Thanks for having me on today!
Since my wonderful host loves to write about her favorite sport - which we all know is hockey - I thought I would share mine too which I also write about. It's not your typical sport like basketball or football. Actually a lot of people think I'm insane for doing it. What could it possibly be? It's mixed martial arts or more commonly known as MMA.
To be honest, I am a new convert to MMA. A little over a year ago I didn't even like it. It all started with my novel Breaking the Cycle (Hard Drive Series #1). I needed to find something that my hero, Max, was forced to sacrifice for my heroine, Chloe, and I decided it would be his job as a fitness trainer. I wanted to find a sport that people would look down on him for being a part of. It didn't take long to decide on MMA. However, I knew nothing about mixed martial arts. I didn't want to Google it or watch videos. I wanted talk to a real fighter.
I e-mailed Keoni Koch, the owner of my local gym, Hard Drive MMA, and asked if I could send him a few questions. He graciously agreed and I did. As I waited for him to send them back I checked out the gym's website and noticed they offered kickboxing classes. I always wanted to try kickboxing plus I really needed to lose weight. One month wouldn't hurt, right? I am still not sure how I survived that first class.
I am happy to report, however, that I am still a proud member of the Hard Drive family. I still attend class twice a week and go to open gyms all weekend. I sport my many, many bruises with pride. I've gone to live events and am currently helping a couple of friends through fight camp.
What does all this have to do with being an author? Being a part of Hard Drive has given me a unique perspective to writing MMA romance. When I write about a fight I know how to describe the punches because I've thrown them. I've watched jiu jitsu holds up close and personal (sometimes a little too close!). I know the jargon because I speak it.
And my Hard Drive family has helped me tremendously with my MMA romances. They explain things that happen in a fight I don't understand. Three of the fighters have posed for the covers including Keoni who is on the cover of Breaking the Cycle (Hard Drive Series #1). They support me, promote me and inspire me. They are the most incredible people I know.
People may think I'm crazy to be a MMA fan and even crazier to train. Other than writing I can't think of anything I'd rather do.
Enjoy a sneak peek of Breaking the Cycle (Hard Drive Series #1). The sequel to Breaking the Cycle, Breaking the Silence (Hard Drive Series #2), will be released in September 2014!!
Max stepped inside the gym. It was deserted. He glanced around. The place was no Roadie’s. There was no perfect, stainless steel trim. There was no state-of-the-art equipment. He scrutinized the cardio machines that were lined three deep along a wall of frosted windows then scanned the weight equipment alongside it. Everything looked like it was in working order.
The rest of the room was lined with vinyl wrestling mats. There were signs indicating locker rooms back in the hallway. A staircase leading to a walkway on the second floor led to a couple offices and a conference room.
Suddenly, its door opened. Max steeled himself as a young, well-built, suit-clad man stepped out and leaned against the metal rail. His slicked–back, black hair made him look like a used car salesman. He smiled down at Max.
“Hey, Jack,” Max greeted coolly.
“What brings you to Hard Drive, Max?”
“I came to talk to you about the job offer you gave me.”
Jack laughed. “How many times did I offer a job to you?”
“At least a dozen times.”
“And how many times have you turned me down?”
“Just as many.”
“Why would I offer it to you again?”
“Because, to quote your own words, ‘I’m the best you could possibly dream of getting’.”
“So, you suddenly got over your hang ups about working here?”
Max took a deep breath and exhaled slowly. “No. I am still vehemently against training your guys to the best of my ability so that you can toss them into an octagon and let them beat the crap out of each other. Seems to make the job pointless, don’t you think?”
“I don’t toss them in there. They fight of their own free will.”
“Is the job available or not?”
“Of course, it is.” Jack was smug.
“I have stipulations before I agree to it.”
Jack snickered. “Of course, you do. More money? Do you want me to buy you a better car?”
Max glared at him. “I want an assistant. Full time with benefits, especially medical. I write her schedule. She answers to me. Your fighters don’t touch her. If they do, we’re both out of here. Don’t raise the salary you offered me. Lower it, if you must. But I get my assistant.”
“You really think you need an assistant?”
“How many MMA fighters do you have here?”
Max could see Jack’s brow crunch as he computed the numbers in his head. “Thirty.”
“Then, yes, I need an assistant.”
“And you realize that you aren’t going to teach Tae Bo here, right? You’re training my MMA fighters. And your assistant will be, too.”
Max paused. “Yes. I know what I’ll be doing.”
Jack pushed himself away from the rail and stood straight. “You’re hired. And so is your assistant. There’ll be no change in your salary. I’ll negotiate your assistant’s with you at a later time. I promise it’ll be fair. Be here Monday to sign your contracts. And give Roadie your two weeks’ notice. You belong to Hard Drive now.”
Jack strode back into the conference room, closing the door behind him. Max shot one last glare at the door before he walked out the front door.
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Tricia Andersen lives in Iowa with her husband, Brian and her three children – her sons, Jake and Jon, and her daughter, Alex. She graduated from the University of Iowa with a Bachelor of Arts in English and from Kirkwood Community College with an Associate of Arts degree in Communications Media/Public Relations. Along with writing (which she loves to do), Tricia coaches and participates in track and field, does kickboxing, reads, sews and is involved in many of her children's activities.
Tricia is one of the hosts of the Blog Talk Radio show Freshly Booked, a part of Writers Online Network. She is also a member of the Romance Writers of America and RWA Chapter 177 From the Heart Romance Writers.