Unknowingly, I've been keeping a pretty solid schedule with these "Q&A" posts. I think I've got an internal clock that says, "Time to respond to all the awesome people who've commented." It seems to go off every two weeks or so.
Thank you everyone who has commented and don't forget to vote in the Prequel Contest!
Here we go:
In reaction to my post, A Name Change
EllieMarie84 said: I think the name Penny is adorable. If you don't want to admit to listening to Hanson you can always say you were inspired by the song Penny Lane by The Beatles.
I wish I had thought of that, although honestly the song Penny and Me by Hanson could have been written about my Penny. Aside from the smoking cigars thing, but...yeah, it's definitely her theme song.
In reaction to the Prequel, At First Sight
midnight.rose said: I agree, this is amazing. Also, I'm a freshman, and I know a ton of sophomores...but I don't know whether you make Libby/Penny and Teddy too mature or something. In the pictures, I think Penny and Jasmine are sooo pretty :) Though Teddy and Jack are not that attractive...they were hotter in my head! ;P Can you post a picture of Amy? Thanks!
Penny and Teddy are very mature, at least in public. When it's just the two of them together they tend to regress, a lot. I'm glad you think Penny and Jasmine are pretty. You can feel free to imagine Teddy and Jack however you'd like! The pictures were just a general idea of what they look like. The picture of Amy is up on that Prequel's post and in the main header under, "The Opponents."
VirgoWriter said: This prequel just gives everything that's so interesting about Jasmine's character. She's so very normal. She's interested in boys. She's self-conscious about her looks. She avoids conflict. There's just all these big philosophical questions surrounding her tennis - does she do it because she wants to or because her parents want her to? Or because she's just naturally good at it and everyone expects her to want it? She's so different from Indy and Libby, who both have a clear purpose and drive and reasons behind their love of the sport. Which is another great thing, by the way, that tennis means something different to each of these girls. They've each got a very different story to tell about their sport and how they came to be in it. I said from the start that Jasmine was the character I was more interested in, and I think that's going remain (even though you pretty much had me shipping Alex/Penny from the first chapter).
Spot on! Jasmine is very normal, for all the reasons you stated. The major journey for Jasmine in the first novel will be her trying to figure out, her own motivations for why she plays tennis.
I'm also thrilled that through these prequels you guys are picking up that the girls all have the same goal, but very different reasons why they're going for that goal.
Bibliopoppet said: My cousin dated an Amy. Cute. Blonde. Raging wh*** with a good way of stomping all over people. The whole family hated her. Cousin loved her hard. I hate Amy. I hate Amy on principle, but this just makes me hate her more. If I could have one wish, she would do something really bad to Jasmine, and Teddy would leave her ass, and then realize what a gem he has in Jasmine. And then fall madly in love with her.
If you're feeling this way about Amy already, just wait until the next "Teddy" prequel.
In Reaction to the Prequel: For the Birds
Bibliopoppter said: (She said a lot, so here's some of the things I want to address, you can see the full comment here)
Totally love her inadvertent "eff you" to Harvard. I like this girl.
Indy doesn't mind Harvard. She just doesn't want to go there. She's dealing with a lot of crap at this point in her life and she doesn't see the point of "wasting" four years at school instead of going after what she really wants.
Shit on Indiana Gaffney day, after the symbolism of the birds at the begining was just literary magic. Reminds me of my favorite novel of all time.
"I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being with an independent will."
So is my favorite heroine, so is Indiana Gaffney.
I'm totally flattered that you'd compare Indy to Jane Eyre. Though, at the same time, while I'm a huge fan of classic literature, particularly from that era, I can't stand anything by the Bronte family. I know, it's total girl-lit-fan blasphemy, but there it is.
Franxample said: Indy is now my favorite. She is just such a breath of fresh air amongst the rich kid stereotypes. It lightens my soul just a bit.
Indy definitely doesn't fit the "rich girl" stereotype. I grew up in a place where there were a lot of "rich girls" who didn't fit that stereotype (and more than one who did). Indy is a tribute to those that don't.
~Ari~ said: I totally love Indy. I think part of the reason I love her so much is because I can really identify with her.
I love Indy too and I'm so glad you can relate to her! That's one of my goals for this series if for people to find someone they can relate to and root for!
In Reaction to Game. Set. Match: The Players
VirgoWriter said: I keep seeing Alex's photo on posters all over the place (it's weird, cos most of them were probably there before but I just didn't see them). At least now I know why my first impression of Alex was that he looks like a law student - one of the posters was an IT poster on the message board in law school.
*Cackles* It's totally subliminal marketing on my end. No really, it's just that the photos come from a stock photographer site, so GSM characters will likely be popping up all over the place!
In Reaction to Game. Set. Match: The Opponents
Franxample said: They're all so... Althletically hot :)
One really fun thing about writing a tennis story, the people are incredibly attractive. There have been studies done that equate physical attractiveness with athletic ability. Something about the symmetry in the body and other scientific mumbo jumbo that I can' remember. Of course, it's not a hard and fast rule, but turn on a tennis match some time and odds are the people on the court are pretty damn good looking.
LauraW89 said: Paolo looks cute :)
Paolo IS cute. He's an Italian tennis player who will show up towards the end of book one and feature more heavily further into the series.
In Reaction to the Prequel: Winning and Losing
Bibliopoppet said: As a mom of one of "those" types of people, I think you did a great job illustrating the dragon beneath the surface. It's something that some people (usually the great ones) have just under their skin, and you really hit the nail on the head as to what that's like from a mom's perspective. (Again, she said a lot, you can find the entire comment here)
That's exactly who Alex (and to some extent all of the characters in GSM) are. They have that something inside of them that drives them to be the best. I'm glad it came through well from a mother's perspective, since I don't have children. I have however, worked closely with athletes and their families. I've spent hours sometimes trying to explain to a mom or dad that they're kid doesn't have "it" while the parents of the ones who do usually figure it out pretty quickly.
LauraW89 said: I really liked this little flashback.. gives you a good look as to how Alex got to where he is now.. I like how determined he is and I know he will be great again when he clears his mind.. can't wait to read more!!
Like I said in the comment above, determination is definitely one of Alex's strong suits, so much so however, that sometimes he takes it too far. Let's hope he can get his act together. ;-)
Kaelyn said: I really like that Alex is the type of guy to turn his anger at losing inward instead of having diva style meltdowns. And I just love Anna. She's awesome.
When things don't go the way he planned on the court, Alex always blames himself. Probably too much. The early success gave him the idea that losing just wasn't acceptable (a quality he shares with someone he's about to meet up with at OBX). Oh and Anna, I love her so much. I can't wait until the characters get to Wimbledon so I can write about her in the actual series.
In Reaction to Game. Set. Match: Prologue
Ele said: I love the way you write and I'm really liking this prologue :) I'm from Italy so maybe I didn't get all the right things but I really like the story line ..
Welcome! I love international readers. So glad you liked the writing and storyline. Hope you come back and read more soon!
That's all for now.
Again, don't forget to vote in the Prequel Contest! It ends when we get to 5,000 hits and we're quickly approaching that total!