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.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Interview with prettyTOUGH author Keri Milkuski

Keri Mikulski writes under the pseudonym Nicole Leigh Shepherd. She is the author of 
Head Games (Razorbill/Penguin, 2011), Stealing Bases (Razorbill/Penguin, 2011), Making Waves (Razorbill/Penguin, 2012), and Fifteen Love (Razorbill/Penguin, 2012). Currently, she teaches college writing and literature courses at Rutgers University and Burlington County College. Previously, Keri worked as a personal trainer, lifeguard, registered nurse, middle school teacher, columnist, and high school coach. She lives in New Jersey with her family. Find out more at http://www.kerimikulski.com

How did you get involved with Pretty Tough?

I stumbled upon the website, prettyTOUGH, while completing research for my first novel, Screwball. After feeling absolutely blown away and excited by the realistic depiction of the female athlete, I contacted the site’s owner, Jane Schonberger. We discussed collaborating, and I immediately began writing articles for the site. A few months later, Jane read Screwball and asked me if I was working on any other ‘sporty books. At the time, I was writing a basketball book entitled Full Court Press. Jane read it and loved it. A year later, Full Court Press became Head Games.   

You took over the series from Liz Tigelaar. What was that process like?

I love, love, love Liz Tigelaar’s work. Therefore, I was absolutely honored to be asked to write within the same series of such an uber-talented television writer, producer, and author. But, since the first two books were written four years prior to selling Head Games and each novel follows a separate female athlete with a separate story at Beachwood High School, it wasn’t as much of a takeover as a seamless continuation of the series. Each book follows a different female athlete with a different story to tell, but the setting remains the same.

At this point you have written about basketball, softball, lifeguarding, and tennis. What will you write about next?

My oldest daughter is begging me to pen a soccer book. She’s obsessed with soccer at the moment. We’re writing a few fun stories together that we publish at home using lots of crayons, pencils, and paper. J

Have you played all of these sports or do you have to find ways to research them?

Yes. I played basketball and softball for many years. During college, I worked as a lifeguard. Therefore, the sports-specific scenes in Head Games, Stealing Bases, and Making Waves were quick to write. The tennis scenes in Fifteen Love, on the other hand, were definitely slower since I wasn’t as familiar with the sport. Before I wrote Fifteen Love, I took tennis lesson, and I played four times a week for eight weeks (until I pulled an abdominal muscle). Then, I peppered a poor guy (who played tennis in college) at my oldest daughter’s school with daily questions about tennis at the parking lot at eight every morning.

What sporty books are you reading and/or have you read lately?

Right now, I’m reading and loving Chad Harbach’s The Art of Fielding. Recently, I re-read Warren St. John’s Outcasts United. I’m psyched to utilize Outcasts United and a few other ‘sporty’ books for a ‘Sports and Social Change’ writing thematic course I’ll be teaching at Rutgers University this fall.

What advice would you give to writers of sporty girl books?

Know your sport inside and out. An athlete can spot a poser a mile away. And please, keep writing sporty books. There are so many girls out there hungry for more.

Thanks so much for having me today! Love the new site. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Interview with Sue Macy, author of WHEELS OF CHANGE

Today on Sporty Girls Book Blog I’m so pleased to introduce you to Sue Macy. After her graduation from Princeton in the 1970’s, Sue worked at Scholastic for 16 years. She started as a research coordinator on American history textbooks but moved on to edit Scholastic’s math magazines. Her book A WHOLE NEW BALL GAME about the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League was published in 1993 after 10 years of interviews and research.

Sue’s books include nonfiction trade titles, including nonfiction titles with National Geographic, and a couple of compilations of poetry, images, and short stories. Her most recent books are WHEELS OF CHANGE: HOW WOMEN RODE THE BICYCLE TO FREEDOM (WITH A FEW FLAT TIRES ALONG THE WAY), and BASKETBALL BELLES.

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Most of your titles for children and young adults are nonfiction. They are full of interesting facts, anecdotes, and human-interest stories. Talk a little bit about your research process for a book such as WHEELS OF CHANGE. How do you know it is time to stop researching and start writing?

