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Interview with Jami Deise, author of Keeping Score

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If parenting is a competitive sport, why are there no try-outs?

Keeping Score is a fun, satirical look at the insane world of kids’ sports, winner-takes-all parenting in the ‘burbs, the impossible work/life seesaw, and wondering what’s wrong with your life when your only friend is your ex-husband’s pretty young new girlfriend.

When her 9-year-old son Sam asked to play summer travel baseball, Shannon had no idea the toughest competition was off the field! They find themselves in a crazy world of rigged try-outs, professional coaches, personal hitting instructors, and insane parents. As Sam works to make friends, win games and become a better pitcher, Shannon falls for a coach from a competing team… and tries not to become a crazy baseball parent herself.

We’re so pleased you’ve written this book. This is a subject that’s been begging for a book! What genre is this?
Contemporary women’s fiction — chick lit/mom lit.

Tell us a bit about Shannon.
Divorced mom Shannon Stevens never backs away from a fight. She’s always ready with a sarcastic retort, witty observation or cutting quip. And she’s completely devoted to her 9-year-old son, Sam. Every weekend finds Shannon and her best friend Jennifer on the sidelines watching their sons play. On Saturday it’s soccer and on Sunday it’s baseball.

But when Shannon learns that Jennifer kept Sam from trying out for their town’s best travel baseball team, she realizes that Jennifer really wasn’t her friend after all. Hurt and angry, Shannon tries to make friends with the moms on Sam’s new team, but it’s not the same. At the same time, Shannon finds herself drawn to her work colleague, Ron, while catching the eye of another baseball coach, Kevin. Throughout it all, Shannon never loses her sense of humor.

What kind of readers will Keeping Score appeal to?
Any parent who’s ever been asked the question, “Why isn’t your child talking yet? My daughter said her first word at three months old!” Anyone who’s ever played any kind of sport or had to compete for first chair, the leading role in a play, etc.

You’re right, parenting is so competitive – it’s practically war!
I have so many outrageous, funny stories from my son playing travel baseball that they will fill several books. But what I really wanted to stress was how damaging fierce competition can be at this age, to the kids at their parents. My son flubbed his first baseball try-out in the 2nd grade. That’s way too young to be told you’re not good enough. So much emphasis on winning makes kids hate the sport, causes injuries, and actually keeps kids from trying new skills and improving.

Are there any similar books out there?
Jane Porter’s “Odd Mom Out“.

Have you written any other books that we should read next?
Believe it or not, my next book will be about vampire assassins in the FBI!

Vampire assassins? We know we said parenting is war, but that’s stretching it!
One thing I love about being an indie author is the freedom to write in every genre you’re interested in.

That’s true.
Tell us about yourself.
My family and I recently moved from Maryland down to St. Petersburg, Florida. I worked in public relations for many years, and then became a professional volunteer in order to keep up with all my son’s sporting activities. His first year playing travel ball was the basis of this book. He is currently a sophomore in college and still playing baseball.

Do you have a website where we can keep up with your work?
I post a lot at www.jamideise.blogspot.com.

How can we follow you on Twitter and/or Facebook?
@JamiDeise
www.facebookcom/JamiDeiseauthor

What’s next?
My vampire book, and then I’ll be following that up with another women’s fiction book; this one about a mom who finds herself back home with two teenagers when her husband’s career takes off.

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