I was in a book slump when I picked up this hauntingly beautiful coming-of-age story. It weaves the reality of living in the world of poverty, and gang violence, with the promise of hope and romance. The heroine is bold and brave, and the hero has a broken soul. Together they are dynamic! Check out my interview with Ginger Scott and how she used her experiences growing up, her love of sports, and her passion for romance, to create the best selling novel, Cry Baby.
JC: Tristan lives the life of gang violence, having been witness to, and done, terrible things. How has your life experiences prepared you to tell this gripping story?
GS: I grew up in a neighborhood that succumbed to gang violence and culture. It happened slowly at first, but by the time I was in high school, kids that I had grown up with were “in” and many I know were arrested, shot, and killed. It was this strange normal, where at school we were just as we always were, but everyone knew that when we left the safety of school or our homes that while a lot of us went to play sports, to movies or to be in band or a club, others hung out in dangerous houses and on the streets doing unimaginable things. I knew a lot of innocent teenagers that were caught up in the wrong places, and I knew kind hearts that were pulled in because that’s what the rest of their family did. The things I saw and the stories I heard all went into Cry Baby.
Riley is the heroine you’ve never read before! She’s brave and bold, and willing to go to extreme lengths to show she is just as good as any man. Who was your inspiration for this character?
I think she’s a little bit of a lot of women I know, and maybe even more the kind of woman I want to be. I wanted Riley to be a woman of the times in many ways and show how strong and independent and driven is attractive. There’s a moment in the story where she does something bold, and it’s my favorite part. I don’t want to give it away, but readers will know it when they see it:)
Tristan and Riley’s relationship blossoms over their shared love of basketball. The scenes are like foreplay as you watch the push and pull between the two! How do you use sports to enhance your love stories?
I love how aggressive sports can be, and I love the idea of a challenger. I think romance is a lot like that sometimes when two people are incredibly attracted to each other but let other things get in the way. Sports both bridges a gap and lets them take out frustrations without words, which for many people is easier sometimes. I loved writing the court scenes with Riley and Tristan, and I loved the way he grew to respect her and how she forced him to open his eyes. And sports gives you great tension and an excuse for people to push…and touch. And well, that can be sexy 😉
Your secondary characters are fantastic. From Joker and Lauren, to Tristan’s mom who is doing the best she can to overcome her own darkness, to Dub who has you nervous every time he appears in the book… Who was your favorite to write?
I love writing best friends. I want to leave readers hoping and wishing for a book on every friend in the book. I want to make them so real that they stand out, or at least that’s always my goal. My favorite secondary in Cry Baby is Joker. I love how complex he is. I tried to give readers just enough of him to make them curious, to build deep empathy and a connection. He’s so vulnerable, and such a good friend despite all of his flaws. His scenes were the easiest to write technically and the hardest emotionally.
Where do you write?
Ha, a little bit of everywhere. I spend a lot of time at the kitchen table and the couch, but most of my books are written in my orange office chair or outside. I try to live on the patio when I can, and during the month of March I write almost exclusively at our spring training ballpark, getting in when gates open and staying until the last pitch.
What is the last book you read?
Bring Down the Stars by Emma Scott. LOOOOOOVED IT!!!!
What are you working on now?
It’s a bit of a secret, but it’s something that I think a lot of people are going to be excited to see. It goes back to my football roots. Details are coming really soon!More from Ginger Scott