Behind the Scenes of Covering Home
A novel about a female sportscaster and a professional baseball player set in … Japan? How did you come up with that? How much research went into the writing of this novel?
These are the most frequent questions I’ve answered from readers. Often a story idea sort of percolates in my head and I play with it for a while and see if I can build a whole novel from that one idea. But Covering Home came to be in a much different fashion.
Initially, I saw a call for submissions from a publisher for a story set in Tokyo, Japan that featured a bat, a bell, and an angel. For the non-writers out there, a call for submissions is something writers pay attention to because it’s the publisher’s way of telling writers what they are looking for. This particular publisher wanted a novella, which is about 25,000 words or so. As soon as I dropped Britt Bowen and Caleb Scott in the lobby of that hotel, I knew I had something special going on. Once the characters came to life on the page, I couldn’t stop at a novella. It was sooo much fun to write. It wasn’t always easy, though, and I stopped and started many times. But I kept going and eventually had almost 90,000 words in the first draft. Needless to say, some serious editing and re-writing went on. Many authors say the re-writing phase is where the magic happens, but I still find it to be a daunting task. I did work that bat, bell and angel in there, too. You’ll have to see if you can find all three.
A trip to Japan several years ago helped me describe the scenes in Tokyo, including the train rides, the experience of attending a baseball game and some of the cultural observations. But the scenes involving eating at the restaurants, the differences between baseball in Japan versus the US, as well as the inside of the hotel (and the amusement park outside) required quite a bit of research.
In a former career, prior to marriage and children, I worked as an athletic trainer at a university and watched A LOT of baseball games. The banter between the athletes, an athlete’s response to injury, the experience of being in a dugout, were all things I’d witnessed at the college level. Even though I’m not a sportscaster, I was able to piece together enough details to create believable scenes. Writing the parts about Caleb pitching the ball required research, as well as the rules of the game that impact wins and losses. That was perhaps the most grueling part because I wanted to get it right.
I’m proud of this fun, sweet romance. Not only does it have a subtle message of hope and redemption, it also gives readers an opportunity to see a little slice of life in a land you might not have visited yet. I hope you all enjoy reading Covering Home.
is a Pacific Northwest girl at heart. She spent her formative years in Alaska, where her unique upbringing, coupled with Alaska’s breathtaking scenery, fueled her active imagination and loosely inspired her debut novel, Unraveled