about like practice courts and warm-up rooms and gym routines and things that they just didn’t make it into the book like there’s a whole process of preparing for a tennis match that just had to be cut because I didn’t want it to become a how-to novel right but but yeah I know more about these sports than most people have a right do you try to keep it as authentic in your descriptions as possible or do you take a little bit of artistic licensing in case like well I need this to happen but I know it technically does it that happens very rarely there are some times where I have to mess with something just simply for the sake of the story like I said the like the warm-up times in tennis there were times where I had her March straight into a locker room oh there are times where you go straight from the match into the press room and sometimes you get a shower and sometimes you end up sitting around and waiting for quite a while if there’s a backlog of players that need to talk so I did often convinced that we don’t need to see her sitting around twiddling her thumbs you know you don’t need to see her go on to the the practice court you don’t need to see her go do her resistance bands and things like that so a lot of times it probably seems condensed but it’s you have to do that with any story right like I don’t need to see my character they’re teeth in the morning you know so the right on I don’t need to see her filling out paperwork at her job you you have to skip to where the action and you can honestly you know choose it’s like like you said it’s like you have some of the monotonous stuff but some of the stuff that seemed very like an edge of glory you had them do the training that you normally wouldn’t show but because of the injury that she sustained and everything it made sense to have her be in a recovery training type program and everything and have them meet up there yeah with love all you didn’t really need that yeah cuz I was just like I probably would have been bored out of my mind if I had to sit there and read about her just twiddling her thumbs for like forever and a day so I think a lot of people who really know tennis people who have been on the circuit will say well we never saw her working in the training room and I would say that’s that’s true tennis players do you spend a lot of time in the training room but it just none of the action happened to their so we didn’t have to see it no that makes sense and everything and of course you know even though Duke was you know the reporter we didn’t have to see her go to the locker room or whatever after the game every time right everything right I don’t I don’t really want to fall into the trap of writing a bed to bed kind of story let’s look I want to grow especially in baseball you have 162 games that’s too that’s too much you know there actually there were whole months in that book that we just kind of had to say he and July was a slog because that’s what it is and you know yeah that happens yeah that’s you just like you get the start of the season which is always exciting and then it’s like they either do well integrate July’s about the all-star break basically and then teams either really pick it up or they start slumping off again you know and everything so and then you get to the end of the season so yeah you hit you hit the high points kid and good thing you didn’t hustle with baseball and softball is what I’m dealing with right now a lot of players on the field yeah yeah yeah you I kind of picked one player in heart of the game to make him sort of be the representative of the rookie you know and and he sort of was able to body that but yeah I mean in any sport you’re gonna run into that the same with tennis there there’s like a hundred and twenty people in those Grand Slam brackets you can’t possibly go through all of them so you just try and create one or two you know the players who work as a combination of things that you need them to be right what are some of the difficulties you’ve found when you’re writing about a specific sport I notice you tagged on Facebook the other day you actually asked a curler how to get in her pants or something like that yeah I did I reached uh yeah I’ve been working with an Olympic curler on this which just goes to the fact that like you should just start emailing people I emailed about four or five Olympic curlers and one of them said that sounds fun sure let’s do it good and I rarely have to go very far down to find someone who’s willing she’s on maternity leave right now so she does have a little bit more extra time um but I did I I had and I didn’t had tried to write it as delicately as possible and that I said um hi I’ve been looking at some pictures and it’s just not clear are the pants you wear to curl in are they they more like yoga pants or are they more like snowboarding pants like is it like you know elastic waist button-up and she wrote back and it’s like oh no they’re very much like yoga pants no buttons or anything and I was like okay currently writing the sex scene here but you have that moment where she’s come from a match she is wearing the clothes she would have competed in and they’re they’re getting handsy and I was like she popped open the button on her pants and I was like oh groaning