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Michigan Vs. The Boys by Carrie S. Allen: Author Interview

I might not play sports, but I’m a huge fan of YA sports books. Especially when they feature girls being absolutely amazing athletes. Michigan Vs The Boys covers all those bases and more. The publisher was kind enough to send me an ARC (still kind of freaking out) and after reading it, I’m even more pumped to have the author herself on my blog for an interview!

Before the interview commences, here’s more information about this fantastic book!

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Cover designer: Emma Dolan

Michigan Manning lives for hockey, and this is her year to shine. That is, until she gets some crushing news: budget cuts will keep the girls’ hockey team off the ice this year. If she wants colleges to notice her, Michigan has to find a way to play. Luckily, there’s still one team left in town … The boys’ team isn’t exactly welcoming, but Michigan’s prepared to prove herself. She plays some of the best hockey of her life, in fact, all while putting up with changing in the broom closet, constant trash talk and “harmless” pranks that always seem to target her. But once hazing crosses the line into assault, Michigan must weigh the consequences of speaking up – even if it means putting her future on the line.

 

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When writing the character of Michigan, what was one aspect that you felt
was vital to include to make her character as strong as possible?

 

Ooh, good question. Michigan‘s independence was vital to her strength. If she showed weakness, or if anyone suspected that she couldn’t do this on her own, it was all over. This was both internal and external; Michigan couldn’t afford to feel weak or incapable either. It was so hard to send her into these situations by herself! But also necessary. I think that many women feel that whatever our struggle is, we have to prove that we can handle it alone. Sometimes this makes us stronger. Sometimes it leads us into trouble, as in Michigan‘s case.

MICHIGAN VSTHE BOYS deals with heavy, important topics. What was it like
writing about those?

It was brutal. I didn’t start out with the intention of writing these heavy topics, but much like real life, the story escalated until all of a sudden we were there. It’s scary how easy that can happen. There’s a specific scene in the book where I put my girl through hell… and I went through every step of it with her. It was very much a point-of-no-return and it changed both of us. Suddenly, I knew WHY I was writing this story, it had a deeper purpose.

Being a debut can be a terrifying experience. What are some things that
have helped you handle putting your book into the world?

Luckily, publishing is a team sport! I have a superhero agent who patiently answers all my “rookie” questions, and my editor is a pro who truly cares about Michigan‘s story. My daughters have the best perspective on my publishing journey: Can they visit my book at the library? Why are there no unicorns in my book? Why is it OK for me to write in books but they get in trouble for it? They’re a fantastic source of inspiration and levity. Mostly, I’m excited for the world to meet Michigan! Girls need sports books and I’m grateful for the opportunity to shine a spotlight on women in sports.

What is your favorite thing about this book and why?

The best part about hockey is the team. And that extends to Michigan‘s story as well. It’s something she’s lost at the beginning of the book, and she tries to find again– and can’t. (Am I depressing you yet? The best part is what she’s lost??) But without spoiling the book, there are hints throughout of that team relationship she’s striving for, bits and pieces that she finds in different places. I think those are my favorite moments.

This book centers around hockey (which I think is awesome)! But, if this book had to center around a different sport, which one would you choose?

Hockey is definitely my favorite sport to write about! But second is… mogul skiing! Bet you didn’t expect that! I grew up in a ski town and I love skiing. Slopestyle snowboarding is another fave (although I cannot snowboard AT ALL.) I’ve written several manuscripts that feature skiing and snowboarding, so hopefully I’ll get to introduce readers to both sports eventually!

And here’s more about the fantastic author!

Carrie S. Allen

I grew up in the Colorado ski town of Breckenridge, which means I have excellent ice-scraping, snow-shoveling, woodstove-lighting skills. Like all Breck kids, I spent my free time on the ski slopes and frozen pond. And shoveling more snow. My undergrad degree is in Biology and my masters is in Sport Science, clearly setting me up for a career in fiction writing. I’ve held every position on a hockey bench: player, coach, referee, athletic trainer… yes, even Zamboni driver. I worked as a Certified Athletic Trainer, first at the high school level and then at my alma mater, Colorado College. Eventually, I semi-retired from sports medicine to become a fully-tired mom. I live in Colorado Springs with my husband, two kids, and two furry kids with tails. Hobbies include books, dogs, dessert, and anything outdoors on a gorgeous Colorado day. Combine all four and you’ll never get rid of me.

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Thank you so much again to Carrie for allowing me to interview her! MICHIGAN is such a fantastic book full of female fight. It comes out October 1st, and I highly recommend checking it out!

Thank you for reading!

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