Guest Post – The inspiration behind the super-sexy ‘Striker’ series
I loved Footballers’ Wives? That show used to be my not-so-secret guilty pleasure. Pure escapism. All the glamour, glitz, scandal - I loved it! It never really was about the football though, was it?
But even though I adored getting lost in all that fictional, hedonistic glamour and scandal, I’m actually quite a big fan of the so-called Beautiful Game. Football has always been a part of my life. Me and my dad used to be season ticket holders at Newcastle United, I’ve been watching Match of the Day for as long as I can remember, and during World Cup tournaments I’m never without a wall chart!
So, I’m a football fan, but I’m also an author. And as someone who loves a good Jackie Collins or Jilly Cooper bonkbuster, I’d always wanted to write my own, a story set against the backdrop of professional football. But in my eyes basing a romance novel around the sport was always going to be a risky thing to do. I mean, sometimes all you have to do is mention the word to some women (football, that is, not romance) and their eyes glaze over. But the books were never really going to be about football. They focus much more on glitz, glamour and scandalous drama. The characters involved just happen to live and work within the world of Premiership football. The books are fun, sexy and HOT! I even jokingly labelled them “Fifty Shades of Football” at one point, because the kind of action in there isn’t anything you’re going to see on Sky Sports! They really are more about the sex than the soccer!
But when I was writing the books, I also wanted to create characters that were believable because, for some reason, the world of the professional footballer, and the people who share their lives, has always fascinated me. So to be told in a review, by someone who works within the world of football, that I have the character of fictional footballer Ryan Fisher just right, that was good to hear. Because Ryan really is your stereotypical footballer – a bad boy with attitude; a player in every sense of the word. He’s hot, handsome and talented, with a slightly over-inflated ego. But after reading a book called ‘I am the Secret Footballer’ – written by a top-flight player, and a book that lifted the lid on his life within the world of football – I realised that nothing I made Ryan do would be far fetched. That book was invaluable research for me, not to mention a real eye-opener as far as what life as a footballer can be like. It certainly isn’t all glamour, believe me!
But for me, writing those books was a labour of love. I even got to look around a real-life football stadium as part of my research. Sunderland AFC were kind enough to give me a little tour of the Stadium of Light, including the dressing rooms – which were all devoid of footballers at the time, unfortunately. I got to go into the manager’s office, have a look around the Players’ and Press Lounges, go pitch side, and thanks to that visit I got more information than I could ever possibly have gathered just through Googling alone. I got the feel of a real-life football club; I got to hear how things worked and just what goes on during match days, which turned out to be an invaluable insight when it came to writing the ‘Striker’ books.
To sum up what the ‘Striker’ series is really all about, I guess you could say we’re talking hot footballers, sexy sports reporters, a manager that makes Jose Mourinho look dull and boring… mix all of that with a bit of glamour, a fair dose of scandal, sprinkle it with some pretty racy scenes, and you’ve got the ‘Striker’ series, books that were inspired by my love of football, and a show that epitomised glamorous, escapist TV.
Win a paperback copy of Striker!
Win a paperback copy of Striker!
I will contact the winner via e-mail. If I don't get a reply within 60 hours the prize will go to someone else. All of my giveaways are international, you can find the official rules here.