Luke senior year footballIt’s been a week since my debut launched and I’m exhausted in a happy, extremely-grateful way. (Sort of like this picture of my oldest son after a football game only without the stink or slimy mouth-guard tucked behind my ear!)

Between the launch group party and blog tour stops, I spent the week interacting with readers and watching reviews show up on Amazon, Goodreads, Facebook, and other places. (I’ll share some of my favorites here next week.)

Today, I thought it would be fun to point out a few “inside scoop” nuggets from the writing of Catch of a Lifetime.

First, readers living in northern Colorado may have already figured out that Front Range University is a fictional hybrid of the real Colorado State University (location and colors) and Front Range Community College (name). However, the Cougars mascot is a tribute to my son’s team at Resurrection Christian High School.

In a past blog post about researching for authenticity, I mentioned basing the timeline on a real football schedule. However, I also based the hypothetical bowl game match-ups on real potential scenarios from the Mountain West Conference. Then the powers-that-be added a small national championship bracket to the NCAA post-season bowl game structure. And just like that, I had to quickly gloss over and hedge around the changes in order to keep the storyline possible.

Next, while I cut the specific name of a certain restaurant across the street from the university, I have to go on record and state that I am a Qdoba addict and could eat their chips and queso every day. And their breakfast burritos every morning.

During the editing process, I was asked to provide specific names for two very minor secondary characters who were lower down the depth chart than Marquise Steele. I named one of them Luke Daniels after my senior-receiver-son (pictured above) and the other Coop Anderson in a mixture of names from two of his teammates. Go Cougars!

Finally, while researching for and plotting the story, I attended a college football game and watched as the live mascot pulled free from its handlers and bolted off the field and down the tunnel. I thought it would be a perfect symbol for Cassie who wished she could as easily escape her situation. Unfortunately, the first game on the schedule was a road game and the scene never made it into the book. Still, the memory of that feisty ram silhouetted against the light in the tunnel makes me smile.

What about you? If you read the story, did you recognize any of my other inspiration points? Do you want to know more about a certain scene or situation and why I crafted it that way?

Catch of a Lifetime: Did You Know?