About “Going for Two”: Harper Duquaine is back for another season of fantasy football! This time she’s a year wiser and prepared to dominate the league. But while she finally seems to have her fantasy life in order, reality proves more challenging.
Her plans to peacefully play house with her boyfriend come to a halt when the high school suddenly names Brook its head football coach. The promotion comes with more responsibility on the field and less time at home. It also unexpectedly means more work for Harper, who already has her hands full helping a friend pull off the perfect proposal (while dodging questions about when she and Brook are going to get hitched already). Plus, a new development at work could leave her—and half of the fantasy league—jobless.
With the complications of her career and being “Mrs. Coach” adding up, Harper wonders if she’s committed to the life she’s already building or if there is something else out there.
In honor of Going for Two’s release, I’m sharing some fun facts about the book and Queen of the League series.
Harper needed to have some interests outside of football, and so I made her a crochet enthusiast. I have fond memories of learning how to crochet from my late Grandmother Huneke. Grandma could not only knit and crochet the most beautiful and perfect pieces, but she was also one of the best sports fans and aficionados around. Though a quiet and reserved woman, she could spout out facts like no one else. My brother likes to tell the story about the time he and my grandmother were in line somewhere. They overheard the men in front of them incorrectly discussing the stats from a recent game. My grandma politely interrupted and corrected them. So having Harper crochet throughout the season was a way for me to pay homage to my grandma. It also ended up creating some new opportunities for her, which are explored in more detail in Going for Two.
I hope you will check out the other facts—view a complete listing of locations and dates on my website, www.laurachapmanbooks.com—and the series.
Thank you, Isabella, for featuring Going for Two—and me—today. Enjoy!
In five sentences, what made you write your book, “GOING FOR TWO”?: The short answer: Because the Queen of the League series wasn’t done and needed another installment. The longer answer: When I set out to write a book about a girl who joins a fantasy football league I interviewed a couple of assistant coaches for local high school teams. While talking to them, I realized there were more angles to explore. I could visualize more conflicts and situations to write my characters into and out of again. Plus, once I got to know Harper, Brook, J.J., Wade, Amelia, and the rest of the crew, I wanted to know what happened next for them.
How much does football encourage you to write? It can be a mixed bag. On the one hand, participating in fantasy football and being a fan of football was my inspiration for writing this series. On the other, if my teams have a bad week, I can get a little bummed out about everything. The flip is that I get really excited to write when there’s harmony in my football world. Maybe I should imagine Clay Matthews sitting in my office with me, willing me to work faster and harder, while I write. It’d be worth a shot.
Who is your all-time favorite football crush, and if you two were to go on a first date, what would you two do? It’s hard to pick just one! Right now I’m in a bit of a tug-of-war with Clay Matthews and Aaron Rodgers, because each of them fulfills different… needs, shall we say. Sadly, neither of them are on the market. But if this is my football fantasy (see what I did there), my dream date would probably involve one of them taking me on a personalized and unique first date—maybe to a bookstore or play starring one of my other crushes, like Michael Fassbender or a Hemsworth—and the other one would jealously interrupt it, and they’d fight over me, before deciding we could all just get along and I could date both.
What is the fastest part of the publishing process, (ex: the writing, editing, cover art)? The slowest? I would say the cover is the fastest. I designed the covers for the Queen of the League series, and they just sort of came to me. The slowest is probably a tie between writing and editing. So far I have found that each story is a special snowflake and plays out different. First & Goal and Going for Two took me longer to write than to edit, but Hard Hats and Doormats and The Marrying Type both took longer to edit than to write. That may be because I am more aware during the writing process now than I was with my first two books. That’s probably a good thing, though I had a lot of fun writing with total abandon on those earlier stories.
