Game On: A Romantic Comedy That Scores by Barbara Oliverio was published on May 23rd, 2017 by Createspace and is a romantic comedy. Synopsis: Stunning, violet-eyed Maisie Valenti grew up in the rough-and- tumble world of sports with a football coach father and six athletic brothers. Her dream job has always been to be a national sports reporter and she is slowly working her way up the ladder to be in a major market. On her way, she shares the screen with popular sports celebrities who have dazzling smiles, but it’s Aleksander Markovich behind the camera who has always remained her solid friend – so much that he is firmly stuck in the friend zone.
Maisie finally gets her big chance to move to the nation’s biggest market and gain the approval of a national sports heartthrob- if only she’ll make a professional compromise. Should Maisie do whatever it takes to get her dream job? And what would it take for Aleksander to step in front of the camera and finally come into focus for her? Maisie’s determination to stay true to her values, as well as her ability to learn from her mistakes make this a heartwarming tale. The story is peopled with characters of all ages that are carefully plotted and stay true to themselves. Comedy rules the day with wit and charm, and sweet romance is truly the name of the game.
About the author: Growing up as the daughter of Italian immigrants in North Central West Virginia, I learned to appreciate hard work, the Faith of my ancestors, and the healing power of a plate of pasta at an early age. Given a natural love for learning and a passion for the written word, it was only natural that at some point I become a full-time writer.
I followed a winding path to reach this conclusion, however, spending my early career collecting traditional bullet points on my resume by being a teacher and developing computer science curriculum when computers were not the miniature accessories we all have today. Switching into the business world, I moved up the ladder in the high tech marketing world, always looking for the challenge in traditional marketing, product and project management.
It wasn’t until a corporate merger coupled with a wholesale layoff that I took the leap of faith and started the book that had been rattling around in my head for a couple of years. While completing it and in the midst of much prayer, I took project work doing free-lance writing and editing, and suddenly realized that all my life experiences neatly had led me to exactly where I need to be. Eureka! Now when people say “what do you do?” I am overjoyed to say: “I’m a writer – no, I’m a published author”. Better yet, I can answer the follow-up question with conviction: “Do you like it?” — “No. I LOVE it. I wouldn’t do anything else.” Goodreads – Amazon
Interview with Barbara Oliverio
1. What did you edit out of this book?
Oddly enough, other than minor tweaks, everything that I planned to put into this book made it into the final manuscript. The story stands as I imagined it and I am happy that it does. There are just a few places where I added some context to flesh out the narrative.
2. Have you read anything that made you think differently about fiction?
I have always defended the importance of reading fiction to those who feel that non-fiction is the only “important” writing, but don’t think I could have articulated as well until I read the article “Another Reason to Curl Up With a Good Book” by Mike St. Thomas. One profound quote of his that I feel stands out is “Narrative releases us from the burden of being the architects of our own significance.”
3. How do you select the names of your characters?
I wish I could tell you that I have a magical system, but for each of my books it has been a slightly different process. The main character in my first novel (Love on the Back Burner) was called Alexandria because that is the name that my husband and I would have chosen for a daughter if we could have been blessed with one. In the next book (Love on the Lido Deck), Keira was a character from the first novel, so her name was already set. While planning my next novel (Passports and Plum Blossoms), I saw the name Annelise in the credits of a movie I was watching and just knew that my main character would be called Annelise. Then for Game On, I needed a spunky name, and saw it in a list of baby names from the Roaring 20s and was sold. In each case, once the main character was named, the others came easily around her. I keep a list of names that I like in my everpresent notebook and mine that list, and I also pore over lists of baby names.
4. If you didn’t write, what would you do for work?
Hmm. That’s an interesting question because everything I do is related to my brand as an author: I write novels, magazine pieces, and web content. On the side I’m also a professional book reviewer, I edit, coach writers, and develop packages for job seekers (resumes and cover letters). I also teach about writing. So, writing is pretty much entrenched in my DNA!
5. Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?
I do read my reviews and am happy with good ones, of course. I love when people “get” what I’m trying to present in my writing. As for the bad ones – does anyone ever like them? The best advice I ever got when I published my first novel was that sooner or later someone would tell my “baby” was ugly. I remember that, and think of that if I read someone writes something negative, but I keep in mind that my “baby” is beautiful in my eyes and in the eyes of so many other people!
6. What is your favorite childhood book?
Without a doubt, my favorite book from childhood was Heidi. It was the first “big girl” book I ever owned, and I read it over and over.
7. Does your family support your career as a writer?
My husband was the person who encouraged me to take the leap and write my first novel. He is my biggest fan and believes in every project I undertake – all my novels, all my speaking projects, and any project I undertake that is related to my brand as an author. My big brother is probably my second biggest supporter after my husband, but we share the kind of history and love that only siblings can.
Others in my family are supportive as well, and I thank my husband’s grandmother for reserving and purchasing the first book out of every carton when I publish a new book.
My thoughts: Game On is a fast-paced romantic comedy that is ideal for anyone who loves sports. Oliverio delivers a remarkable read that is simply too intriguing to put down. A lovely story full of life choices, romance, family, hope and friendship. Follow along as Maisie faces many ups and downs both in her career and her love life. Can she deal with all the drama that is sure to come when she follows her dream of becoming a sportscaster in a male-dominated world? Overall, I highly recommend this read to anyone who is looking for a fun-filled romantic read. ** I received a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.**