Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Retreat Guest Blogger Jami Davenport

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An advocate of happy endings, Jami writes sexy romantic comedy, sports hero romances, and equestrian fiction. Jami lives on a small farm near Puget Sound with her Green Beret-turned-plumber husband, a Newfoundland cross with a tennis ball fetish, a prince disguised as an orange tabby cat, and an opinionated Hanoverian mare.

Jami works in IT for her day job and is a former high school business teacher. In her spare time, Jami rides and shows her dressage horse and grows roses. An avid boater, Jami has spent countless hours in the San Juan Islands, a common setting in her books. In her opinion, it is the most beautiful place on earth.


The Challenge of Creating Bad Boy Heroes

The hero in my recent release, Forward Passes, is Tyler Harris, a Super Bowl winning quarterback, ultimate bad boy, and a self-proclaimed jerk with a fondness for the “F” word. To say writing about Tyler was a challenge would be putting it mildly. I wrote at least six versions of his story until I settled on the current version.

Tyler was initially introduced in Fourth and Goal, as a cousin and teammate to Derek. As one reviewer put it, Tyler came across as the jerk with a heart of gold. In Forward Passes, I needed to stay true to the character I created in the initial book, yet help him grow in this book.

The most difficult thing when writing Forward Passes was balancing Tyler’s jerk persona with the nice guy hiding underneath. I couldn’t make Tyler too soft or too hard. In the beginning, he needed to be a first-class jerk, but the reader also needed to see glimpses of the real Tyler, even if Tyler didn’t see them. So I gave Tyler a cat—an unwanted cat—because “real men don’t like cats” or so they claim (tell that one to my husband). I also added a soft spot for senior citizens. Lastly, I gave Tyler a secret weakness. He actually believes deep down that he’s unworthy of his fame and fortune.

I opened the book with Tyler winning his second Super Bowl in two years, yet feeling oddly distanced and apathetic about the entire thing. I’m hoping that first scene gives readers insight into where his head is at as he struggles with dissatisfaction in his current life.

Regarding setting, I stuck Tyler on an island in Washington’s San Juan Islands in an old run-down mansion, taking him out of his city life of endless parties and instant gratification. Before long, he learns the true meaning of island time, as he copes with workmen who don’t show up, no cell or TV service, a stubborn furnace, and a scaled-back nightlife.

Of course, Tyler meets his match, a woman who challenges him to be the person he wants to be not the person others expect him to be. My goal was to keep Tyler’s essence intact, while having him grow as a person. I hope I accomplished that task.

FORWARD PASSES

With two championships in as many years, superstar Tyler Harris is the best quarterback in the league. Gorgeous and rich, he’s at the top of his game. But everyone’s looking to take him down. There’s a building media frenzy around an unfortunate accident, and the only safe place seems a rundown mansion deep in the San Juans and owned by his late great uncle. There, Tyler gets sacked by the sassy redhead next door. It’s more alive than he’s felt in years.

Lavender Mead has a good reason to dislike jocks, namely an absentee father who deserted the family to coach college football. Maybe that explains her penchant for bad boys who play ball for a living and break hearts for a hobby. Her new neighbor seems just the type. Yet, something is different about Tyler, and sometimes love requires a Hail Mary. You draw back your arm, pray…and give it all up to fate. And sometimes you win your ring.

Let's Chat:
Leave me a comment below, I'll be stopping by to chat with readers. 


62 comments:

Neomie Lemke said...

Great post. The book sounds great. I love to see northwest authors who set there books here! What inspires you most when you write?

Jami Davenport said...

Neomi, Oh, I have lots of inspirations. Usually I start with some thread of an idea. In Tyler's case, I wanted to bring out the nice guy he kept hidden so I needed to force him out of his element and into a setting which was foreign to him and away from all his fans and groupies.

As far as writing inspiration when it comes to heroes, I always find a yummy picture of how I think the hero should look and post it on my bulletin board to look at as I'm wrting the book. If you look at my Pinterest page, you'll see my inspiration for Tyler.

Thanks for the question!!!

ad0ffae6-78f6-11e1-8cde-000bcdcb5194 said...

Just started FOURTH AND GOAL the other night, and I'm looking forward to Tyler's story! Any thought of maybe writing a hockey story someday? (What can I say, I'm deprived thanks to the NHL lockout, and the Edmonton Oilers were sniffing around Seattle's arena last month, apparently...)

vitajex(at)aol(dot)com

Valerie said...

Great post, I love the San Juan Islands which is funny because I've never been there. LOL I just have read so many wonderful books set there that it makes me want to visit. It's on my list. Tyler sounds like the best kind of bad boy. There's just something about football players like Peyton Manning and Joe Montana and...you know all of them gets me inspired and makes me wonder how they really treat their loved ones.

brandi said...

I love football and looks like I might be adding your books to my tbr pile.

Elizabeth H said...

Sounds like an interesting read. You say his pic is up on your bulletin board... So my question would be.. Do you only write in your home office? Or do you ever go out and people watch? Getting inspiration from the from the mood swings of the people around you.

