I recently discovered the delightful Amy Matayo. I had heard about her books for a while – people telling me I simply MUST read Sway or The End of the World, to name two examples. But… I really think I’m going to need to quit my “real” job in order to have any hope of ever making a dent in my TBR planet. (Yes, that’s right… it’s recently been upgraded from a continent.)
So when I had the chance to join her launch team for The Thirteenth Chance, I jumped at the … well… chance. 🙂 The perfect excuse to finally read an Amy Matayo book – a SCHEDULE! lol. And – in case you missed my rave review – I. Loved. It.
Baseball star Will Vandergriff knows any number of women who would happily pretend to be his girlfriend. In a last-ditch effort to restore his good standing with his team’s higher-ups, he enlists the help of his neurotic, goody-goody neighbor. Schoolteacher Olivia Pratt might be a bit quirky and a bit of a loner, but she’s a lot more inviting than she knows. Will hopes that bringing her to his next game might revamp his reckless reputation and help get his career back on track. The only problem? The plan works a little too well. Not only do the higher-ups love Olivia, but Will plays his best game yet. Suddenly his losing streak is a thing of the past, and Olivia is his new good-luck charm. Will feels anything but lucky.
After years of keeping the world at bay, Olivia Pratt is pulling off the ultimate performance—not only reluctantly posing as Will’s girlfriend but also insisting that she’s oblivious to his major-league appeal. But she can only lie to herself for so long. Being by Will’s side feels good. Really good. Maybe it’s finally time to make a pitch for everything she really wants—and to find out just how exhilarating love can be.
Today, I am super excited to chat with Amy a bit about books and baseball and humor.
Author Amy Matayo is an excellent speaker, mathematician, seamstress, chef…and liar. She’s decent at writing books but not much else. Then again, the book thing makes her marginally cool and a whole lot intimidating.
Not really. Not even her kids are afraid of her.
She graduated with barely passing grades from John Brown University with a degree in Journalism. But she’s proud of that degree and all the ways she hasn’t put it to good use.
She laughs often, cries easily, feels deeply, and loves hard. She lives in Arkansas with her husband and four kids and is working on her next novel.
Welcome, Amy! Let’s start you out with our usual fast four!
Amy: Apples, because they’re better with peanut butter. Would not work with oranges.
Carrie: Ew. No, it wouldn’t. I’m even skeptical of people who dip oranges in chocolate.
Amy: Winter, because clothes are better, snow is better, temperature is better, and I hate humidity.
Carrie: You win “favorite answer ever” award!! Yay for winter!! Boo for humidity!
Amy: That’s a toss-up. Dogs for love and affection. Cats because they pretty much take care of themselves. I have both.
Carrie: Zuzu (blog dog mascot) finds your answer tolerably acceptable. Because she’s all about the love and affection. (I still haven’t told her that one of my favorite characters in The Thirteenth Chance is Perry the cat. Let’s just keep that between us, ok?)
Amy: Coffee. Because you can’t write without it. Can you?
Carrie: Umm… well… I hate coffee. But then again I don’t write. So…. hmmm…You may be onto something. lol.
Around here I like to say that reading is my superpower. If YOU had a superpower, what would it be?
Amy: Procrastination. No one can do it better than me.
Carrie: I could probably give you a run for your money… but not until tomorrow, ok?
Since we love to talk about books around here… what books are currently “on your nightstand”?
Carrie: The Promise of Rayne is one of the next on my list as well!
The Thirteenth Chance is about Will Vandergriff, a baseball star going through a bit of a rough patch. Are you a baseball fan? If so, what do you love most about the sport?
Amy: I am a fan, mainly because of the uniforms. Men look good in them—they just do. But after that, I am a fan because my neighbor played professionally and he and his family turned me onto the sport. Most of what I know, I learned from watching and listening to them. Which isn’t much because I don’t retain many sports facts. If you asked me a question about baseball right now, I’d probably have to go look up the answer in a book.
Carrie: Baseball does have the most attractive uniforms. This is very true.
In The Thirteenth Chance, you pair up a reckless but appealing baseball star and a neurotic, goody-goody schoolteacher. Which character did you relate to the most?
Amy: The reckless baseball player, actually. We share the same humor and thought processes—though my ego is not nearly as large as his. There’s not much neurotic about me, and I’m not a goody-goody at all.
Carrie: So you don’t walk your cats on a leash then? 😉
Nicole Deese said that The Thirteenth Chance is filled with “snort-worthy hilarity”. It is! In your opinion, how important is humor – in fiction and in real life?
Amy: In real life, it’s vital. I have no idea how I would get through the hard parts of life—or even the mundane parts—without laughter and a sense of humor. How do the super-serious cope? I don’t get it.
As far as fiction goes, I love books that make me laugh. I like serious books as well—there’s a place for both. A lighter read is nice break from a heavier one. But even in the darker books (such as my book The End of the World), lines that make the reader laugh are important to me. It makes the heavier stuff easier to handle.
Carrie: Yes, exactly. Humor and laughter are vital.
What do you most want readers to take away from The Thirteenth Chance?
Amy: That assumptions about people are usually incorrect. That people are always worth getting to know—even those who seem very different than ourselves. And that everyone deserves to be fully known and appreciated by at least one other person. Is there anything better in life than being understood? It makes all the difference for Will and Olivia. It makes all the difference for each one of us.
Carrie: I love that. So true. Amy, THANK YOU for taking time to talk with me today! Before we say goodbye for today, tell us what‘s coming up next for you!
Amy: For the first time, I’m working on two books simultaneously—a book about a famous musician called The Whys Have It, and a sequel to The Thirteenth Chance called A Second Chance for Us. Hopefully both will be out next year.
Carrie: Oooh!! Yay!!! looking forward to both of those!!
Connect with Amy
More Books by Amy Matayo
What about you? Baseball fan? Or do you just show up for the uniforms? 🙂