The Next Big Thing – Blog Hop

The Next Big Thing Hop: the traveling blog that asks authors whom they consider the NEXT BIG THING, and then has them pass along the questions for those authors to answer in their blogs.

Thank you, Lyn Miller-Lachmann for tagging me!  Check out the award-winning author of Gringolandia at:

What is the working title of your book?

Unnecessary Roughness. This is the picture I study when I need to “get in the zone” to write.


Where did the idea come from for the book?

The link between football and aggression is all over the news, whether we’re talking about Jovan Belcher’s murder/suicide, the New Orleans Saints bounty scandal, or incidences among local high school teams. Clearly, football players face issues that are complicated by society’s expectations for the sport. Mix that up with teenagers who are trying to figure out what it means to become a man and when aggression is acceptable—and the concept is rich with possibilities. Unnecessary Roughness is an attempt to continue the dialogue on these issues.

What genre does your book fall under?

Contemporary YA fiction/sports story.

What actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

The only actor that comes to mind is Channing Tatum, and the only reason I think of him is because he reminds me of my oldest son, and this book—in many ways—starts with my son.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

It’s game on for senior football captain Kurt Langer, and the stakes are high: A college recruiter wants fifteen tackles per match-up and Kurt’s team expects another state championship banner…but after a player from a rival school jacks Kurt up in the locker room, Kurt adds boxing to his workout routine, and he becomes more aggressive than ever—on the field and off.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

My book is represented by the wonderful and talented Rachel Orr of Prospect Agency. 

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Unnecessary Roughness is the story through which I learned craft while enrolled in the Vermont College MFA program, so I guess <gasp> it took two years.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

If I compare my story to the fabulous Tim Tharp and his Knights of Hill Country will you forgive me? I mean, the guy is a flipping genius!

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

My son was an inside linebacker his senior year when he blitzed the quarterback, wrapping up the opposing player in a game-changing sack that sent fans to their feet. When he and the QB landed on the turf, my son felt the guy’s leg snap. I’ll never forget watching him watch the ambulance.


What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

Unnecessary Roughness is about a football player whose coaches are pushing him to become aggressive on the field, so he starts training with a boxing coach to gain confidence—and he ends up becoming more aggressive off the field as well.

Oh, and there are these two girls….



8 thoughts on “The Next Big Thing – Blog Hop

  1. Love this premise! So authentic and timeless. You have the love of the game, the family connections to the sports, and the talent and determination to produce a book that already seems like a classic. To use a cliché, that’s a winning combination. Looking forward to seeing this in print!

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  3. Pingback: Check It Out! | El Space–The Blog of L. Marie

  4. I cannot wait to read this. It’s refreshing to hear of a story about athletes that doesn’t perpetuate the dumb jock stereotype, or the idea that the only football position in the world that matters is the quarterback. With a cutthroat on-the-field environment coupled with an increasingly “zero-tolerance” bullying policies at schools, how do young men channel their aggression in appropriate (and inappropriate) ways? I really look forward to seeing this!

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  7. Pingback: The Next Big Thing–Blog Hop Part II | Bmore energy

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