pants I have a button on my curling pants but that’s because I’m cold all the time I don’t think they are and so I’m glad I didn’t just say that because it would have been wrong yeah I’m sure it’s like to get the idea is like even with edge of glory it’s like he’s like no skin or skin underneath her skin to win skin to win yes exactly it means like she had to wear something very tight snowboarders wear stuff that’s pretty baggy and everything and of course Duke was professional but I don’t think she have a really like totally dressed up like no cheese she’s in polos and khakis a lot yeah yeah exactly so yeah I mean it’s like it just goes to show it’s like okay yeah we know about this for we know kind of what they wear but it’s like is it like really intricate or is it like pretty much zip it up put it on you know totes like that and there yeah Google is very helpful for a lot of that um but sadly Google had not zoomed in on the fasteners of any curlers pants for me I don’t know why but there are some things that you you can tell by looking and there some things that you just can’t all right I also try really hard not to ask them questions that I could easily find out on my own I never want I know they’re very busy and they’re doing this is a kindness to me so I never asked them a question that I think I could get reliably from Google or I’m assuming that you like try and look it up yourself and if for some reason you can’t find it thing you’re like okay I need to go ask them yes so ya know that makes sense yeah cuz everybody’s like busy in the world and everything doing their stuff um what are some of the other issues that you’ve have you had any other issues like when you’re writing stuff about specific sports that come up I think the hardest part is trying to find the balance of giving people enough information that they can follow what’s going on on the court or on the field without getting people to wrapped up and in the play-by-play sort of mentality and there are times when that’s really easy to do and there are times when it’s really hard to do there is a scene that I wanted to read in Provincetown this year that was just too long and Melissa Braden said well just cut that middle paragraph out and I was like the score changes twice in that paragraph like if she calls out you know love all and then all of a sudden it’s thirty fifteen like you will know that something has been minced there anyone who follows to where even a little bit is like wait a second she never hit the ball how did how do we score three points so you do need to give them enough to follow and even someone who maybe might not know the sport enough to understand what’s going on but at the same time not get bogged down and that threshold is different for everybody it’s hard there I got back-to-back reviews for heart of the game where one person said it was just I could have done without so many in depth of baseball scenes and then someone said well for a book about baseball we don’t actually see very much baseball and I was like oh you know you just it’s just going to depend on a reader’s understanding of how much baseball is appropriate right and then tennis especially I’ve read a couple of tennis novels and one of them it was just like she puts so much intricacy into the match of like where the ball was being hit what’s happening when who has it when where and what I got lost yeah that and it was like I still enjoyed the story but I was just like it got to a point where I was almost skimming the tennis matches because they were just way too much and you don’t I know I never want to write something that someone’s going to skim over that is like the nightmare for writers to see someone just start to skim skim skim flip the page skim skim skim um and honestly that’s the hardest part about the curling book I’m working on right now that we just titled last week so it’s gonna be Fire and Ice and it’s hard because most people don’t know curling so I I need to give people more cues than I would like to give at times so I’m working on ways to do that hopefully that you can set up at the front of the book and then people are able to follow that better throughout the rest of the book but it is I see are more people yeah I think more people know about more about curling now especially with the fix that happened this past year because Lauren knows I stayed up till midnight wanting to watch it but I think what they’re probably gonna have more issues with is the lingo because it’s like there’s terminology that I’m just like what what are they talking about oh okay I think and so I am using another sports reporter which gives me a certain amount of leeway to explain things to her because she’s never followed up curling before so my curler has the opportunity to say see that piece of rubber you put your foot on it it’s called a hack you know and and sort of establish that because she doesn’t know because she’s not part of that community and I don’t think I could have written this book with two curlers because they would have no reason to explain any of that to anyone so this reporter is kind of like the the novice who who’s watched it but doesn’t necessarily understand it and they were there kind of learning along with more than that hates it I