Welcome to the blog tour for Suckerpunch, the first book in a new paranormal sports romance series where vampires and other creatures secretly play hockey in the NHL… and fall in love, of course!
I don’t talk about myself much online, but a book like Suckerpunch is strangely personal in a lot of ways. Hockey is one of my passions, so writing about the sport I love means pouring a little bit of myself into the characters and the story.
So here are answers to a few questions about me, my writing, and more!
How did you come up with the idea for Suckerpunch?
Suckerpunch started in May 2018 as a story about a goalie who was so strange that none of his teammates could figure out if he was a vampire or not. As Alex Fanning, one of the main characters in SP says to himself: “He fit the stereotypes to a T otherwise—too pale, nocturnal, and too fond of red meat. But, hey, that describes almost every other hockey player I know too.”
The book evolved from there, though, and became a story about a guy who just wants to play the sport he loves, even though his non-human heritage could make that impossible. Also, I love writing slow burn romances and rivals-to-lovers relationships, so this was a great setting to do that!
Where is your favorite place to write?
It depends on the scene, to be honest! If I’m writing something dialogue-heavy, I like to be at home in a quiet space so I can ‘hear’ the characters’ voices and talk out some of the back-and-forth if needed (without getting weird looks). But for action-heavy scenes I like to put on music or white noise and get to writing in Starbucks.
The bonus with being in a coffee shop is I can reward myself with a pastry when I hit my target word count for the day!!
What’s your favorite hockey team?
Look, don’t judge me. I follow several teams, because I’m easy like that. The Dallas Stars are the true loves of my life, but as a Pittsburgh resident I also follow the Penguins pretty closely. But I adore the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Buffalo Sabres, and am distantly fond of like four other teams. I JUST LIKE WATCHING REALLY GOOD HOCKEY, OKAY?
(You’re judging me, I can tell.)
Last book you read?
The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter. It’s a science fiction novel about a device that allows people to “step” sideways into parallel, untouched Earths.
I also recently re-read His Royal Secret and His Royal Favorite by Lilah Pace, which are a duology about a news reporter who falls in love with the Crown Prince of England and it’s super romance and sexy and delightful.
How much research do you do for each book?
It depends, honestly. For World Turned Upside Down, my novella set during a winter in Antarctica, I didn’t need to research a lot because I actually lived the experience. I pulled up my own pictures and diary entries to help remind me of some details, but my memory of those wonderful years at McMurdo Station were enough to help me write that story.
For Suckerpunch and the second book in the Hockey Gods & Monsters series, a lot more research was required. I know hockey as a hockey fan… but as a player, as someone who works for a team? Not so much. I watched a lot of YouTube interviews and documentaries, and read articles about locker room interactions and how players survive an 82 game, 6 month season.
I don’t think you can write a sports romance unless you really know that sport inside and out. Maybe you can fool a casual reader, but it feels disingenuous to me if you don’t put that effort in and make sure you really know what you’re writing about!
What’s coming up next from Elyse Springer?
I have a secret project in the works that’s super fun, but I’m not telling you anything about it! I’m also working on the second book in the Hockey Gods & Monsters series. It’s not a sequel, but it does follow one of my favorite background characters from Suckerpunch.
I want to write other genres, so hopefully you’ll see some new things coming soon.