Publication: July 9th 2019
Cover Artist: Garrett Leigh
I always wanted to be a ninja, but it wasn’t until I was in my late twenties that I actually started martial arts lessons. It was one of the best things I’ve ever done and I absolutely loved it. We worked hard, but we had such a lot of fun as well. I did it for about eight years in total, starting with kickboxing, moving into mixed martial arts, and then going back to kickboxing until I was forced to stop due to an injury.
Rick Bernstein in Purple Method is a martial arts instructor who takes it very seriously. In fact, he wants to get to the very top. I enjoyed writing his martial arts scenes so much. I guess a part of me wanted to explore, through him, what it might have been like if I’d started martial arts sooner and had competed. And perhaps what could have happened if I’d been able to continue with it.
It has been a few years since I stopped kickboxing, and it was interesting to see how much knowledge I had retained. Writing the technical aspects of the moves that Rick does and teaches to others had me up out of my writing chair and physically working through the moves again. It made me realize just how much I miss it—and how unfit I am in comparison these days!
Kicking was the most fun part of doing martial arts. That was why I went back to kickboxing. There’s nothing quite like jumping, spinning kicks. You feel like you’re flying through the air and then you connect with your target with so much power it makes you feel kinda like a superhero I guess! With mixed martial arts you learn a lot of grappling techniques and takedowns, and more focus is given to ring craft than perfecting kicks and punches. The more time I could spend doing the kicks, the happier I was back then!
One of the most fun scenes to write in Purple Method was where Max joins in one of Rick’s classes. Max is a complete beginner and not known for his coordination! He starts off being kind of bemused by the whole experience. Some of what happens to him is actually based on something that happened for real in one of my classes. It was a total Inspector Clouseau moment. And—admission time—I’m afraid to say that what Max does is actually based on what I did!
So, here’s what happened…
My instructor had come up with a game for us to play to enable us to practice the knife defense skills we’d just learned. The idea was that one of us (me, at the time) would stand facing the others. Our instructor stood behind me and would point at one of the students who would have to attack me and then I would defend. The way it was done meant that I wouldn’t know who was going to attack me next or when the attack would happen. That bit was all fine, but what he thought would be a good idea was for us to, once we’d defended an attack, run to the person at the far end of the hall and complete a punching combination on the pads before returning to our previous position ready for the next attack.
Apparently not! So, I successfully defended the attack and was feeling pleased with myself when I suddenly remembered I had forgotten the pad work. I dashed off to do that, not realizing that in the meantime my instructor (who it appeared had also forgotten about the pads!) had pointed at someone in my peripheral vision to attack me. The result was that just as my attacker was about to pretend stab me, I rushed off in the opposite direction and he ended up swiping at thin air! I was totally oblivious to what had happened and everyone was practically rolling around laughing. Our instructor was shaking his head and looking at us all in despair. He had started off the lesson with the intention of this being done seriously.
I just wished someone had filmed it!
It was great fun reliving some of those moments from when I was doing martial arts, and I’m glad that one made it to the final cut. It has certainly whetted my appetite for writing more martial arts scenes in the sequel to Purple Method.
Meet Rick and Max in a fun and entertaining summer read about a bunch of crazy-ass heavy metal musicians, a martial arts expert, and loads and loads of really good food. Purple Method is out on 9th July!
Are you ready to join the party?
Dreamspinner Press :
An up-and-coming heavy metal singer and a martial artist desperate to join a top MMA gym must decide how hard they’re willing to fight—for their dreams and each other.
Max Diaz is firmly in the closet, and as unbearable as that’s becoming, he can’t risk his only remaining family—his brother, Tony—or his band Purple Method’s chance to make it big.
Rick Bernstein dreams of rising in the ranks of the MMA circuit and securing a training career at a top gym, but with rejections coming thick and fast and his financial future in dire jeopardy, starting a relationship is the last thing on his mind—especially with someone who isn’t out.
But when Purple Method returns to Elfinbrook after a six-month tour, one kiss changes everything. Now Max and Rick face decisions that will change both of their lives forever.
When one kiss changes everything, closeted heavy metal singer Max Diaz and MMA fighter Rick Bernstein must decide how hard they’re willing to fight—for their dreams and each other.
About the Author
Victoria Milne discovered fiction writing relatively late in life, back in 2012, and has loved every second of the journey. Her belief that life is one big adventure to be experienced to the max has stood her in good stead, but it has resulted in rather a lot of plot bunnies that don’t give her a minute’s peace!
A firm believer that consensual love should come without labels and without prejudice, these themes often appear in her stories, as do Victoria’s passions for martial arts, cooking, yoga, and loud music. It was no surprise when these subjects began to resonate in her writing, frequently taking center stage, and rather than fighting it she’s learned to accept and enjoy that these will always be indispensable elements in her work.
Although Victoria appreciates that stories don’t always have to have happy endings, hers always do—because everybody deserves to find their true love(s).
In 2016, Love Unlocked—the anthology in which her story “Writer’s Lock” was published—was a Rainbow Award finalist. The experience fueled her desire to learn as much about the mechanics of writing as she could. In 2017 Victoria completed her training with the Society for Editors and Proofreaders and became a full-time freelance editor. Victoria has always loved reading, and still can’t quite believe she’s been lucky enough to not only create books of her own but also help other writers perfect theirs too!