Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Real Skaters Talk About Jamie and Matt

Jamie and Matt are real to me––and to my readers, I hope––but they are fictional characters in Pairs on Ice.  One of the perks of writing about the skating world is that I get to meet real kids who skate.  I’ve been especially lucky to meet two skaters who also happen to skate pairs––Timmy Chapman and Taylor Nordquist, of the RDV Sportsplex Ice Den in Orlando

I was delighted when they agreed to be first, or beta, readers for Pairs at Nationals, my second book about Jamie and Matt.  I was even more delighted that they liked it.

“I could really feel Jamie’s emotions,” said Taylor, “and her frustration when things didn’t go right.”

“And I totally got Matt,” said Timmy. “Also, the elements that Jamie and Matt were working on are totally realistic.  Trying to get the split double twist fully rotated, and her back arched in the press, are exactly what skaters at my level are working on . . . I feel like she [the author] really understands some of the struggles skaters go through.”

Timmy and Taylor skated together for five years.  Although they’re no longer a team, I had a chance to talk to them earlier when they still were.  At that time, I asked them if they had anything in common with Pairs on Ice’s Jamie and Matt.  For example, did they ever fight? They both laughed and said “sure.”

“I could identify with the icy glares Matt sent,” Taylor said, a big grin on her face. But unlike Jamie and Matt, who continue bickering off the ice, Timmy and Taylor said they managed to keep their disagreements on the rink. 

“We could have a terrible practice, bomb everything, but off the ice, we were fine,” explained Timmy.

Thinking about Jamie and Matt’s first competition, where they fell on the platter lift, I wondered if Timmy and Taylor ever had a disastrous program.

They looked at each other, then burst out laughing.  “Mama Mia!” they said at the same time.  “We forgot the program!” added Taylor.  “Timmy would whisper what we should do, like ‘do a spin.’”

“The audience thought it was the program,” Timmy said as they laughed again.  “But our coach was not amused.”

I had a great time talking to Timmy and Taylor.  I look forward to following both of them as they advance in their skating careers.  And . . . I look forward to Pairs on Nationals being available to all my readers.


  1. Enjoyed hearing their comments on Matt and Jamie. i knew the characters came across as authentic to me, a non skater, but it's super that the kids could identify with your teens as skaters. Such a neat interview. Keep up the good work on your blog. Always like reading it.

  2. Thanks, Barb. I have some more edits to do on PAIRS AT NATIONALS, then will start the publishing process. I was so glad the kids liked it!

  3. Their comments reflect the truth of your novel - you really understand your intended readers. I am looking forward to getting an autographed copy for my granddaughter's bookcase. Yes, I know, she is still a bit young for it! But, at the rate she grabs books to "read", she will have the skill sooner rather than later!

  4. Thanks, Linda. I always appreciate your support. See you in August!