Author Interview: Jaqueline Snowe

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Rule one: Soccer is life.
Rule two: Forget boy drama.
Rule three: Stay out of Trouble.

Lana Reyes has no intention of breaking her own rules for senior year. That is until she doesn’t get her soccer scholarship—the one and only shot of getting out of her small town. With only one more showcase to make a name for herself, she needs help to increase her speed and agility—a skill set touted by her ex-crush and hottest guy at school.

Dylan Cadwell’s perfect spirals and chiseled features can’t erase the struggles he faces at home or in the classroom. With failing grades and parents who engage in constant yelling matches, the dream of playing college football is his only escape—one that could easily slip through his fingers if his lackluster grades aren’t pulled up immediately. If he loses a full-ride scholarship, he’s destined to be stuck in their small town forever.

When Lana and Dylan discover each other’s situation, they hatch a plan: He’ll train her; she’ll tutor him. It’s a seamless strategy, designed to help each other keep their eye on the prize—until rekindled feelings emerge and the greatest prize of all could be the love playing out between them.

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Published with Filles Vertes Publishing

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Author Interview:

How did you come up with the idea for Our Last Chance?

I really wanted to tell a story about two people who were from different crowds, who had a common goal and a messy past. High school is hard for everyone. You change friend groups, learn life lessons, and Dylan and Lana’s story came from the question: what if everything you’ve worked for is out of reach? What do you do? Pair up with someone you shouldn’t?

Dylan comes from an awful home life, but was cool at school, where Lana had the supportive family and was pushed to the side. With each being exposed to the opposite, what did that teach them? I wanted to see them grow and work together.

Also, as a former athlete who spent most of my youth playing year-round sports, I could relate to the fierce desperation of playing your heart out. So all those ideas combined to give Lana’s and Dylan’s story.

Who is your favorite and least favorite character from Our Last Chance and why?

My favorite character (besides Lana and Dylan) would have to be their coaches. I wanted to portray them as being who cared about the whole student, the whole person, not just someone who was good at a sport. I had wonderful coaches growing up who changed my life beyond the field, and I wanted them to have that experience too. Even with the heartbreak of sports, or not achieving every dream, lessons learned from playing on a team are ones that you carry for life.

My least favorite is obviously Krissy, Dylan’s ex-girlfriend. The hard part about writing her was not to make her motivations too shallow. Why was she so intent on hating Lana and being unfair to Dylan? I wanted to give her more depth but in reality, after attending (and teaching!) high school for so many years, sometimes people are just cruel because they are unhappy with their own life. She played a stark contrast to Lana—where Krissy ignored what Dylan said and often called him stupid, and played upon their sexual chemistry where Lana listened to Dylan, asked him questions and showed him he was more than just an athlete.

If you could put Our Last Chance into three words, what would they be and why?

Passion, obstacles, courage.  Both Lana and Dylan have a passion for their sport that runs deep into their veins, motivating every decision they make. Obstacles because every person has their own challenges to overcome, even though they might look different. Courage because trying something and failing, but continuing to try harder takes a lot of guts. Both Lana and Dylan experience that and instead of shutting down and bowing out, they try harder.

What is your writing process like?

I wish I had a super great answer, but in all honesty, I still down with a blank document, put on a song that motivates me, and write. My first draft is how I discover my characters. I learn what upsets them or what motivates them. It’s messy, but by chapter five, I know the arc of the story.  I also am a spreadsheet nerd and track word counts, where I wrote, and color code them. Nothing excites me more than seeing the word count tracker organized by color.

Do you prefer stand alones or series?

I love standalones in a connected series.

Name three books you could read over and over again.

The Hating Game, The Name of the Wind, and The Wall of Winnipeg and Me

If you could take one character from any of your books and bring them to life, who would it be and why?

My very first book baby, titled Let Life Happen, has a character named Mike that is one-hundred percent based of my grandpa. My brother and I were lucky enough to have an incredible relationship with our grandfather, and in high school, we would meet every Tuesday morning at six am to have breakfast with just the three of us. It was our thing. It continued when we went to college, so during the summers and breaks we would meet at the same place. My (now) husband started going when we first began dating and he became part of our breakfast crew. My brother’s wife did too. It was our unique, special pastime and we recently lost him after he lived a very long, wonderful life.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

I’m a total punster. I’ve tried plotting so many times and end up frustrated because I stray away from the details thirty seconds after I start. Music plays a huge role in how I write, so I can go into a scene and type what I think will happen, but the song can change the mood to something different. The best advice I ever received was write what you want to read and I think about that every time I sit down to write.

If your writing could be described as a color, what would it be?

Bright turquoise. Doesn’t work for everyone but to certain people, it’s their favorite. My way of writing is not for everyone. I can see down and write 10K in a day and not touch it for three weeks or I can write 2K a day for two months straight. There isn’t a pattern or rhythm—but it works for me.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Read. Read outside what you write to see how others use their craft. Also, the things I’ve learned after ten books, is you have to find a schedule that works for you. I’m a super early bird. I write at five-thirty am, but that works for me so at night, I can hang with my kiddo. It took years to find the time but once I did, my word count never halted.

Also, find CPs or Beta readers. They will help you hash out your story more than you ever could on your own!

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Jaqueline Snowe lives in Arizona where the “dry heat” really isn’t that bad. She identifies as a full-blown Gryffindor and prefers drinking coffee all hours of the day. She is the mother to two fur-babies who don’t realize they aren’t humans and a new mom to the sweetest baby boy. She is an avid reader and writer of romances and tends to write about athletes.

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