By: Marie Force
Ryan Sanderson here, bringing you greetings from the Mile High City of Denver, Colorado, which is still celebrating the Denver Mavericks' third Super Bowl win in five years. I gotta tell you, from my perspective as the Mavs' quarterback, it's just as cool to win the third time as it was the first. They said this was a "rebuilding" year for our team. That cracks me up. We showed them! Anyhow, I digress...
Since we won the Super Bowl—again—a lot has been written about me and the team. People are interested in ALL aspects of my life, even the embarrassing romantic side of me. In fact, there's a book coming out in September called "Line of Scrimmage" that tells the story of how I supposedly "blackmailed" my wife Susie into giving me a second chance. I think "blackmail" is kind of a strong word... All I did was show up ten days before our divorce was to be finalized and tell her we were going to spend the next ten days as Mr. and Mrs. or I'd stop the divorce. Is that technically blackmail? Apparently, she thought so. Since she was already engaged to her dweeby ex-boyfriend from high school and they were getting married in a month, she wasn't too happy to see me—especially since the dweeb and his parents were over for dinner when I got there. I'll let you read the full story in "Line of Scrimmage," but I've seen an advance copy, and I have a few questions for the author, Marie Force.
Ryan: I'm curious as to why you thought our story was compelling enough to write a whole book about us.
Marie: Hi Ryan, it's good to see you again, and I'm glad you've recovered from the bashing you took in the Super Bowl.
Ryan: Yep, my handsome mug is back to normal.
Marie: There's that legendary Sanderson ego on full display! Anyway, the reason I thought your story was so compelling is you don't often read romances involving established couples with a decade worth of history under their belts. I thought it would be fun to write about a couple who had hit a few bumps—
Ryan: A few bumps? She was about to divorce me!
Marie: Okay, a lot of bumps. Potholes, in fact. It was a challenge for me as the writer of your story to tell it in a way that slowly shows how you came to be broken up in the first place.
Ryan: Yeah, we went through some rough stuff, and I didn't handle it as well as I could have.
Marie: But you learned a lot about yourself and Susannah while you were separated, right?
Ryan: I sure did. I found out that the only life I want is the one I had—with her. She's one sexy lady, and she keeps me sane.
Marie: You mean she keeps your ego from taking over your life.
Ryan: What ego?
Marie: (Snorting) Whatever. Anyway, you didn't expect her to be so over you when you got home, did you?
Ryan: How did you end up interviewing me?
Marie: Just answer the question.
Ryan: Okay, you're right, I didn't think it would be very hard to convince her to give me another shot. I mean, she's loved me since she was 18 years old. It was unimaginable to me that she didn't love me anymore, which is why I launched what you like to call the Hail Mary play of a lifetime to win her back.
Marie: I'm very proud of that phrase.
Ryan: Excellent use of football metaphor-ology.
Marie: Thank you! So you discovered that Susannah had changed while you were split up, right?
Ryan: We both grew up a lot, but we'll let people read about that in the book. Back to my list of questions for you... I want to know why you gave me uniform number 18—the same number that wuss Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts wears. Tell me you're not a Colts fan...
Marie: It has nothing to do with Peyton, and I'm NOT a Colts fan. Eighteen happens to be my lucky number. Both my kids were born on the 18th of the month, and I finished my first book on the 18th. That was why.
Ryan: Well, I guess that's kind of cool then. Why purple and yellow for the Mavericks' team colors?
Marie: Purple is my all-time favorite color and yellow seemed like a fun color to put with purple. Nothing more scientific than that behind the decision.
Ryan: Why did you pick Denver as the setting?
Marie: Great question! In November of 2006, I was sent there unexpectedly for work. This was right around the time that my muse showed up with you, and I was looking for a place to set your story. I ended up having a day to kill before my commitments, and since that was my first time in Denver, I used the time to walk all over the city. A lot of details from that day appear in the book. I also stayed at the swanky Brown Palace Hotel where a very important scene in "Line of Scrimmage" occurs.
Ryan: (Lascivious grin) I loved that scene.
Marie: (Laughing) I bet you did! It's my favorite part of the book.
Ryan: Mine, too. (Clears his throat and his dirty mind) Were you a football fan before you wrote my story?
Marie: I'm glad you asked that, because the answer is NO! I actually kind of, um, hated football.
Ryan: WHAT? How can anyone HATE football?
Marie: I know, I know, that's unimaginable to you. But remember, Susie didn't even know what a quarterback was until she met you.
Ryan: That was kind of cute. I liked that she wasn't a football groupie when I met her at the University of Florida. I managed to bring her around, though. What about you? Have you changed your mind about football?
Marie: You've converted me into a fan. I tried to re-make you into a baseball shortstop, but when you refused—
Ryan: Baseball is for wimps.
Marie: Be careful... You know how I love my Boston Red Sox... Anyway, once I realized you were a football player through and through, I forced myself to learn the game and came to appreciate it. Now I am a huge fan of the New England Patriots and Tom Brady.
Ryan: He's the man.
Marie: That's something we agree on.
Ryan: Well, thanks for giving us the behind-the-scenes story of "Line of Scrimmage." When will I see my share of the profits?
Marie: In your multi-millionaire dreams!
Ryan: (Laughing) When does it come out again?
Marie: September 1st in a bookstore near you.
Ryan: I can't wait!
Marie: Believe me, neither can I.