By Vina Arno
I have a confession to make: I’m neither a sports fan nor a boxing enthusiast. And yet my debut romance book, “In His Corner,” is about an Olympic gold-medalist boxer known as the Juggernaut. For all of his ferociousness inside the ring, he melts at the sight of the beautiful doctor who treats his injuries.
How on earth did I come up with a boxing hero for my book? I’m a journalist by training; I was born and raised in Manila; and I love the movie “Warrior,” which starred the British actor, Tom Hardy. Let me explain how these three things led me to the Juggernaut.
I’m a Reporter at Heart
I used to be a reporter for newspapers, and later on, for the Associated Press. About 90 percent of the time, I was assigned to cover stories I knew nothing about. However, I was trained to ask the right questions, gather and verify information, and use every bit of detail available.
Once I decided to make my romantic hero a boxer, I put on my reporter’s hat and learned as much as I could about boxing.
If you’re familiar with boxing, then you’ve heard of Manny Pacquiao, the Filipino boxer who has won championships in eight different weight divisions, making him one of the world’s best fighters today. I’ve followed his career because he’s perhaps the biggest thing to ever come out of the Philippines. When I started writing my book, I had a little head start. I was already familiar with Pacquiao’s success story.
Second, I was a child when “Thrilla in Manila”—the famous boxing match between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier—was held with great fanfare in the Philippines. The event left a very strong impression on me, especially Ali, who’s larger than life.
I love Tom Hardy’s “Warrior”
Tom Hardy’s extraordinary performance as a cage fighter in “Warrior,” the 2011 movie directed by Gavin O’Connor, was the immediate inspiration for my book’s hero. The Juggernaut is my homage to Hardy’s character.
These things seem unconnected at first glance, but as a novelist, I use my past, present, and all of my skills when creating characters and developing stories.
In His Corner Blurb
No sex for almost a year could kill a guy, but when you’re the boxer known as the Juggernaut, it’s the price you pay for turning pro. Tommy’s fully dedicated to his craft, until he meets the incredibly gorgeous Dr. Siena Carr. Now he’s looking forward to taking on this prim and proper lady in a wet and wild workout…
Siena has seen many patients come through the ER, but none as sexy as Tommy Raines. With a nasty cut over his eye, she knows he needs stitches, but after he takes off his shirt, she needs some air. With rock-hard abs and taut biceps, it’s clear this man takes care of his body. And all Siena can think about is letting him take care of hers…
In His Corner Book Excerpt
Dr. Siena Carr dropped the clipboard on the counter and washed her hands. When she turned around, she gasped. “What are you doing?”
The Juggernaut was undressing. Before she could say another word, he was naked. A glorious sight that sent her heart racing and her face burning. Did he know that he looked like a sculpture by Michelangelo? Except for the tattoo on his right shoulder, this man was David incarnate.
She looked away abruptly, grabbing the clipboard. She didn’t even know his name! She looked at his paperwork. Tommy Raines. “Mr. Raines, please put on your clothes.”
She continued scanning his form. Occupation: boxer. Age: twenty-two. Weight: 160 pounds. Height: six feet. Blood type: O positive. No pre-existing health conditions. His temperature and blood pressure were normal. Reason for ER visit: a cut sustained from sparring.
She faced him. Thank God, he was clothed again.
“Sorry about that,” he said. “I thought you’re supposed to check me out.”
Did he just say check him out? “Mr. Raines, this is an ER, not a bar. I don’t check out patients. Do you mean to say check up?”
He smiled. “Yeah, check up.”
“I’m going to take care of your cut, but I’m not doing a checkup. If you need one, you should go to your primary care doctor.”
“I don’t like doctors. I avoid hospitals and clinics as much as possible, but my cut kept bleeding even after I showered. So here I am.”
In His Corner by Vina Arno, published by Lyrical Press/Kensington Publishing, will be released on April 14, 2015. Genre: contemporary romance.
You can pre-order the book at:
About Vina Arno
Vina Arno is a pen name used by Cindy Fazzi, a Philippine-born American writer who has worked as a journalist in the Philippines, Taiwan, and the United States. Her short stories have been published in the Snake Nation Review, Copperfield Review, and SN Review.
Read this Forbes article about Vina Arno:
3 Career Reinvention Tips From A Reporter Turned Romance Writer
Learn more about Vina Arno at:
Web site: www.cindyfazzi.com