Many, many (many) years ago, I was a soccer player. Mind you, I wasn’t amazing—I knew I’d never play professionally (no matter how many times my Dad made me run around the block with a tire strapped to my waist. Seriously.)
But I was good enough to play for my college. My non-athlete friends always looked at me like I was a mad-woman when I came back from practice dripping in sweat and covered in half frozen mud, snow still melting in my hair—Yes, snow. It was Wisconsin after all. But I loved it.
There is something about the exertion of playing a sport. Something about challenging your body to perform, about seeing the players around you, analyzing their movements and working in concert is utterly captivating. Mesmerizing, even. It is an almost meditative place, sinking so deep within yourself that all other thoughts and worries simply lay still and silent.
And it’s probably why I love writing fight scenes.
Now, I’ve never wielded a sword (much to my dismay) or thrown a knife to save my life, so I can’t speak as to the specifics on these things. But that’s a beauty of writing. You take what you do know, in my case athletics, and you instill as much of it as possible into the things you don’t.
In THE FROZEN CROWN, my heroine Askia might not be the best warrior, but she still loves training with her men—and for reasons I completely understand. She has the weight of the world on her shoulders and is responsible for the lives of her people. It’s an incredible amount of pressure for anyone to weather. So when she has the chance to let go of it all and get lost in the rhythm of movement she’ll take it every time.
And I love that.