Posts Tagged ‘Reality Check’

Football Returns!

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September 8th, 2022 Posted 7:13 am

First NFL game of the season is tonight. Football comes up from time to time in my work, going all the way back to Hard Rain, and it’s central to the plot of Reality Check, my YA novel that won an Edgar award. There’s also football in the Chet and Bernie series, in Bark To The Future, the most recent C&B, and in Heart of Barkness, and elsewhere I can’t remember at the moment. This is from Heart of Barkness:

We walked onto the field, mostly dirt with tufts of grass here and there. Coach Flowers had moved out from between the two rows of players, now stood to the side. We stopped nearby. Coach Flowers put the whistle in his mouth, sort of nudging the stogie to one side, and talked around them.

“On the whistle, potato heads. Not before, not after. All set?”

He blew the whistle, a sound I hate, but at least I’d known it was coming. The two rows charged each other, thumping together with lots of grunts and shouts, none of the shouts actual words, more like the kind of noise you hear on Animal Planet. The kids finished knocking each other around, picked themselves up, dusted themselves off.

“What the heck?” said Coach Flowers. Or something like that – he wasn’t easy to understand with the whistle and stogie in his mouth. “Call that hitting? Don’t look like hitting to me. Looked like hugging your sister.”

One of the kids said, “I’m a sister, coach.”

Coach Flowers turned to her. “Did I ask for your opinion, Taneeka?”

“Not yet, coach.”

“Take a lap.”

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Football

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January 22nd, 2022 Posted 8:09 am

This is a big football weekend. Football comes up in my work from time to time, going all the way back to Hard  Rain, and it’s central to the plot of Reality Check (my YA novel that won an Edgar award). But there’s some in the Chet and Bernie series as well. This is from Heart of Barkness and I’ll post another snippet, a bit longer, next Saturday:

We kept running. And what a nice sight – Bernie was running as fast as I’d ever seen him. Which isn’t at all fast, not even for a human, probably on account of his leg wound in the war, but it made me so happy to see him back to running not fast. As for me and my running, let’s put it this way: I was delighted that the dart player turned out to be one of those humans who could really motor, especially after his flip flops flew off. Why hadn’t he gone into football or track instead of robbery? I wondered about that as I loped along behind him, trying not to catch up too soon and spoil the fun.

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Beginnings

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February 23rd, 2020 Posted 9:56 am

On Sundays we do beginnings, taking a look at the start of a Peter Abrahams novel, including those written under the Spencer Quinn moniker. How about Reality Check, my first young adult novel and winner of the Edgar Award in that category? (I heard from a school librarian this week who hands it out to boys who hate reading.)

[“The best writer of psychological suspense around.”
– Laura Miller, Talk of the Nation, NPR]

Except for football Fridays, Cody Laredo’s favorite day of the school year was always the last. Now, May 30, final day of his sophomore year at County High, he sat in the back row of homeroom, waiting for the teacher – a sub he’d never seen before – to hand out the report cards. As long as there were no Fs – even one would make him ineligible for football in the fall, meaning summer school, an impossibility since he had to work – Cody didn’t care what was in the report card. He just wanted out.

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Snow

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December 8th, 2019 Posted 9:00 am

Normally on Sunday we do beginnings, checking out the start of a Peter Abrahams novel, including those written under the Spencer Quinn moniker. But today – with winter and Christmas so close – we’ve been thinking about snow. We’ve written lots of snow scenes from our very first book (The Fury of Rachel Monette) and snow plays a big role in some of the others – A Perfect Crime, Reality Check (YA), Nerve Damage, the Echo Falls series (middle grade). Not much snow in the Chet and Bernie series, due to the location of most of the stories, but it does appear. The first time was in The Dog Who Knew Too Much:

We started working our way along the base of the cliff, and soon, in a shadowy spot under an overhang, spotted some white stuff, white stuff that reminded me of the white streaks on the mountain.

“Snow, big guy.”

Snow? I’d heard of it, of course, seen it lots of times on TV during the divorce, when for some reason Bernie had really gotten into skiing videos. The snow sent coldness up into the air. I sniffed at it. Snow went right up my nose! I sneezed. Bernie laughed. I licked at the snow. It turned into water on my tongue, although not much water. Bernie picked some up and patted it – hey! – patted it into the shape of a ball. Yes! One thing about Bernie: just when you think he’s done with amazing you, he amazes you again. Now, after all this time, I was just finding out he could turn snow into a ball. I knew what was coming next, one of my favorite feelings.

 

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