Guest Blogger: Author Laura Chapman

The 2016 NFL season kicks off this week, and for me that marks the start of something equally significant: fantasy football.

I have a complicated relationship with fantasy football. We began our tumultuous on-again off-again relationship four years ago. My then-co-workers invited me to join their league. It’s also possible I wheedled the invite out of them, but it was four years ago, which basically makes it ancient history. I approached that first fantasy season like you would any new relationship–with a mixture of excitement, anticipation, and even a bit of fear.

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The league commissioner walked me through a mock draft and explained the rules of the game. I felt pretty good about the whole thing until I experienced my first draft and realized I had no idea what I was doing. That paired with the scathing automated draft report card I received from Yahoo inspired me to write the Queen of the League series.

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My goals that first season were simple. I wanted to gain some knowledge and experience to write a book and then make it to the play-offs, which I did. I accomplished the first–though I’ll never feel like an expert–and I took my team to the post-season. But after I lost in the semi-finals to a person who hadn’t set a line-up most of the season, I decided that wasn’t enough. No, I wanted to win.

It’s a goal I’ve had every year since with every team I’ve managed. And every year, with every team (all six of them as I doubled up on leagues for three years) I’ve fallen short. One year, I made it to the finals only to succumb in that final round and win the silver medal. That’s the closest I’ve come to the ultimate prize, and after a while, losing takes its toll.

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Last year, when I failed to take either of my teams to the play-offs, I realized I needed to do some soul-searching. I almost quit straight-out. I’d already questioned doing fantasy football that year, because we’d lost some of that love and feeling. It was only natural to have the same thoughts during the past off-season.

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But as usual, once players returned to camp and pre-season football geared up, I found that familiar sense of longing for victory. Could I do it this year? Could this be my time to take a team all the way? It was a complete 180 from where I found myself last January, but once you’ve fallen for fantasy football, it’s hard to give up.

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Rather than call it quits completely, this season I’m only managing one fantasy team. I also promised myself I wouldn’t overdo the prep work like I did my second season, but I wouldn’t go in blind like I did last year. Granted, I skipped doing a mock draft, a choice I only regretted about half-way through my live draft last Sunday when my plan went to the wayside and I had to take players I knew little about.

Despite my pre-draft laziness, I managed to put together a scrappy team of players who might have the power to take me to the championship circle. This year Yahoo! gave my team a B- saying “That’s not bad! It’s not great, either.” Here’s who I’m counting on to lead me to victory:

Cam Newton – quarterback
Ryan Tannehill – quarterback
A.J. Green – wide receiver
Doug Baldwin – wide receiver
DeSean Jackson – wide receiver
Vincent Jackson – wide receiver
Tavon Austin – wide receiver
Eddie Lacy – running back
Melvin Gordon – running back
Ameer Abdullah – running back
CharlesSims – running back
Gary Barnidge – tightend
Dwayne Allen – tightend
Mason Crosby – kicker
Pittsburgh – defense

We’re in this to win it. At least until I tinker with my team by surfing the waiver wires and making trades with my fellow league mangers. And who are we kidding? I already admitted I didn’t know some of the players on my team, so I have a healthy dose of skepticism. Still, you never know. Here’s hoping this year doesn’t lead to another heartbreak.

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I’ll be back next week along with a couple of my fellow authors to share some of our favorite football watch party foods. Until then, wish the Dread Pirate Rodgers (yeah, that’s my team name) and I luck in our first week of competition.

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Laura Chapman is the author of the Queen of the League romantic comedy series. First & Goal and Going for Two are now available from Marching Ink. Three & Out will be available later this year. When she isn’t hard at work penning her next novel or pulling her hair out over a fantasy football line-up, Laura enjoys baking, crocheting, and binge-watching Netflix with her cats, Jane and Bingley.

She will be back on Chick Lit Plus throughout the football season. In the meantime, you can follow her misadventures on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

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Author Q&A with Me!

Happy Wednesday! Recently when chatting about my books on Snapchat, I got quite a few questions on writing, publishing, and my books in general. I decided to do an open call for questions and answer a handful of them here! I hope this little Q&A gives you some ideas, inspiration, or just helps you learn a little more about me! I did ask for names and locations and some people sent that information in as well and some didn’t. At the end I’ll go through the questions without names or the repeat questions. If you want to see another Q&A with me in the future please let me know, and if you don’t have me on Snapchat yet, check the right hand side of this page for my little ghost or add me at Samantha.March

 

destined to fail new cover1Sara – Columbia

Q: How does it feel to be a published author? Is there more judgement involved?

