Monday, September 14, 2015
ANY ONE FOR TENNIS? by Michael Gettel-Gilmartin
I've been a tennis fan since I was 11, when the young Chris Evert came upon the scene. I thrilled to Bjorn Borg's five consecutive Wimbledon wins, supported Edberg over Becker, and watched Andre Agassi go from bad boy to elder statesman. I've marvelled at Monica Seles, been wowed by Venus Williams, and have fanboyed Roger Federer shamelessly.
Why am I admitting all this? Because it's been a bit of a rough year, writing-wise. Forgive me for getting personal, but in the past nine months (enough time to birth a baby, I remind myself) I've parted from my agent and set foot once more in the tumultuous waters of querying. Although I've had a smattering of full requests for my middle grade ghost story, I've often felt I'm beating my head against a wall (or off the frame of a tennis racket.)
Everybody counsels the querying writer to write something new, and when I was casting about for a new idea I thought "What the heck! Why not write about something which you're passionate about?!" My "tennis novel" was born.
There aren't many tennis novels around. Mine features a 12-year-old Mexican-American girl, Abbi Cortez, whose father is convinced she is going to be the next tennis phenom. Abbi is good, but does she really have what it takes to make it in the world of pro-tennis? I'm certainly enjoying myself trying to figure out what the future holds for her.
In other news, I'm featuring Tricia Springstubb's novel, MOONPENNY ISLAND, on my Middle Grade Mafioso blog--and I invite you to hop over and take a look. I was captivated by Tricia's gorgeous writing.
And, in honor of the US Open which ended yesterday with a surprising victory on the women's side for Italian veteran, Flavia Pennetta--and a not-so-surprising victory for world number one, Novak Djokovic on the men's, I invite you to play a little game.
Yesterday was 9/13, so go to page 9 of your current manuscript and share line 13 in the comments. Here's my 9/13:
"You could play for fun," Mama says. "Spend more time with your friends."
Here's to playing/writing for fun! Have a great week, everyone.