Author Guest Post
How Boston Sports Love Helped Me Write My First Novel
By Jenn Flynn-Shon
Knowing nothing about hockey at the time, I decided to check it out. And what I discovered was - WOW - what a fast paced sport! Baseball was so slow; I could understand why my grandpa used to fall asleep. Even football was slow with setting up of plays and so many commercials. Not to mention, this was back in the really, really slim years of Boston sports fandom when there wasn’t very much to cheer about even when there was some action on the screen. This was also about the time I broke away from my diary and started writing fiction.
When I got to high school my love for hockey started to really take shape. I went to Bruins games with family and friends and even attended most of our high school team’s games as well. I hung out on weekends and watched the Red Sox in the summer. I never missed a single home football game during my four years of high school. Sundays and Monday nights I loved watching the Patriots. Watching athletes was fun and part of the Boston cultural experience, who knew I was banking all the cheers and boos for research for a book!
Over the past twenty years I’ve found myself studying the ins and outs of how a sport is played, not just if the team wins or loses. Plus, the community spirit of being able to come together by the thousands and cheer for a single purpose is truly unmatched in anything else. Sports, much like movies or books, allow me an opportunity to forget, even for just a few hours, about all the priorities and responsibilities that exist in my life outside of fandom.
I decided to take the advice of almost every single published Author on the planet when I started working on the first inklings of Ripple The Twine Ripple - ‘write what you know’. I’m a tomboy so it was a no brainer that Sara would be a tomboy too. I wanted her to really have a deep appreciation for one of the teams in Boston and I chose hockey because of the time of year I set the book – late spring*.
Little did I realize there would be so much I never knew about the sport. I started watching games with renewed vigor and my aunt and I spent quite a few evenings at The Garden attending Bruins games together. I researched on as many different hockey sites as possible and I read countless articles on players, new rules, lockouts and team expansions. I made Sara a freelance Sportswriter.
I finished the first round of major edits in fall 2010. And wouldn’t you know it, the Bruins decided to have a banner season in 2010-2011 – they won a Stanley Cup for the first time in my lifetime! There was no better season to have done research about post season play and every time I had Sara discussing hockey or going to a game I infused my own energy for the game into her experiences.
For a Boston girl it would be difficult to grow up without at least a little love for one (or more) of the Boston teams. For Sara that team had to be the Bruins and for me it didn’t hurt that I could do one of my favorite activities – go to games – as part of the research for making Ripple The Twine as believable as possible.
* To clarify late spring as related to the four major professional sports: I’ve never been a big basketball fan so I didn’t consider that Sara would be a Celtics fan, the Pats aren’t playing at that time of year and baseball season is just getting started while hockey’s is coming into post-season / playoffs.
About The Author:
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Ripple The Twine by Jenn Flynn-Shon
Published By: Writesy Press
Release Date: April 1, 2012
Format: Paperback - 324 pages
Genre: Chick Lit / Contemporary Romance
BUY THE BOOK: Ripple The Twine
BARNES & NOBLE
Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours.
A Tomboy-meets-Townie love story and tale about how friendship can save your life. Sara Quinn is a Sportswriter from Boston and over the past year she has started to earn major respect in the local market. In the process, however, she abandoned her personal relationships and put her emotions in the box. Regardless of her self-imposed timeout, a friend introduces her to Ben. With blue eyes, black hair and a brogue, he's her ultimate triple threat. But they connect just as Sara learns that her friends are facing heavy emotional crises. She starts offering advice, becoming a rock for everyone else, and in the process Sara unearths her own long dormant insecurities. But a bag of peanut butter cups and a hockey game won't fix her issues. She's got to move past her emotional past without hiding behind her career for once. She needs her friend's support as much as they need hers and the four will quickly discover that, when they stick together, their offense is virtually unstoppable.
My Book Review:
A love story about a Tomboy and a Townie ... and the powerful bond of friendship that can change one girl's life.
Sara Quinn is a thirty-something single tomboy, who grew up loving her Boston sports teams (especially the Boston Bruins) so much that she became a Boston sportswriter. Dedicated to her career and reaping the benefits of success, she has decided to take a break from the dating/relationship scene. Sara has a tough exterior that shields her from the dramas of love, only to mask the pain from a devastating past breakup. Always the one to lend advice to her friends, Sara and her three best friends lean on each other for support during difficult times. When a cute "Townie" named Ben is introduced to Sara, sparks fly but self-doubt rears its ugly head, but with the support of Ben and her friends, Sara will have to learn to deal with her emotional past and insecurities in order to find love and happiness.
Ripple The Twine is such a fun read, it has a mixture of romance and sports, what more could you ask for? Written in the third person narrative, this quirky little story easily draws the reader into Sara's journey of self-discovery, as she tries to deal with her insecurities in order to find a balance that will allow love, friendship and happiness in her life.
As a hopeless romantic and sports nut, I loved this debut novel from author Jenn Flynn-Shon, it fulfilled all that I could ask for in a story. Only thing that made me go "ewww" was that Sara's from Boston and therefore a Boston sports fan ... this NY Yankees, Philadelphia Flyers, and Dallas Cowboys fan had to set aside my dislike for all the Boston sports teams ... lol ... but seriously I loved the sports lingo and the rich details and descriptions.
The cast of characters are realistic and unique individuals whose personalities and issues are easy for the reader to relate to. I loved the individuality of each of the four friends: Sara, Perth, Robyn and Edward; but I also loved the strong friendship bond that they shared. I really enjoyed Sara's character, she is a strong, independent woman who has a soft side hidden underneath the tough exterior she puts out, and I couldn't help but feel for her, and hope that her journey of self-discovery would lead her to find happiness and love. I would be remiss if I didn't talk about Ben ... I loved, loved, loved his Boston "Townie" accent and lingo, it reminded me so much of Ben Afflect's character in the 2010 movie, The Town. The author does a wonderful job of bringing the characters to life with their individual stories, their strong bond of friendship, as well as their dialogues and interactions, it made the story that much more of an entertaining and compelling read.
Ripple The Twine is a lighthearted chick lit story that is about real life issues that has romance, friendship and a sports twist added to the mix. This is a fun and easy read that will surely keep you entertained. Kudos to author Jenn Flynn-Shon on your wonderful debut novel!
RATING: 4 STARS ****