Today’s spotlight is on my friend and writing colleague Candee Fick. Candee is the wife of a high school football coach and the mother of three children, including a daughter with a rare genetic syndrome. When not busy with her day job or writing, she can be forund cheering on the home team at football, basketball, baseball, and Special Olympics games. In what little free time remains, she enjoys exploring the great Colorado outdoors, indulging in dark chocolate, and savoring happily-ever-after endings through a good book.
Catch of a Lifetime is a contemporary inspirational romance. I choose to write romance, because it’s what I love to read, and it’s a reflection of God’s relentless pursuit of a relationship with mankind. That’s also why I write for the inspirational or Christian market, because my faith is such an integral part of my life that I can’t imagine trying to write a story without that worldview. And I admit that I write about contemporary settings and interactions to avoid the extra research involved to get the historical time period details correct.
I grew up playing football at recess with the boys, married a coach, and our oldest son plays receiver and linebacker for his high school’s team. And that’s very different from Cassie, who hates football, especially football players! Howver, a part of me always wanted to be a flexible, tumbling gymnast (especially when watchin gthe Olympics), so I was able to put that desired skill into Cassie’s background. On the other hand, Cassie and I are both smart enought with a love of biology and science to be tutors. In fact, I used to teach high school chemistry before I got married and started a family.
I love stories and haven’t been far from a book since age four when my mother taught me to read. The best books were the ones that lingered in my imagination to the point where I invented new scenes and adventures for the characters, just because I couldn’t bear to say goodbye yet. However, the more I read, the more I came across books that didn’t quite satisfy or seemed flat or dry or (gasp) boring. Whenever I read a book like that, my imagination would kick in to try to fix the story with a better ending or something. Then came the day when I woke up, having dreamed a scene so real I didn’t want it to end. I scribbled down everything I could remember and decided that I would someday write books of my own. My hope is that readers want to linger with my characters.
Read a lot. You absorb what works or doesn’t work in stories by seeing how other writers have built story worlds. Write a lot. Just like other muscles, it gets easier the more you exercise it. Keep learning. Focus on one skill, dig deep until you understand it, apply it to your own writing, and then find something else to work on. Mostly, be patient. It takes time to develop a strong foundation of skill, professionalism, thick skin, stack of possible manuscripts, network of friends, and social media platform. Then, when the door of opportunity opens, you’ll be ready to walk through it.
He breathes football. She shudders at the very mention of the sport. After a tragedy involving a football player destroyed her family, athletic trainer and graduate student Cassie moves across the country looking for a fresh start, but a change in financial aid lands her in the middle of her worst nightmare. Meanwhile, rookie coach Reed worries his dream career will slip away as injuries plague his players and his star receiver teeters on the brink of ineligibility. As the two work together to salvage the season, sparks fly, and Reed must eventually choose between the game he cherishes and the woman he loves.