I’d like to welcome our guest today, Patricia Sargeant who writes contemporary romance as Regina Hart. It’s a pleasure having you come visit us at Much Cheaper Than Therapy, where chocolate is plentiful and advice is free. So grab some chocolate and a lounge chair. Your next therapy session has begun.
I understand you have a new release out called Fast Break. Can you tell us a little bit about your fabulous new book?
Kim, thank you for letting me visit with your blog community and for asking about Fast Break. Fast Break is my June 2011 release, which introduces my contemporary romance pseudonym, Regina Hart. Fast Break is the first book in my trilogy featuring a fictitious New York professional basketball team, the Brooklyn Monarchs. The hero, DeMarcus Guinn, is a retired NBA future Hall of Famer. The heroine, Jaclyn Jones, is the franchise owner. To save the franchise, DeMarcus and Jaclyn will have to take their perpetually losing team to the playoffs. That’s easier said than done since they’re both used to being in charge and getting their own way.
Fast Break is a very interesting title. How did you arrive at that name?
Fast Break is a basketball term. It also suits the tone of the book. There’s a urgency to the situation. DeMarcus and Jaclyn will have to move fast to turn their losing team into a winning franchise.
What made you decide to write in this genre?
I think it was my subconscious. I love basketball but I’m more of a football fan. However, I noticed that in most of my past titles – You Belong to Me, On Fire, Heated Rivalry – I’ve made a reference to the National Basketball Association.
Are you a plotter or a pantser and how did it affect the writing of this book?
I’m a plotter. Planning the story in advance helped me realize Fast Break’s true theme. The story’s message is that, if you want to win, you have to be willing to lose. For example, if you want to be published, you have to be willing to risk rejection when you submit your first manuscript. (Amen! KW)
Did you have to do a lot of research for the book? What are your favorite research books or sites?
Yes, I did do a lot of research for Fast Break. I spoke with two college basketball coaches and read interviews of players and coaches. I also read player blogs and sports articles. The coaches let me watch several of their practices. That was a tremendous help. My favorite research site is Google.com.
Where did you get your idea for this particular book?
I want to use this story in part to introduce the Monarchs to readers – who are they; how did they get to this point in their franchise’s history; what does Jaclyn have to do to save the franchise; what does DeMarcus have to do to get the team to win?
Which character did you like writing about the most, and why?
I enjoyed writing all of the characters, actually. I loved DeMarcus and Jaclyn’s character arcs. The other players are quirky. The main villain, Gerald, is deliciously evil. The assistant coach, Oscar, is wonderfully cranky.
Tell us about how you develop your characters. Do you create character sheets, do interviews, that sort of thing? How does your research affect your character development?
I create character sheets. I start with the characters, what does she want; what does he want; why; and what’s keeping them from achieving their goals. The character drives the story.
Do you have any authors that inspired you?
There are so many authors who’ve inspired me. I’m probably forgetting a few. Beverly Jenkins, Dianne Castell, Susan Elizabeth Philips, Kate Angell, Shiloh Walker.
What do you feel is the most effective promotion you have done for your book?
Requesting book reviews. Studies continue to show that word of mouth is the most effective form of marketing. Getting reviews is a great way to spread the word about your book. Guest blogging is another great way to get the word out, which is one of the reasons I’m very grateful to you for letting me spend this time with your blog community. (You're welcome. KW)
What do we have to look forward next?
Game Plan is the second book in my NBA trilogy. It features two of the characters readers will meet in Fast Break, Troy Marshall and Andrea Benson.
Kim, thanks again for letting me stop by!
To celebrate her book release, Regina Hart is offering a free copy of Fast Break to one lucky commenter on today’s blog. (Please check the blog Monday night to see if you won. Chances of winning are determined by the number of entries.)
She will be around all day today. I'm sure some of you have questions or comments for her, so please ask away...
Regina Hart is the contemporary romance pseudonym of award-winning author Patricia Sargeant.
Regina’s contemporary romances feature the franchise members and friends of the Brooklyn Monarchs, a fictitious National Basketball Association team set in Brooklyn, New York.
In addition to Patricia Sargeant’s various pastimes and hobbies, Regina loves football, basketball and track-and-field – college as well as pros. Her favorite teams are the New York Knicks, New York Jets, New York Giants, Syracuse Orangemen and the West Virginia Mountaineers.
Regina also loves chatting with readers. You can contact her at BooksbyPatricia@yahoo.com.
Check out author’s website at www.AuthorReginaHart.com