LET'S WELCOME AUTHOR OF: Shut Out – Kelly Jamieson


Rad-Reader:     Why this story about Skylar and Jacob?

Kelly:  The idea started in my head when I wrote Off Limits (Aces Hockey book 2.5) which has a flashback scene to the hero and heroine in college when Andrew played hockey there, and I wanted to write more stories set in that kind of hockey world as opposed to pro hockey. There were a lot of things happening in the news about some Canadian hockey teams getting in trouble for sexual assault, and I started reading more about the problems in junior hockey where young players move away from home and grow up in a culture of entitlement and misogyny. Obviously, we couldn't have a hero who actually had raped someone, but I got the "what if he was involved but he didn't actually do it..." idea. Then I read an advice column (I get so many ideas from advice columns!) about a girl who experienced something similar to what Skylar went through. Skylar and Jacob's experiences fit together but also created barriers to their relationship, and I wanted to write that story.

Rad-Reader:  What happened to Jacob that he thought his life should have been different?

Kelly:  Jacob got caught up in the glory of the hockey culture in Canada. Young players leave home at a vulnerable age and are socialized into a culture where they are treated like gods, feel like they are invincible and entitled. He was a very talented player and knew he had a bright future as an NHL star -- until one bad decision changed all that.

Rad-Reader:  Was he present at all when the incident happened?

Kelly:  He was there when things started but he changed his mind and left. 

Rad-Reader:  Were any of the boys charged with anything?

Kelly:  You know, I never really addressed that specifically, other than Jacob wasn't charged. In my mind, I think the guys all got off because there wasn't enough evidence, which has happened in a number of actual sexual assault cases involving young hockey players.

Rad-Reader:  Why is Ella not staying close to Skylar especially after Brenden’s death?

Kelly:  This question is addressed in Cross Check, Bayard Hockey Book 2. :-)

Rad-Reader:  Jacob has it bad for Skylar but doesn’t know it.  Was the fake girlfriend his way into her good graces, to save himself, or just what it means fake girlfriend to ward off the girls at school?

Kelly:  When Jacob proposed that idea to Skylar, he genuinely thought it was a solution to his problem. It would keep other girls away and also get his teammates off his back for not partying.

Rad-Reader:  His team accepted him but that one senior Black Jack why?

Kelly:  Basically, Black Jack is a jerk. LOL.

Rad-Reader:  How did Buck afford all the fancy clothes if he said he and his mom were broke?

Kelly:  You will have to read Cross Check to find that out. :-)

Rad-Reader:  Why wouldn’t Jacob just ask her to be his girlfriend?  They were already doing the parts of the roles that a girlfriend and boyfriend?

Kelly:  In Jacob's mind, a girlfriend that he really cared about would distract him from his goal.

Rad-Reader:  Okay, we never find out does he make the NHL?

Kelly:  You will have to read Cross Check. :-)
Rad-Reader: OK, you are evil and you must be destroyed! :-)

Rad-Reader:  What are Black Jack’s issues?  He is so angry at the world overall?

Kelly:  Black Jack is the manifestation of the elite athletes in college who have a sense of entitlement and invincibility, who demonstrates that misogynist culture of slut shaming and sexual assault, thinking that because he's a star athlete at a prestigious school, he can do anything and get away with it. 

Rad-Reader:  Ella goes off the deep end after the death of their friend.  But when she gets his phone from his parents and checks old text & emails she finds disturbing info out about Skylar and Brendon.  Why is she so mad?  She seemed off with their friendship even before she found out so did she suspect something before she found out for sure?

Kelly:  The tension between Ella and Skylar before Ella learns what really happened is because Skylar doesn't approve of the way Ella is acting, the way she is trying to cope with her feelings. Ella is annoyed by what she sees as Skylar's parental, judgmental attitude. Neither of them has been completely honest with the other, so Skylar doesn't know why Ella was so devastated by Brendans's death, and Ella doesn't know why Skylar feels so guilty -- until the truth comes out.

Rad-Reader:  Through this info, it brings up issues of a sexual assault and with-it Jacob there when Ella confronts Skylar.  He comforts her but then backs off for two weeks.  Fake girlfriend junk too real?  Why?

Kelly:  Yes, that is it. When Jacob starts to realize he actually has feelings for Skylar he gets scared.

Rad-Reader:  Why does Sky feel she needs to be perfect for her parents?

Kelly:  I will answer this question along with the next one.

Rad-Reader:  Does her sister make it a competition?  Or just her parents?  Or is it all in Sky’s mind?

Kelly:  I think in many families, siblings take on a particular role-- the good kid, the wild child, the bookworm, the partier, the athlete, the perfect one, the failure...whatever. Sometimes parents create that with the things they say and do, and sometimes even when parents think they are being completely neutral, kids still pick up on subtle cues. In Skylar's family, her parents love both their daughters, but created a situation where Skylar felt inferior to her over-achiever sister. She wanted to get the same attention and affection that her sister did, and she thought the way to do that was to be like her sister. In the end, her parents are shocked to learn she felt that way, and Skylar learns that a lot of the pressure she felt was actually coming from inside her, not from her parents.