Beth said...

The book does sound great! - BethR

Desere said...

The book sounds awesome !

brandi said...

Jami, do you plan on doing a book for all of the player you listed on your website for the team?

Shelly said...

I love the way you describe the development of your "jerk jock"!! I am adding your books to my "check these out" list!!

krisgils33 said...

The book sounds good. I'm not sure how I missed this one. :)
I like the cover that is just a teaser of spectacular abs. Although man chest is super nice, what is inside the book is more important to me. Do you have a personal preference on covers (hot guy, something subdued, or other??)

Mybradybunch6 said...

I have found new Authors and books. I will have a TBR list longer than the Honey-do list. I can't wait to read this series.

Tiss said...

Sounds like an awesome book, I have ordered it but not started it yet. Thanks for blogging and good luck with future books.

Jami Davenport said...

Vitajex, Actually I am going to be writing a hockey romance in the future. The hero of the 3rd Seattle Lumberjacks book has a hockey-playing brother, and I'll be writing his book. Also I have a Christmas story coming out next month in which the hero is a former NHL player.

Valerie, I love the SJ's, too. I'll be writing Mitch's story (Rachel's brother from F&G), and it'll be set in the SJ's at Tyler's mansion. My Christmas stary is also set there.

Brandi, thanks for stopping by.

Jami Davenport said...

Elizabeth, Actually I rarely use the home office. To be honest, I can write much better when a lots going on around me. I'm much better at tuning out distractions. My hubbie belongs to a small veterans club and I often sit there with my iPad and work on a book.

Beth and Desere, thanks so much for stopping by.

Jami Davenport said...

Brandi, I don't know how many books I'll write in this series. I love writing them, so as long as readers want them, I'll write them. Right now I have Zach's story already contracted with Boroughs. I hope to write Mitch's story, Zach's brother story (hockey), and Bruiser's story (the running back). Boroughs is very open to publishing as many as I want to write.

Shelly, thanks for reading my post and taking the time to comment.

Lavada Dee said...

I fell in love with Tyler in Fourth and Goal and I'm so happy to have him as the hero of his own story. I haven't read Forwarded Passes yet but it's on top of my TBR pile.

Jami Davenport said...

Kris, Boroughs has been spectacular as far as covers. We've been working with the talented Kim Killion of Hot Damn designs. We tried to get the same guy Jaci Burton has on her covers as our cover model but weren't able to get him. Personally, i'd love to have a picture of the guy's face, but it so hard to find photos with just the right face. I love the colors on Forward Passes' cover.

MyBradyBunch and Tiss, Thanks for stopping by.

brandi said...

I love series books especially when they bring characters from prior books in. I love to follow their lives. So fulfilling!
I hope you have great reader interest, I know I will be!

Jami Davenport said...

Brandi, I'll probably do some short stories of some of the players also, and possibly a short story to follow up and Lavender and Tyler as far as a wedding. Could be fun.

Jami Davenport said...

Hey, Lavada, Thanks for dropping in. I adore Tyler. He was so much fun to write.

Beth Reimer said...

Jami
Is there a genre that you would like to try? One you would probably avoid and what would that be?
Beth R

brandi said...

Jami, What drove you to do books that were set with sports in the background?

Jami Davenport said...

Beth, I'd like to write dark thrillers. I'm addicted to those true crime shows on TV, and I'd really time to try my hand at something along those lines.

As far as what I woudln't write, I doubt I'd ever write urban fantasy or werewolves or vampires, even though I loved the Twilight books.

I love writing sports romance. Thanks to the digital boom, there's a real demand for that sub-genr.

Jami Davenport said...

Brandi, I have loved football for as long as i can remember. In fact, I actually started writing Derek's story when I was in my 20s (I won't reveal how long ago that was). That was long before I'd ever heard of Susan Elizabeth Phillips. When I tried to write for publication, I was told sports romance heroes would not sell, so I abandoned the story for years. Now digital books have changed all that.

brandi said...

Jami, Thanks for taking time to answer our questions!

Tammie - Night Owl Reviews said...

Ah. I loved your insight into your hero and he has already won my heart. My auto buy finger is already moving to get this book. As a NW lady I also love books set in my region. I hope you will be at the Emerald City Writers Conference.

Jami Davenport said...

Thanks everyone, I'll drop back by a couple times to check in. Plus, I'll be around all week. Hope to see you at some of the other events.

Jami Davenport said...

Yes, tammie, I'll be at Emerald City, but I'm not signing. Look me up. I'd love to meet you.

calstephanie said...

Book sounds great! :)

Tammie - Night Owl Reviews said...

Cool. I love ECWC. This year I can't do the baggy stuffing party. I just had gallbladder removal surgery this weekend...so moving slow and can't lift much. But I am going to make the convention. I had some small complications, but the doc opted to stay the course for the shorter recovery time option so I could attend. The other option would have had me with a full month recovery. I am thrilled to go and can't wait to meet you.

