I’m not sure where to even begin with Jim. Whenever I’m on some sort of self-deprecating or woe is me roll, he “puts his dad hat on” and straightens me out. Mind you, we’re pretty much the same age, but it works every time. He’s the nicest person in the world and a great writer to boot. I’ve read a couple of his books (see my review) – you should do yourself a favor and pick one up. His newest, On The Rebound, will be out tomorrow.
Author name: Jim Cangany
Book title: On The Rebound
Tell us a little about yourself and your background: My wife, Nancy, and I will be celebrating our 25th anniversary this May. We have two teen aged sons, Seamus and Aidan, and cat, Maria, who is the princess of the house. After years of dabbling in writing, I got serious in 2011 and had my first book published in 2013.
Tell us a little about your novel: On The Rebound is a sweet, sports romance set on the campus of fictional Irving University. It’s a story about second chances and features a women’s college basketball team. Here’s a teaser for you:
After he’s caught in a grade fixing scandal, men’s college basketball coach Greg Miller is thrown a lifeline when an old friend offers him a job with the small-school Irving University women’s team.
Academic Advisor Ciara Monaghan knows first-hand the heartbreak and havoc a cheating man can wreak. She wants nothing more than to protect the University’s reputation by seeing to it that Greg’s stay at Irving is short.
The last thing either of them wants is the attraction they can’t deny. Can a struggling member of the basketball team bring them together to see how wonderful a second chance at life, and love, can be?
Have you written anything else (including novels, short stories, novellas, etc.): I’m the author of The North Star Series (Fallen Star, Lucky Star, and Wish Upon a Star), a sweet contemporary trilogy that follows the adventures of Annie Wilson and E.J. McCarty.
On The Rebound is the first installment in the three-book Irving University Series. Take Two and Time Out are the next two books in the series.
I’ve also written a holiday-themed short story called The Christmas Angel.
Q & A
What romance books would you recommend to readers who will love your book: As a sweet, contemporary romance, I think fans of Kristan Higgins and Karen Rock, especially Karen’s A League of Her Own, would love On The Rebound.
How did you decide on the setting for your book: I’m a fan of women’s college basketball and don’t think it gets the publicity it deserves, so I wanted to write a story that gave women’s college hoops it’s due.
Do you have any writing rituals: I have a full-time day job, so I try to write at least 500 words per day. It kind of slow, but the progress is steady.
If you were writing a book about yourself, what would the title be: Well, given that my wife’s a breast cancer survivor, my older son attempted to take his life and was diagnosed with depression and anxiety in 2013, and I’ve battled depression for years, probably something like Hold on Tight because life is never boring in the Cangany household.
What character was the most difficult to write and why: Ciara was probably the toughest to write. I wanted her to be no-nonsense, but she initially she came across as quite bitchy, so I had to “soften her up.”
What’s next for you: Take Two and Time Out will be out later this year. I’m just starting a sci-fi novel, which is a major departure from my contemporary romance. I grew up a sci-fi fan, so it should be fun.
Do you have any pointers or advice for aspiring writers: Be yourself. Don’t be afraid to write the stories in your head, those stories you want to write. As I was told once, the stories you love are the ones that sparkle.
Favorite song: “One” by U2. An incredible song that becomes more relevant every day.
Favorite movie/tv show: Movie- Field of Dreams; TV show – Star Trek, The Next Generation
Chosen superpower: Superspeed
Toilet paper: over or under: Over
Real book or tablet: Both
Star Trek or Star Wars: Trek
Greg turned to Ciara. She was practically glowing with pride and exhilaration. It was only fair since these were her girls, too.
Which gave him an idea.
“Thanks. Do you have a minute? I need to ask you something about tomorrow’s game.”
Marie looked at her watch. “Iron Man and I will give you five minutes. If you’re not back by then, the party train leaves the station without you.”
Ciara gave a quick nod and followed him into the basketball office. Rather than settling into one of the chairs, she leaned against a desk.
“I know Marie’s not kidding about five minutes, so I’ll cut to the chase. Would you say a few words to the team before the game tomorrow night?”
“Me? I’m just an academic advisor.” Her brow had creased. “What could I possibly have to say?”
He didn’t have much more time. Every word needed to count. “You’re in a unique position. After what happened to you ten years ago, you understand better than anybody on this campus that this moment won’t last. The players have to seize it and embrace it, but most of all, enjoy it. Because it could all be taken away in the blink of an eye.
“This is a huge game for this school. A win tomorrow night will make history. But there’s more to life than wins and losses. What matters most is taking the time to treasure those special moments and the special people who make them happen, because if we’re not careful, both the moments and the people are gone before we know it.”
Ciara ran a hand through her hair. It was all Greg could do to keep himself from reaching out to run his fingers through it too. Her lips curved downward as she glanced around the room in what seemed to be a concerted effort to avoid making eye contact.
She finally looked at him. “What do you mean by what happened to me ten years ago?”
“I know what happened during the conference championship game your senior year.” He shrugged. “When Sharon told me I’d be working with you, I researched you. The recruiter in me, I guess. To have that happen to you must have been one bitter-as-vinegar pill to swallow. Since you never brought it up, I never did. Didn’t think it was my place. But now—”
“Is this speech thing your idea?”
“Yes.” That part was true. “Coach Leonard’s totally on board with it.” That part was a big fat lie, but he’d figure out a way to talk Sharon into it.
There was a knock on the door.
“I know you need to go. Think it over and let me know tomorrow. Please?”
“Fine. But let me ask this, why should I do this for you?”
“I’m not asking you to do this for me. I’m asking you to do this for them. And for yourself.”
Jim Cangany was forty pages into his first manuscript when he realized it was a romance. He went with it and has great joy writing sweet, contemporary love stories. A lover of things that go fast, when Jim’s not writing, you can probably find him checking into the latest from IndyCar or pro bike racing. He lives in Indianapolis with his saint of a wife Nancy, his sons Seamus and Aidan, and the princess of the house, kitty cat Maria.