mean she just sustains like she’s covered the Super Bowl she’s covered the World Series she’s made some bad mistakes that we won’t go into and so she has been sort of dropped down the ladder to covering curling and she is resentful of that she went from watching real athletes to watching professional sweeping and she makes no mistake to anyone there that she thinks this is sport is beneath her and sort of that’s going to be part of her arc is learning to see that a different type of sport can be just as challenging if mom’s not so well there’s a lot of discussion I know nowadays I was watching HBO and it’s like what actually constitute his sport you know because there are so many definitions I was like yeah you have curling you had this but they had pieces on like chess and you know crossword puzzles and you know robotics competition so yeah I mean sports can range from like the very athletic the very physical like you have written about and like many others have as well but it could also be the more mental challenge as well like there is physical involved in curling but I guarantee you it’s it’s like it’s more mental in a lot of ways because you have to think okay and make pushing it too hard how you know how much is too much you know in that regard that’s those are things you have to mentally consider before you start do anything yeah and going back to the body I was able to ask the curler I’ve been working with you know you say you spend time in the gym as a curler what does that look like and she was like it is so many push-ups it is pull-ups it is a lot of resistance training a lot of things that work your arms and your shoulders and your stabilizer muscles there’s very little work on your legs right but so I need to make sure that when they do get naked we noticed that her shoulders look like someone whose shoulders you have never seen the likes of before because that she is having athletic training well that’s gonna work for me too because I like shoulders see I’m just writing for you and they’re just so you’ve written about basically a lot of their I mean and I understand you know you said you grew up with baseball you were a baseball family so you understand that and everything but these other sports it’s no snowboarding skiing you know tennis and everything were they things that you had knew and loved about ahead of time or were you more inspired by them in some way when it was like you know you’re doing something yeah most of them were things that I had an interest in at least beforehand like I said baseball was my number one sport it’s probably always gonna be my number one sport so it made sense to start there and then the skiing we we do like to ski as a family I’ve been skiing since college actually I skied I did downhill skiing for the first time the day before my wedding which several people have pointed out was probably not the best time to risk bodily harm oh no not really now that we had our civil union in Vermont and so it seemed like the thing to do in winter in Vermont so then we took some ski trips and that’s where trails merge came out of and edge of glory sort of was an evolution of that in it I took a couple snowboard lesson newsflash I’m really bad at it I got much better chance I got a concussion it’s just it’s not good I’m not good at it but I enjoy watching it and so I like I think the snowboarders look cooler like I’m always up on the lift watching them do their thing and they look awesome yeah tennis very much because I am a tennis mom like I I wrote the tennis mom because that’s where I’m at right now my son is very very good at tennis and that is so fun to watch and yet so awful at times to watch and thinking wind coaches begin talking about ways that we need to be careful in ways that you thought could be taken advantage of that gets the momma bear up in me I couple times have seen grown ups I don’t know speaking to him at tournaments and man the hair on the back of my neck stands up and my shoulders tense and it’s like he is still a child he’s still my child you know you’re inviting him to play in tournaments we get phone calls people asking him to come play in their tournaments and he is 11 and it’s wonderful that he’s building this community but it’s also our times it it it’s scary and so thinking about projecting down what it means for him in the coming year should he choose to pursue it and there’s no guarantee that he will that was really more of what sparked love all for me it was more the mom side of things yeah nowadays it’s like people like coaches high schools colleges they’re getting the kids very young yeah I think it’s just way too much for kids right now because they they’re not able to process that mentally like what this is going to how this is going to impact them in a long term in everything they just see oh I get to play tennis so I get to have fun you know and that’s that’s definitely something that I hope think came through in destiny is like what happened when your brains not even fully formed and you’re being asked to make these decisions that could affect you and other people for the rest of your life and you’re asking you’re being asked to do it with a microphone in your face right yeah there’s Jackson play other sports yeah so yeah to sort of