Dannyfiredragon said...

Hi Jami,

the book sounds great, have to add it to my tbb list.

calstephanie said...

I'm attending the booksigning at the ECWC. It's my first one of this type, so I'm super excited. :)

Tammie - Night Owl Reviews said...

Cool Calstephanie. I look forward to seeing you. This will be my third year.

Tammie - Night Owl Reviews said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jami Davenport said...

Danny, thanks for dropping by.

Jami Davenport said...

Danny, thanks for dropping by.

Raonaid Luckwell said...

Not really a fan of sports. But I have read a sports erotical romance. People told me I had to read it. I have learned from reading it if the author doesn't get too deep in the sports jargon - that I have absolutely NO clue what means (unless I want to ask the hubby.. I tolerate Superbowl but that's it)

Herding Cats - Burning Soup said...

Oh my goodness I love it that you gave him a cat. I'm going to have to read this one :)

~Anna

HockeyVampiress said...

Sorry I missed this earlier.... I was busy reading LOL

Jami Davenport said...

Raonaid and HockeyVamp, thanks for stopping by.

Herding Cats: Yes, I gave him a cat. In fact, I gave him my opinonated orange tabby cat.

So if you look on Pinterest, you'll see pictures of Tyler's cat. In fact, I'll be uploading more pics in the next week or so so that all of you can see how I pictured my heroes and heroines.

Jami Davenport said...

I'd love to meet you guys at Emerald City. I'll be there early Friday and will probably be volunteering on the registration desk early Friday afternoon. Email me privately, maybe we can setup something or just play it by ear.

Lorna said...

Sorry I didn't log in sooner! How old is your mare? I ride Trakehners and own a 15 year old Trakehner gelding.

Lorna said...

Sorry I didn't log in sooner! How old is your mare? I ride Trakehners and own a 15 year old Trakehner gelding.

Jami Davenport said...

Hi, Lorna, Actually, i need to update my bio. My mare is 17 years old, and I had to retire her from showing and riding about 9 months ago because of soundness issues. She's a Hanoverian and drop-dead gorgeous. I'm taking a year or so off of riding to decide what i want to do.

I leased her to my trainer and she's in foal to a gorgeous stallion (UB-40).

I love Trakehners. They're the first warmbloods that I ever rode way back when.

debraaparmley said...

San Juan is beautiful! I've been once and would love to go back.

Wondering... at our house when football is on, that is when I have my laptop out writing and hubby and I are both happy in our worlds. Does that ever happen at your house, or do you put the stories away and focus on the game?

Jami Davenport said...

I am the ultimate multi-tasker. I do work on my books while I'm watching the games. Usually, unless it's my team (Seahawks) or the game gets really good, i won't give it my full attention. Besides watching football and writing football romances works for me. If i didn't have a day job, I would probably be able to concentrate on one thing more than I can, but I work full-time and write in my spare time.

Linda Henderson said...

I enjoy sports related stories, this one will go on my wish list.

Jami Davenport said...

Thanks, Linda, for dropping in to say hi.

Laurie Ryan said...

Love, love LOVE that this book is now available. It's a great story, Jami. Congratulations!

Lettetia Elsasser said...

I. too, just started reading Fourth and Goal and am really enjoying it. Like your writing style, Jami, it puts me right in the middle of the action. Can't wait to read Tyler's story next and it is set in one of my favorite places!

Jami Davenport said...

Thanks so much, Lettetia, I'm glad you're liking F&G. It was the book of my heart for years.

Z said...

I love stories about sports figures, they seem to be the rage right now.
Z

Jami Davenport said...

Z, They seem to be hot right now. It's funny because when I was pitching "Fourth and Goal" 2.5 years ago, all I got was "great story but sports romances don't sell." Now I see tons and editors and agents looking for them.

Debby said...

I do enjoy my happy endings. I am glad Tyler got his.

Shannon @ Cocktails and Books said...

I LOVE sports romances, especially when the male lead's first impression is to smack him and then you find yourself loving him as the story unfolds. I'll definitely be checking this one out.

Jami Davenport said...

Debby, Yes, Tyler gets his happy ending though he still deals with some frustration in his football career in Book 3.

Shannon, thanks so very much for stoppping by.

flchen1 said...

Ooh, Jami! I love the sounds of your football stories! I think I have a couple of your earlier titles, but I need to catch up with your more recent ones--thanks for the fun post today and for hanging out to answer questions!

Jami Davenport said...

flchen1, thanks for stopping by. The sports romances have always been my favorites to write. Now that the genre is selling well, that makes it even better.

joder said...

I love those sexy sports stars in romances. There's so many great series out there that give me a satisfying fix and I'm always on the lookout for more.

gogi1_2 AT yahoo DOT com

Jami Davenport said...

Joder, Thanks for dropping by. I love them, too. I'm so glad there are more out now.

June M. said...

I don't really like sports in real life (unless one of my nephews is playing) but I do enjoy reading where the character is a sports player, as long as the sports does not take over the story, lol.