Rad-Reader:  Did you come up with Kate’s character first or Danny’s

Maggie:  Oh, it was Kate. I wanted to write a book about a woman who was sort of a superhero without the cool cape or gadgetry. Someone who didn’t need to wield a weapon to kick butt. I wanted a character who was unflaggingly confident in her abilities. 

Rad-Reader:   Was it always your idea to have the interest in her and the football coach?

Maggie:  Yes. I wanted there to be a clash of the Titans thing. American football has been a tough nut to crack for female athletes. We see the occasional breakthrough, mostly at pre-collegiate levels, but football is still one of the most male-dominated sports. I wanted Kate to excel at a sport that women can play as well as or better than men. I recall watching an ESPN 30 for 30 about Reggie Miller where it was stated (and debated) that Cheryl Miller was actually the better player. That intrigued me.

Rad-Reader:  What made you pick football instead of the men’s basketball coach?  It seemed like there would be a more natural rivalry with conflict galore with a basketball coach.

Maggie:  Ah, but I had other plans for Ty Ransom, Wolcott’s up-and-coming men’s basketball coach. Mwahahahaha. Truthfully, it never occurred to me to match Kate against anyone but a football coach. Maybe it’s because Kate is a winner and I don’t think many men would take well to being bested by a woman at their own game. It makes for good drama, but maybe not good romance. We are talking about characters with substantially healthy egos. 

Rad-Reader:  The scene where Kate comes in when Danny is having his press conference is great.  Was that on that you always had in mind or did it just come to you when you were writing the story?

Maggie:  That was originally the opening scene of the story, but my critique partner and editors thought we needed to establish Kate’s place in the Wolcott world before just presenting her as the goddess that she is.

Rad-Reader:  Another one I liked is when she caught the football so easy, was that planned or did it just come to you as you were writing?

Maggie:  That came naturally. I think if a person has a certain level of skill in one sport, it can translate to others. She’s used to catching passes. I don’t think the shape of the ball matters much when it comes to having sure hands.

Rad-Reader:  Was there any time in writing this story that you found it difficult in keeping Kate’s character strong but yet open as well?

Maggie:  Oh, yes. There’s a perception that women have to be soft or giving in order to be open to love. Also, there may be some misguided belief that women cannot be both confident and vulnerable. We’re really very complicated creatures.

Rad-Reader:  Was there a real person behind the mother character of Danny’s mom, for she was a piece of work?

Maggie:  No, not really. I just thought it would be an interesting dynamic for mothers and sons. The whole ‘mothers don’t have favorites’ thing certainly does not apply here. 

Rad-Reader:  Danny’s character had many layers to him.  Were they all idea’s you came up with prior to writing the story?

Maggie:  I’d say it was a combination of planning and evolution. Kate was more fully formed in my mind at the start. Danny surprised me a little here and there. I mostly write by the seat of my pants, so I like to let my characters reveal themselves to me. It leaves a good chunk on the cutting room floor, so to speak, but it seems more organic to me.

Rad-Reader:  Was it always your plan to have Jim Davenport and Chancellor Martin as the bad guys?

Maggie:  Jim, yes. It seemed natural that a woman of a certain age would have a shifty former or some-time love interest around. I didn’t want to bring her ex-husband back into the story, and I liked that Kate was as ambivalent about her relationship with Jim as he seemed to be. It also provided a nice contrast to what she was discovering with Danny.
As for the Chancellor, I think there’s a bit of a natural tug-of-war between athletics and academics at that level that provides a solid basis for some conflict.

Rad-Reader:  I liked how you had Kate liking tennis shoes instead of the fancy high heels.  Was that always your idea for her when you thought of her character?

Maggie:  Ha! That was an homage to my beloved critique partner, Julie Doner. If you go here ( http://www.maggie-wells.com/monday-mayhem-alllllllmost/ ), you can see photos of my inspiration with some of her collection on display.

Rad-Reader:  Was this a story that you had been wanting to write for a while?

Maggie:  Absolutely. And I have been. I’m a lifelong college football fan, so I knew I wanted to do something in that world. But publishing itself takes a while. I started the draft (then called Full Court Press) in 2014, completed the story and submitted it to my agent, Sara Megibow, in 2015, we sold it to Sourcebooks in 2016, went through edits in 2017, and released in 2018. Talk about a long time coming!

Rad-Reader:  If so, were you able to write it when you wanted to, or like other authors had to write other books first in order to write the ones they wanted to write?

Maggie:  I was writing other books all along. I think in the time between when I started writing LOVE GAME and when I turned it over to my publisher, I wrote 2/3 of my Coastal Heat series, two Worth the Wait Romances (characters 50+), and the first book in my Play Dates series. 

Rad-Reader:  The character of Millie added to the story.  Was there anyone she was based on?

Maggie:  No one and everyone. No direct influence, but I’d say Millie is an amalgamation of me and a couple of my closest friends. We may not come across as the most sympathetic women, but we like a good laugh, and we love deeply.

Rad-Reader:  The character of Kate reminded me of when I started watching women’s basketball because Cheryl Miller was from the hometown where I went to high school and then she was part of two championships and an Olympic gold medal.  It’s hard to believe that the woman’s championship started in 1982.  Do you think it will get any bigger or that because of the money in College Football it has hit its ceiling?

Maggie:  OMG. So funny that you mention Cheryl Miller, given my answer above. I think the limitations on women’s athletics are a good reflection on the limitations we place on women in general. We sure don’t mind watching a woman collect gold medals as an amateur athlete, but there’s something in the collective consciousness that makes us balk when it comes to paying women to play professional sports. 