I research right through the writing process. When I start a book, I do preliminary research and work up an outline. Then I put all the research I’ve gathered in a folder for the chapter where it will be covered. Before I write each chapter, I read what I have in the folder and then figure out what else I need in order to tell the story in that chapter. My research usually takes me to libraries and places that are relevant to the story, but thanks to the Internet, I can do a lot of the follow-up research on my computer. The Library of Congress Historical American Newspapers collection (http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov) was very helpful when I was writing Wheels of Change.

I noticed that in WINNING WAYS (1996) you mentioned the importance of the bicycle but in WHEELS OF CHANGE (2011) you were able to dig much deeper into connections between bicycling advancements and progress for women. Was there one particular story that clicked and made you want to know more?

I got a lot of ideas for future books while writing Winning Ways. There were three stories I discovered while working on the first book that led to Wheels of Change. First was the fact that Women’s Christian Temperance Union president Frances Willard wrote a best-selling book about how she learned to ride a bicycle in 1895. That seemed really significant to me. Then there was Susan B. Anthony’s quote that bicycling “has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world.” There was also the rivalry between two women in New York, Jane Yatman and Jane Lindsay. That told me there was definitely a culture of women racing on bikes in the 1890s.

Many writers talk about finding a “child entry point” (or child-friendly connection to the topic) for their nonfiction. In WHEELS OF CHANGE you discuss your own bicycle use as a child in the introduction. Do you try to find a child entry point for each book? Do you think it is necessary?

I don’t specifically look for a “child entry point.” My writing is pretty organic. I start from the point of what interests me. I wasn’t a big book reader as a kid—I read newspapers religiously, but cringed whenever I had to read a book. So I figure if something can catch and hold my interest, I’m in good shape. That said, as a former journalist, I always try to write about people. That’s the hook I use. Start with anecdotal evidence and then pull back to talk about the larger picture.

While I was already familiar with Amelia Bloomer (young blog readers should take a look at Shana Corey’s YOU FORGOT YOUR SKIRT AMELIA BLOOMER) I found the discussion of clothing in WHEELS OF CHANGE so interesting because it parallels the same debates that women in some Islamic nations are having. Do you find in your research that humans repeat debates/conflicts through history or do we learn from our past?

I wish we learned from the past. As someone who majored in history and writes about history, I’m amazed at how few people actually recognize when history is repeating itself or acknowledge history at all. There are lessons to be learned from the past, but much of what kids are asked to remember in history is relatively insignificant. I wish history classes dealt more with examples of problems and solutions, like math classes do.

The wonderful photos and artifacts in WHEELS OF CHANGE overwhelmed me. You include beautifully illustrated advertising cards, posters, cigar tops, sheet music, and more. (Since my bike is a source of freedom for me, I was especially drawn to the women with wings.) How did these images influence the female bikers of the time? Did these ubiquitous images encourage more women to ride?

I think the images of female cyclists helped legitimize the sport for women in the 1890s. Of course, behind many of those images were bicycle manufacturers who had a vested interest in getting more women on bikes. When it became clear that there was a huge market in female cyclists, the manufacturers went all out to court them and in the process, produced some of the artifacts that we show in the book.

In many of your books that present a survey of historical events, you make an effort to include one or two mentions of African-American involvement. Obviously oppression was a huge factor limiting opportunities for women of color in sports. However, were there parallel groups of athletes? A negro league of girl baseball and/or basketball players for example? Would you consider writing a survey of the African-American woman in sports? Is there a lack of information, or do you feel it isn’t your story to tell?

There were parallel leagues for African-Americans in some sports. Black women played basketball on barnstorming teams and with local Y teams and AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) teams. And there was an African-American organization that held tennis tournaments for men and women. There was one woman I mentioned in Winning Ways named Ora Mae Washington who was a phenomenal tennis player and also an excellent basketball player. I would love for there to be a book about her. It would take a lot of research, especially for photos, because her exploits were hardly ever mentioned in the mainstream press. But they were reported in the black newspapers. As for a survey of African-American women in sports, Arthur Ashe wrote A Hard Road to Glory, an excellent 3-volume history of black men and women in sports, but there’s room for one that’s specific to women. I don’t think I’m necessarily the best person to write it, but that gets into a larger question about who should tell which stories. Would an African-American woman be a more suitable author for such a book than me, who’s white? What do your readers think?

