Welcome to SPORTY GIRL BOOKS. At SPORTY GIRL, we want to give all girls the chance to love, watch, play, read, and write about any sport that interests them. We look forward to the day when the words, "You play like a girl," is the biggest compliment anyone can receive.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Interview with Liz Fichera, Author of HOOKED

In this, the debut month of Sporty Girl Books Blog, the regular contributors are introducing ourselves by way of some of our favorite books and authors in the sporty book world.

Liz Fichera is one of my new favorites! She's the author of HOOKED, which came out from Harlequin Teen in early 2013.
The blurb:

When Native American Fredricka ‘Fred’ Oday is invited to become the only girl on the school’s golf team, she can’t say no. This is an opportunity to shine, win a scholarship and go to university, something no one in her family has done.

But Fred’s presence on the team isn’t exactly welcome — especially not to rich golden boy Ryan Berenger, whose best friend was kicked off the team to make a spot for Fred.

But there’s no denying that things are happening between the girl with the killer swing and the boy with the killer smile...GET HOOKED ON A GIRL NAMED FRED.
This book intrigued me from the first moment I saw the blurb. Some of you know that my pre-published novel takes place on a golf course—golf is near and dear to my heart. Books about golf are rare. YA books about golf are rarer. So I was psyched to see Liz’s book out there on the market!

Liz has enthusiastically agreed to join us this week as part of our month long kick off for SportyGirlBooks.
Thanks, Liz!

LF: Hi! Thanks so much for having me. Another golf lover?! I am beyond happy to meet you. J
KCA: So, first, I have to ask about the golf! Are you a golfer? What was it about golf that spoke to you?

LF: I do golf but I am not as good as others in my family like my sister, husband, and brother-in-law. My father also loved the game, and he did his best to teach me. Golf is a pretty popular sport in Arizona, particularly in the Phoenix desert where I live. In fact, there’s probably a golf course on every street corner (slight exaggeration, but not by much.) Golf and Native American culture are prevalent in the American Southwest. Arizona, in particular, has 22 tribes. What’s less common, however, are these two things together. I knew that I wanted—needed—to write a story that combined the two.
KCA: I love the character of Fred—she’s such a strong character, never wavering from her convictions. What was your inspiration for her?

LF: I’m fortunate to be neighbors to the Gila River Indian Community. One day I was driving along the reservation, after coming home from a hike, and I got this image of a fearless Native American girl in my head. She was waving a golf club at me. And so the seed of my story began.
KCA: I’ve had a bit of resistance (i.e., “I don’t play golf, so I don’t get your book.”) from agents and editors to whom I’ve queried my WIP. Did you have any golf-haters in your query search or submission process?

LF: Yes. I do remember one editor rejecting HOOKED saying something like, “golf wasn’t sexy enough.” But that’s okay. Rejection, regardless of the plot, is part of the process. Hopefully you have an agent that can find the right home for your story. The sport—whether it’s golf or football or hockey or whatever—is simply the vehicle that you use to tell the story. An agent/editor will see that and fall in love with your story. Don’t give up!
KCA: Do any of your other works-in-progress feature golf? Or girl athletes?

LF: PLAYED is the companion novel to HOOKED and comes out the summer of 2014. It features Fred and Ryan but the story focuses on Riley and Sam, two secondary characters in HOOKED. It’s less about sports and more about finding out who you really are, what you’re made of, and the lengths you’ll go to achieve your goals.
KCA: I love that there is a companion book to look forward to! Have you had any response to HOOKED from girls who golf? The LPGA?

LF: Yes! Lots of girl (and adult) golfers, several of whom had to do like Fred and compete with boys because a girls’ team wasn’t available. Hearing their reactions and stories to HOOKED has been beyond cool.  What’s been even more heart-warming, however, has been getting notes on Facebook and tweets and emails from Native American girls and woman who say they can relate to Fred. That has touched my heart the most.
KCA: And it’s not required, as many of us at sportygirlbooks were not athletes…but were you an athlete as a teen? If yes, what sport?

LF: Yes, I do love sports and did compete in tennis and track. I ran cross-country. I did not grow interested in golf until after college. I love to watch sports too, all kinds. Always have. I love watching the thrill of people compete at things they love.
KCA: Anything else you’d like to share that I haven’t asked?

LF: I recently learned that HOOKED was nominated by YALSA as Best YA Fiction so I’m pretty stoked about that. :)
KCA: That’s awesome! Congratulations! And my requisite music question...do you write to music? If so, fave band to get creative by?

LF: Always. I love all kinds of music but recently I’ve been really into New Country for the stories that the songs tell. I love The Band Perry and Gloriana and my list of faves grows every day.
I LOVE songs that tell stories, too! And I LOVE that Liz Fichera was able to be here with use today. Thanks so much, Liz, for being here on SportyGirlBooks today!


  1. I love golf and Liz Fichera books! Excellent interview, and congratulations to Liz on her nomination!

  2. Great interview, Kris. I can't wait to read this book!

  3. Glad you liked the interview! It's a great book! I'm so happy that Liz was nominated for a best YA this year!

  4. Thanks so much for inviting me to blog with you! <3

  5. Wow. This book sounds great! I will look for it on Amazon.