Basketball and Babies Blog Tour: Author Interview

The Book

Game Plan
Game Plan
by Natalie Corbett Sampson
Published: 19 November 2013
Publisher: Fierce Ink Press

“Just because the play goes wrong, doesn’t mean you quit the game.

Ella Parker seems to have everything: great friends, an awesome family and a star position on her high school basketball team. The only thing missing from her life is a boyfriend. That changes once she catches the eye of Sam Cleveland. With Sam by her side Ella has it all. When a drunken night results in an unwanted pregnancy, her perfect life is turned upside down and she’s faced with an impossible decision. 

Katherine Frayne has always wanted to be a mother. But with the last results of her in vitro fertilization pointing to no chance of a baby, her hopes are dashed. Then her husband Danny suggests they adopt. At first Kat is resistant, but she soon warms to the idea.

Ella and Katherine must navigate their lives amidst tough decisions, the consequences of which not only affect them but those they love the most.”

– Synopsis

The Interview

1.      What inspired you to write Game Plan and why did you choose to show both perspectives of Ella, who is giving up her baby, and Katherine, who is adopting a child?

Adopting my own daughter was an inspiration for this story – a lot of Katherine’s emotions during the process were mine, but I’ve always wondered how my daughter’s birth mother felt (and still feels). It’s most likely I’ll never know, but Ella’s story is an attempt to understand. Our adoption story is very different in the details – I have three home grown kids, my daughter came to us from China – but the emotions were the most important part for me.

2.      Which character in the novel did you find yourself relating to most and why?

I developed both Ella and Katherine from my own experiences – Ella from how I remember high school and Katherine is more like how I am now. I guess that means I relate more to Katherine, now but both could evoke strong memories and feelings when I was writing them.

3.      Is there a particular message you would like to put across to readers through this book?

Hmmm, that’s a tough question.  I think the characters learn to take the chance of making the right decision for herself, which can be very difficult but is so important. I hope readers are made to think about what real love looks like, from lots of different perspectives.

4.      Through the writing process of Game Plan, did you have a playlist, Pinterest board or other little things to keep you motivated and inspired?

No playlist! I need quiet! This story came very quickly.  It was in my head in its entirety and didn’t change a huge amount from conception to publication. I think its presence in my head was most motivating, I was very driven to get it down. I would write any time I had a free hour – after the kids went to bed, between clients at my clinic, during swimming lessons, any time. It was a force to be reckoned with.

5.      Which celebrities do you think could best portray the characters? (You can include specific pictures if you want to!)

Oh I love this game! Ummm… Emma Watson would be an awesome Ella, but she might be too pretty – she’d have to be played down to look ‘ordinary’. Doesn’t everyone want Sandra Bullock to play the leading role? She’d make a good Katherine if they dyed and curled her hair. Rachel McAdams would be perfect and paired with Ryan Gosling as Danny would be excellent. Of course the other option would be hiring the entire cast from Glee – we could even ask for it to be a musical. When Danny and Katherine tell their parents I’d have to have Robin Williams and Martin Sheen in there, that’s a deal breaker.

6.      Last but not least, what advice/tips would you like to give aspiring authors?

Keep writing. Even when it doesn’t ‘flow’ or come easily, write. It’s so much easier to edit words that are crappy but there than to face a blank page. Write something that feels right to you, don’t strive to be different or gimmicky or trendy. If you’re not writing what you know and feel it won’t feel authentic.

Tour Stops

November 18: CanLit for LittleCanadians
November 19: Escape Through the Pages
November 21: whY.A.Not Reviews
November 22: Jess’s Book Blog
November 23: Beauty and the Bookshelf
November 26: The Real Bookshelves of Room 918
November 26: Books for Company
November 27: Rally the Readers
November 27: Nayu’s Reading Corner
November 28: The Paperback Princess
November 28: Reader Girls
November 29: Liberty Falls Down
November 29: A Page of Heaven


I have yet to read Game Plan due to my hectic schedule recently but I’m definitely getting to it soon! It sounds like a novel apart from my usual YA reads and I’ve never really thought about the perspectives of the roles these characters played. After this interview with Natalie Corbett Sampson, my interest was also most definitely piqued!



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