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Monday, July 30, 2012



The Sports Hero Dilemma

When I first began writing I joined a group of more experienced authors and naively asked why no one wanted to publish my book. Their answer: Never write about sports heroes. That genre is dead. Oops, already had two football romances completed, but that did solve the mystery why one contest judge gave me a zero for my hero in a contest. Football players are trite, she said. Of course, I assumed I would be judged on how well I created a character, not their occupation, but evidently this was not her criteria. One friend joked if my quarterback were a vampire, I'd be published by now. Right, he only plays night games. So, I packed my hunky heroes away in the closet and moved on to writing other sorts of books.

Still like all authors, I thought my sports romances were good and deserved to see the light of day. Several years later, I dusted off the first one, Goals for a Sinner, and entered another contest. It placed in two. Enter the rise of e-publishing where no genre is dead and any book can find its niche and its readers. The market may not be a broad as New York publishers want, but the fans are out there just the same. Wild Rose Press published Goals in both softcover and e-format in 2010. I could say the rest is history, but since I am still writing sports romances among other things, it isn't history yet. Wish for a Sinner and Kicks for a Sinner followed with another in the works. By the way, the Sinners are a fictional football team, not actual sinners, though they do sin on occasion when the story calls for it. Nor are all my heroes bad boys or sexual gymnasts. Football players do come with all sorts of personalities, too.

I find I must sometimes overcome reader and reviewer reluctance. Some say they aren't interested in sports and believe they will be bored or lost in a game they don't understand. Well, it is up to me as an author to explain what you don't know, capture the excitement of the sport, and wrap a good story around it. Those who give my books are try are pleasantly surprised they can follow the plot easily. We should all read out of our comfort zone on occasion. Though not a big fan, I will sometimes read a vampire book or even Fifty Shades of Grey. Keep an open mind and genre jump a bit. Lots of great books out there, so never start a sentence with, "I never read...."

Recently, an agent told me that Regency novels were dead. That doesn't bode well for the seven manuscripts in my closet shunted aside when the sport romances took off. Somehow, that just makes me want to get them published all the more-because i've heard that sort of statement before.

About the Author:
Once a librarian, now a writer of romance, Lynn Shurr grew up in Pennsylvania Dutch country. She attended a state college and earned a very impractical B.A. in English Literature. Her first job out of school really was working as a cashier in a burger joint. Moving from one humble job to another, she traveled to North Carolina, then Germany, then California where she buckled down and studied for an M.A. in Librarianship.

New degree in hand, she found her first reference job in the Heart of Cajun Country, Lafayette, Louisiana. For her, the old saying, “Once you’ve tasted bayou water, you will always stay here” came true. She raised three children not far from the Bayou Teche and lives there still with her astronomer husband.

When not writing, Lynn likes to paint, cheer for the New Orleans Saints and LSU Tigers, and take long road trips nearly anywhere. Her love of the bayou country, its history and customs, often shows in the background for her books.

She is the author of the Sinners sports romance series and recently debuted two other titles with L & L Dreamspell, Queen of the Mardi Gras Ball and Mardi Gras Madness. Courir de Mardi Gras is scheduled for Summer, 2013. As everyone in Louisiana knows, Fat Tuesday is a day when anything can happen.

You may contact Lynn at or visit her blog -

Unlucky in love, sports photographer Stevie Dowd has given up on men in order to concentrate on her goal of getting a cover shot for a prestigious sports magazine.

Connor Riley, wide receiver for the New Orleans Sinners, has remained celibate all season to strengthen his game for a Super Bowl victory.

Their goals collide, literally, when Connor bowls over Stevie on the sidelines as she attempts to get her perfect picture. Realizing Stevie is the woman he had a crush on in high school, Connor feels his vow is about to be broken. Can he win both the Super Bowl and Stevie Dowd?

Joe Dean Billodeaux, womanizing star quarter back for the New Orleans Sinners, thinks maybe, just maybe, he should be looking for a more wholesome sort of woman than the ones who signed his list for sex after his season of celibacy ended. The first that comes to mind is the little Wish Lady, Nellwyn Abbott, who helps fulfill the dreams of critically ill children. His friends agree that Nell, a child psychologist, is exactly what Joe Dean needs and do all they can to bring the two together. But is Nell willing to take on Joe Dean with all his little problems and teach him that there is more to life than sex and football?

Redhead Cassie Thomas is all grown up and certain she is in love with Joe Dean Billodeaux, star quarterback for the Sinners and adoptive father to the son she gave away at birth. Joe only wants to expand his family with his wife, Nell, and deflect Cassie’s advances that threaten his marriage. So, why not set Cassie up with the Sinners’ new kicker and possibly the world’s nicest guy, Howard “Howdy” McCoy?

Cassie sees through Joe’s attempt and insults Howdy, telling him he is not a “real” football player and possibly even gay. Howdy knows neither is the case. Regarding Cassie to be as challenging as a sixty-yard field goal, he sets out to prove her wrong even if that involves a personal makeover and a tough new attitude. But, will he be able to convince a woman who believes she can love only bad boys to give a nice guy a chance?


Tonette said...

Lynn, I used to say "I read everything except romance novels", now I have fallen-in with a number of romance writers, in fact, about all my writing friends right now are in your field.In other words, you are so right! I can't imagine an 'expert'telling you that any genre is 'dead', unless it's one that has been flogged to death,(or in the case of vampires, beyond death).Charlaine Harris gave advice to one young writer: To go look at bookstores' shelves and see what ISN'T there, then write it.That advice went to MJ Davidson, who started the Vampire Romance craze.
Sport heroes sound good to me.I happen to be a big football fan.Pun intended: That field seems wide open,; go for the goal!" said...

Besides being a first-rate writer, Lynn is also the ultimate promotions gal! Everywhere I go, I run into her. Every event I see coming up includes her name on the list.

That is awesome and should be held up as a model for aspring authors. It's great to write well, but if no one knows about your writing, then you're just another tree felled in the forest without a sound and needing recycling...

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Hi, Lynn,

Nothing wrong with sports heroes. I've read some very good romance novels with sexy athletes starring in them. So congrats on your romance series! And I still love Regency romance as well and write them too!

All the best,

Jacqueline Seewald
Tea Leaves and Tarot Cards

Cindy Sample said...

Hi Lynn. That's a great story and just proves you never know what WILL sell. I just heard Susan Elizabeth Phillips discuss the same issue. When she started her All Star series she had no idea she wasn't supposed to have sports heroes! But the readers love them. I like your covers too!

Nikki said...

Hi Lynn. I second your advice about sports heroes. People love 'em once they get to know them. I got the same reaction to Chicken Bones--"oh, I don't like auto racing." But they loved the book and my female racing star. Go figure.

Write what you love.