Sunday, July 28, 2013

Keeping Score by Jami Deise

When her 9-year-old son wanted to play summer travel baseball, Shannon had no idea the toughest competition was off the field….

When her son Sam asks to try out for a travel baseball team, divorced mom Shannon Stevens thinks it’ll be a fun and active way to spend the summer. Boy, is she wrong! From the very first practice, Shannon and Sam get sucked into a mad world of rigged try-outs, professional coaches, and personal hitting instructors. But it’s the crazy, competitive parents who really make Shannon’s life miserable. Their sons are all the second coming of Babe Ruth, and Sam isn’t fit to fetch their foul balls. Even worse, Shannon’s best friend Jennifer catches the baseball fever. She schemes behind the scenes to get her son Matthew on the town’s best baseball team, the Saints. As for Sam? Sorry, there’s no room for him! Sam winds up on the worst team in town, and every week they find new and humiliating ways to lose to the Saints.
And the action off the field is just as hot. Shannon finds herself falling for the Saints’ coach, Kevin. But how can she date a man who didn’t think her son was good enough for his team … especially when the whole baseball world is gossiping about them? Even Shannon’s ex-husband David gets pulled into the mess when a randy baseball mom goes after him. As Sam works to make friends, win games and become a better baseball player, Shannon struggles not to become one of those crazy baseball parents herself.  In this world, it’s not about whether you win, lose, or how you play the game… it’s all about KEEPING SCORE. 
Q&A With The Author:
What made you want to become an author?

I think people who are storytellers are born that way. I loved books as a child and the first thing I wrote was "Little House on the Prairie" fan fiction (this was, of course, way before the term "fan fiction" had made it into the vernacular.) So deciding to be a writer isn't really a choice. Deciding which medium to focus in is, though. I did spend several years writing screenplays until I decided that the stories I wanted to tell weren't the stories that Hollywood was buying, and I really didn't have the interest to try to make my own movie. The explosion in self-publishing helped convince me that I could find a venue for a novel no matter how it was received.
What made you choose to have your book set around baseball?
For the past 10 years my life has been set around baseball, so it was an easy choice! There are so many stories around travel baseball for kids, or any kind of competitive activity. My generation of helicopter parents gets super-involved in whatever our kids are doing. It's funny and worrisome at the same time.
Are any of the characters based on real people?
Based on, yes, but in a general way. My son started playing travel baseball at 9, but his personality is not the same as my protagonist's son.
Would you consider yourself to be an indie author?
How do you balance being an author and a review associate at Chick Lit Central?
I am also a reader for a New York literary agency. I find all the reading to be very helpful for me as a writer... I see what works for other writers, and the mistakes they make, and I try to keep those issues in mind when I'm working on my own stories. I probably read about 2 manuscripts a week for the agency and a book a week for CLC. The only problem is that I don't have time to read anything else just for me!
What’s next for Jami?
Last year I wrote a novelization of a vampire screenplay I had written about ten years ago, but it clocked in at only 30,000 words. So I'm trying to double that. I also just finished a first draft of another women's fiction novel that I'm going to be rewriting when I'm done with the vampire project. After that I have notes for a YA murder mystery... so lots!!
Thank you, Jami for stopping by Book Mama!  I can't wait to read this book!

A lifelong resident of Maryland, Jami Deise recently moved to St. Petersburg, Florida, along with her husband Tom, son Alex, and dog Lady. A baseball mom for over 10 years, "Keeping Score" is her first novel. Jami is an associate reviewer at Along with women's fiction, she loves all things horror and watches too much TV.  

Learn more about Jami at her blog: