After completing The Changeup, one of the first things anyone asked me was, of course, “What is it about?” I don’t know about other authors, but that is a dreaded question for me because I, at times, can be verbose—I frequently have to warn people at work that my emails are running novel-length with a “Don’t read on your BlackBerry!” notice in the subject line. Eventually, I get something out (hopefully without a lot of stammering), there’s a pause, and then the next question, “How did you come up with that?”
So, how did I come up with the story for The Changeup? What inspired me? Inspiration is defined by Merriam-Webster as “something that makes someone want to do something or that gives someone an idea about what to do or create.” It can be anything—a song, a picture, a conversation, a movie—anything.
What gave me the idea? Well, here it is, and I’ll admit, it was pretty random.
One summer, I had the brilliant idea of gathering all of the girls in my immediate family for a weekend up north (that would be eight females in total, some being mother/teenage daughter pairs, in one house, for two days straight…yeah, brilliant, Rhonda). You see, in my family, all there was were girls for a long while. I have two sisters and so poor dad was stuck in a house with four of us. My sisters started having kids and sure enough, the first four were girls. Then, FINALLY came a BOY. At first, we didn’t know what to do with him. We sat him on the floor as we stood around studying him, waiting for him to BE DIFFERENT.
“What does he do?”
“Is he supposed to be doing that?”
“Why is he just lying there?”
Eventually, we realized, apart from the obvious, there really wasn’t much difference between a boy and girl baby and we all went on our ways. Lo and behold, two more boys came afterward.
Anyway, I digress. Back to my brilliant idea. So, we packed up the cars and made the trek up north. While up there, we had on Detroit Tiger’s baseball (if there’s a game, it’s on a TV or the radio in this family), and as we were watching one of the Tiger pitchers do his thing, one of my nieces turned to me and said, “He’s really hot.” I happened to agree, but that’s not really important. Later on, after dinner and adult drinks (as well as non-adult beverages for those not of proper age) had been had, the same niece as earlier stated how she could envision marrying a man like my husband because, “He’s fun.” One of my sisters then said, “Ooooh! Watch out! She’s gonna steal your hubby,” and that was it. It clicked in my head all at once…niece dating a baseball pitcher, older aunt meets him, there’s instant attraction, older woman/younger man…The Changeup!
So, talk to me. From where do you draw inspirations in your life?
About the Book
Playing for keeps
After nine years of striking out in the dating department, Maddie Hamlin is throwing in the towel. But just as this mom resolves to remain single, she meets sweet and sexy pitching phenom Chase Patton at a family dinner. He’s perfect for her—aside from the fact he’s only twenty-two.
Chase knows he should be focusing on his rookie year with the Detroit Rockets, but he can’t stop thinking about Maddie. He doesn’t care that the beautiful school counselor is twelve years older, and he’s already lost his heart to her adorable daughter. When an incredible date leads to an incredible night of passion, he knows he never wants to let her go.
But dating in the media spotlight is a whole new ball game. Maddie quickly discovers that not everyone accepts their unconventional relationship—and that finding love may mean losing everything else…
About the Author
After writing one mind-numbing technical document after another, Rhonda Shaw decided to combine her love of writing with her love of reading romance. Born in California, but transplanted to the Midwest, Rhonda is a warm weather girl to the bone. She works in the software development industry and was a lifelong dancer until her body told her it was time to come down off her toes.
For more information about Rhonda and her books, please visit her website. Follow her on Twitter or connect with her on Facebook.