Prism Book Alliance® would like to thank E.E. Grey for stopping by today.
Author: E.E. Grey
Publisher: Forbidden Fiction
Genre: Crime Fiction, Gay Romance
A chance at the Olympics has been everything Auden has always wanted, but now that it’s within his grasp, he finds himself slipping further away. Does he really want to be an Olympic gymnast when there’s so much more to life? To make things worse, he has both a major crush on his friends-with-benefits teammate, Trayce, and free-spirited musician named Shane. With Olympics trials looming on the horizon, Auden has to decide what he really wants and how much he’s willing to give up to get it.
Olympic Passions Series Blurb:
It isn’t easy to win both love and gold. To be an Olympic athlete requires incredible passion. There are other passions, however, which rise in young men training in such close quarters. When these passions swell, an athlete’s dedication can waver. It’s hard to keep your eyes on the prize when your friend’s finely muscled back is so distracting…
Will it be love over gold? Will these young men choose each other over the Olympics? Or can they find a way to win it all?
The Olympics: the biggest sporting event of the year (aside from the Super Bowl, though our Football editors might beg to differ). Every four years, millions of people turn on the television to watch athletes a world away and root for our home countries. Everyone has their favorite sports; swimming and basketball top the list of favorites, but gymnastics doesn’t fall far behind. We’re here today with one of the United States’ best-known Olympic gymnasts of the last ten years, Dorian Stuart, a gold medalist in the 2008 Games, and his newest protégé, Auden Lancaster, who recently won gold at the World Championship in Belgium and looks to Olympic trials in the spring.
Dorian, you’re no stranger to the Olympics, having medaled in 2008 and now the head coach at the Elite Gymnastic Center in Phoenix, AZ. Can you tell us a little about what goes through your mind during trials? It must be a stressful time.
D: I was only eighteen when I went to trials, and I can tell you it definitely doesn’t get any easier. Even now, as a coach, trials are stressful. Everyone there wants the same thing and you have to be better than the rest of them if you want to make the team. I was a cocky kid. All I remember thinking was if I needed to get shots to go to China.
Good thing the Olympics are in France this year. No shots required, though I think you may need to pack an extra suitcase for all the wine and cheese to smuggle back.
D: If Auden even thinks about cheese, he’ll be in big trouble.
A gymnast’s body is a temple, right? I don’t know if my stomach agrees. What advice, aside from steering clear of fatty dairy, do you have for Auden and your other gymnasts as they begin their trek to Olympic trials this spring?
D: The most important thing it to not let yourself get distracted. The Olympics are a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Only idiots throw away that chance.
They were once-in-a-lifetime for you, Dorian, weren’t they? It was brutal to watch you get injured in 2008. You were never able to compete again.
D: Some injuries you can’t recover from, but I think I found my calling in coaching. I’ve coached several Olympians over the years, and Auden has a great chance at making the team come May.
Aside from coaching, you’ve stayed close to gymnastics in another way. Your relationship with Jules Gardner, an Olympic teammate, was much publicized during the Harper coaching scandal in 2011. Not long after, you went into coaching. How did that affect your decision to stay in gymnastics?
D: Unfortunately, what Harper did isn’t uncommon among athletes. There’s a lot of pressure from coaches that their athletes do well no matter what the cost. Harper stepped over the line. My goal as a coach is to be as unlike Harper as I can. Jules is a big influence in that respect. He’s a constant reminder of what can happen when a coach pushes too far. He keeps me on track these days.
It’s great to hear you’re still together. Not many couples make it this far. How many years has it been?
D: It’ll be 16 years in July.
Just in time for the Olympics.
D: I’ll let your readers do the math.
I’m sure they will. Speaking of coaching, Auden, would you say Dorian’s coaching style is something that’s helped you get this far?
A: Definitely. Without Coach Stuart, I’d still be falling off the trampoline in my back yard at home. The Center has been amazing for training and learning the routines. I’ve got a pretty solid routine thanks to Coach Stuart.
D: (To Auden) Play to your strengths, and don’t get complacent.
A: I’m lucky I have someone like Coach Stuart looking out for me.
This will be your first time at Olympic trials. Are you nervous at all? There will be a lot of gymnasts trying out for those six spots.
A: It is a big deal. I’ve been training for this since I was a kid. I always get nervous before big events, but this will definitely be the biggest one I’ve ever done. I just hope I don’t get injured between now and trials.
All gymnastic events are about the routine, the technical difficulty of the moves. With such stiff competition, you have to really have an edge. Any hints on what we can expect from you during trials? What secrets do you have up your sleeves?
A: (laughing) Gymnasts don’t wear sleeves so I guess I can’t answer that.
Avoiding the question simply makes me more convinced you’ve got a spectacular routine to show us. The EGC is known for producing outstanding gymnasts. You’ll be competing against them for a spot on the team. What’s that feel like?
A: My teammates are my friends, but they’re also competition. That’s just how it is in gymnastics. I really think Trayce has a great chance at making the team, too.
Trayce Martel trains with you at the EGC, and he won a gold medal at the World Championships as well. A few early predictions have listed him as the one to beat this year. Would you say he’s your biggest competitor?
A: I don’t like to think of it like that. Trayce is a great gymnast and we’ve been training together for years. If it is a competition, it’s a friendly competition. Hopefully we’ll both make the team.
Dorian, you said earlier the key to success was no distractions. Auden, does that mean relationships are out of the question during training?
A: Well, there’s no rule exactly.
D: Being a gymnast is about discipline and focus, not dating.
A: There’s really not a lot of free time anyway between training and everything else.
Must be hard to meet anyone except other gymnasts. I suppose that’s why Dorian and Jules got together. Maybe there’s a little romance going on in the training gym? The Center trains for women’s gymnastics as well.
A: I, uh, no. I’m not seeing anyone.
D: I know first-hand what inter-office romance does. I encourage my athletes to steer clear of dating within the Center. Or outside of it for that matter.
A: (laughing) It’s getting outside that’s the hard part.
You’re young, handsome, athletic. There are probably plenty of girls who’ll have your picture on their phones if you make the Olympic team. Maybe after the Olympics, you’ll have time for that.
A: Maybe. Right now, I should focus on training.
D: That’s right. The Olympics only comes once every four years, and you have to be ready when it does.
One last question for the both of you. I’m always curious to know what athletes would do if they weren’t athletes.
D: I answered that question when I was nineteen years old and had to figure out what to do once I couldn’t compete. Every gymnast has to answer it some day. I just had to do it earlier than others. I’m a coach and that’s what I do.
A: I’m not really sure. Gymnastics has been my whole life; it’s hard to picture doing something else. I barely know what to do when I have an hour to myself. Maybe I’d start a band or own a music store.
Can you sing?
A: Not really. Maybe I should just stick to gymnastics.
Probably a good idea. In the meantime, good luck in the upcoming months. Hopefully we’ll see you on the team in June.
A: I hope you will, too.
D: You will.
There you have it. Dorian Stuart and Auden Lancaster, a power duo in gymnastics that I’m sure we’ll continue to hear from in the coming months. Until then, keep your hands chalked and your balance beams level.
Tumbled comes out May 10th and is available through Forbidden Fiction! Get your copy today.
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About the Author
E.E. Grey has been writing for over ten years and has completed several novel-length works and over three hundred short stories. When not writing, Grey enjoys traveling, having visited over twenty countries with several still on the list for the future. Grey’s other favorite pastime is baking sugar-filled desserts for friends.
Where to find EE Grey:
Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/1Nf34nZ
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
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