04 December 2011

Q and A #3

Wow! The feedback just keeps flowing in! As I write this, we're up to 80 comments. I truly appreciate each and every one of them. Here are a few of your comments and my responses. 


But, before we do that...I have to apologize to one of my commenters, Erika, whose lovely comment I deleted by accident! I'm sorry. My computer spazzed on me and I was clicking around and when it unfroze, your comment was gone!


Now without any further ado, a Q and A:


Regarding Jasmine's Prequel, At First Sight


Megan H said: Okay, so I'm conflicted about Jasmine. On the one hand, I feel bad for her. On the other hand, she kinda annoys me. I want to shake her by the shoulders and yell "Have some self-confidence, woman!" Can we see some more interaction with her hotshot parents, pretty please? I think that would give us all a better understanding of her personality. I'm pretty sure we all have an Amy in our lives somewhere. I want to warn Teddy against her. She'll only bring him trouble.


and


LauraW89 said: I like all of your characters, but Jasmine is a bit self-conscious I think, but she's only 14 here right? that gives her four more years to toughen up.
Amy seems like a real bitch, which means I already love her. I think she'll be the snarky little sidekick who blows every little thing up until it explodes. 


You're both right, Jasmine has issues with confidence, but I think we can give her a little bit of a break. As LauraW89 said, she is only 14 years old here and Amy's a difficult person to be confident around. Luckily for Jasmine, by the time Game. Set. Match. begins Amy is away at college, but that doesn't mean we won't ever hear from her again.  




EllieMarie84 said: I really like the character of Jasmine. It would be easy for her to come off as entitled with her parents being tennis stars but she isn't. I can't wait to see what happens between Teddy and Jasmine!!!


One of the things I love about Jasmine is that she never takes anything for granted. She knows how hard she has to work and she knows that nothing is going to be handed to her because of her parents. It's not easy to grow up under that kind of scrutiny, but she handles it very well. 


Jennifer said: So, I LOVE this, but one thing that i couldn't get out of my head is that as sophomores Penny and Teddy would be either 15 or 16. I know this is not really a big deal, I just had to say it. Sorry! I absolutely love the direction it is going in and can't wait to hear more!!


You're right, except this prequel takes place in September and their birthday is in November. They're turning 15. I appreciate the eye for detail though. 


Regarding Indy's Prequel: For the Birds


Virgo said: Was reading, completely disinterested in Caroline until I read Alex Russell. Then I had to re-read, and suddenly Caroline not so uninteresting. It would have been a character I would have just brushed aside if not for the fact of her relationship with the leading man. Indy seems an interesting character. Despite obviously growing up with and around money, she doesn't come off as your typical trust fund brat. She even seems to rebel against it, like she's disgusted by it. Which thus makes Indy's mum a pretty interesting character. You can see that her dad's all caught up in the glitz, so I'm interested in what makes Indy so down-to-earth in comparison. I loved the use of the bird motif tying together the beginning and end. Great symbolism. And I love that it went 
completely unnoticed by the person it was aimed at.


Caroline is important and while we probably won't be seeing a ton from her in the prequels, she'll be featured heavily in the actual novel. Obviously there's more than one connection to the main characters. 


Indy is an interesting girl. She's got her father's drive and determination, but she inherited a wild independent streak from her mother. There will be more on Indy and her mother in her next prequel. 

LauraW89 said: I love her already, very fierce and sarcastic. She's the one everybody will have to watch out for I think, if she goes for something she'll get it.

That is the perfect description of Indiana Gaffney. Couldn't have said it better myself. 

Lela said: I love that the characters are already so developed! I can't wait to see how they are connected. I would find it highly entertaining if Indy ends up with Alex seeing as he is her step-mother-to-be's ex, ha!

Hmm, Alex and Indy. Interesting... ;-)  

Megan H said: This was my favorite of the prequels, I think. I had a feeling I was going to like Indy. I have to bullet point this because there is just too much to say.

*This is one of the best opening lines I think I have ever read. It's right up there with "It is a truth universally known..." and "Once upon a time, on the north shore of Long Island..." How can you NOT keep reading after a line about having a staring contest with a bird?
*Indy is not just talented, she's smart. That makes me love her even more.

*I love that she is nice to the valet. It just shows that she is more than a spoiled rich kid.
*The comments about people having nothing better to do than hang out at a country club cracked me up. It's so true!
*The fact that Indy's dad only calls her Indiana is a nice subtle way to show how poor of a relationship they have.
*Poor Alex. What kind of bitch dumps you in public at a major tennis match? He deserves so much better. He deserves Libby ;)
*The yellow jeep is fantastic. Again, very subtle. She's obviously not your typical rich kid.
*Indy laughing was so realistic. We've all done the hysterical laughter thing before. With my friends it's always accompanied by a frantic shout of "Where did it go!!"

