Nov 23, 2013

Blog Tour: Game Plan by Natalie Corbett Sampson

Hello, reader-types! Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Game Plan by Natalie Corbett Sampson! I've got a great interview, all the info on the book and author, and a giveaway, so be sure to check it out!

The Interview
In the form a tweet, how would you describe your book?
Story of #friends, #love, #loss, #choices, #heartache and #growth - and a bit of #basketball. Not action-packed but a soak and feel it book.

What inspired you to write a story about a pregnant teen and an adult trying (and failing) to have a baby?
It’s important to note that Katherine’s part of this story is about succeeding in having a child, not failing – just not the ‘old fashioned way’. Too many people think adoption is a second choice, second best. It’s not. It’s a magical process with a miraculous outcome. The book started with the characters… Ella, Ben and Charlie were very real right from the start. I just needed to find a story for them to experience. But I also wanted to write a story about adoption – to express some of my own experience with the emotions and frustrations involved. Driving home one day the two just fell together. After that it was just a matter of getting it down and getting it right.

Why basketball? 
Basketball was one of my favourite sports to play in high school. I wanted Ella to have something she shared with her brother and her guy friends as an equal. Sports are important and often underestimated. They can be an easier way for a kid with less social confidence to interact with others successfully.

What are five fun facts about Game Plan?
-Hmmm, the names of the main characters were ones I didn’t get to use for my own kids (Ella, Ben, Sam, Charlie, Alex). Some characters with “cameo” appearances have names of my friends or family.
-The working title was Walking In Faith, but everyone thought it was a religious story with that title.
-I took the first chapter of Game Plan to The Banff Centre for a week long workshop. It was one of the best experiences of my life.
-The biggest ‘difference of opinion’ I had with my editors and publishers was the removal of all the ‘u’s from the Canadian spelling. It hurt! I had a small personal victory when I confirmed that “Under Armour” has an ‘u’ in the name!
-Cooper is my beloved pup, Rookie. I picked the name ‘Cooper’ because it has the double ‘o’ like Rookie.

Whose POV did you like writing from most: Ella's or Katherine's? Why?
Tough question. I think Ella’s was more enjoyable because of the teen angst and ‘falling in love’ parts. It was harder to put myself in her place and make her thoughts and interactions realistic for her age – it’s been a few years since I was seventeen. That was a fun challenge. Katherine’s heartache was pretty real to me and was upsetting at times to write and then edit, so it was less fun to write sometimes but more introspective and sentimental.

Since Game Plan features basketball, let's play a makeshift game of HORSE.
 -Your favorite Hour of the day is?
10-11pm – I should sleep earlier but I hate wasting a quiet house by sleeping through it.
 -If you could read only One book for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Other than Game Plan? That’s hard. What I want to read depends on my mood – I read everything from historical documentary and biography to easy chick lit reads… If I could only read one, it would have to be a big, long, deep one so it took me a long time to read it each time. Maybe HP and the Deathly Hallows – that’s big. Or The Autobiography of Henry the VIII by Margaret George.
-Your favorite thing that's Red is...
I have a daisy tattooed on my shoulder with six petals – one for each member of our family in the colour of their birth month. Except my husband’s – he wanted his to be red b/c it was his favourite colour. So the red petal on the daisy tat on my shoulder is my favourite red thing.
-Simon says...
JUMP UP! You’re all out, no one told you to come down. Though I can’t claim that one, I remember my second grade teacher doing that to us in gym class and being so frustrated trying to figure out a way around it.
-You like to Eat...
Yes, yes I do. Especially chocolate. I like having M&Ms on my desk while I work. Dark or peanut butter are best.

Favorite sport? Least favorite sport?
I have a few favourites. I still love basketball but don’t have time to play anymore. Or I know I’d suck and don’t want to admit it. One or the other. My kids play though, and it’s fun to watch them love it. Baseball is in my heart and I love the Blue Jays, year after year. I’ve coached my kids’ baseball teams and that’s a lot of fun. Three of my kids play hockey now and I’m really growing to love that. It’s amazing how good little kids can be at skating when they’re on the ice regularly. All three already skate way better than I can. We go to Mooseheads games and it’s so great to be part of that crowd. Least favourite sport? Ugh, I may make enemies. Soccer. But maybe it’s just because I don’t know the game so I don’t understand it?

Cutest celebrity baby?
Are mine celebrities yet? My kids were pretty stinkin’ cute as babies. Of course Suri is a pretty baby, how could she not be? I expect Prince George will be cute too.

A fictional couple that should totally have a baby is...
Charlie and Ella – when they’ve finished school, and gotten established. I loved the relationship that grew between Celia and Marco in The Night Circus by Erin Montgomery. And they had such messed up childhoods, it would be nice for them to be able to provide a good one for their baby… but I don’t know the rules in their magic world if that would work out? My current favourite fictional couple is Blaine and Kurt from Glee – also not ready for a baby but someday they’d make great dads, I think.

Coffee or tea? 
Diet Coke. Or a Tim’s green tea in the rink. Never coffee, unless it’s Coffee Crisp.

The Book
Title: Game Plan
Author: Natalie Corbett Sampson
Publisher: Fierce Ink Press Co-Op Ltd.
Publishing Date: November 19, 2013
Pages: 364
Goodreads Amazon
Barnes & Noble

Just because the play goes wrong, doesn't mean you quit the game.

Ella Parker seems to have everything: great friends, an awesome family and a star position on her high school basketball team. The only thing missing from her life is a boyfriend. That changes once she catches the eye of Sam Cleveland. With Sam by her side Ella has it all. When a drunken night results in an unwanted pregnancy, her perfect life is turned upside down and she’s faced with an impossible decision. 

Katherine Frayne has always wanted to be a mother. But with the last results of her in vitro fertilization pointing to no chance of a baby, her hopes are dashed. Then her husband Danny suggests they adopt. At first Kat is resistant, but she soon warms to the idea.

Ella and Katherine must navigate their lives amidst tough decisions, the consequences of which not only affect them but those they love the most.

The Author

The Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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