If you missed my Tuesday post and review of my favorite sporty read in over a year, click here.
Today, Dawn was kind enough to join me on Sporty Girl Books for an interview. She's just that awesome;)
|Dawn with best friend Kim at the 2015 Women's World Cup in Vancouver. She still quite the sporty girl today.
1. Could you share which sports you’ve played growing up and which ones you play today?
If it had a ball I played it. I grew up playing volley, fastball, soccer, swimming, basketball (of course), golf, and tennis. Today it is much tougher to find the time to play but I do get time to coach basketball at various levels and with different groups, and I also try to get out and do other active things like running, kayaking, and hiking – I am hoping to try climbing soon. One of the great things that sport gave me was the active mindset, which has stayed with me into adulthood.
2. It sounds like you do a lot. I hope you get on the rock soon. I am addicted to sport rock climbing. Could you share a memorable moment from your own HS basketball career?
I have two very memorable moments but they both happen off the court and in unique ways. The first was when I was 16 and a few members from my junior team went to watch a Canada vs. US women’s basketball exhibition before the 96’ Olympics. A couple of us had been following the US team in the media – it was such a good time for women’s sports – and I was a pretty big fan of the game… anyway, after the game we snuck into the back of the arena and got autographs from Sheryl Swoopes, Rebecca Lobo, and Jennifer Azzi. I’ll never forget the moment when the entire team (from Dawn Staley to coach Tara VanDerveer) walked down the corridor. I don’t get star struck very often, but I was then.
The second moment comes from my coaching career. A few years ago I was co-coaching a senior girls’ basketball team. It was a team made up of “athletes” (mostly soccer players) but not really any true basketball players. We had no business finishing in the top ten of our province but we did, purely on how well we played as a team. During the final game – a consolation game for 5thor 6th – the clock was winding down, we were down by more than 10, and it was clear that our team was going to lose, but the girls on the bench asked if it was okay if they rushed the court when the buzzer went. I’ve never heard or seen a team rush the court for a loss but it was one of the most amazing acts of sportsmanship I have ever seen. They lost the game but rushing the court was about celebrating the season they had, it was about the team not the game, and it was beautiful.
3. What memorable experiences. I can totally envision your team rushing the court. And, I like that your first memory gets a cameo in IN THE SWISH! As a coach, what would be your advice to sporty girls trying out for a new season?
TRY! Even if you think you might not make it and other sporty girls intimidate you, try anyway. You never know what sport you might like, or what sport might like you for that matter. You also can never know what you bring to a team. You might not be the fastest or best shooter, but maybe you can out-rebound everyone or you work harder than anyone else. Coaches all want hard workers over those who are talented but lazy or have a bad attitude. Work hard, be the one who runs all the way across the line, dives on the floor for every lose ball, and cheers for her teammates.
4. Great advice. Do you have a favorite “coach” saying that you share to inspire your team?
One of my personal favorites comes from my grandfather, “The offense can only play as well as the defense lets them.” It’s simple but profoundly true.
Something else I tell my players is to never focus on the last play, always focus on the next play. It’s too easy to dwell on the missed shot instead of thinking of taking your next shot.
AND of course, DEFENSE isn’t just something, it’s everything.
5. Oh, you coaches always talking about Defense (j/k, mostly). It really is important:) When did you know you wanted to be a writer and how did you get started?
I never knew I wanted to be a writer but I did always know that I wanted to be a storyteller, I just didn’t know how that would manifest itself. I started thinking that I wanted to be a screenwriter and working in film. Screenwriting taught me a lot about character development and how to arc a story (in fact In the Swish started as a screenplay) but I realized that the film world wasn’t really for me. When I got a bit older I had more patience for writing full novels, and now, here we are.
6. Ooh...I'm seeing IN THE SWISH on the big screen. I read a lot of screenwriting books (SAVE THE CAT, anyone? That's a great background for writing novels. Is this your first book?
In The Swish is my second novel. My first is another YA with a very different subject matter. When Kacey Left came out last year (2015) and is about a girl who is left dealing with her best friends suicide through journal writing. It’s definitely not as uplifting or fun as In the Swish but it does deal with some important themes surrounding teenage life.
7. I can't wait to read that one! What are you working on right now? I’m hoping for a soccer story!
Ha… well, interestingly enough the main character of my next novel does play soccer but it isn’t really a sporty girl book. I would classify it more as New Age or older YA. I’m not willing to share the title yet, but I will say that it’s a story about a pre-dystopian world (not unlike our own) and the events that unfold in order for society to let those dystopian type worlds come into being. Also, what it takes for an average everyday soccer-playing girl to become a revolutionary.
If In the Swish does well there might be a sequel in my head, and there may just be a soccer story in there too ;)
8. Okay, not exactly soccer, but it sounds amazing. pre-dystopian, soccer player to revolutionary. I'm in. What’s your favorite sporty read?
I mentioned this at the back of my book but In These Girls, Hope is a Muscle by Madeleine Blais, was a favorite of mine as a teen. Venus to the Hoop by Sarah Corbett (about the 96’ Olympic team), I kept next to my bedside for a long time before passing it on to another sporty girl. And most recently I really got into Pat Summitt’s latest Sum It Up – because, well, Pat Summitt.
9. Do you have an all-time-favorite book?
Great answer! I struggle with this one too. I don't want my books smothering me while I sleep;) Thank you for being on Sporty Girl Books!
Dawn let us know a Goodreads Giveaway for 10 US copies is underway, so in addition to the one we're giving away, you have 10 more chances. I've linked to both below.a Rafflecopter giveaway