We have waited a long time for this, dear readers, but it’s now here…
Get ready to be PUCKED!
Helena Hunting dropped in this week to chat about her brand new book, PUCKED (AKA The Misapprehension of Violet Hall Regarding the Inferior Intellect of Hockey Players)…
When we heard that PUCKED was being published we were inordinately excited here at FicSisters as, collectively, the story holds a very special place in all our hearts. We have to know, Helena, how did PUCKED come to life?
The husband has always played hockey. When we were first dating, I’d go to his games and sit around with all the other girlfriends and watch him play. We had a lot of fun. I always loved that hubs was a total sweetie in real life, but on the ice he was a menace. He had the most penalty minutes in the league.
Seeing as hockey is a huge part of Canadian culture, writing a story about a hockey player seemed natural. I also had hubs as a reference point for any of the finer details and hubs enjoyed being able to provide the answers.
PUCKED (AKA The Misapprehension of Violet Hall Regarding the Inferior Intellect of Hockey Players) came into existence just as Clipped Wings & Inked Armor (the original version) was coming to close. There were some hard to write scenes in that story – all of which were ironically cut in the pubbed version – and I really needed something else to work on while I was crafting those difficult scenes. And so PUCKED began.
It was everything CW&IA was not; light, fun, ridiculous, and exactly what I needed at the time.
Violet is a unique and quirky character – please tell us she is inspired by someone in your real life (and if she is, we really hope they have her rack)…
I think Violet is inside every one of us, even if we don’t want her to be. Violet is the person who says the things you think, but would NEVER, EVER say out loud, at least not on purpose.
I wish I had a Violet in my life. I also wish I had her rack. As a friend she would be entertaining, if nothing else. I think she’s comprised of pieces of the important women in my life. Together they create this silly, funny, filterless woman who really just wants to prove herself in her job and her life, but she’s still young and figuring things out.
It’s her lack of experience – the newness of a real job, the steps into adulthood and her naivety as she navigates her relationship with Alex, and her preconceived notions that make her prone to overreacting, which is when she’s the most entertaining and infuriating.
Alex. Oh goodness, Alex (it was so hard not to make everything all about him…*snickers* we said hard). We have a million questions about him, ‘cause we have always been slightly obsessed. He really is a study in polar opposites – confident, aggressive, unsure, gentle – was he like this from day one in your head or did he morph gradually?
I love reading about alpha males, but I’m also aware that in real life, even the smoothest guys drop the puck. There’s something sweet about a huge, well built, disturbingly well-endowed man who is unsure of himself at times, especially when his ego should be the size of said endowment.
I think in a lot of stories it’s about taming the beast (or the MC). But in Alex’s case, you have a man who has perpetuated falsities thanks to bad advice, and a fragile ego back when he started out. Now he has to figure out how to make Violet see him for who he is, not who she perceives him to be and the reputation he’s perpetuated.
I always wanted him to be a little awkward, but persistent, with a soft side. From what I’ve been told, Canadian’s are notoriously apologetic, at least according to my non-Canadian friends, and Alex fits that profile.
The stories you have written, while all amazing, are very different – do you have a personal favourite or a character that is particularly close to your heart?
Hayden from the Clipped Wings series holds a really special place in my heart. It was my first ever completed story and my first published book, so that makes him stand. I have another character I have yet to share who I think will likely surpass Hayden as my most beloved once he’s developed. He’s a mess. I love him. You can call him Jared.
Staying in the same vein, of the all the books you have read and loved, is there a character that makes you think, “Shit, I wish I created him/her!”?
I love Archer in Archer’s Voice by Mia Sheridan. He’s such a beautiful, fragile creature, and there’s just so much love about him as a character. She weaves a beautiful tale and touches on such poignant issues. I love how she weaves exceptionality and difference into her characters. I have such an affinity toward characters who overcome obstacles beyond their control. Mia’s stories are lovely.
Your characters have certainly been embraced wholeheartedly by your readers. How does it feel knowing that your creations are thought of with so much affection?
It’s a real sense of achievement when a reader tells you how deeply a character resonated with them. That’s undeniably the biggest compliment I can receive as a writer. It means I’ve accomplished what I’ve set out to do; at least for that person and it’s really special.
I had a reader contact me a while ago and tell me just how strongly she connected with the characters in CW&IA. I don’t think she knew how poignant that was for me, or how much I appreciated that she took the time to reach out and tell me how she felt.
We have to sadly admit, most of the FicSisters are from countries where ice hockey isn’t a national sport, so we have to ask, do puck bunnies/hockey hookers exist (and do they really wear jerseys for dresses)? Also, enquiring minds need to know…was there additional book ‘research’ needed to check out players? (for authenticity purposes, of course…)
Puck bunnies do exist! As with any prominent figure, whether it be sports, TV, movies, music, all entertainment sectors – you’re going to have people who want to be near them. And touch them. Especially their special parts. And there’s always some girl who isn’t wearing enough clothes, but again, you’ll find that anywhere.
In all honesty, hockey players are some of the kindest, most down to earth people you’ll meet. There’s this incredible altruism within the community. They give back to their fans and invest in amazing causes. It makes me a little emotional and a lot swoony.
So are you asking if I’ve ever dated a hockey player? Not one destined for the NHL, but I’m a Canadian girl, and I’ve grown up with hockey. I married a man who has been playing hockey once a week with his buddies for the past twenty years. I still love watching him play, especially when he gets chippy 😉
Thanks so much for inviting me over to talk about PUCKED. I’m excited to share this story with your readers. And for some of them, it’ll be a trip down memory lane!
We can’t thank Helena enough for being here with us today and our red-haired English FicSister also particulary wants to thank Helena for giving Violet auburn hair… Red hair FTW!! Stay tuned for the special excerpt of PUCKED from Helena below…
This FicSister holds firm on the fact that no one tells a story quite like Helena Hunting. She has a tremendous gift for writing characters that have so much soul. They aren’t perfect, but you will fall in love with them because of it. Take Violet, our leading lady. She’s not good with social situations. She blurts the most inappropriate things out at the most inopportune times. But she is brilliant and beautiful, but seems delightfully unaware of the fact. She is a girl any one of us would be proud to call a friend (she would definitely keep you laughing, that is for sure!).
And Alex… *goes all swoony for a moment* There was a reason I told you about Violet first, as I am most likely about to turn into a quivering, jellified mess telling you about Alex. Apart from the obvious (you know, the hot, well-endowed Hockey player thing), Alex is a man of contradictions – fierce on the ice, mostly gentle off it – but the thing that makes me love him most is that he could be a cocky asshole – and occasionally he is, but most of the time, he has this air of uncertainty, dare I say vulnerability especially around Violet, and it seems such a contrast to his public persona. His stalker-like tendencies and his boob-fetish are super entertaining as well!
PUCKED could also class as educational reading…I learnt a lot – for instance:
- Don’t jill off when your mother is around (she will interrupt)
- Don’t wax your own beaver
- When opening your treats from your hot hockey player, make sure your mother and best friend aren’t around to nick them
- Make sure you have an exit plan prior to locker room hijinks.
I could go on – but I won’t ruin the fun!
Alex and Violet’s tale is not your traditional love story (‘cause you know, that’s boring), and I rate it one of the best I have ever read, because you fall in love with them, both individually and as a couple. They have their hurdles to overcome…mistakes are made, noses are broken. It’s a one-of-a-kind story that you just can’t miss.
You can buy PUCKED now at the following stores…
“Why haven’t you messaged me? What the hell is going on? You need to explain this.” Charlene holds up a full-color printout of two people playing tonsil hockey.