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Good Summer Read!

Jun 18, 2012

As a teen, Olympic gold-winning gymnast Dominique Moceanu couldn’t relate to gymnastics books, so she turned to horror fiction and thrillers. Yet one day she knew she’d write something meaningful about the sport she’d been devoted to since the age of 3. “Storytelling and sports can be the most effective way to enthuse, test, and empower young women,” she says, “so combining the two entities inspired me to tell stories!”

Not long ago, Dominique teamed up with author Alicia Thompson to write a series of four fiction books called The Go-For-Gold Gymnasts, about an elite team in Austin, Texas. Each book focuses on one girl’s story: the firecracker Britt, insecure Jessie, aloof Noelle, and the haughty Christina. The gymnasts’ stories relate the thrill of competition, the injuries, the backstabbing competitors, and their attempts to have normal teen lives outside the gym.

Dominique and Alicia spent a lot of time making each character real. “It can take many drafts before a character feels just right,” Alicia explains. “[For example], we passed notes back and forth about Britt’s family, schooling, personality, looks, gymnastics skills—anything that brought her to life for us and made her feel real on the page. It’s always a good plan to know even more about the character than what you actually write in the book.”

On The Studio, Dominique and Alicia share advice about how to develop characters, capture story ideas, and write with passion. “You are destined for greatness,” Dominique tells any girl with a dream, “but you must position yourself to achieve it.” Let Dominique and Alicia show you how.