Rad-Reader:  You mentioned Bobby Petrino in the back of your book.  Were you surprised that he got another coaching job so quickly at Western Kentucky after leaving Arkansas?  

Maggie:  No, not surprised at all. As Razorback fans, we were profoundly sad to lose him. He’d been doing a fabulous job with the team and we had such high hopes… To have that all dashed because of his extracurricular activities was heartbreaking. We knew he’d do a minute or two in coaching purgatory, then come back again. It’s amazing how quickly a winning coach can be forgiven. Truthfully, we were more concerned that he’d end up at another SEC school.

Rad-Reader:  When you mentioned Pat Summitt, her teams were a beauty to watch the way they play basketball.  For me, it is the way it was meant to be played.  Do you think that the woman’s game will ever draw in the ratings to offset the men’s game?

Maggie:  Wasn’t she incredible? Fundamentally sound, straight-shooting (pun intended) basketball. I think women’s athletics, in general, have made great strides in terms of generating an audience, but it goes back to what I said before about the perceived value of women in sport. 

Rad-Reader:  Did you find it with Kate’s character at any time to let her relax or her go, go is much like a coach?

Maggie:  Oh, she’s undoubtedly an achiever. Even her downtime is active. I don’t know many women who truly ever relax. I think most of us have our default set to go, go.

Rad-Reader:  Was there anything special you did for yourself with the first check you received from publishing your first book?

Maggie:  Not really special. I save most of my publishing income to attend writing conferences. One of the best things about being an author is the opportunity to stretch and grow. I am constantly trying to up my game. 

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

Kate:  Skylar Diggins

Danny:  Bradley Cooper

Maggie:  Oh wow. Not at all who I pictured, but I have no objection to either of those choices. Isn’t that the great thing about books? I try to be descriptive about my characters, but not overly so. As a reader, I love forming my own mental image of them. That being said, I did have some actors in mind as I wrote.

Kate:  Sela Ward

Danny:  Aiden Quinn

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

Good Girl Bad Boy – Florida Georgia Line

Maggie:  There’s a certain quality of decisiveness and determination that flows all through the song. I think Kate & Danny recognize that focus in one another.

"All I Want is You - U2"

Rad-Reader:  Where do you like to go to get peace and quiet for yourself?

Maggie:  The bathtub. I love to read in the tub. It’s also where I do my best brainstorming. 

Rad-Reader:  What is your idea of a fun weekend?

Maggie:  I work a day job, so I am employed full-time and write full-time. My downtime is generally very mellow. Mainly hanging with my hubby and napping with my dog.

Rad-Reader:  Is Basketball one of your favorite sports?

Maggie:  Actually, I prefer to watch football. Danny and I may share opinions on intentional fouls and the last two minutes of any basketball game. 

Rad-Reader:  Did you ever play sports?

Maggie:  I played volleyball and basketball through seventh grade. Unfortunately, I am vertically challenged. I am an excellent armchair quarterback, and my color commentary is rather…colorful.

Rad-Reader:  What is your next project and when is it coming out?

Maggie:  The sequel to LOVE GAME is called PLAY FOR KEEPS and it just released April 3rd. It’s Ty and Millie’s story. At the moment, I am revising Avery’s story in hopes of publishing it later this year. I also have another series in progress called Play Dates. Books 1 & 2 are available now (PLAY DATES and EASY BAKE LOVIN’) and book #3, A RING FOR ROSIE, will release August 7, 2018. I’m also working on re-releasing some backlist titles that have reverted to me.

Rad-Reader:  Where can our readers buy your books?

Maggie:  Everywhere! My books are available in digital format (some in trade paperback) at all the major retailers. LOVE GAME and PLAY FOR KEEPS are available in mass market paperback at Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, and Amazon, of course. The Love Games series is also available in audio MP3 download.

Rad-Reader:  Where can our reader find you on the Web?

Maggie:  http://maggie-wells.com, Twitter: @MaggieWells1, Facebook: AuthorMaggieWells or join my reader group, The Margaritas! The latest and greatest news goes out in my newsletter. I promise to deliver all the steam with absolutely no spam!

Thank you so much for hosting me. I’ve had a blast answering your questions and talking sports with you!


Thank you for taking time out of your day to answer all of these questions.  Being a sports person I was able to read this book in one day.  I enjoyed this story a lot.  
You are now too what my wife calls a 1 Rad-Reader Misfit and we welcome you to come back and use an author's past where we take your stuff in to run for you promo style.  
Thanks again,
Pat & Char

P.S.  Sorry we are putting this on early but our youngest daughter is playing in the powder puff game at her high school. She is a junior and they are playing the seniors.  Go Juniors!  So, can't be home to get this on.  Thanks, guys for being so loyal.


  1. Julie Evelyn JoyceApril 13, 2018 at 7:10 PM

    What a fantastic interview! I LOVED Love Game and it's so cool to learn more about the author's thought process and the magic that happens behind the scenes.

  2. Julie Evelyn Joyce
    Thank you for your kind words. We are so glad to hear that you enjoyed the interview. We like to ask the questions that we actually just down as we are reading, at least that is the way I do my questions. For my hubby, who did this interview he does it after the fact and takes a totally different approach. But we both come to the same conclusion. We want to be asking the questions that will help our reader get the best that they can out of the story but without giving too much away. Yet, also giving you a chance to meet our author too. Please continue to stop back to see who else we have coming back to chat with us.


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