Story Behind the Story #15:
S.O.R. Losers

S.O.R. LosersNovelists are often asked, how long does it take to write a book? My truthful answer is, about a year. S.O.R. Losers, however, was written in one day. How could such a thing happen?

I was able to do it because the story—about a team of nerds who are required (by their school) to form a soccer team and then go on to lose every game they play—is true.

I was on such a team, and indeed, I had the honor of being captain of that memorable squad. My boys loved to hear stories about what a bad player their dad was, and often asked me to regale them (and their friends) with the saga. Needless to say, I was happy to entertain them, throwing in (just a bit) of exaggerated ineptitude along the way—though my team truly scored a goal by putting the ball into the wrong net.

So it was that when I sat down to write S.O.R. Losers I had, if you will, rehearsed the story many, many times. It was easy, then, to write.

There are a couple of other curious things about the book. I had sent the book to my agent, and (I thought) agreed which editor to whom it would be sent. It did not go to that editor, but (to my surprise) to Richard Jackson, the first of the many, many books I did with him.

Another curious thing: I’m often asked how I name my characters. Perfectly reasonable question. But there is only one book about which I have often been asked: “How did you make up all those weird names for the characters on the S.O.R team?”

The answer? None of them. Every name in S.O.R Losers comes from the actual players on my illustrious team.

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