Today is my stop on the Balancing Act Blog tour for Heather Smith! Heather wrote a blog post for us, plus we’ve got a giveaway! So take it away Heather!!!
Some background on me: I trained as a gymnast for six years as a young child. I never took it too seriously, but I had a great deal of fun. Then, in my junior year of high school, I joined the team to get out of regular gym class where I was the asthmatic kid who could never put the ball through the hoop. I had a great time until a broken ankle ended my season. It sucked, but I wasn’t too disappointed. I had never intended to be a professional gymnast.
Then one day I was walking to the showers from my dorm room (I’m in college) and my ankle gave out beneath me. And as I stood up I thought about the old myth that broken bones can predict when storms are coming. Sure enough, when I looked outside, it was pouring rain.
And so a story was born. I wondered what it would have been like to injure myself if gymnastics had been my passion in life. What would I do if I found out I would never compete again? Would other people understand? I thought some would, but others definitely wouldn’t.
Writing Balancing Act took the better part of a year. I wrote between classes, and when I was working over the summer I wrote on my lunch break. I watched countless Youtube videos, looked up injuries that would put an athlete out of the running. I mostly pantsed the story. I’m not one for outlining more than a chapter or so in advance, although oftentimes I have the ending in mind. On the whole I had a great time writing BA. I was channeling an emotional experience while writing about a hunky guy and a girl who was more than capable of looking after herself.
There was, however, a period when I found myself channeling Callie’s emotions so much that I became depressed. My own ankle still acted up from time to time, and it would hinder my walking enough that I would have to wear a brace. And this was years after the injury. I was so close to being Callie that I empathized with her too well. When this happened, I would have to take a break from writing. I didn’t want to sink too deep.
Writing Balancing Act was an amazing experience, from the initial research I got to do, to the many editing passes I made before pitching it to Entranced last year.
Balancing Act by Heather Smith
February 3, 2014
One year ago, Callie Harding was the star of the Redwood High gymnastics team. Now, she’s just trying to forget that her Olympic dreams were stolen from her in one failed landing. Most of all, she wants to forget her first love, Ty. That part of her life is over and she’s sure she has got something good with Scott… even if he doesn’t exactly understand her passion for sports.
But when Callie is persuaded to take on the position of assistant coach of the gymnastics team, Ty and Callie are thrown together almost nightly, and she’s forced to confront her memories of the night everything changed. As things get tense on and off the balancing beam, Callie must find a way to stay strong. But is forgetting her accident – and forgetting Ty – the best way to do that?
Heather Smith is a student of English and History at University of Washington in Seattle. She works as a senior editor at Entranced Publishing, with the Kissed and Entranced imprints. In her free time, Heather loves to ride horses and watch Disney movies. She would like to travel the world one day, and Europe would be her first stop.
Heather’s first book “Balancing Act” will be published in 2014 by Entranced Publishing. You can find out more about Heather and what the future holds at the links below.