I’m a retired Washington State high school principal (and English teacher) who traded Seattle’s gray skies for sunny California in 2000, decided to write suspense novels, signed up for the golf experience at Cypress Ridge Golf Course in 2001, started writing...and never looked back.
Sixteen years later, I realize my adventures in writing matches my journey to become a skilled golfer. I’ve learned golf and writing share the same pains and joys…and I wouldn’t give up either endeavor.
Let me show you how my golf and writing careers have followed parallel paths. For instance, after writing eleven novels in nine years, I was picked up by Wild Rose Press-my thriller, LAST RESORT. In golf, I chipped away at my index, dropping from a 28 to an 18. For those of you who know the game, that means I took ten strokes off a round of eighteen holes of golf. Yippee!
And I challenged myself by playing difficult golf courses, pocked with bunkers, and plagued by narrow fairways that took right and left turns at will. As an author, I challenged myself at every crossroad, following LAST RESORT with a quirky series of three novels about a boutique funeral planner whose dead clients refuse to rest in piece. Every book presents a new ‘golf course,’ forcing me to dig deeper for confidence, skill, and persistence.
You’re well aware of the old saw that we learned everything we need to know about life in Kindergarten. Forget that. I learned everything I know about writing from golf. I whack at a golf ball with the same intensity I attack a sentence, no holds barred. Each ‘lie’ (or plot sequence) is different. Every hole (or scene) requires fresh insight. I must learn the ins and outs of a new character…same with a new golf club. Choosing a club, aligning the ball and calibrating my swing match my deliberate word choice and word order. I love playing with great golfers as much as I’m inspired when I read novels by fabulous writers. Conflict? Oh yeah! Novels are juiced up by conflict, as is competitive golf. Each 'game' can go down because of a psych-out.
But the most important thing I learned from golf is the ‘practice’ element. You can’t be a great golfer or writer without consistent, repetitive, focused encounters with the skill. I write every day, revising and crafting new stories…and my golf index improves if I play two or three times a week.
I will tell you that in many ways, golf is easier than writing a novel. Most books take me eight months to write, with the editing part as painful as labor. In golf, four hours may produce a score of 82…or not.
I ask you to pick up a glass of champagne and join me in a cyber toast: Here’s to golf (and chipping two more strokes of my index) and the launch of my new golf/geology/Italy/cave novel, BAD LIES. Big sales and tiny handicaps to us all!
To celebrate, I’m offering BAD LIES, in e-version, free for three days, July 10-12. Download it, read it, and please review it on Amazon/Goodreads. If I get 20 reviews, I can promo the novel on Book Bub…that’s my goal! Thanks for helping me get there!
Here it is, BAD LIES http://a.co/0DuYNPn:
Italy’s haunted caves spell danger for an American golfer and a NATO geologist
Sophie Maxwell is a late-blooming, unorthodox golfer, and mother of a precocious thirteen year-old. Determined to put divorce, bankruptcy, and a penchant for gambling in her past, Sophie goes to Italy for a qualifying golf tournament.
Jack Walker turned his back on a pro golfing career to become a geologist. As a favor to his ailing father he’ll caddy for Sophie; off hours, he’ll find caves on the Mediterranean coast, suitable for NATO listening posts for terrorist activity.
Someone is determined to stop Jack’s underground hunt and ruin Sophie’s chances to win her tournament.
On a Rome golf course and in the Amalfi coast’s haunted caves, all the odds are stacked against Sophie and Jack. In their gamble of a lifetime, who wins?
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