Mark Anderson was the typical small town, football player - a quarterback, no less - and had the cheerleader girlfriend.
Yes, we've seen it a thousand times. We've seen it in Friday Night Lights and movies like Varisty Blues. We know the story of a young kid, mostly always a boy, is given fame, and a free pass because he knew how to toss a lemon shaped ball.
So why did I write a story about a high school quarter back? I did it because I lived in a small town for six years. I saw how interesting things could get on a game night. No, the town wasn't football crazy, but there was an energy there. I wanted, if only for a moment, to capture that. Only a few, yes even fewer, will know what it feels like to be treated like a God for four years.
Yes, to be treated that way can be bad for a person later, but it's that moment, where no one can see the reprecussions of bowing to a simple seventeen year old.
In Ruck's Landing, Mark Anderson has the usual small town dream of leaving the small town life with his girlfriend to be in a huge college and become a pro football player. Well, not only does this not happen, but he takes major, major combinations of bad misfortune.
This book was the first of my So Thrilled Collection, which may have been a mistake. Ruck's Nightmare is a thriller but the thrills truly don't happen to the end of the story - more or less, the last twenty pages of it. I enjoyed painting the picture of Mark's life. I was fascinated by his play on the field, the way his love for his girlfriend seemed to elevate his life to a euphoric level.
With all that said, Ruck's Nightmare is a book that slowly paints a picture, but not fast enough for those that are looking for a thrill. I have gotten nothing but good reviews back for the book, but I have been told on more than one occasion that the book started off slow, that they loved the football scenes but there were parts that could have been taken out.
I do not regret anything about Ruck's Nightmare. Like I stated, I enjoyed capturing the small town and the football craziness. I did learn that despite being an author and writing for you, you may have to gain an eye for when you need to trim down detail. I say this plenty of times not to FALL IN LOVE with your writing. Writers have to be adaptable and easy with change.
I would like to think that THE CHASE was a much better story in regards to it's pacing. I have gotten awesome reviews on that one, and I am very smitten with my character Fall Pryor.
I wouldn't be surprised at the impulse to give him another story, this time giving him a full novel to work with to really see him flourish.