One of the absolute most fun things about my job as a novelist is when I go out to research for a new book. When the idea came for A Reason to Stay, I knew I needed to have two very different people fall in love and struggle to stay married. So I coupled an ambitious news anchor in Houston with a tournament bass fisherman from Lake Conroe. My own men fish in a few tournaments, and I’m fascinated by the whole thing.
After realizing I knew so little about that world, I knew I’d have to attend the big TEXAS BASS CLASSIC. Fortunately, the championship tournament was held at Lake Fork, Texas where we lease a spot for our motorhome and often go.
When I placed the call, the organizers of the event were so very gracious and surprised me with a media pass. On the day of the tournament, I arrived and parked. As instructed, I called the number given and within minutes a black town car showed up and drove me to the big media tent.
Over the next hours, I enjoyed a free concert, ate some of the best BBQ anywhere, watched the boats come in and the weigh-ins, I got access to backstage and watched media interviews and had access to the contestants. I talked with bass pros Mike Iaconelli, Cody Meyer, Gary Yamamoto, and their wives. Oh . . . this whole experience was a novelist’s dream! Thank you Steve Patnode and the Toyota Bass Classic!
So much of what I discovered that day ended up in A REASON TO STAY which releases next Tuesday. In fact, the opening chapter is all set at the Texas Bass Classic where Faith meets Geary and the romantic sparks start flying.
Here are some fun photos, and a video that really show the magic of this big tournament. I hope you enjoy a sneak peek into my research . . . and I hope you’ll buy a copy of the novel.