The Boys of Summer anthology by Pink Petal Books is here! And the Biest has a story in there (Personal Best) which will either greatly disturb the US Olympic Waterpolo men’s team or stroke their chlorine-scented egos like mad.
Research for Personal Best
There’s something endearing about a game with brutality fouls
For the Boys of Summer anthology, one option was to write about 2012 Olympians. Yes, please, I said. I am an avid perve…ah, I mean spectator of the Olympics.
Water polo wasn’t really my first choice of sport for my hero hottie (it’s those darn caps, they just aren’t sexy) but once I read up on the sport I decided it had possibilities.
- It’s an ‘intensely aggressive sport, so fouls are very common’ according to Wikipedia. (I rubbed my hands gleefully, nothing says ‘alpha male’ like aggression.)
- According to Wikipedia, ‘Water polo players need remarkable stamina’. (Excellent, don’t want the poor lad pulling up short of breath during the first love scene.)
- There’s a ‘sin bin’ for water polo. How cute is that? Again, according to Wikipedia, ejections (being sent out of the pool) are usually for trying to drown or intentionally punch another player. (Note to self: avoid playing water polo.)
- Every now and then, there’s a ‘man up’ in the game. (Good practice for when the hero has to man-up in the story.)
- Wikipedia coyly alludes to unsportsmanlike players who grab each other’s nuts during play. “Other injuries take place underwater as many things can not be seen from above the surface and not much padding is used to protect the players.” (I figure it’s a useful trait for the hero to be used to having his wedding-tackle grabbed, that way he won’t be alarmed if the heroine tries it.)
- Epic grudge matches: the infamous Blood in the Water match at the Melbourne Olympics saw Soviet player Valentin Prokopov spill the claret of Hungarian player Ervin Zador with a well-aimed punch to the head. (Passionate and punchy, perfect character traits for generating conflict!)