Since you’ve written many books with National Geographic, does that publisher come to you with topics or are you proposing books to your editor?

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It works both ways. My editor proposed the Annie Oakley bio and the Olympics books. I proposed the Nellie Bly bio and Wheels of Change.

You spoke at the Bike Expo in New York City this year. I’m a cyclist myself and know that bike people can be pretty passionate about their sport. How was the event, and how are girls and women carving a place for themselves in the future of cycling?

Since writing Wheels of Change, I’ve come into contact with lots of cyclists. You’re right that they’re extremely passionate. I’ve loved seeing all the female cyclists who embody a spirit of adventure and athleticism that women in general just didn’t have 30 years ago. I had a packed house (actually, a packed tent) when I spoke at Bike Expo, and people stayed for the whole talk, which was amazing with all the distractions. I think it gives women today a sort of validation to know that women 120 years ago were just as passionate about cycling as they are.

Justine Siegel, men’s pro and collegiate baseball coach and founder of Baseball for All has said, "If you tell a girl she can't play baseball, what else will SHE think she can’t do…. [And what else] will BOYS think GIRLS CAN'T Do?”  How does this quote resonate with you? Do you have a similar philosophy that guides your work?

One of my goals in my writing is to tell stories that were left out of history books when I was a kid, to give people—and especially women—credit for the part they played in American history and American culture. So I think telling women’s stories and giving boys and girls female role models can help broaden people’s ideas of what women can do. If you give kids evidence that women can do something, they will accept that. I’ve seen it when I’ve done appearances with women from the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. Boys are just as excited to meet the players as girls and treat them with the same respect they would give male players. If we tell women’s stories, we open up the possibilities for everybody.

On your website you write, “I admire the courage of ornery women who won’t take no for an answer. Their stories encourage me to try and be a little ornery myself.” What does ornery look like in your own life and how do you encourage it in the girls in your life?

I spend about 25 years working as an editor and editorial director at New York publishing houses, so I guess “ornery” for me has meant giving up the security of a salaried job and working on my own for the past 14 years. I love working as part of a team, with designers, editors, etc., but I don’t love having to follow all the rules that you have to follow in a “regular” job. I try to encourage the girls in my life to get a good foundation in school and work, like I did, but also to remember what’s important to them and not lose themselves in other people’s expectations.

Talk about ornery, I understand that roller derby is the topic of your next book due out in 2014. What is the focus of the book and what kind of research have you been doing? Have you brushed off your own skates and taken to the track? If not, what athletic pursuits keep you active these days?

I wasn’t much of a roller skater as a kid. I think my skates are buried somewhere in my parents’ basement and are not likely to be unearthed anytime soon. My book, currently titled Roller Derby Rivals, is a nonfiction picture book about the rivalry between two amazing skaters in 1948 named Midge “Toughie” Brasuhn and Gerry Murray. I focus on a 17-day period when Roller Derby took over New York City, selling out the arena and driving people to buy TVs just so they could watch it. I read all the newspaper coverage of that period and got the inside scoop on Derby history from Gary Powers, who runs the National Roller Derby Hall of Fame in Brooklyn, NY. I also got to go to the Hall’s annual induction, where I sat in the first row during an old-timer’s match and saw 60-year-old skaters flip over the railing right in front of me. It was awesome! As for me, I don’t do anything nearly as dangerous, but I work out at my gym four times a week and swim whenever I can.  

What sporty girl book inspired you when you were younger?

I was inspired by R.R. Knudson’s books, especially Zanbanger, Zanballer, and You Are the Rain. She was one of the first novelists I read who focused on girls who were athletic. Otherwise, there was Nancy Drew, I guess, and during the Olympics, there were occasional articles on women in the sports pages. But when I was growing up in the 60s and early 70s, there weren’t many sporty books about girls.

What didn’t I ask that you’d like to tell our readers about?

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You asked a lot of great questions! I guess there are only two other things left to say. Number one is that my first book, A Whole New Ball Game: The Story of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, is finally available as an eBook, which is great because the print edition is no longer available. And I’ve got two more new books in the works: a biography of Sally Ride, due out in Fall 2014, and a picture book about a pioneering female sportswriter of the 20th century, due out after that. I’ll keep everybody posted on my Web site, suemacy.com, and through my Twitter feed, @suemacy1.

