DOWN BY CONTACT Blog Tour - April 25 - May 8.
What better way to kick off Jami Davenpost's Down by Contact then on NFL Draft Day :) I'm a huge fan of Jami Davenport and sports romance so I'm very excited to be a part of this tour. Are you a sport's romance fan? What is it about sports romance you like? s it the hot guys? Tight Uniforms? Alpa personalities? I asked Jami this question as well and this is what she had to say:
I'm a big sports fan myself, especially football. Why did you choose sports?
I’ve written since I was old enough to write words, but I never shared my stories. They were private. Many years ago, maybe fifteen or twenty, I started a story with a football player hero named Derek and his relationship with Rachel.
About five or six years ago, several friends encouraged me to share my stories and write for publication. I joined an RWA chapter and took tons of craft workshops. The first rule I was told about romance writing was sports heroes don’t sell unless you’re Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Well, believe it or not, at the time I’d never read any of her books, so I bought them all and loved them.
But I had two problems: My original football hero romance seemed really similar to one of hers, and no one would ever believe I’d written it before reading her books. Second, sports hero romances are a hard sell to big publishers unless you’ve already established a name for yourself.
I stashed my handwritten chapters in a chest in my attic, used my heroine in another book, and wrote another book. Yet, I always knew I’d return to my football hero romance someday.
With the increasing popularity of ebooks and the number of small presses available, a whole new world has opened up for writers. In the past, if you didn’t write a book with mass-market, commercial appeal, you had little chance of getting it published. Small publishers are filling the niche markets -- areas larger publishers won’t touch because they believed the mass-market appeal wasn’t there.
I’d published six books under a pen name, but that football hero romance kept haunting me, and I decided to start from scratch and write it, even though the characters stayed essentially the same. And, I thought there appeared to be niche for sports hero romances. I should know, I swear I’ve read them all. Besides, what’s sexier than a sweaty, muscular man in those tight football pants?
I had one obstacle, I’d used the heroine’s character and personality in another book. She needed redefining.
Originally, Rachel, my heroine, was an interior designer. Then I made her an aspiring veterinarian trying to get into vet school. That version of the book just didn’t work. As I toyed with Rachel’s need for a career change, I reflected back on the football romances I’d read lately. Most of the heroines weren’t football fans, rarely went to a game, and in several, the hero quit the game for the heroine.
I didn’t want my book to be that kind of book. I love football, and I don’t believe I’m alone. It’s my understanding 45 percent of all NFL fans are women. So I took a gamble on their being a niche for a book with heroine who actually lived and breathed football as much as the hero.
In the final version of the book, Rachel attempts to break into the male-dominated ranks of football scouts, a far cry from her “original” profession, as an interior designer. In fact, my editor stated this book was a football story with a romance, rather than a romance story with some football.
Within a week of submitting this version of Fourth and Goal, I had an offer to publish it. Since then, I’ve published two more Seattle Lumberjacks books and signed contracts for an additional two books. My latest release is Down by Contact.
After twelve years in the league, all Zach Murphy wants is a Super Bowl ring. He’s been about hard hits not smooth manners, about breaking quarterbacks not making small talk at cocktail parties. But now he’s shattered something else. After dumping a tray of drinks on the team owner’s snooty daughter and accidentally feeling up the Governor’s wife, his tenure with his team looks perilously short. And things are getting worse.
Life is looking up for Kelsie Carrington-Richmond. A onetime beauty pageant star and mean girl, she only recently stopped living out of her car. But both those times have passed. Her Finishing School for Real Men has a real shot, and the Seattle Lumberjacks have hired her to polish up their roughest player. Except…it’s Zach. Long ago she broke his heart. He’s just the beast she remembers—gruff, protective—but she’s nothing like the beauty from his past.
Yet, getting knocked down happens, and getting back up makes a contender. And they both have the hearts of champions.
Read the first chapter here:
Jami is giving away all three of the Seattle Lumberjacks books to one winner from all the different tour stops. Winner will be selected by Rafflecopter.