Guest Post: Why Sports? By Keri Mikulski

  So...I know Just Contemporary actually ended on Wednesday, but I wasn't able to get these posts scheduled before work, and by the time I got home, I decided it was too late to post stuff.  So today is Sporty Friday with two awesome sporty posts from two fabulous authors!

Buuuuuuuuuuuuut these were meant to be part of the Just Contemporary event hosted by Ashley from Books from Bleh to Basically Amazing and Shanyn from Chicks Love Lit.

Keri Mikulski the author of the PRETTY TOUGH series, a six-book series revolving around sporty girls.  The fifth book, MAKING WAVES, is scheduled to come out in April 2012 from Razorbill/Penguin and Keri has just finished writing the sixth and final book, FIFTEEN LOVE (August 2012).  When she’s not on a field, diamond, or court, Keri teaches writing at local colleges while working toward her MFA in Creative Writing at Rutgers University. A three-sport athlete in high school, Keri splits her time between the New Jersey suburbs and the shore with her equally sports obsessed family.  Follow her on Twitter.

This guest post first appeared on Attacking the Page and was re-posted on A Backwards Story with permission. 

Why Sports?

Many people have asked me over the years why I choose to write sports fiction for girls. The obvious answer is that I love sports and I have participated in athletics for over thirty years. But the main reason I write specifically for female athletes has a little more to do with literacy than the love of the game. 

 When I was in elementary school, I adored books. But by sixth and seventh grade, I fell out of love with reading. In fact, I became what educators refer to as a ‘reluctant reader’. This baffled both my mom and my teachers since as a child I was never without a novel or a notebook. And it’s not like I didn’t try. I cracked opened tons of novels including all the popular series. But most of the time I would read the first couple of chapters and then skim over the rest because I just couldn’t connect. For years, I searched for books that I could relate to. But over and over again I came up empty handed. 

 Later, while I was working as a middle school language arts teacher, I watched some of my sporty students fall out of love with reading just like I had a decade earlier. At that moment, I realized that my students and I became ‘reluctant to read’ because we couldn’t find books with main characters that we could relate to. We couldn’t find books about girls who played sports.

 This realization led me on a journey to write the novels that my athletic students and I always wanted to read. Books about girls who play sports. Books about the lifestyle. Books about the drama on and off the field, court, and/or mound. Books about teammates. Books about boyfriends and crushes. The book that I always wanted to read. And here I am living my dream. :) 

Thanks so much for having me! :)

Fun Fact!!

With the release of MAKING WAVES, Keri Mikulski will begin writing as Nicole Leigh Shepherd.  All of the PRETTY TOUGH novels will be re-issued with new covers.  Here's a sneak peek, including a first look at MAKING WAVES! 

What do you think?  I like how unified the covers look.  You can tell its a series!  I also like the close-ups.  Plus, girls playing sports = win/win!


  1. What a great idea, to write about young women and sports. You are right. This just isn't a genre that has much offered in the past. So many girls, athletes and wannabees, would get a lot out of reading stories that revolved around the world of girls and sports. Successful movies about boys and sports are made in this genre all the time. It is high time the genre opened up to girls. I see a movie or tv series in the future. Why not?

    Elaine Sangiolo
    Book Marketing Manager: A Kingdom's Possession by Nicole Persun (17) and Cathedral of Dreams by Terry Persun
    Booktrope Publishing

  2. Yay, Ecsange!! So true. And I hope so. :)

    Thanks so much for having me, Bonnie!!! xo

  3. That's so neat! I've been reading a lot lately that so many YA authors are writing the books that they wanted or needed to be able to read as kids and teens. I think it's BRILLIANT! :)


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