Do you have any writing superstitions? Oh sure. My biggest is that I’m afraid to say too much about any of my projects while they’re in the writing phase. I kind of feel like book ideas and works in progress are like birthday wishes in that they don’t come to fruition if you tell them to anyone. (Also, earlier in my writing career I would talk more about whatever I was writing, and then I wouldn’t finish the project and felt like a liar.) I break the rule for my sister and one of my best friends, who are my sounding boards while I work.
As an author of four books and taking part in three anthologies, have you had an “AH-HA” moment? All the time. I feel like I have AH-HA moments every day both as an author and a human. I’m constantly evolving on both fronts, which means a new experience that leads to an epiphany. It should also be noted that almost every day brings an “oh my God, why doesn’t any of this make sense?” moment too.
With a busy schedule, what has motivated you to keep going as an author? Really it’s just a calling. There are stories running through my head waiting to be told. And both of those statements sound super pretentious. Really what it comes down to is this: I’ve always wanted to be an author. It’s my dream, and that dream keeps me going. Also, I like to keep busy. Even my downtime ends up being productive. “Laura, what did you do on Saturday?” “Oh, nothing. I tried a new recipe. Re-read one of the Little House books. Watched Hallmark. Started making a baby blanket for one of my friends. Had my sister over. Just a quiet little day.”
If you played football, what position do you think you’d be best at? I’d like to think I’d make a great quarterback. I like being in charge and telling people what to do. I can think quickly and make adjustments on the fly as needed. But I could also see myself thriving in a linebacker. It’d be fun to lay people out all the time and flex my non-existent muscles for my adoring fans.
If you would want anyone to read and review your books, who would it/they be? Actually, the person I most wanted to have read and review my books did. My dad hadn’t read any of my books until First & Goal came out. Because it related to football, he was more willing to give it a try. While he was reading, my mom gave updates such as, “I keep hearing him laughing” and “he was telling the people at the bar about it.” Once he finished, he sent me the best review I’ve ever had in the form of a group-text to my whole family: “Laura, just finished First & Goal. Very good read and I really enjoyed it.” And we had a pretty lengthy conversation about it—and his hopes and dreams for all of the characters. It was pretty gratifying to have my dad’s approval and pride.
How do you plan to celebrate if the Green Bay Packers win the Super Bowl? Oh, I’ll probably get drunk and go streaking through the quad, like usual. I’m totally kidding, but I’m also not entirely sure. The last time the Packers won I jumped up and down and screamed, which wasn’t the best idea on a belly full of beer cheese and beer. I’m more grownup and mature now, but I’ll probably do the same thing. And if I drink a little too much, I’ll probably end up sharing some embarrassing posts on all of my social media platforms including, but not limited to, selfies of me, pictures of my cats, praise for Clay Matthews’s arms, admiration for Aaron Rodgers’s cleverness, and promises to marry Eddie Lacy on top of a mountain with flutes playing, trombones, flowers, and garlands of herbs while everyone dances until the sun rises and our children will form a family band—and only fellow Packers fans will be invited.
Author-wise, what are your New Year’s resolutions? I actually didn’t make any resolutions this year, but promised myself I would strive to find balance and happiness this year. That applies to my writing, too. I often freak out and stress—I’m big on extremes. And this year I’d like to stay somewhere in the middle—to do (and write) what makes me happy and be the best person (and author) I can be while hopefully spreading some joy to others.
What are you working on now? I’m working on the third book in the Queen of the League series along with a couple of other projects that I’m not yet speaking about, because of that whole superstition thing. 😉
**About the Author: Laura Chapman is the author of Going for Two, First & Goal, The Marrying Type, and Hard Hats and Doormats. Her work also appears in Merry & Bright, A Kind of Mad Courage, and the holiday collection All I Want For Christmas from Marching Ink. She loves Huskers and Packers football, Netflix marathons, and her cats, Jane and Bingley. Laura makes her home in Nebraska, where she is penning her next novel.
Thanks for having me as a guest. I hope you all enjoy Harper’s latest adventure in Going for Two!