Rad-Reader:  Ben seems like he likes Jacob in fact, all the team does but Black Jack.  But Jack doesn’t like Jack.  Was it all in Jacob’s mind about being disliked?

Kelly:  No, the team was resistant to this new guy joining them, a guy who's really talented and hasn't "paid his dues" in their system. Also, Jacob's reluctance to socialize with them because he's trying so hard to stay out of trouble keeps his teammates at a distance. But Jacob gradually wins most of them over.

Rad-Reader:  If your book was made into a movie who would you want to play…

Skylar:  Sasha Pieterse

Jacob:  Jonathan Toews

Ben:  Joffrey Lupul

Ella:  Sarah Hyland


Skylar:  That is a great pick for Skylar!

Jacob:  I used this picture as inspiration for Jacob...

Ben:  I like that pick for Ben!
Ella:  I used Victoria Justice as inspiration for Ella...

Rad-Reader:  What song best describes your couple or your book as a whole?

“Won’t Get Nowhere” – Christian Gregory
When Jacob loses hope after he has to changes schools.

“Count on You” – Christian Gregory
When Jacob and Skylar become friends.

“Fall in Love” – Barcelona

Kelly:  Those are all awesome! I love them!

Rad-Reader:  This book has such a good message and story both how has it been received by readers?

Kelly:  Shut Out has gotten amazing reviews - I'm so happy that readers have loved it and have recognized the important messages, and many have said it made them think differently about situations like this. These are topical issues that are in the news and spark a lot of debate. Some of you may recall the incident where Chicago Blackhawk Patrick Kane was accused of raping a woman during the 2015 off season. That happened AFTER I wrote this book, and having written this story opened my eyes and made me see that situation from a whole different perspective.

Rad-Reader:  Has there been a way to see the demographics as to male, female, young, older, etc.…?

Kelly:  No, I don't really know specifics -- other than most of my readers are obviously female. I think this book did appeal to a younger reader.
Rad-Reader: Just so you know my hubby and I have both read it and loved it and just so you know my hubby has already read the one after this one and we happy with the outcome.

Rad-Reader:  Were you trying to make it a book with a message and a story or did it just work out that way?

Kelly:  It just worked out that way! I learned so much from the research I did, and from my characters and how they reacted and learned. I know that sounds weird, but my characters do become like real people to me.

Rad-Reader:  Are you a pantser or a planner when you write? (pantser: someone who writes by the seat of their pants.  Which is me.)

Kelly:  I am mostly a pantser. I plan my characters and what I call their "back story wound" because that is what will drive the decisions they make. I think about some "big scenes" that will challenge that "wound". But I don't really plot any more than that. I find if I do, I'm bored with the story. I like it to unfold for me as well as the characters-- and they really drive things! Sometimes I don't know what will happen next but my characters start talking and then one of them says something like, let's teach your dog how to surf! (That's in my WIP, LOL).

Rad-Reader:  Do you use a storyboard?

Kelly:  I have a planning tool I use, but it's not a storyboard, more like a grid of internal and external goals, the "wound", and the realization they have to have, to be the person they are meant to be and to have love.

Rad-Reader:  When did you know you wanted to be a writer?

Kelly:  When I was a little girl. :-) My parents bought me a little electric typewriter when I was about ten or eleven, and I spent hours writing "my novels". That was the best present ever.

Rad-Reader:  If you weren’t a writer what's another job would you have chosen to do?

Kelly:  I actually have a full time day job, and if I could actually choose, I would be a full time writer. :-)

Rad-Reader:  What would you tell a young Kelly that you would have known back then that you know now?

Kelly:  This is something I'm still working on, but it's "Don't be afraid to put yourself out there." Writing a book is one thing. Publishing it for the whole world to read is putting yourself out there. But promoting your book - that's REALLY putting yourself out there.
Rad-Reader:  What is your next project and when is it coming out?

Kelly:  My next book will be out October 17 - Slap Shot. This is part of my Aces Hockey series and is the highly anticipated story of Max Hall (Hallsy). 
Rad-Reader:  Where can our readers buy your books?  (add links)

Rad-Reader:  Where can our readers find you on The Web?

Kelly:  Website - http://bit.ly/kellyjweb
Facebook - http://bit.ly/kellyjFB 
Goodreads - http://bit.ly/kellyjGR 
Pinterest - http://bit.ly/kellyjPin 
Instagram - http://bit.ly/kellyjInst 

Thanks for taking time to be with us and for having fun answering all of my crazy fangirl questions. Come back and take use of our page Shout Out for Authors.
Thanks again you are now a 1 Rad-Reader Misfit.


  1. Thank you so much for interviewing me about Shut Out! These were such thoughtful questions - thank you for that!

    1. Thanks for answering my fangirl questions it was a lot of fun. :-)


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