Why did I write Play the Game and where did the idea come from?
It originally came from a short story called Interview with a Charity Founder, which you can read here. I wanted to explore this more, extend that story, and introduce the meeting of the two characters.
Strangely, I wrote this story without character names. I couldn’t think what to call them. It was only towards the end I realised what they should be.
I’m a big fan of Chicago Fire and particularly liked the romance between Kelly Severide and Stella Kidd. They are both good on the eye and entertaining to watch. Stella’ Kid’s real name is Miranda Rae Mayo, so I gave my character the Stella Rae. Ambrose, just came to me for Kelly and it also happens to be my uncle’s middle name. It has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?
I wrote this book in a completely different way and used a program called Scrivener. The one thing I like is that you can write several scenes and then change the order of them. So as I thought up new situations I wrote it out until I ended up with lots of different scenes to put in some kind of order and then join them up.
The main two topics for the story was Stella who, because of her circumstances, struggles with making ends meet. She has a mortgage to pay and hers is the only income. She also does charity work with the homeless.
Kelly is a footballer, a local boy made good. Only Stella does not follow football and doesn’t know who he is.
I’m trying not to give too much away but also to give you a hook, something that will make you curious at the same time.
I believe in people, I also believe that weak people, or those that believe they are weak and worthless, are actually very strong. This is Stella. Despite her difficult circumstances, she has a kind heart and always believes that good will come out of bad; that her father’s illness will improve and he will return to the dad he always was.
She supports and loves him, and will do everything to make life better for him.
I worked in a call centre for a time, it was a good job with good people. We worked in teams who bonded together with unsocialable hours. I could easily see how things could go the other way. I placed Stella in a call centre team and because she is quiet and introverted, it was easy for people to take advantage of her. On the team there are two loud girls who seemed to enjoy taking the mickey out of her.
I don’t like bullies and I loved seeing those two get their comeuppance. So it was an absolute pleasure to write those scenes.
Kelly feels something very special for Stella, he sees her for who she really is and when he learns the truth about her circumstances, he admires her even more. He sets out to build up again, make her believe in herself and that she is as good as everyone else. That’s their love story.
It was fun writing incidences where Stella takes a knock and Kelly is there to pick her up again. I wanted the story to be full of hope, promise, and self-belief, and in order to do that, I had to take the characters to some dark places.
Play the Game is one of my favourite books because it is different to my usual ones, and I like challenging myself. Please leave me a review from where you bought it, or even on my Facebook page. I really would love to hear what you think.