Play On Blog Tour: An Interview with Michelle Smith (+ Giveaway)

6:00 AM Serena 3 Comments

Happy Saturday, everyone! Today I'm super excited to be on the Play On Blog Tour interviewing Michelle Smith! Stay tuned for the giveaway at the bottom of this post as well!

Before we get started with the interview, let's find out a little bit about Play On.

In the small town of Lewis Creek, baseball is everything. Especially for all-star pitcher Austin Braxton, who has a one-way ticket out of town with his scholarship to a top university. All that stands between him and a new start is one final season. But when Austin starts flunking Chemistry, his picture-perfect future is in jeopardy. A failing grade means zero playing time, and zero playing time means no scholarship.

Enter Marisa Marlowe, the new girl in town who gets a job at his momma's flower shop. Not only is Marisa some home-schooled super-genius; she's also a baseball fanatic and more than willing to help Austin study. As the two grow closer, there's something about Marisa that makes Austin want more than just baseball and out of Lewis Creek -- he wants a future with her. But Marisa has a past that still haunts her, one that she ran all the way to South Carolina to escape.

As Austin starts to peel back the layers of Marisa’s pain, it forces him to look beyond the fa├žade of himself and everyone he thought he knew in his town. What he sees instead is that in a small town like Lewis Creek, maybe baseball isn’t everything—maybe it is just the thing that ties them all together. 

And now on to the interview! 

PSA: My questions/butt-ins will be bolded, like so, and Michelle's answers will be not-bolded, like so. 

Describe Play On in seven words or less.

Think Friday Night Lights, but with baseball.

Why did you decide to center your novel around baseball?

Easy: I love baseball! There’s something magical about it: The smell of fresh-cut grass, the cool spring nights (that eventually give way to the hot days of summer), the crack of the bat, the strategy involved, and, above all, the passion. I’ve never met a baseball player who wasn’t incredibly passionate about the game.
From the very beginning, these guys were baseball boys, through and through.

Your debut was sci-fi/fantasy. What made you want to branch out into contemporary?

This is a great question! Kingdom Come was a blast to write. I mean, it was the apocalypse—pretty much anything goes! But it was the only fantasy novel I’d written up to that point; all my prior stories were contemporary, ranging from YA to Adult (all of which are hidden safely away! Haha).
While I was waiting for KC’s pub date, I was going a bit stir-crazy with nothing to work on. So, I decided to try my hand at a story I’d been thinking about for a while, but just couldn’t bring myself to write. But I gave it a shot, anyway.
The first draft of Play On poured out in a month. And that’s when I realized that, while I ADORED writing Kingdom Come, my heart was in contemporary. It’s kind of awesome, the fact that no matter who you pass on the street, that person is living a story of their own. It’s the same with characters. And I love finding those stories and bringing them to the page.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

I’d say a little bit of both? It depends on the story. Play On was completely pantsed.

Without being too spoilery, do you have a particular scene that you are most looking forward to people reading? Or maybe a scene you’re scared for people to read?

YES, to both. I have a handful of favorite scenes, but one takes place toward the end that is my hands-down favorite. It’s a moment when Marisa and Austin both really look at what’s waiting for them in the future, instead of what they’re leaving in the past. I can’t help but grin just thinking about it.
There’s also a scene that I’m scared for people to read, only because it’s incredibly emotional and a bit personal. It comes from a very real place. I burst into tears every. single. time. I read it.

Who was your favorite character to write?

I love these guys SO much that it’s almost impossible to pick one favorite. Honestly, I’m gonna have to go with Austin. He’s fun, and sweet, and loyal, and passionate, and quite adorkable at times, which makes me adore him even more.

Aw, he sounds like my kind of guy! I can't wait to meet him! Thanks for being here, Michelle! 

Thank you so much for having me!

About Michelle Smith: 

Michelle Smith was born and raised in North Carolina, where she developed a healthy appreciation for college football, sweet tea, front porches, and a well-placed "y'all". She's a lover of all things happy, laughs way too much, and fully believes that a little kindness goes a long way. 

Michelle lives near the Carolina coast with her family. 

Find Michelle online: Author Website - Twitter - Tumblr - Facebook 

Play On releases April 21st, 2015. Go grab yourself a copy! 


  1. Replies
    1. It was my pleasure. Thanks for stopping by, Diane!

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