Saturday, October 5, 2013

Our process or How we Chose our Characters

With: Melinda Dozier, Ana Blaze, Kara Leigh Miller and Aria Kane


Writing a story that was part of a collection with three other very talented authors was both exciting and intimidating. There was definitely a learning curve for all of us. Aria had the overall idea and together, we worked out the kinks and nailed down a common theme -- the superstitious, lucky torch.  Now all we had to do was develop our individual characters and stories. Obviously, this wasn’t done alone as we didn’t want to have the same type of athletes and backstories. We wanted each story to be unique and represent a different slice of life. So, with the help of Google docs and tons upon tons upon tons of emails back and forth, we created our characters. 

From the moment this idea was presented to me, I knew I wanted to write about a hockey player and I knew he was going to be cocky as hell. And he is. Cole is an arrogant, confident, ladies man who gets knocked down a couple of pegs by Brenna, the team photographer. Sparks fly in more ways than one and it leads both of them on a path of self-discovery. 
--- Kara Leigh Miller 

I loved working on this anthology. Bumping ideas off each other and working out ways our stories would intertwine was a blast. I remember being a little concerned that we would chose characters who were too similar or all want to represent the same sport, but right away it became clear that we all had distinctly different voices telling us their stories.

I knew right away that I wanted to focus on characters that weren’t  big stars or at least didn’t expect to be. Amy is the sister of world famous figure skater. She’s accustomed  to hanging back and letting her sister have the spotlight. Amy fancies herself as all but invisible, but she catches Norwegian Ski Jumper Erik’s eye right away
--Ana Blaze. 

For me, it was easy to choose a snowboarder. Ty Madsen had been speaking to me for months already and this was his chance to make an appearance. Plotting out character notes came easily as he “spoke” to me. He was younger, an Olympics “virgin” and a ladies’ man, but my favorite part about Ty (Trouble) was his prankster side. Playing jokes on others would get him into trouble and would be a fine way for him to meet the heroine, Nadia.
--- Melinda Dozier

Sports romances feature a male athlete, right? Well, not when I write them, I guess. I don’t think anybody who’s read anything of mine would be surprised by that, though. My first heroine was a female engineer and my second was a zombie slayer, so a female Olympian was only natural for me. Lia is fierce and strong and extremely protective of a secret she desperately doesn’t want the world to know. So the real question became: what kind of man could win her over? 

In walks Brandon James, doors swinging dramatically shut behind him as he smiles that smile that makes girls fall at his feet. Every girl, except for Lia, that is. She’s not interested in anything that might distract her from her goals so Brandon has to do something he’s not used to doing: be real. 
-- Aria Kane

Title: Love and Other Games (Collection)
Author: Melinda Dozier, Ana Blaze, Aria Kane, Kara Leigh Miller
Publisher: Swoon Romance

LOVE AND OTHER GAMES is a collection of four sexy new adult stories centered around athletes competing in the Winter Games by Ana Blaze, Melinda Dozier, Aria Kane, and  Kara Leigh Miller.

Worth More Than Gold by Ana Blaze
Amy Pierce, the klutzy sister and manager of America’s Skating Sweetheart, is used to being invisible. But when a friend drags her to a party near the Olympic Village, Amy catches the eye of a sexy Norwegian ski jumper. It’s a magical night, but an awkward next morning has her running. Everyone knows Erik Andresen’s best shot at an individual medal was back in 2010, before an injury pulled him from the competition. He’s there for his team, but a hot night and a remarkable final training session have him wondering if a gorgeous good-luck charm could give him another chance at the podium. With a little bit of luck, these two might have a shot at something worth more than gold.

Trouble With Gold by Melinda Dozier
US snowboarder and notorious prankster, Ty (Trouble) Madsen is only getting a taste of his own medicine when his Olympic teammates shackle him to a fence wearing nothing but his boxers.  Reception and protocol volunteer, Nadia Hoffman, gets up close and personal with the sexy snowboarder to rescue him, but she's not the kind of girl who lets her hormones get in her way.  A professional performance could help her land her dream job at Olympics Committee Headquarters, but her new assignment supervising the rambunctious US Snowboarding Team is making that difficult.  Can she see behind the snowman in the community center bathroom and into the warm heart of the man everyone calls Trouble?

Greek aerial skier Lia Milonas’s parents are about to lose the family farm. Saving it means medaling and landing a huge sponsor. While her no-nonsense attitude has her well on her way to a medal, it hasn’t won her a place in fans' hearts. “Come back with a story that will make readers cry, or don’t come back.” This is what Brandon James’ boss told him before he left New York to cover the Winter Games for Moment Magazine. With a wink and a smile, he can charm his way into any invite-only party, but that career-making story is nowhere to be found – until he meets Lia. The two strike a deal that should get them both what they want - but neither would have guessed they’d also find what they need. 

Ice Gold by Kara Leigh Miller
Colton Campbell thrives on the fast paced, adrenaline rushed lifestyle of being an Olympic hockey player. Despite Brenna Jessup's abhorrence for the games and the athletes, she's hand-picked as the official photographer for the U.S. Olympic Hockey Team. When a faux pas by Brenna almost costs Colton his career, she owes him. Too bad for her, Colton doesn't want apologies -- he wants retribution! And he knows just how to get it -- and her -- in the process.


Social Media
Melinda Dozer on Twitter:
Aria Kane on Twitter:
Kara Leigh Miller on Twitter:
Swoon Romance (publisher) site:

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for letting us stop by and talk about our characters!! <3


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