Thanks so much for reading! If riding your bike makes you feel as if you are flying, don’t miss WHEELS OF CHANGE by Sue Macy. Comment below and I’ll enter your name in a drawing to give away not one but TWO sets of pink tire irons to help two wonderful readers change their bicycle tires.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Athlete Spotlight: Sage and Mette Harrison

I met Mette Ivie Harrison (The Princess and the Hound and Mira, Mirror) at my first writing conference (WIFYR) back in 2010. She was an energetic presenter. I specifically remember her showing pictures of her house and explaining that the perfect way to make more time to write was to close your children's doors (see no mess, there is no mess) :)

This June Mette published the book IRONMOM about her journey and that of her family into a training and competing family.

Seventeen-year-old Sage is Mette's oldest daughter. She's been smitten by the running bug and was kind enough to let me spotlight her today.

Sage, thanks so much for being here. I read in your mom's book about the summer project to run every day in an effort to make that mile run in school less painful. What was your take on that summer?

I really enjoyed that summer because it gave me a chance to show off because compared to the other kids in the family, I was the best runner. In elementary school, I was usually a terrible runner, but being in a situation where I was good at running made it a lot more enjoyable.

2. What's your favorite event now?

Half-marathons are definitely a more enjoyable distance, even though marathons are cooler and that makes them more fun. But they're so hard.

3. A marathon is so long (26.2 miles). Do you have any encouragement for other teens who'd like to compete in one, but are afraid of the distance?

Step 1: start.
Step 2: keep going.
(This is my dad's way of dividing everything into two simple steps).
Having a training plan gives you direction in your training. It takes a long time to train for a marathon and having a day by day plan of what to do each day makes it seem less impossible. To deal with pain I recommend caffeine.

4. Do you have a mantra you use when running? (In high school I ran cross country and my mantra was "my feet feel good, I feel good")

"This is all you, you've earned this."

5. What's your all-time favorite read and also a fav. sporty read (if you have one)

I love The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. My mom's book The Monster In Me is about a girl that runs and is good. I haven't read a lot of sporty books because I tend to think I like to do running more than I like to read about it.

Thanks, Sage! I know what you mean. For me I read everything, but I'd much rather DO a sport than watch someone else do it:)

I couldn't miss the opportunity to ask Mette a few questions as well.

1. Can you tell us about your favorite race and why you crave/compete in Ironmans?

My favorite race is probably the Olympic distance tri (1 mile swim, 25 mile bike, 10k run) because it's not so painful that you spend weeks recovering from it, but it's long enough that it requires real mental effort to focus. I also have a fond spot in my heart for the OV50 that our local running store, Striders, puts on every year. It's a crazy, tiny race with a cap of 30 people, and it's 50 miles of almost all hills, up Trapper's Loop to Snowbasin and then down and around Pineview Reservoir and then back up and down to the finish. It's cruel and just requires such grit, but it also gives you enough time that you can just walk it if you need to. It takes the whole day and I'm in pain for days afterward, but the people who put it on make it fun.

Ironman is a different beast. There's not just one challenge, but one challenge after another. The swim start is scary even for swimmers because that's 2500 people in the water all at the same time, all trying to swim the fewest yards possible at the same time. And the water is so cold! At least the races I have done. Then when you're finally out of the water, you have to figure out how to get out of a wetsuit and onto your bike. Then once the bike starts, you have to think about getting in nutrition and not drafting and there's a new hill every time you think you've got a chance to take a breath. And just when you think you can't stand another minute on the bike, you get to start running a marathon. I love how hard it is, how you can never take a break. And I love that you get to see all these other crazy-tough people out there with you. And the volunteers are just amazing! They chase you down to give you the nutrition you need because you can't stop and wait for it!

2. What advise could you give me and our blog readers to get started? (I haven't run competitively since high school, but have determined that I'm going to compete again. My goal is a 5K this fall and a sprint triathlon next spring.)

