Ophelia London is visiting the virtual offices today to celebrate the release of her first book, Playing at Love. Please give her a warm welcome!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in 140 characters or less.
[Ophelia London] Chick book writer, lover of cupcakes, Jennifer Aniston wannabe, lazy runner, not-so-secret car karaoke singer. I can out-nap the best of em.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you tell us a little about Playing at Love?
[Ophelia London] It’s a story about a high school choir teacher and the new football coach. A sudden budget cut sets them against each other, but they can’t help falling in love.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How did you come up with the concept and the characters for the story?
[Ophelia London] I wanted to write about a teacher and a coach and pit them against each other. I used to be in the choir, and football coaches are the ultimate sexy alpha, of course. Once I figured that out, it was an easy place to start.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words best describe Tess?
[Ophelia London] Devoted, driven, cautiously-optimistic.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If Jack had a theme song, what would it be?
[Ophelia London] I’d like to think that in the movie version, he’ll make his big, slow motion entrance to Maroon 5’s “Harder to Breathe.” He’s just sexy that way.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Name one thing Tess won’t leave the house without.
[Ophelia London] Pepper spray! For those of you who have read the book, you know why…
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things will you never find in Jack’s bedroom?
1) Pajamas (I offer that with no comment)
2) a TV (He prefers to make his own entertainment in the bedroom)
3) an iPod (He would always want to be listening if his daughter needs him in the middle of the night)
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What are your greatest creative influences?
[Ophelia London] I pull inspiration from my real life. Everything from past relationships (never current ones—that gets me in trouble!) to things that happen to me on a daily basis. I also love hearing about my friends’ experiences. If they let me, I steal from them, too!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three things do you need in order to write?
[Ophelia London] I’ve tried to write long-hand, just for a break, but I’m way too slow or my brain goes way too fast. So, my laptop is essential. Diet Cokes, unfortunately, are a must. And I like my email inbox to be clean. I can concentrate better that way.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What is the last book that you read that knocked your socks off?
[Ophelia London] Oh, my. I’ve read some really great books lately. In romance, Diana Albert’s “Try Me” was a sexy little read that I absolutely devoured. I love YA, too. Stephanie Perkins “Anna and the French Kiss” and its spin-offs are divine. I wish she would write ten more exactly like them. And I just started the “Myron Bolitar” series by Harlan Coben. I’m on book four and loving it. They’re detective mysteries—which isn’t really my thing—but the writing is so fabulous that I never want to stop!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to pick one book that turned you on to reading, which would it be?
[Ophelia London] “Pride and Prejudice,” when I was 19. I’ve been a goner ever since.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?
[Ophelia London] I’ve been trying to cook more lately. I suck at it, but I’m learning. My girlfriends and I like to play cards at Starbucks, and I’m always up for going to one of our art house movie theaters to see whatever is playing. We also have an Irish pub that has sing-alongs every couple of weeks. Those are so much fun.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] How can readers connect with you?
[Ophelia London] I’m all over the internet, and I love hearing from readers!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!
You can order Playing at Love from your favorite bookseller or by clicking the link below.
More about the book:
Show choir teacher Tess Johansson loves three things: music, her job, and sharing that passion with her students. But when a school budget crisis forces funding to be pulled from either the sports or music programs, she finds herself going head to head with Jack, the gorgeous new football coach who broke her heart fifteen years ago.
Jack Marshall wants two things: to be closer to his young daughter and to make his mark as a football coach. Taking the new job, with the promise that he’d have time to build a solid team, gave him both. But now he must win the season with a group of boys who aren’t anywhere near ready or he’ll lose everything he’s worked so hard for. Being pitted against Tess, the summer love he never forgot, is like being fourth and long with only seconds on the clock.
On opposing sides of a fierce battle and with everything at stake, Tess and Jack find themselves torn between doing what it takes to win and doing what it takes to be together.