It was my birthday, August 31, 2013 and my husband and I were at the University of Michigan football game. Now I have to admit, I am not a passionate sports fan. In fact, there’s a picture on my facebook page of Julie Andrews smiling and spinning around on the top of her “Sound of Music” mountain, captioned: “This is me, not caring who wins the football game”. I love being at ‘The Big House’, singing the National Anthem, feeling the vibration of the fly over, and eating the hot dogs, but beyond that…I got nothin’. So on that beautiful day at the end of August, after the glow of the first quarter hot dog wore off, what’s a romance author to do?
I started thinking about the long-standing rivalry between my alma mater, Michigan State and the University of Michigan, which my husband attended. A huge percentage of the population in Michigan identifies with one of these Universities and generally trash talks the other. I would go so far as to say, it’s one of our favorite pastimes. Here two examples:
1.What does a State grad call a U-M grad? The boss
2. Why did the U-M grad cross the road? Because they thought someone on the other side didn’t know where they went to school.
Funny, right? All the stereotypes, labels and trash talk, got me thinking; wouldn’t it be fun to write about a State girl and a Michigan guy and incorporate some of the competitive heat and jaw dropping humor into the book. Hmmm…
At half time that day a presentation was made recognizing Real Estate Mogul, and Michigan alumnus, Stephen M. Ross. Mr. Ross had pledged a donation of $200 million dollars to the University of Michigan, doubling the size of any donation in University history. Wow! Hail team Ross! This act of incredible generosity led me to think about how lucky students are to have mentors willing to invest in their education. That thought became the second inspiration for “Pretty Smart Girls – Lace Up”, which tells the story of three Spartan women and three Michigan men competing in an entrepreneur competition sponsored by a successful New York business man.
The third inspiration in the story comes from my own experience. I am a Spartan girl in love with a Michigan man. It can be done! To steal a partial quote from one of my favorite pretty smart girls, Cher, “If grass can grow through concrete, love can find you…” On August 31, 2013 it found me happily rooting for players on rival turf, and plotting my debut novel, “Pretty Smart Girls – Lace Up”.