I write about athletes a lot, but I don’t write sports romances. I need to make that clear upfront. I just don’t have the attention span or imagination to write those intense play-by-plays. I also like turning archetypes on their ears. I’m interested in the stuff that happens to these guys off the field. That’s why I have an entire series of baseball players…who are super-broke.
Trust me–none of these guys are going to pick their love interest up in a limousine and hand over a dozen roses. They’re more likely to show up in a truck with a cracked muffler and a couple of missing hubcaps for some Netflix-and-chill.
I joke on Twitter sometimes that I write “struggle romances.” My characters often live paycheck to paycheck, and that sort of puts a damper on those grand gestures we see in romances sometimes. I don’t shy away from showing how a character’s negative net worth affects them socially.
In the next installment of my Reedsville Roosters series (stories about players from a minor league baseball team that loses a lot), I’ve got a hero who’s a P.E. teacher during the school year and who plays ball so he can afford to renovate his house. And…he’s kind of over baseball. He’s doing what he has to do to pay his bills, and I think a lot of us have been in that situation before.
Al’s “lucky break” forces him to evaluate his priorities (with a little help from a heroine who isn’t afraid to tell him all about himself).
I get a kick out of writing characters who have some extra lifestyle obstacles that get in the way of reaching their happily-every-after, and that’s why I see this series continuing indefinitely (Reedsville 4 and 5 are already in the release queue).
Can you think of a great “struggle romance” to share with me? I love reading them as much as I love writing them. Down-on-her-luck waitress about to lose family land, perhaps? Single dad up to his eyeballs in legal bills from a bogus lawsuit? Preschool teacher has to take a second or third job to afford gas (that sounds a lot like one of my stories, actually…)?
Tell me about them in the comments! I’d love to add them to my reading list.