I have always been a writer. Ever since I can remember, I penned stories, but it wasn't until grade twelve when my creative writing teacher marked a story and said it was the start of a novel. I can't even remember what the story was about, but I do remember her encouragement and excitement of handing me back my A-paper. That's when I had a light bulb moment. How fun would it be to write novels? And so my writing ventures began. I took journalism in college, wrote as a fill-in journalist a my local newspaper and Freelanced articles to magazines and took the creative writing diploma program through Surrey's Continuing Education. I found my love. I also found a job I cared a lot about. I worked in television and radio, where my media career soared. I took part-time radio studies at college. I am always trying to push myself, to make myself excel in my chosen career. Although media has had a huge impact on me, writing novels is everything I dreamed of.

I hope you live your dreams, and accomplish what your heart desires because you're the only person who can make that happen.

Photo Credit: Denise Hallate

An Idea Is Born by Charlene Groome

I have people ask me from time to time, where did you get your idea to write His Game, Her Rules? The answer is simple: I love playing ice hockey and I live in a hockey-crazed city. It’s not unheard of for women to play, either with the guys or on an all-women’s team, like I do. There are a lot of really good female players who teach the game. I was inspired by our Women’s Olympic ice hockey team and by the great female skating coach, Barbara Williams. I read about Barbara when I was a girl playing hockey and thought how cool it was she was coaching the professionals. As a writer, my creative juices flowed and I imagined how a female would be portrayed in a male-dominated league. I love heroines that are fierce and strong-minded, hence, my heroine, Eileen Francis, who I created to be someone I could look up to if she were real. I guess I had been thinking of this character for some time because my idea for her transpired into a person I wanted to know more about.

One of my favorite scenes in His Game, Her Rules is when Eileen is coaching the Warriors and gets body-checked on the ice by a bitter, unfriendly player, and she gets badly hurt. Writing from experience, I too had been thrown into the boards, not as severe as Eileen, but it did result in a sprained hand. No doubt the game is physical and its fast pace is what keeps people watching and entertained. When I wrote this particular scene, I imagined what it would be like if I were Eileen, being on the ice with men and their high expectations to win the game. You can feel the adrenaline in the air. Every move, every action, there’s a consequence to be had. It brought me back to a particular time when I was in my early twenties. A male friend asked if I wanted to play hockey one night on his recreational team. It was at an ice rink in an industrial building only half the size of a regular rink, but it was ice-time and I couldn’t resist. I had my own dressing room, which most of the guys didn't know I was there, even with my shorter haircut and helmet on, they didn’t seem to notice. As I played the game, there was a lot of pushing and stick-slapping. A guy was just about to body-check me. When I moved out of the way, my friend yelled out in panic, “No! No! She’s a girl!” After that game, it was harder to play with the guys because they played with such intensity and wanted to play rough. I didn’t want to get hurt and I knew I would if I played with them again.

As a writer, I find my ideas everywhere. I look for something that grabs me and doesn’t let go until I start exploring the whirlwind of thoughts and process each one until it becomes a story. Creative people have a way of capturing a moment and letting their imaginations go. Inspiration comes at the most unexpected times, but it’s through living that an idea is born.