Growing up in a sports family, sports was life and life was sports. Sports was my first language, after English.
If my brothers and I weren't playing basketball, football or baseball, we were watching it. Time spent with my father was time spent listening to him explain the game of basketball.
It's no wonder my novels feature characters who are jocks. This exchange from my fourth novel, Walt Loves the Bearcat, shows how I was already mixing sports and writing in my formative years:
"I used to dream of writing stories when I was a kid, stories about great sports teams overcoming great odds to win the great games ... and the greatest game.”
“How do you play that?”
Being a boy Jock, I spent a a good deal of my early youth in gyms. Old gyms with creaky wooden floors and musty-smelling locker rooms. A very male environment for a very male-dominated family. As a kid, I enjoyed these places where men and boys went to play, sweat, shower and be men (and boys).
Only this boy, who would become a man, didn't shut off the EROTIC BUTTON in his mind. Unlike some of the other boys and men, this boy was destined to become Jock Crazy.