end that is that we do curl um we’re also really really bad at curling we are in second to last place in our league we’ve only won one match all season we just started playing for a couple years but it’s it’s fun and Jackson is playing with us now he played we played a match yesterday and he played the whole match with us and he was not a liability like I mean we’re not a good team but he was no worse than the adults their ego it was behind it was kind of fun that he made a couple really good shots in fact I think if we’re being honest he played a little better than I did yesterday so he he’s into that he’s skiing he’s joined ski club which is really cool we didn’t have that option when I was in high school in the Midwest so it’s fun to watch him he takes off with his friends on their skis and baseball is his it’s his first love I think it’s a it’s a real dead heat between baseball and tennis now but I mean we have pictures of him videos of him hitting balls when he was 2 he didn’t want to hit off a tee he wanted to be pitched to Wow so he’s yeah he’s totally into sports that’s good that you keep him well-rounded like that with the multiple sports because honestly he can learn things from other sports and apply them to like his fame thing that’s why I never get when parents or even coaches are like one sport only you know and everything it’s bad for their bodies yeah every athlete we’ve talked to says just the opposite I mean and we we had a friend who played minor league hockey um and he he was just adamant that the opposite was true that you kids should cross train kids should play for fun you should not be putting wear and tear on the same joints year-round well we have Jackson’s babysitter had Tommy John surgery when he was 16 it’s just shocking to me that these kids are dealing with those kinds of you know breakdown injuries as teenagers so but the other thing is tennis is a very solitary sport and baseball is a very team sport so I think he’s learning different life lessons about you know taking responsibility for things in different ways right and that’s we actually have a quote over the door in our living room that says sports doesn’t build character it reveals it and I think the the type of sports he’s playing right now are revealing different aspects of who he is and what he wants in life and I I think that that’s that’s why I love sports yeah I love them too for that specific reason – so you got a curling book coming out yes wait we can expect that we are hoping that will be the start of curling season next year we’re hoping to launch it at women’s week well I guess it’s not next year anymore it’s this year we’re hoping that women’s week 19 for that and then then it’ll we’ll move away from sports for just a little bit my next – actually I’ve got one coming out next week and then hopefully one over the summer that are both travel books so I’ve kind of been full English you know full English and Spanish Surinder are about travel books so then I dip back into sports and then I’ll probably take a little break and hopefully have another sports book out for the next Olympics I haven’t decided which sport yet but I’m hoping to have a Summer Olympics book yeah that’s about to say B Summer Olympics and that’s that’s taking place in Japan it’s yeah and that looks really I wish I could go that’s what I would really like to go to if I won the lottery I would tell ago yeah and then I would take you with me I’ll take a lot of okay we’ll go go go nervous wins the lottery but there’s a possibility of dipping back into tennis and see I know that they’re bringing back softball Harbury softballs really cheating I don’t want to lean on all the lesbian stereotypes but it is tempting but I think it’s also tempting to maybe find one that people know less about or that maybe even I know less about so I’ve looked at the list I’ve pulled up the list of summer sports a couple times so that one will still be a surprise to me I don’t know yet I know they’re also doing it they’re bringing back karate exciting I’m also really interested in fencing it might be a good excuse for me to take some fencing lessons and write it off on my taxes that’s the other great thing I took several ski lessons and wrote it off on my taxes and that was just fun days on the mountains but I got to get the tax write-off there there you go that’s awesome well thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule and joining me today well thank timing on this yeah this is a great topic I enjoy this very much should I love reading about sports of all kinds and everything ok so when when I do the curling book and the Olympic books well we’ll do this again we’ll have a part two oh yeah we definitely got to have a part two maybe part three and four depending on what else is going on in the world that’s all this is banana I’ve been joined by Rachel Spangler via Skype who’s lovely you probably got snow right now very little very you got more stuff than me cuz I’m in LA and the most we’ve gotten is ring yeah but thank you for joining me today and talking about this amazing topic it’s been so much fun and thank you everyone for joining me as well look for this and any other on iTunes or wherever the lesbian review podcast is being broadcasted thanks guys