Dangerous Play by Emma Kress
1- What led you to decide to use field hockey in your book?
I played field hockey once upon a time so that was a natural choice. Additionally, field hockey is one of the few remaining sports where a teen can start it late in life and still have a shot on the team, which allows for a more diverse cast.
2- Would you please, in 160 characters or less, give a #WriteTip ?
Love to write? Then write. There’s a lot of hard in the world. The answer isn’t to harden your heart, bc then you won’t be vulnerable on the page. The answer is to enjoy the process. Lean into joy.
3- What most motivates you to read a new book?
I love to read all sorts of books in all sorts of genres and for all sorts of audiences. I love likable and flawed characters, strong voices, and good twists.
4- Zoe and the girls have to take safety matters into their own hands. In your opinion, what are some reasons that law enforcement (and security and such) is so bad at preventing sexual assault, and is there a positive way to prevent such crimes, or at least lower the frequency they occur?
This is a difficult question requiring a complex answer bigger than a tweet. But I do think it has to do with the entrenched assumptions we make societally that are a part of rape culture. That’s why I think the solution is to embrace consent culture.
5- Would you share a picture with us of your book on a field?
6- What additional challenges did the pandemic create in the publication of your book?
I did the bulk of my revisions and edits during the pandemic. It was a deeply challenging and uncertain time packed with losses, small and big, all smashed up one after the other. So focusing and being productive was tough. But the toughest part of course is that everyone was experiencing the same trauma and hardship. It wasn’t just one person having a hard day, who could then be uplifted by the team. The whole team had a hard year. But, just like the girls in DANGEROUS PLAY, we powered through.
7- What's your Twitter handle, and do you have two or three writer friends on there to shout-out to for #WriterWednesday ?
@emma_kress, @elisazied, @amberlough, @LakitaWrites
8- Do you have a favorite #bookstagram image or account/ profile?
@diamondxgirl has been so supportive of Dangerous Play right from the cover announcement. And I love her pretty feed packed with bookish joy.
9- Are you a Plotter, Pantser, or Plantser, and how did you adopt that style?
For a long time—including for my first draft of Dangerous Play—I was a pantser. Now, I’m a diehard plotter. But my version of plotting comes after extensive sidewriting about the characters to grasp their desires, motivations, and backstories. Which maybe is plantser?
10- What does your basic writing schedule look like, and how often do you write?
With two kids and two adults working and schooling from home this last year a half, my schedule fell out the window. In general, as a mom, I write when I can. That’s my big advice to beginning writers: Don’t get too precious about routines and time. Have 10 minutes? Sweet! Write something. A lot of little somethings can add up to a book.
11- What is your favorite book by someone else, what's the author's Twitter handle, and what do you love most about that book? #FridayReads book recommendation time!
Author name: Holly Green @writerhollyg
Title: In The Same Boat
Love because: It’s a fantastic feminist adventure/romance featuring a sporty girl hero. It’s perfect.
12- What emotions do you hope your book will evoke for the reader?
I hope #DangerousPlay will inspire hope and empower readers to feel seen, heard, and valued.
13- What kind of impact do you hope your book will have?
I would love it if #DangerousPlay helped people who feel powerless imagine new ways to reclaim their voices and their power. I think my book can act as a blueprint for hopeful thinking.
14- What is your favorite creative non-writing activity to do?
I’m very stretched right now (pandemic times) so there isn’t really time to engage in the things I used to do. But I do try to be creative in my everyday life—in the way I set the table, the way I take a walk, the way I arrange my desk.
15- In what ways are the main characters in your book diverse? diversebooks.org #WeNeedDiverseBooks
I intentionally created a diverse field hockey team of girls. The team has girls of color, queer girls, and girls from varied socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds. I was mindful about creating a book that celebrates intersectional feminism. This is why I was so pleased to see this in the PW review: “Debut author Kress nimbly alternates between heart-pounding field hockey scenes and social commentary, acknowledging, unlike many books about rape culture, that classism and racism intersect with and compound misogyny.”
16- What method do you feel is the best way to get book reviews?
Um…I’m supposed to get book reviews? I guess I just do my best to get the word out about Dangerous Play and hope that if people like the book, they’re kind enough to post about it. But my job isn’t to solicit reviews. My job is to keep writing.
17- What was the deciding factor in your publication route?
I chose the traditional publishing route. My goal wasn’t just to publish a book, it was to level up as a writer. I wanted to connect with an editor and an agent so that I could learn from them—not just for this book but for future books. So, for me, the traditional route was the best path forward.
18- What's the biggest writing goal you hope to accomplish in your lifetime?
I think as a society we need to do a better job with being in the present moment, with feeling enough right now. I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was 10. The biggest goal I ever had was to hold a book that I’d written in my hands. Here I am, doing exactly that. It’s a wild and beautiful thing. I’m just going to sit with that joy and gratitude for now.
19- Would you please ask our audience a question to answer in the comments?
Here’s a graphic of what’s inside Dangerous Play. What piece most appeals to you as a reader?
20- Anything else you would care to share about your book and yourself?
find me online: Website: http://emmakress.com
Dangerous Play by Emma Kress