Always happy when serendipity allows me a chance to talk about my novel with a stranger. Yesterday, in Seattle, a crisp and sunny winter solstice, I walked my dog to the library to pick up Still Life with Bread Crumbs (Anna Quindlen), and Zelda (Nancy Milford). When I returned home along the path at Green Lake, I spied a tiny dog being walked by two women (60-somethings like me). My dog went into a low crouch, weight on her back paws, refusing to move forward. Tiny tot did the same.
“Dogs aren’t saying hello to him today,” the woman in charge of the leash lamented.
My dog went for tiny tot. “Be nice Lucy,” I said, then realized I called my dog by the wrong name.
The dogs visited in the way dogs do.
“What’s your dog’s name,” I asked.
“Romeo. And yours is Lucy.”
“No, her name is Lulu, but I called her Lucy because that’s the name of a character in a novel I’m writing, and she’s on my mind.”
“Oh, are you a local author?”
“What have you written?” Continue reading
My dad’s enthusiasm for athletics infused my childhood. He introduced me to more sports than I have fingers. I was nine years old when it started. My family had moved into a modest three-bedroom home on an acre of land across the street from the back nine of an esteemed public golf course. My father had visions for our land.
As it was an L-shaped home, his first vision was to place a swimming pool inside the L, like snapping in a LEGO piece, to close the open-ended rectangle. In his youth, he had trained as a life guard. He taught me all the swim strokes, including a bonus: Esther Williams’s half-freestyle/half-backstroke style. I loved to swim laps, practice dives, make waves with a cannonball; with friends, I played water volleyball, floated on air mattresses, had splash parties; and if no one was home, I skinny dipped.
Dad and I spent hours together on the golf course. With his encouragement and lessons, my skill soon matched his, though his drives went farther. We had an after-dinner, five-hole ritual. Crossing our street, walking through the neighbor’s yard put us at the 14th hole. We played 14 and 15, cut a path through the woods to play 11, 12, and 13 (my all-time favorite hole, a par four dogleg with great birdie potential). Then we’d walk through the neighbor’s yard, cross our street, and be home.
His second vision was for the blacktop driveway.
Kay’s front porch, Seattle, 2001. Dad-85; Kay-48
The author at Ella Sharp Park G.C., Jackson, MI – July 1978
As a writer and a golfer, I found joy in creating a main character with a passion for golf. Here’s an excerpt of a chat between Par Parker and her mother from my debut novel, A Tight Grip…
In an uncharacteristic moment of blissful connection, [Par’s mother asked], “What do you love about golf?” Excited about her mother’s attention, Par thought for a moment. “I love the finesse of it, the strategy of playing each hole smart, the shot making, adapting to weather, analyzing my competitors’ strengths and weaknesses. I love the fact that I can outdrive a man twice my size. There are always surprises in every round, surprises like sinking a long birdie putt, skipping the ball over water, getting a favorable bounce away from a hazard, holing out a chip shot, and the ultimate—making a hole in one.”
“A hole in one. What are the odds?”
“Probably a million to one.”
“And you’ve had two.”
Par nodded. She had her mother’s full attention and didn’t want to stop. “I love the thrill of winning. I love the press and the attention from people, even strangers, for what I do myself and not for being the daughter of Mr. Chevrolet.”
And yes, these feelings Par has expressed about golf are my feelings (author privilege). The fiction comes in with the ‘two’ holes in one, I’ve had only one, but there’s still a lot of golf left in me!
Cheers for National Golf Day! Wishing you many pars and birdies!!
Have you seen GottaGoGolf’s Spring issue? Here’s a free sample. Read.uberflip.com/t/164737
I read the entire magazine the second it came through by email, and was thoroughly immersed in its positive spirit. Not being a fan of traditional golf magazines, I enjoyed and related to everything in GottaGoGolf , especially its theme: We’ve got the POWER!
Hope you enjoy it. If you love it, you can subscribe (see the last page).
These two beasts may be familiar to you. I wrestled with them, pinned them to the mat, and then moved closer to the prize of publication! Click here to find out more: [SWP: Behind the Book] Taming the Beasts
ALP: Golf seems to be a major factor in your life, both in your debut novel, A Tight Grip, and your personal life. Tell us a little about your history with the sport, and how it influenced your writing of your book.
KRC: Golf was my first passion in life. I started playing at 9 years of age, began entering tournaments at 12, and enjoyed many wins while learning and building character from losses. Some great things that golf provided me: confidence, discipline and focus, lifelong friendships. It was an equalizer with men. They often grumbled when I played from “the men’s tees”with them, but when I outdrove or outplayed them, they settled down and I felt respected. I gave up competitive golf in my late twenties, and it turned into a social game which I hope to play well into my eighties.
In A Tight Grip, the main character, Par Parker, is obsessed with competitive golf, and the younger players upstaging her fuel a mid-life crisis. The golf action in the novel comes straight from my experience, though fictionalized. I enjoyed reconnecting with that period in my life.
ALP: You’ve had a number of other careers besides writing. What were they?
Click here for the whole interview: http://anneleighparrish.com/author-interview-kay-rae-chomic/
My debut novel, A Tight Grip, is set in my hometown of Jackson, Michigan. I’m happy to share that I am returning to the scene of the story on August 7th. Many events are planned. It all begins on Friday, 8/8, with the Bart Hawley Show on Jackson TV! I’ve heard great things about Bart, and am excited to meet him, and be interviewed. He recently had Elaine Crosby, LPGA and Legends Tour Member, on his show discussing the Legends’ event coming up 8/10-8/11 at the Jackson Country Club. I’ll be watching the pros play on Sunday. For more info about readings and book signings, please click on my Events tab on my website: http://www.kayraechomic.com/events/
Hope you can join me at one or more of these events!
Please join me on Saturday, 7/19/14, at Bank of Books in Malibu, as I read from my debut novel, A Tight Grip. The event begins at 2 pm: I’ll read some excerpts, then Q & A–ask me anything, and I’ll be happy to sign books. Bank of Books is located at Point Dume Village, 29169 Heathercliff Rd., #109, Malibu, CA 90265. Hope to see you there!
On Sunday, 7/20/14, I’ll be at Chevalier’s Books in Los Angeles (126 N. Larchmont Blvd.) from 2-4 pm, as part of a panel presentation with two other She Writes Press Authors. Please join us!
Walk, drive, or ferry on over! It’d be great to see you.
Thursday, July 10th, at 7:30 PM
Reading, Q & A, Book Signing
“Cats are connoisseurs of comfort.”