The first time you race, it's probably a good idea to keep your goals minimal, just finishing or something like that. You want to make sure it's fun and something you want to repeat. And one of the weird things that happens in a race is that your sense of how fast you are going gets screwed up and even if you are trying to take it easy, you can sometimes head out too fast and end up walking at the end. So let that be OK. A 5k is a good distance to begin with and you can easily train for that just a few days a week. I recommend taking one day a week to run longer than the race distance to build up aerobic capacity and then one day where you do sprints, whatever sprinting is for you. Don't do the same distance everyday at the same pace. Your body adapts to that and then it isn't improving.

A triathlon is different because you've got all three disciplines to work toward. If you've never done swimming before, you may need to find a coach or a club where you can get tips from more experienced people. You can end up really sapping your energy if you don't swim with proper technique. I'd recommend a pool swim triathlon, because that's a little less scary for a beginner than an open water swim, and also you don't have to worry about the wetsuit. It's really tricky with a triathlon to leave enough energy for all disciplines, so go slower than you think you need to and speed up only the last 5-10 minutes if you've got fuel left in the tank.

Also, be aware that transition from one sport to another is usually very difficult at first. Your legs will feel funny moving from the bike to the run and sometimes from the swim to the bike. The first triathlon I did, I fell over. Twice. When I tried to stand up out of the water, I just felt dizzy and sick. That's pretty normal. So don't try to run like I did. Just walk it. If you are ending with a pool swim, keep it slow in the water and make sure you've got enough energy. You can even backstroke or breaststroke if you need more air and feel panicked. I still do that occasionally if I get panicky and feel like I'm going to die.

Thank you Mette, I'm taking notes. So far as I've training in the water I've felt that panic and had to calm down and remind myself I'm not going to die. I'm going for nice and easy on the racing as I get my feet wet. 

3. What's your all-time favorite read (and a favorite sporty read if you have one)?

Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes by Chris Crutcher is a great young adult book about two really close friends on a swim team (and the rest of the team, and other friends). Chris Crutcher always writes such amazing books. He also has a book called Ironman that's about a teenager competing in a triathlon. He seems to understand teenagers who are down and out so well. Partly his career, and partly just his huge heart. I also love fantasy and have a huge admiration and love for The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner.

I picked up Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes based on your recommendation. Loving it so far! Thank you for being on our blog.

Nationally published YA fiction author Mette Ivie Harrison (The Princess and the Hound and Mira, Mirror) has been involved in triathlon since 2004, when she won 1st place in her age group at the first triathlon she ever entered. Since 2006, when she finished her first Ironman in 13:02 at Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, she has competed in 3 other Ironman competitions, 6 ultramarathons, the longest single day bike race in the United States (LOTOJA), and dozens of Olympic and sprint distance races. She is currently nationally ranked by the USAT for her age group and if she doesn’t bring home a medal, her children usually know it’s because she had a bike crash or was running a fever. Her husband has caught the Ironman bug and has competed in 2 Ironmans with her. Her four oldest children (ages 13-19) have all competed in either sprint or Olympic distance triathlons or half marathons. She trains them, as well as other family members and friends, writing training plans and talking them through the hard times. 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Interview of Karen Avivi, author of contemporary YA, SHREDDED:

I am thrilled to introduce Karen Avivi to you today. Karen is the author of SHREDDED, a great Sporty Girl Book about a girl BMX bike rider. I had the pleasure of reading SHREDDED this past July. It’s a wonderful contemporary book about a girl who is passionate about a sport…and that sport just happens to be nontraditional for girls. She teams up with some friends to make people notice that girls CAN ride (and ride well.)

KRIS: Thanks for being on the blog today, Karen! I’m so excited to have a chance to showcase you and SHREDDED to our readers.

Shredded is an interesting behind the scenes story about BMX riding, a sport mostly populated by boys. Your MC is one of the few girls riding and struggles to make a place for herself. What got you interested in BMX riding? Are you a rider yourself?

KAREN: Hi Kris, thank you for having me here! When I started SHREDDED I had a sporty female character in mind, and I needed an individual fringe sport to fit her personality. I researched different sports, and when I found girls BMX I kept clicking and clicking, thinking WOW - girls do this? I knew I’d found the perfect sport for Josie. For the sake of authenticity, I tried a bike ramp once, which is how I know what it feels like to have your bike land on you in front of a bunch of people.

KRIS: Shredded is one of the best self-published books I’ve read in this genre. Can you tell us about your decision to self-publish?

