Since BALANCE released, I’ve been asked quite a bit of questions regarding the story and the rest of the books in the series. I’ll be honest—I never thought readers would beg for more. I never thought they’d like it. And I definitely never thought they would love it since the genre is an acquired taste. That being said, I knew I needed to write it or I’d regret it. BALANCE was a huge gamble for me to take, and I’m so happy I found the courage to publish. To see the love this forbidden story has received has me over the moon! I makes me so happy and I can’t thank you enough!
Below are questions sent in by readers. If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to ask! <3
How did you come up with the story? What made you want to write BALANCE and why?
Forbidden romance happens to be a theme I love to read but so hard to find. Late one night many years ago, I was in search of another forbidden book to lose myself in, but I wanted something different. I wanted a gymnast/coach duo. I wanted underage, and not for the character to be of age when intercourse happened. I wanted sexy, and I wanted heavy emotion. And most of all, I wanted the relationship to have a realistic timeline, not insta-love three chapters in. Why did I want all this? Because it pushes the envelope, and if written in a particular way, it could be viewed entirely different and highly desirable. Since I was a gymnast, and had knowledge of the sport, the story quickly came to life.
How many books will be in this series?
The Off Balance series will have three books total. Readers have voiced their feelings about the ending of BALANCE, but I’ve never hidden the fact that it was a series and have had all three books listed on goodreads since the first day back in 2014, or when I published.
When will EXECUTION be out?
I honestly don’t have a release date yet. As of right now, EXECUTION is on the path to be the same length as BALANCE, if not more. Please be patient with me. These books are like getting two in one. Most indie books these days are around 85k words. BALANCE is 163k words.
Since the holidays are right around the corner, figure sometime Spring 2017.
Why is there more lust than love in the story? I didn’t feel the love.
I’m glad you didn’t feel the love because that’s not what I was going for. Every relationship starts out with some form of lust and attraction, no one is in love right off the bat. For Kova and Adrianna, their relationship is extremely complex and love has to slowly grow. They’re both conflicted with what’s going on, and their emotions are all over the place, so love isn’t a thought in their minds. Not to mention, that pesky little age difference between them and the fact that Adrianna wants to go to the Olympics.
Why did you write the story with the age gap so wide?
While the age gap seems huge, Adrianna is actually little old for real life elite gymnastics. A gymnasts’ body can only handle so much. At 16 years old, she’s at her prime, and she should have already been an elite and competing internationally if she planned to be in the Olympics when she does. That being said, if I went any younger than 15/16, I was certain I’d be crucified. In reality, she should be around 12 years old.
How come Adrianna makes so many mistakes in the gym?
Talk to any gymnast and they will tell you how often they mess up. It takes years and years to master a skill, even the best make mistakes. Gymnastics is incredibly hard. When Adrianna falls off the beam, doesn’t land her vault properly, or loses her grip on bars, that’s all very realistic and normal in the gym world. Her fear and mental blocks are real. It happens every day. I refused to have her be perfect in every shape. Why? Because it’s unrealistic and shows no growth and development in her character.
Can Kova die?
How is he supposed have angry sex with Ria if he’s dead? Kova will live forever!
What are your thoughts on making Adrianna pregnant? Or will Kova still be giving her candy? Candy… aka the morning after pill.
I plead the fifth.
I know you had doubts about BALANCE and shelved it for a bit. What was the tipping points of no fucks given to the world and made you write this wonderful book?
Oh, yes. I had two full blown panic attacks while writing this story. Let me explain.
Due to the age gap and sexual content, self-doubt consumed me on daily basis. Showing a realistic relationship between these characters was extremely difficult—especially through only one point of view. Not to mention, I wanted the life of a gymnast to be shown—not told—in vivid detail. Viewers see the beauty of gymnastics, but they hardly ever see what goes on behind closed doors and I was determined to show that. But explaining the skills to a non-gymnast proved to be much harder than I expected. Thankfully a reader stepped in. I’m a stickler for accuracy, and while I know the majority of readers who read BALANCE won’t understand half the skills mentioned, they had to be on point for me. A lot has changed since I was a gymnast, but I was fortunate enough to have Lori there to answer any question I may have.
Another thing… There are so many “rules” in the book world of what I can and cannot do. From day one, people voiced their opinions on how the story should be written opposed to what I wanted. Basically, I was screwed no matter what I did. It was very stressful and essentially what held me back from writing this story for a while. I wanted BALANCE to be written a specific way, and being told how wrong I was over and over played mind games with me.
But I remember the exact day when I made the decision to tackle the story the way I wanted. After talking to an author friend, Micalea Smeltzer, she gave me some encouraging words about writing. I never forgot them. She helped me realize I had to let go and write this story without worry or I’d regret it. She was right, and in the end, that’s exactly what I did. I have no regrets.
Were there a lot of coach/younger girl relationships when you were competing?
No. Not when I did gymnastics. And if there were relationships, they were never mentioned unless it was in the news and a coach was being arrested. Typically, it wasn’t consensual and the girls were extremely young.
Are you going to have Reagan get hit by a bus?
Who knows what the future holds. Anything is possible!
Why did you write Kova’s character the way you did?
All legendary gymnastics coaches are relentless and driven. They’re not light or easy going, especially one who is a former Olympian. I knew from the first day Kova was going to be a domineering, somewhat egotistical, hard ass. I knew he was going to be one of those heroes who you hate but can’t help but love at the same time. I also knew that despite his arrogance, he truly knows what it takes to be the best and win. Like most coaches, nothing would be enough, and if it was, well, good luck getting the coach to express it. Russia is known to have some of the strictest gymnastics coaches, so it only made sense to write Kova in that manner otherwise I wouldn’t be realistic to me.
Another thing, I happen to love mean heroes in my reads—but not in real life. I know… I’m terrible! I think because the mean alpha ones are always hiding something their cold hearts and I want to know what it is that causes them to thaw out. And as crazy as it sounds, I did tame Kova quite a bit. Since you only get Adrianna’s point of view, not everything is as it seems with him. He has some issues he’s dealing with in his personal life, so despite his attitude toward the end of the book, I really hope readers stick around to see who he really is.
Would you consider designing some kind of padded vagina protection pad for girls on the beam?
LOL! That would be a great, but I imagine wearing diaper like panties would get in the way of executing skills.
Hayden needs some love! Is he gonna get some?
Yes! And her name begins with an R! HA! Just kidding. Hayden is too good for her and he will not be shacking up with Reagan anytime soon. As for some lovin’, right now it’s Adrianna’s story. So even if Hayden does get some smooching, well, I can’t say anymore right now.
Will Kova learn to use a contraction in the next book?
A leopard cannot change its spots.
In all seriousness, can we see more of Katja in the next book?
Oh, yes. Katja isn’t going anywhere just yet. I happen to really love the character and have some fun stuff planned for her… Well, fun for me to write.