Monday, July 10, 2017

My Golf and Writing on Parallel Paths by Rolynn Anderson

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

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?

Seven Suspense Novels Spiked with Romance

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Diane Burton said...

Great analogy, Rolynn. You are a determined golfer and a terrific writer. I love your suspense novels. Haven't read the funeral home ghost stories yet. Good luck with getting those 20 reviews. As soon as I finish Bad Lies, I'll get a review up.

Jannine Gallant said...

Done. Not sure when I'll have time to read it, but I'll try to get to it soon! Congrats on your improved golf game, too.

Rolynn Anderson said...

Diane, you are so kind about my writing and my golf. I get lots of aggressions out on the golf course...probably in my writing as well :-)

Rolynn Anderson said...

Thanks, Jannine. Writing about golf has charged up my desire to get to a 15 or 16 index. Next year! (As hard to knock of strokes as it is to get reviews :-)

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

Writing isn't easy, is it? I've never golfed, but my daughter-in-law used to...until she got breast implants and her enhanced bust line ruined her swing. Maybe you could add that analogy in somewhere. "Too many boobs spoil the story line. Keep it to one or two." Awesome post, Rolynn.

Margo Hoornstra said...

Consider the glass hoisted, Rolynn, with a hearty hear! hear! to boot. Congratulations on improvement on both fronts. May your ongoing success continue!

Andrea Downing said...

OK, now I'm looking forward to you tying into one of your books Vonnie's tale of boobs ruining a golf swing. Nice analogy, Rolynn-and here's my cyber toast of champagne.

Rolynn Anderson said...

Vonnie, the skilled pro will help any woman do the 'work-around' of the boobs. The male pro might blush, but they'll give the golfer a couple preparation approaches. SOP. John Daly's got the big tummy...hey, we all have 'issues'...shouldn't keep us from having fun playing golf. I'll keep that analogy in my mind! (BTW, my hero DEFINITELY likes my heroine's swing, boobs included!)

Rolynn Anderson said...

Margo, I appreciate your much of me is bluster...but I do get through things by telling everyone my I don't forget what I promised to me and to the world :-)

Rolynn Anderson said...

Thanks, Andi. Vonnie used a comment I made in one of her books...I better use hers ASAP...she gave me permission as I did her (love darts was the term I gave her...'expressed' by snails, that is)

Brenda whiteside said...

I used to love to golf, long before I wrote. I was young. I bought my golf clubs in turquoise blue to match our convertible. I wouldn't practice, refusing to go to the practice range with FDW. On the Biltmore Estate golf course, a man who had joined our tee time told me, after I duffed a ball, to not worry about it. It's how you look doing it that counts, and you looked damn good. FDW agreed, but told me the guy was obviously flirting. Anyway, I don't golf anymore, but I do approach writing differently than I approached golfing...more like you, Rolynn. I've downloaded your book!

Rolynn Anderson said...

Oh, you'll love Sophie in BAD LIES...she's the color coordinated queen...just like you. You HAVE to feel good about your outfit, your clubs and your swing. Looking good matters! Thanks for downloading my book!

Leah St. James said...

Sorry I'm late! Love the golf analogy! My hubby and sons are avid golfers, and I do everything I can to get them out of the house and onto the course (any course!) whenever possible. :-)It amazes me how golfers can tell you in detail about every hole they play, and they never seem to forget! Like, "I was going to use the 5-iron, but then I got to thinking the last time I played the course, in 2013, I overshot the hole..." :-) I took advantage of the sale and grabbed my copy of BAD LIES yesterday. Can't wait to read it! It's next on my list.