KAREN: Thank you! I did a lot of research, had a tough critique group, excellent beta readers, and a fantastic editor. I tried the regular submission route to agents and publishers, and I received requests for fulls, interest from a producer, and a lot of personalized feedback: love the character, love your voice, it’s just too niche for us right now. The message I took from that was the story was solid, but not right for traditional publishing. Niche books are tough for traditional publishers but perfect for self-publishing. Plus, a big part of the story was about Josie not letting someone else tell her she can’t participate. It became a case of life imitating art.

KRIS: How long have you been writing?

KAREN: I’ve been a marketing and/or technical writer for over twenty years, and I started attempting to write novels about seven years ago.

KRIS: What made you start to write seriously?

KAREN: When rumors of layoffs started circulating at my full-time public relations writing job, I asked myself if I could choose to do anything, what would it be? The answer was write novels.

KRIS: What genres do you write? Do all your books feature Sporty Girls?

KAREN: I write contemporary young adult, and I’ve got my eye on new adult because my protagonists tend to be on the upper edge of teen. So far all of my books feature sporty girls, but I do have ideas for not-so-sporty girls as well.

KRIS: Can you tell us anything about your current work-in-progress?

KAREN: Sure. The working title is CUT OFF. It’s Lauryn’s story - she’s one of Josie’s friends in Shredded. Lauryn lies to her parents about going to college while she chases opportunities in the world of high-risk adventure sports.

KRIS: Where do you find your inspiration?

KAREN: I enjoy being active and spending time outdoors, and through my network of active friends, I’m exposed to a lot of interesting, non-mainstream adventures and characters. CUT OFF was inspired by my experience as a reporter on the web team covering an adventure race one weekend in ’99. The competition was fun to follow, but the behind-the-scenes stories fascinated me. Ideas and what-if’s from that experience have been running through my head ever since and they fit well into my girl in a fringe sport niche.

KRIS: Are you a full-time writer? What is your non-writing life like?

KAREN: I’m currently freelancing full time as a marketing writer, and when I’m not writing newsletters, press releases, or working on my novel, I’m usually outside. In the summer I’m cycling, kayaking, or swimming. In the winter I’m snowshoeing, winter camping (no bugs!), cross-country skiing, or on vacation scuba diving somewhere warm.

KRIS: What is the biggest challenge you find with your writing?

KAREN: Relaxing. My best ideas and fastest writing happen when I’m in a “flow” state. If I start to stress too much over word counts, schedules, or second-guessing myself, I get completely jammed up. I have to stop, breathe, focus, and let go. It’s actually pretty similar to sports. If you’re tense you’re more likely to fall. When you stop over-thinking it, you do much better.

KRIS: What are your favorite books or movies?

KAREN: Chris Crutcher’s books are fantastic - Whale Talk is the one I usually recommend first. I also like to read John Green, Laurie Halse Anderson, and Cath Crowley. I’ve re-read Nevil Shute’s A Town Like Alice several times, and it keeps getting better. For movies, Blue Crush is on my keeper shelf, and I just saw The Perks of Being a Wallflower and really enjoyed it.

I watched a lot of BMX videos and movies when researching SHREDDED. Remember the opening of Stick It when Haley smashed a window riding BMX? Nicole Kidman even starred in a BMX movie from 1983: BMX Bandits!

As for non-YA, I’m completely addicted to Game of Thrones. I haven’t read the books, and I’m terrified that something horrible will happen to Arya Stark, even though I know better than to get attached to any of the characters.

KRIS: Do you have a favorite “guilty pleasure” you can share?

KAREN: I’m a chocoholic, and I frequently indulge (another reason why I need to keep active). Dark chocolate-covered almonds are my favorite, but any dark chocolate isn’t safe within reaching distance.

KRIS: If people would like to get to know you better, do you tweet? Blog?

KAREN: If you visit my blog at www.karenavivi.com, you’ll find my Contemporary YA Suggested Summer Reading List, and a post with more information about my work in progress CUT OFF. I also post regularly on my Facebook page, and I like adding friends on Goodreads who read contemporary YA. If anyone knows of a fun fringe sport I should write about or try (!), send an email to karen AT karenavivi DOT com.

Thanks for being a part of our Sporty Girl Books blog, Karen! Good luck with SHREDDED and your new book!