Level Up
by Cathy Yardley
Publication Date: December 30, 2015
Genre: Romance/Comedy

About the Book:

Geeky introvert Tessa Rodriguez will do whatever it takes to get promoted to video game engineer– including create a fandom-based video game in just three weeks. The only problem is, she can’t do it alone. Now, she needs to strong-arm, cajole, and otherwise socialize with her video game coworkers, especially her roommate, Adam, who’s always been strictly business with her. The more they work together, though, the closer they get…
Adam London has always thought of his roomie Tessa as “one of the guys” until he agreed to help her with this crazy project. Now, he’s thinking of her all the time… and certainly as something more than just a roommate! But his last girlfriend broke up with him to follow her ambitions, and he knows that Tessa is obsessed with getting ahead in the video game world.Going from friends to something more is one hell of a challenge. Can Tessa and Adam level up their relationship to love?
Q&A with the Author

1) Can you tell us a bit about your background?

Sure! I’m a nerd-girl from back in the day. I went to junior high and high school in San Diego, and then went off to Berkeley for college. I’ve lived up and down the West Coast, doing a really weird array of jobs – everything from secretary to finance analyst to song lyricist and “creative consultant” — and now I’m settled in the Pacific NorthWest, east of Seattle, with my husband, son, and dogs. When I’m not writing, I coach other writers, and do some editing work.
2) Where and when did your writing journey begin?

I’ve been writing stories since I was six years old. (Not good ones, mind you, but the writing bug bit early!) I didn’t take it seriously until after I left college. I come from a family of IBM engineers, accountants, and finance people. According to them, writing wasn’t a “real” job – it was something you might do as a hobby, or after you retire. I sold my first novel to Harlequin in 1999, and then juggled day jobs and writing for the next six years. I haven’t looked back, and it’s been worth it.
3) Who are your favorite authors and how have they influenced your writing?

I have so many! I adore Jim Butcher, for his humor, his world building, and his brutally brilliant plotting over the course of the Dresden Files series. I love Jennifer Crusie’s romantic comedy and fun, bouncing banter. I’d like to think they’ve both had an impact on how I approach my own stories.
4) What does a typical day in your life look like? And how does your writing routine fit into your day?

I get up really early, before my 9 year old son wakes up, and I get myself grounded – do exercises, meditate, that sort of thing. Then I try to get an hour or so of writing in. From there, it’s getting him off to school. From 9 to 3, I usually have client calls, working with writers on their stories, brainstorming, getting them around their stuck points, stuff like that. After three, it’s stuff with my son. I usually get a bit more time before bed from there.
5) How did you come up with the idea for your novel?

I hang out on Pinterest quite a bit, and I have a geek board that I obsessively pin to. It has all my favorite fandom jokes and memes, stuff I find funny. I realized I would love to see romance novels that delve a bit into those fandoms – not fan fiction, but romances about the people who are geeks, who love TV shows and movies and books and videogames, and who are just passionate about that side of life.
6) What do you think sets your novel apart from others current on the shelves?
In the romance world, there has been a glut of novels about either “small towns” or Alpha Billionaire male types. (Sometimes a combination of the two!) I wanted to write books about geek girls and the guys they fall in love with, with some Easter eggs thrown in from my favorite fandoms. They’re also more romantic comedies – a category that, I hope, is finally making a comeback after the paranormal surge of the last decade. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good paranormal romance, but I wanted to write funny contemporary with a geek twist – it’s what I love to read.


7) Which character in your book is your favorite and how much of yourself is reflected in that character?

I think Tessa, the heroine, is my favorite. She’s socially uncomfortable, and a fangirl. A lot like I was at that age, come to that. Of course, I’m still a fangirl to a certain extent… and socially uncomfortable, come to that!
8) Which scenes in your book did you have the most fun writing?

I don’t think I can narrow it down, honestly. This was right up my alley.
9) What do you hope for your readers to take away after reading your book?

I hope that readers enjoy it for the geeky sweetness of the romance. The themes are about standing up for what you want, trusting other people – asking for help, making friends. And letting your geek flag fly.
10) What are your hopes for this novel?

I hope this novel finds its perfect audience, which may not be a huge mass audience, but I know there are readers out there that would enjoy it.
11) What do you have in store next for your readers?

If people like this novel, there’s a free novella offered on my website, that occurs at the same time, with two of the characters from this novel. I’m also planning several sequels, set in the same town, with the sisters from the bookstore and their friends. They’ll all have different fandoms that they’re influenced by… Game of Thrones, Doctor Who, Supernatural, Firefly, stuff like that. They should be a lot of fun to write, and I hope just as fun to read!



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About the Author

Cathy Yardley needs to get out more. When not writing, she is probably cruising the Internet, sleeping or watching D-list movies and adding to her unnatural mental store of character-actor trivia. She is a closet fangirl for Supernatural, Sherlock, Doctor Who, and too many others to name. Her family is considering performing an intervention for her addiction to pop culture. Want to read more of her writing? Sign up for her notification list, and get a free novella, Hooked, from the Fandom Hearts series!  http://www.cathyyardley.com/notification-sign-up

cathy yardley


$25 Amazon gift card (INT)

Ends Jan. 27, 2016
Prizing is provided by the author, hosts are not responsible. Must be 13 or older to enter and have parental permission if under 18. Void where prohibited by law. No purchase necessary to win.

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3 thoughts on “Q&A with Cathy Yardley, Author of ‘Level Up’

  1. I’m so excited about the sequels! This book was fantastic! And I adore the cover!

    Thank you so much for hosting a tour stop!

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