Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Candee Fick - Catch of a Lifetime

Look what’s happening! Candee Fick has released her debut fiction novel, Catch of a Lifetime, which is now available. Here’s what it’s about:

He breathes football. She shudders at the very mention of the sport. After a tragedy involving a football player destroyed her family, athletic trainer and graduate student Cassie moves across the country looking for a fresh start, but a change in financial aid lands her in the middle of her worst nightmare. Meanwhile, rookie coach Reed worries his dream career will slip away as injuries plague his players and his star receiver teeters on the brink of ineligibility. As the two work together to salvage the season, sparks fly, and Reed must eventually choose between the game he cherishes and the woman he loves.

I have a real treat for you today. I was able to score an interview with Candee, which I will post below. I’m excited about this book because it will be unique, and focuses on a topic that is largely overlooked: FOOTBALL!  And let’s roll!

Hello Candee Fick! And welcome to my humble blog. I’m so proud to have you as my guest today, and I’m very excited to share the news about your new book, Catch of a Lifetime! I have a few questions for you and thank you for stopping by.

Q. Let’s start with your new book, Catch of a Lifetime. This is a fictional story that has football in it. And love. And FOOTBALL! And a few other things. Would you take a moment and tell us about those few other things? What else does your book offer other than football?

Well, you already mentioned love, which is a good thing to include since it’s a romance. The story also tackles the topic of stereotypes and how we judge by a person’s outside while God looks at the heart. And there’s this not-so-little thing called forgiveness that the heroine must wrestle with because she has a reason to hate football. Oh, right, other than football. How about an example of integrity under pressure, fitting faith into a competitive arena, and discovering there are some things more important than a game, even if that game is football.

So, this is not simply a sweet romance. It has a much broader message to it. And it sounds like it would make a fantastic Lifetime movie of the month!

Q. You started your writing career with devotionals. How did that happen?

I wanted to write fiction but the big idea that jumped to mind was a comparison between the walk of faith and the game of football. That non-fiction book led to a writing course, a dozen-or-so published articles, and then a blog. I intended my blog posts to offer encouragement for the journey called life, but when several random readers thanked me for “today’s devotional” it caught me by surprise. Looking back, I could see how I had a knack for seeing a spiritual lesson in a physical example so I packaged together several of my blog series into devotionals. I also took back the rights to that first non-fiction book and re-formatted it into an 11-week devotional called Pigskin Parables:Exploring Faith and Football.

Joel running cross country
Q. You have a fantastic family. Tell us about them and how they’ve changed your life.

They are pretty fantastic. I’ve been married to a high school football coach and math teacher for almost 20 years. In fact, we met when we were both teaching at a Christian school. I left formal teaching behind when we started our own family. Our special needs daughter graduated from high school last spring and is now in a transition program to teach her practical life and job skills. Our oldest son is a high school senior, multi-sport athlete, and all-around smart kid who we’re praying gets the chance to play college basketball on a scholarship. Our youngest son is in middle school and he’s more the music-loving, fantasy-book-reading, “what if?” asking personality who recently found a niche running cross country when not busy doing typical boy things like hiding a whoopee cushion on my desk chair and giggling. They’ve all taught me to cherish the moments and not take life too seriously.

You can’t hide how proud you are as a wife and mom, and I think you and your family are swell!

Anna and Candee at graduation
Q. Your daughter has a rare genetic syndrome, which has significantly impacted your life. Could you offer some encouraging words to other parents who are struggling with a life-altering event in their lives?

Without faith in God, I’m not sure how well I would have weathered this storm. Knowing that God is good, that the pain of this broken world is not the end, and that He never leaves us alone as He works everything together for our benefit helped me leave the really hard days in His hands. I’ve learned so many invaluable lessons while loving my imperfect princess. I actually compiled a book for parents with special needs kids titled Making Lemonade that describes the mixture of sweet and sour through the stories of other families facing a multitude of different issues.

Q. Who is your favorite author? What type of stuff do you read in those rare moments you have enough time to do so?

My favorite author used to be Dee Henderson with her O’Malley family and Uncommon Heroes series. I’ve since added many more authors to my favorites list including Rachel Hauck, Susan May Warren, Mary Connealy, Karen Witemeyer, and more. There’s a mixture of contemporary and historical, fairy tale and suspense, plus comedy thrown in to their stories. I’ve also been known to read dystopian (when vetting books for my youngest), fantasy, and Amish. Bottom line, I love a good story full of twists and turns with a happily-ever-ending where the good guy wins.

