Please welcome author Keri Mikulski!
Summary of SCREWBALL:
Things have been sweet for fourteen-year old freshman fastpitch fanatic Ashley Clarke. She’s happy and content as the starting pitcher for her stress-free fourteen and under ASA team. During her time away from the diamond, she’s either sprinting down the soccer field, bouncing a basketball, or hanging at the beach with her BFF, Lizzy.
But one sizzling summer day, hottie junior jock Andrew spots her at a pizza shop and Ashley’s life changes forever. Meanwhile, her friend, Kate, talks her into joining the Crush, an elite sixteen and under team loaded with tough competition. Shortly after playing in her first game, Ashley finds out new Crush teammate Christy not only hates her guts, but is determined to ruin Ashley’s future for good.
Join Ashley as she struggles juggling sports, school, and a social life. Will Christy and her cronies force Ashley to quit the Crush? Or will she give it all up to spend more time with Andrew? And who’s the new guy in Ashley’s life complicating things?
Why did you write Screwball?
I wrote Screwball because I love to read and as a teen, I never could get my hands on really good books with a female athletic main character. By really good, I mean, books that are juicy and light, but yet have that female girly girl sports spin. Kind of like a cross between, “Bend it Like Beckham” and “The OC”, but a book.
How long did it take to write from idea to finished product?
I’ve always had the idea of my fastpitch fanatic main character, Ashley, but I never actually sat down and wrote it until January of last year. I guess it took about a year of writing and revisions to get to the finished product.
How did you come up with that fantastic title?
One day while training for a 5K with a friend, the idea of the title kind of landed in my brain. It’s kind of freaky. That’s why if you’re a writer, you should always carry a little notebook for moments when an idea suddenly pops in your noggin.
The word, screwball, has many meanings throughout the book. It describes two characters and it’s also Ashley’s best pitch (and mine a bizillion years ago).
How long have you been writing?
Okay, if there was a category for Most Likely to Never Write a Book in high school, I might have won. I was focused on sports, but I always secretly liked to write in a journal and write out my thoughts when I had a problem. Actually, I remember writing out what I was going to say when I had a fight with my boyfriend, which was like everyday, and referring to it when we were shouting at each other over the phone, so I didn’t forget any important points. Professionally, I’ve only been writing for about a year and a half.
Which character do you most admire in your book and why?
I would have to say, Jake. I admire Jake because he does his own thing, doesn’t worry what other people think, works hard, and overcomes great adversity to accomplish his goals. I really admire people like that who don’t wallow in their own grief or misfortunes and are able to stay so focused and so positive.
What’s your advice for aspiring authors?
Don’t worry about what others say about your writing. Just do it! Learn as much as you can about the craft. But, most importantly, grab a journal and start writing about everything that comes to mind. Remember, your voice is special and unique, so work with it, not against it. Be confident and be yourself.
Which authors inspire you?
Many authors inspire me. But, my all-time favorite author is fellow Jersey shore girl, Megan McCafferty. Her series’ main character, Jessica Darling’s, voice is just so real and true. I interviewed her for my column a couple of months ago and she posted the interview on her blog this January. It was an amazing experience interviewing my writing idol.
What do you hope readers gain from reading the book?
I hope readers escape the craziness in their lives by reading Screwball. I also hope readers can identify with Ashley and use her as a tester and see how she deals with a lot of the same issues teens face today. Does she make the right decisions? What could she have done differently?
Keri Mikulski was born and raised in Maple Shade, New Jersey. She graduated from Thomas Jefferson University and earned a Masters degree from The College of New Jersey. She's the Chick Lit Pick columnist for South
Jersey Mom magazine, blogs softball for www.prettytough.com, and contributes regularly to Fastpitch Forever magazine. An athlete her entire life, she enjoys coaching her high school softball team, watching grannies pass her while running 5K's, chasing golf balls, Coach bags, and Derek Jeter. Keri lives at the Jersey Shore with her husband and daughter. This is her first novel. Visit Keri: http://www.kerimikulski.com or http://www.myspace.com/kerimikulski.
Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Screwball-Ashley-Clarke-Keri-Mikulski/dp/0979690803
Keri's giving away one copy of SCREWBALL and a soft ball charm to one person who leaves a comment before 9pm this Sunday. Leave a comment here, on LiveJournal or both. Good luck!