Interview with Ally Mathews, Author of Offsetting Penalties


Hello everyone! I’m super excited today to bring to you an interview with the wonderful Ally Mathews! She is the author of a brand new book, Offsetting Penalties, which not only looks adorable but so much fun. You’ve got a snark main character, a hot football player who does a little dancing, and what is bound to be a swoony romance. I put on my detective cap (had to take off the tiara first) and got us the answers we needed to know (…or the ones I came up with at least) about Ally and her fun book!

About the Book

OffsettingPenalties-1600 (1) (1)Isabelle Oster has dreamed of being a prima ballerina her entire life, so when the only male dancer backs out of the fall production, she’s devastated. Without a partner, she has no hope of earning a spot with the prestigious Ballet Americana company. Until hot jock Garret practicing stretches in one of the studios gives Izzy an idea, and she whips out her phone. But does she really want this badly enough to resort to blackmail?

All-state tight end Garret Mitchell will do anything to get a college football scholarship. Even taking ballet, which surprisingly isn’t so bad, because it means he gets to be up close and personal with the gorgeous Goth girl Izzy while learning moves to increase his flexibility. But Izzy needs him to perform with her for the Ballet Americana spot, and he draws the line at getting on stage. Especially wearing tights.

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains a bit of blackmail, a lot of sarcasm, and an ending guaranteed to melt your heart.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes and Noble / Entangled Teen

The Interview

I see in your author bio on Goodreads that you believe that Disney World is truly magical…since this is Book Princess Reviews, who is your favorite Disney character and why?

belle tag

It’s so hard to pick just one, but I have to go with Belle from Beauty and the Beast. I love that she loves reading, and I’m hugely jealous of the Beast’s library. Belle is also my favorite because unlike most of the other princesses who fell in love with a prince, Belle fell in love with a beast. She was able to see through the façade and fall in love with the Beast just as he was.

Your two main characters are from totally different worlds – one is an all American football player who refuses to wear tights and the other is a Goth girl who has a dream of becoming a prima ballerina. What was it like writing two extremely different voices? And was one voice more fun than writing the other?

On the one hand, it’s a lot easier for me to write two extremely different voices than it is two similar voices, but on the other hand, it’s more difficult to overcome their differences and find a way to make them come together as a couple. Strangely enough, it was easier for me to write Garret’s voice than Izzy’s, which is weird because it’s normally easier for me to get into the heroine’s mind. I think it’s because he’s a very outgoing, confident person, and he didn’t have much to hide. Izzy, however, is a loner. She’s used to spending lots of time on her own, and she’s not in the habit of sharing very much about herself.

When Izzy spots Garrett doing stretches in her ballet studio, she decides to snap a picture and do a little blackmail into Garrett becoming her ballet partner. Blackmail is definitely one of the common tropes in YA contemporaries (and I mean, kind of brilliant and devious) for some adorable swoony moments. What are some of your favorite YA romance tropes?

I really love the Across the Tracks trope in YA. Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles is one of my all-time favorite books. I also enjoyed The Selection by Kiera Cass.

I also enjoy the Enemies to Lovers trope. Divergent by Veronica Rothe comes to mind, as does Obsidian by Jennifer Armentrout.

The Friends to Lovers trope is another great one for YA. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins is a favorite, as is Sarah Dessen’s The Truth About Forever.

It says in your author bio that you’re kind of living in a full house with three kids, four dogs, two cats, a rabbit, and assorted reptiles – plus your husband! Does your household ever inspire you to add anything to your stories or do you have a quiet space that you use for writing? And do we see any adorable animals in Offsetting Penalties (*hopelessly hoping for a good animal sidekick*)?

At least one character in all of my stories always has a pet of some sort. It’s usually a dog (or two or three), but I’ve also had cats in my books, and I may add in a reptile or bird in future stories.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a quiet place to work anywhere in my house. All of the bedrooms in our house are taken, and even though he never works from home, my husband has commandered the office space in our house and has stuffed it full of books, fishing equipment, a few lizard acquariums, and a bunch of junk. But I’m not bitter. Not at all. So I have some space in our bedroom closet where I store things, and I generally work at our dinning room table since we only use it a handful of times per year.

As for Offsetting Penalties, Izzy has two large, slobbery Mastiffs, and I hope everyone will enjoy the way they greet Garret the first time they meet him.

I think a lot of people would definitely have a few eyebrows raised with how ballet could help football. How does Garrett, our main hero, decide on doing this to help him become a better player?

Interestingly enough, it’s his high school football coach who first suggests it. Garret had an injury the previous year, and he’ll do almost anything to get a college football scholarship. There are some well known players from the NFL and the NCAA who regularly do ballet to help with football. If you do a search, you’ll find lots of videos online.

And last but not least, it says that you love superhero movies…did that have anything to do with the love of tights in this book? 

LOL! I can’t say that it did, but I do love me some superheroes in tights.  Football players don’t look too shabby in their tight little pants either, but I’m pretty sure they would not appreciate them being called tights.

About the Author

Ally Mathews - author photo

Ally lives in Texas and is convinced her house is shrinking, possibly because she shares it with three kids, four dogs, two cats, a rabbit, and assorted reptiles. Oh, and her husband. She likes to curse in Russian because very few people know what she’s saying, and spends most of what would be her spare time letting dogs in and out of the house and shuttling kids around. She has many stories in her head waiting for the opportunity to escape onto paper.

When she’s not writing, you can find her reading or binge watching Psych, Scream, Younger, and superhero movies. She loves to cook but hates to clean up afterwards, and strongly believes that Disney World is truly magical. You can find Ally on her website, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, though she makes no claims of using any of them properly.

Author Links







What do you think? How fun does this book sound? And she’s a fellow Belle lover! Let’s discuss in the comments below!

4 thoughts on “Interview with Ally Mathews, Author of Offsetting Penalties

  1. I don’t always do cheese……………………..but this one sounds really good! I’ve always had a fascination with ballet so I’ll take any good YA with it! Great questions Mandy this was a really fun interview!

    Liked by 1 person

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