Yes, I’m very familiar with Karen Witemeyer, and I think she’s fantastic as well! You follow some amazing authors. Each of them is a class act for sure.

Q. You’re the wife of a football coach. In Texas, that means, “Don’t get too comfortable, ‘cause you could be sent packing if we don’t win enough games.” Is this true for your family? Living a life around sports can be both fun and stressful. Do you have any fun or horrifying anecdotes to share?

Luke senior night football
Here in Colorado, a head coach makes about $4000 total if he’s lucky so everyone has a day job (usually teaching).  While no one is likely to put For Sale signs in our yard after a loss, coaches still get fired and there are a lot of politics behind the scenes. My husband once took over a relatively new program that had never won a game and took them to the playoffs in the second year. You’d have thought he walked on water. Then we jumped up in classification to face bigger and tougher competition and he asked to teach a weights class to get the players physically ready for the challenge. The new athletic director told him to stop whining, assigned the class to the girls basketball coach, and then fired my husband when he later pointed out that the students spent most days in the gym playing dodge ball instead of lifting weights. Weak players were getting hurt on the field and my husband felt like he had to stand up for their safety. (The new football coach got to teach a weights class so at least the kids got what they needed in the end.)

Oy… sports are so complicated! Sometimes, God just has to make things happen, eh? Thanks for sharing!

Q. If you were not able to be a writer, and you were allowed your heart’s greatest desire, what would you be?

A singer in a worship band. I guess I have a creative, artistic bent that needs to express my faith in a way that points others to God. Then again, I totally love a wide variety of other clean music especially from musicals so I could also see myself singing in a musical revue group in Branson, Missouri. But definitely in a group. No solo albums for me.

Well, I pray you will be able to pursue that dream when the time is right. No reason you can’t write AND sing!

Q. Readers often think that authors live special and extraordinary lives. What is the most ordinary thing about you? What is the most extraordinary thing about you?

The most ordinary? I hate dusting and ironing and cleaning toilets. The most extraordinary thing? I do those things anyway because I love my family and would like them to live in a clean house and look nice when they go out in public. And I can’t afford a housekeeper.

Q. What’s next for you in terms of publishing?

While this story was about football, my next contracted book features my love for musicals and is set in a dinner theater. Think Broadway meets small town, a cast of tap dancers pounding out a rhythm, and Big Band trumpet music. Oh, and there’s an adoption reunion element to the story. Dance Over Me is scheduled to release in September 2016 and I’m currently plotting a sequel.

That sounds fantastic! Good things are coming, that’s for sure!

And now our lighting round…drum roll, please…

Q. What was your first car?

A turquoise green Suzuki Samarai (a wanna-be Jeep)

Q. Can you share your secret to a fabulous lasagna?

I can. The secret is using cheaper cottage cheese instead of ricotta and not boiling the noodles ahead of time. Just let them cook in the sauce while baking.

Q. What was your favorite Christmas gift?

True story. The year I asked for a Strong’s Concordance.  My dad was a pastor and I think he cried.

Q. Coke or Pepsi?


Q. John Elway or Peyton Manning?

John Elway.

Q. Dogs or cats?


Q. Beach bungalow or mountain cabin?

Mountain cabin.

Q. Common core math or…oh, never mind…Let’s keep this PG.

Yes, let’s. My husband teaches Algebra to low-level math students who can hardly add or subtract when they get to high school and I hear too much of his opinion on the subject.

Q. What is the best way for readers to contact you or stay up with your progress?

Thanks for asking. The most reliable place to be guaranteed to receive updates is through my email list and readers can sign up at www.CandeeFick.com
Next best place is my Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Author.Candee.Fick and I’m also on Twitter at www.twitter.com/CandeeFick.

Thank you for such a great, even if unconventional, interview! I know God has big things in store for you, and you have a special niche, for which you are perfectly suited. Candee’s books are available now, and I highly recommend you take time to invest into what she’s doing.


Candee Fick said...

Thanks for hosting me today. It may have been an unconventional interview, but it sure was fun!

Travis said...

We had a great time! I know you will meet with great success in this new endeavor, and I'm proud to call you my friend!

Unknown said...

Enjoyed the interview. The book sounds like a good one and I just got it.

Candee Fick said...

Thanks, Ann! I hope you enjoy Cassie and Reed's story as much as I have.

Loree Lough said...

So great to have this chance to get to know a little more about you and your work, Candee! Looking forward to reading the story and wishing you a wonderful rest of the week!