PLAY ON’s Six Month Anniversary: Thank You

Six months ago, my little bookish baby was released into the world. So now, in true Michelle form, it’s time to ramble, and it’s time to get all emotional.

(Spoiler: I originally vlogged this post. And then I couldn’t stop crying. So I decided that this was clearly meant for written words.)

I wrote PLAY ON about one year after I began treatment for my depression. The idea for the story had been brewing for a long time, and now, I was finally ready to write it. The draft was complete within a month. I signed with my agent and editor within six months of beginning that draft.

Needless to say, I was on Cloud 9.

But as much as I loved the original version of my little book, my editor saw it not only for what it was, but for what it could be. And together, we tore those pages apart. The new pages? That’s where the real story appeared.

And that’s where I learned so, so much about myself.

play on page

Through Austin, I learned that we don’t always need to chase moments—we need to live in this moment.

I learned about love and bravery through Brett and Jay, two guys who tried to completely steal the show.

And Marisa. That girl. She taught me that depression is not my defining factor. That yes, you can have depression, and yes, you can also live and love and burst with love for others.

The boys on that team…they taught me that family is what you make it. That family doesn’t end with blood. And that we should always, always have each other’s backs.

To everyone who has read PLAY ON, to everyone who has emailed or tweeted or reviewed…thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Depression does not define you. Your past does not define you. You define you. Your heart, and your spirit, and your soul: That’s who you are.

This year has been hard. It’s been really, really hard. But you guys? YOU have gotten me through it. And for that, I’ll be forever grateful.

We’re Going Back to Lewis Creek…

…with GAME ON!

GAME ON

Oh, you guys. I am so excited to share this book. SO excited.

GAME ON is a companion novel to PLAY ON, which means a few things:

1) We’re going back to Lewis Creek, y’all,

2) There’s more of the baseball that we know and love, and

3) There are lots of starry skies and Carolina nights. Basically, two of my favorite things.

We get to see the rise and fall of Eric Perry, the new starting pitcher of the Lewis Creek Bulldogs, along with his re-building. You’ll also get to meet Bri, the girl who completely swiped my heart and ran away with it. (Related: This book is dual POV, so you’ll get to hear from both of them!)

I’ve mentioned before that PLAY ON said a lot of things I’d always wanted to say, but didn’t know that I could. GAME ON is very much the same in that regard. Basically, it boils down to this:

Mistakes don’t define you. Falling doesn’t mean you’ll be down forever. No one gets to tell you who you are. And you are so, so much stronger than you think.

I will neither *confirm* (wink, wink, WINK) nor deny that we’ll get a few cameos from PLAY ON’s characters, but I’ll not-so-subtly remind you that Eric is Brett Perry’s brother. Ahem.

Release is scheduled for 2016, and you can add GAME ON to your Goodreads list here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25970036-game-on.

And if you’re in the mood for an official synopsis, I’m more than happy to oblige!

Eric Perry is Lewis Creek’s resident bad boy. When he’s named the new starting pitcher in a town that thinks baseball is everything and he is nothing but trouble, Eric knows he has to clean up his act. Lay low, his coach tells him—at least long enough to actually pitch a game. But when a fight with his teammate lands him in jail yet again, his season may be over before it starts… until his next door neighbor, Bri, comes to the rescue. Making a deal with Eric’s coach, she offers him one final chance at redemption: community service.

Bri Johnson hadn’t talked to Eric in months. Her boyfriend Matt, Eric’s teammate and the school’s golden boy, didn’t like her to be around Eric. Matt didn’t like a lot of things Bri did or said or wore, which is why she ends it with him the same night he and Eric get into a fight—a fight over her. That night is the reason Bri offers to take Eric with her to the community center each week, so he can keep his spot on the team. But spending time with Eric only makes her life worse, as scandalous rumors start flying and Matt refuses to let her move on.

While Eric and Bri work closely together at the center, old stories of stargazing, first kisses, and a time when they were friends start to re-connect them. As they open up their secrets and their hearts to each other, they start to see that they are more than what other people think they are—and even more than what they think about themselves.