A: It feels fantastic! Being an author was a dream I had since I was nine, so to know I never gave up on that and made it happen with a ton of hard work is very rewarding. There is definitely a lot of judgement that comes with it though. Some people can be absolutely brutal in their feedback and reviews, and even attack an author personally, which is incredibly sad. I know my books will not be loved by everybody because that’s simply impossible, but it’s taken some time to build up my thick skin so those hurtful comments don’t sting so much anymore!

 

Danial – Wisconsin

Q: What or who motivates or inspires you to come up with things to write about?

A: Honestly, a lot of my inspiration comes from my own life. There are things that I’ve gone through– such as sexual abuse that is featured in my first novel, work abuse that is featured in my second– and I’ve thought, of course other people have to be going through this as well or dealing with something similar. Why not write that into a story and have a happy ending, a silver lining, or a life lesson? Writing is also very therapeutic to me. It can help give me clarity or even just closure on situations from my past.

 

Elizabeth – Missouri

Q: I see you doing so much: yoga, makeup, Youtube videos, blog posts PLUS you write books. How do you do it all?  Do you have a day job?

A: I have always been someone who wants to be doing 5 things at once. I feel uneasy and bored and restless when I don’t have multiple projects happening. I don’t know why, but it’s just the way I work! But everything that I do, I do it because I have a passion for it. I’ve been lucky to be able to figure out a way to turn my passions into jobs and careers. But it takes a lot of dedication. I don’t watch TV. I rarely go out. You won’t find me playing games on my phone. I work constantly, and one of the hardest things I’ve had to overcome is being a true workaholic. It’s been challenging to find a good work/life balance, especially since leaving my “real” job two years ago. I worked in administration at a hospital and left the summer of 2014 to go full-time with my dreams. It was a bigger struggle than I thought, because I feel guilty taking time off. I think if I’m not working I’m not making money because I don’t have that steady paycheck coming every two weeks. I had to check myself within the first months of being full-time because I was running myself into the ground. It’s taken awhile, but I feel like I’ve finally figured out a good system that works for me.

 

Up To I DoSara –  Texas

Q: How do you determine how much time to spend on what?

A: I never really know, honestly. Each day varies. When I’m working on book for myself, I need to mostly put my focus into that. When I’m writing, especially a first draft, I want it written within six months. I’m constantly reading, and sometimes I can find what I read affects my own voice, and I need that voice to stay consistent the whole way out, or else my story is a mess and it will take me a long time to get through re-writes. When Marching Ink is putting out a new book, I put my heart and soul (and the majority of hours of my day) into that project. Another author is putting their dreams into my hands, and I take that very seriously. I tend to do writing work more during the day, and at night that’s when I get to work on editing Youtube videos, writing my blog posts, etc.  I answer emails and keep up on social media throughout the day, but that’s the typically the balance that I have found works best for me.

 

A few more questions…

 

Q: What advice can you give to aspiring writers?

A: Just write. So many people worry about the end product – the editing, the publishing, the marketing – but don’t focus on getting the book written first. To do all that other stuff requires a book, and no one is going to write it for you!

Q: Where are your books sold out?

A: My books are all on Amazon in eBook and paperback form.  A few are also available on other retailers such as Barnes & Noble and Kobo.

Q: What was a big surprise to you when publishing?

A: How easy it was. I don’t mean the writing, the editing, even the marketing, but the actual act of publishing a book. I thought there would be a ton of hoops to jump through, but after you have the final product and obtain an ISBN, actually putting it for sale on Amazon and other retailers was a fairly simple process.

Q: When is your next book coming out?

A: Hopefully by the end of this year!

 

Connect with me!

My Books: https://www.amazon.com/Samantha-March/e/B005ZWOGJY

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDnb5YAcjk7pnu25YckVL6g

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/marchbeautyword/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BySamanthaMarch

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/samanthamarchauthor

Snapchat: Samantha.March



 

CLP Blog Tours Sign Up: A Hundred Weddings by Cathy Cruise

Title: A Hundred Weddings

Author: Cathy Cruise

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Release Day Blitz: September 21

A Hundred Weddings Cathy Cruise CoverAbout the Book

Katie Jacobs has dreaded weddings since she was a kid, when she was dragged to far too many ill-fated ceremonies by her mother, a wedding planner. Now her sister’s getting married at their childhood home, and after Katie’s job and relationship come to a sudden halt, she heads to Florida for wedding prep, including fixing up the now run-down house.

As if exhausting work, feuding parents, a neurotic dog, and a former love interest aren’t enough to handle, Katie’s asked by her mother to write a wedding blog, covering the “hundred weddings” they’ve planned in the past. Reliving those memorable—and painful—moments turns out to be oddly therapeutic. But it will take much more than this to renew her faith in marriage and love.

**Sign up closed**