Jennifer Iacopelli was born in New York and has no plans to leave...ever. Growing up, she read everything she could get her hands on, but her favorite authors were Laura Ingalls Wilder, L.M. Montgomery and Frances Hodgson Burnett all of whom wrote about kick-ass girls before it was cool for girls to be kick-ass. She got a Bachelor's degree in Adolescence Education and English Literature quickly followed up by a Master's in Library Science, which lets her frolic all day with her books and computers, leaving plenty of time in the evenings to write and yell at the Yankees, Giants and her favorite tennis players through the TV. Jennifer Iacopelli is the author of newly released GAME. SET. MATCH. available for the Kindle and Nook. Visit Jennifer's website and follow her on Twitter and Facebook!
Writing about Girls in Sports by Jennifer Iacopelli
When I started write a book about sports, more specifically a book about girls in sports or even more specifically a book about young female professional athletes, most of the response from my writer friends was less than enthusiastic, to say the least. Most of them thought I was crazy, completely nuts. "Girls don't like sports," they said. "A publisher won't buy it," they argued. "It really hasn't been done before."
And my response was, "I don't care."
I was excited about the story that popped into my head because it was something I wanted to read about, something that I'd looked for over and over again, but couldn't find on the bookshelves. I wanted to read about kickass girls who put their dreams of a professional athletic career ahead of everything else. Young women who are just as dedicated, sometimes even more so, then their male counterparts to the sport of their choice.
We have plenty of real life examples. This summer I was blown away by the amazing Fierce Five, the US Women's Gymnastics team who went into London and utterly destroyed the rest of the world on the beam, bars, floor and vault. Particularly the vault. We all remember this, right?
And I've been a fan of Maria Sharapova's since she won her first WImbledon title at the age of 17. I was cheering when she won the French Open last year for the very first time.
There have been lots of examples on the screen as well, both large and small. Movies like A League of their Own and Bend It Like Beckham, showing girls kick ass on the field of play.
TV shows like Make It or Break It, digging into the lives of Olympic gymnasts (granted fictional gymnastics, but still) and opening our eyes to a life of total sacrifice and dedication.
I wanted to do that, but I wanted to put it on paper. I wanted my words to draw people in as much as a real life tennis match or the movies we've all come to love over the years.
Jennifer, thank you for shedding light onto why you chose to write about athletic girls when creating GAME. SET. MATCH. I'm glad that you ignored all the naysayers. We definitely need more girls in sports when it comes to fiction!
Nestled along the North Carolina coast, the Outer Banks Tennis Academy is the world's most elite training facility. In this pressure-cooker environment, futures are forged in blood and sweat, and dreams are shattered in an instant. Penny Harrison, a rising female star, is determined to win the French Open and beat her archrival, Zina Lutrova. But when her coach imports British bad boy Alex Russell as her new training partner, will Penny be able to keep her laser-like focus? Tennis is all Jasmine Randazzo has ever known. The daughter of two Grand Slam champions, she's hell-bent on extending her family’s legacy and writing her own happily-ever-after...until her chosen Prince Charming gives her the just-friends speech right before the biggest junior tournament of the year, the Outer Banks Classic. With a powerful serve and killer forehand, newcomer Indiana Gaffney is turning heads. She’s thrilled by all of the attention, especially from Jack Harrison, Penny’s agent and hot older brother, except he keeps backing off every time things start heating up. With so much at stake, dreams—and hearts—are bound to break. Welcome to OBX: Where LOVE is a four-letter word, on and off the court.