So, just in case you didn't get this already, I really really loved this prequel. A lot.


Wow, I'm not sure I could be more flattered by those comparisons. Pride and Prejudice and Sabrina are my favorite book and movie, respectively. Thank you! Everything you said about Indiana is just spot on, so I'm really just putting your comment here to make sure everyone else sees it.




In reaction to Alex's Prequel: Thank You

Megan H said: Buying a house for momma = best son ever. I would really like to see a little more about Anna. She seems a little like superwoman in this prequel, which works because Alex would obviously think of his mom like that, but I would like to see the realistic side of things too. I'm sure things were probably hard as hell for her and sometimes she wanted to cry and sometimes she wanted to quit. That would be beautiful to see. The comment about not being a team player was great, because it kind of made the sweet mamma's boy seem like he might be a little bit of an ass, too. He can't be perfect, that's boring, so he needs a few flaws. To me, not liking teams seems like a huge flaw, because I'm ALL about the team. I love extraordinary people, which would probably be why I am already shipping Alex/Libby. Extraordinary people in love is always fun.

Alex is the best son ever. He and his mother are incredibly close. If you want to see more of Anna, I recommend voting for Alex in the prequel polls. As far as Alex's total inability to embrace the "team" mentality, it is definitely a weakness of his and one he's totally aware of, but his time at OBX might push him out of that "me first" comfort zone. We'll see. He is definitely not perfect. He's cocky and capable of being a total ass (as Caroline would be more than happy to shout to the world, which she did with hundreds of people around on a practice court at Wimbledon). He is most definitely extraordinary and so is Penny (Libby).... ;-) 

JBurrell said: I second the other reviewers about seeing the realistic side of Alex's life before he started winning tournaments, it would definitely be very interesting!

Then vote for Alex in the prequel poll! :-) 

In reaction to Penny and Teddy's Prequel: A Decision

Anonymous said: Hey, I play semi-professional tennis and I'm looking to get on the tour, so reading something relevant and something as well written as this is going to be so inspirational and amazing! I'm really, really, really looking forward to it, so keep up the work!

I am blown away by this comment and I'm heartbroken that you signed in anonymously because I would LOVE to pick your brain. I'm so glad that you think this universe is relevant and I hope you come back and read more! 

LauraW89 said: This is a really close family (reminds me a bit of the Keelers, but at the same time they're totally different) and I love how they let the kids make the decision.. Teddy seems like the brother everybody wants, and I love how close they are, I'm a triplet myself and I must say you have that twin connection spot on!!!

While I love the Keeler family (for those who don't know, the Keelers are a family on ABCFamily's Make it or Break it) the Harrison family is very different. The Harrison children are 23 and 18 years old. For the most part, Nora and Oliver consider their job "raising" their kids as completed. They both have demanding careers and they aren't going to be extraordinarily involved in their children's day to day lives. 

Megan H said: I LOVE this family. I come from a really close family myself, so I always enjoy seeing that reflected in books or TV. So many people take it for granted now days that the family WON'T be good. Teddy reminds me a lot of my sister. She has always gone all out for me, encouraging me to do my best and then being the proudest person of all when I succeed. This is very much a case of art reflecting life, I think.

Teddy and Penny are extraordinarily close and he is her biggest fan (and vice versa). They have a lot of challenges ahead of them that will test their relationship in a variety of ways.

In reaction to Game. Set. Match. - Prologue 

Carrie B said: Excited for more! I pretty much love all of your writing and -- like justlikereadlife said, this is great because it's easy to follow even with my extreme lack of sports/tennis knowledge. Very excited to see where you take this one...

So glad you like it and I'm THRILLED to hear that the tennis is coming through clearly for a non-tennis watcher. One of my major goals is to make this universe as accessible as possible. 

Phoebe said: I'm looking forward to reading more. I know next to nothing about tennis, but am interested in learning. Just one little thing that has bugged me: when Indy and her dad are watching the match, one of the commentators says "I believe she likes to be called, Penny, ..." I think the first comma is unnecessary. I could be wrong about the grammatical correctness but I find it breaks up the rhythm of the sentence.

If you're interested in learning, there's a tennis tutorial linked in the main menu at the top of the site. It's just some general background, but it should be helpful. I'll also continue to give as many contexts clues as I possibly can during the match-play scenes. 

I've asked five different people about that line, because honestly I'm not sure if the comma belongs there either, but no one seems to agree, so I'm going to leave the comma as a tribute to our language's fuzzy grammar rules. 

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