Thanks for inviting me along to bring my new book from Totally Bound, Scoring With Sir, with me. It’s really exciting to be out in public (as am I!)
I thought I’d make a bold confession here. Scoring With Sir is a book with a sports star hero about a female sports super fan. All good. The only problem being…um…I don’t watch sport. Or like it. None of it. Nothing. Not if I can help it.
Golf, can’t stand it. Not even tennis and I’m Scottish and watching Andy Murray is a national passion (um, not for me thanks! I’d rather eat the Wimbledon strawberries and watch a gardening or cooking show thanks for asking). Football, I really can’t stand it. Not even on the radio if I’m in earshot. So TV or live football? Let’s not even go there.
So what makes me think I can write with any conviction about a famed football star hero? And the mad fan love of his life. Am I mad?
Well, in short no. I’m fortunate to have a best friend who is a football maniac. Most specifically an Arsenal supporting football maniac friend who works in sports TV. And a husband who’s a massive Tottenham supporter. Yes I love to mix my tribe up for max conflict. Maybe it’s the writer in me? They love each other really. So I have experience of being around football fans and I guess I have admiration for people who are that passionate about something I can’t fathom for toffee.
I also know that it runs really deep for such diehard fans. In Scoring With Sir Izzy and Will are passionately opposed from the off. And I really liked the Arsenal v Tottenham standoff element, it makes for great sparks.
And conflict is what a great story is all about surely?
Additionally even though I’m not into the sport I can still appreciate the finer things about a football hero. The athleticism. The legs. The shower room banter. The legs. Good looks and crowd-pleaser charms and charisma. And of course the muscular legs!
Will Darby is my favorite football ‘gorgeous icons’ all rolled into one. But most specifically he’s a hot mix of Aidan Turner (from Poldark fame) and David Ginola the one time Tottenham striker. What’s not to love about that combo? If you could buy it online I’d break the internet ordering, frankly.
So the point of this blog post is to say, don’t let the football put you off Scoring With Sir. It’s a backdrop. An effective one because the tension zings from the off. And they’re on opposing sides which only ups the chemistry ante. But ultimately it’s just a love story that lets the characters push each other’s buttons to the max. Football’s just a flavoring so to speak.
Lastly don’t ever let the phrase ‘write what you know’ put you at a disadvantage or scare you away from something you’re not too sure about. You don’t always have to love or know all about your topic. As long as you have a network to keep you right on the facts you can get away with a bit of artistic license. My tribe helped me with all the football finer details and I trust them to know their stuff.
And finally, please don’t ever talk to me about football scores or my views on the ‘beautiful game’. I may have written a book about it but it was the hot looks and kiss promise that did it for me – not the kicking balls into goals and shoving your shirt over your head while screaming and running around a pitch.
I hope Scoring With Sir might make you smile and giggle just a bit.
Here’s a short except:
Will has his hand braced on the side of the car boot—I notice long fingers, a brief sensual note my brain bites onto like a rabid vampire. His lemony body wash isn’t half bad either.
He’s staring at my card wallet now. My credit card holder is Arsenal F C embellished—a gift from last birthday. Then my Filofax—it’s covered in player pic stickers. They’re my hot squad heroes of legend; Thierry Henry, Freddie Lundberg and Robert Pires.
Will gently puts his hand to the back of his head. “You need major detox. Ever consider a makeover at the taste academy?”
I put one hand on hip—provocative and petulant in response. “I’m considered a gourmand with a Fellowship.”
My keys appear in the midst of the mess from my bag. They are on their Arsenal cannon key ring. Will picks them up using the end of a pen he’s taken from his pocket. As if he’s found a missing finger in the woods and he’s retrieving it with a stick.
“There you are. Bad keys. You made mummy worried,” I say with droll sarcastic voice fully employed.
Will’s answer weighs heavy for his soft tone. “You need a bag organizer. Or a change of teams.”
I bite my lip. “Only an ex-Tottenham player could specialize in organizing handbags.”
Will straightens to his full six and almost half feet. Wow, he’s big. His wave of offended testosterone nearly causes my wipeout. He pulls out a pair of sports wraparound sunspecs and dons them.
“Fighting talk.” He’s close—his voice a threat-coated challenge.
“You set your stall out with the top league, you play hard rules,” I bluster but inside my heart is revving and my nerves are jiving under his watchful scrutiny.
Will’s bristling so much he could have his own broom factory. “I don’t know about handbags. But you’ve backed the losing side.”
“Nice specs, Mr. Shady. But you’re going home in an Arsenal ambulance.” It’s a famous line—sometimes the old chants are the best.
Will picks up my Arsenal baseball cap. Then my Arsenal sunglasses. The miniature picture of Tony Adams is, I believe, my coup de grâce. He shoves them into my bag as I’m piling the other paraphernalia back. Thank God I hadn’t got my Gunners spare knickers there but I used them recently as a white board duster. I turn and flip my hair—what else would Beyoncé do? The hair thing and a pivot always win.
“You’re something, Izzy the English teacher.” Will raises the shades and watches me. He inspects the name on my staff pass that he’s pinched and kept in his hand without me noticing.
“Give that back.”
“It’s been illuminating.” He returns it.
My inner rampaging football hooligan is still AWOL. “The pleasure’s yours.”
I watch him ascend into his pimp wagon and start the engine. He rolls down his window and starts a loud bass anthem. I walk to my rusty but trusty car and click the key fob. I’ve scored a small Arsenal goal for womankind by proving myself immune.
But Will purposefully curb crawls past with an inch to spare. His tone changes to turbo charged. “Consider this a warning. In future, you’ll call me Sir. Unless you pull your Arsenal socks up.”
His tiger smile flashes as he passes.
He got the last word. But next time, vengeance will be mine.
After winning a lovely boxed pen for writing a poem about the beach in a school competition aged eight, Judy Jarvie decided the writing game promised untold exciting treasures. It took her a while to turn that poem into any full length work that anybody would want to read. In the meantime she worked in Press and PR in London until she moved back to Scotland and realised she’d been spurning her burning love of writing love stories with a fair splash of humor thrown into the mix. So she gave in to the call and has kept going ever since. Now the writing keeps her sane and happy and dreaming up new heroes on a regular basis. She lives in a village in Scotland with her husband, two very special daughters and a crazy black cat who all keep her out of trouble and cause a fair bit in return.