I'm a Brit and was brought up on the Isle of Wight in southern England, which probably explains why I've set my fictitious tennis club in that part of the world. My husband Andre and I now divide our time between Andorra - a small principality high up in the Pyrenees mountains between France and Spain - and west Florida. Right now we're enjoying the lovely summer weather in the mountains. This picture was taken on Saturday from my terrace. The crop you can see growing in the foreground is tobacco.
I've been involved with tennis clubs for years and when we first moved to Spain we joined one in order to meet people. The goings-on between ex-pats - the petty squabbles and power struggles - was grist to this writer's mill. Andre nagged me to write a novel on the subject.
"Call it Costa Capers," he said. "It will sell a million."
Yeah, right! Anyway, to stop him nagging I wrote the wretched book, changed the names to protect the guilty and set it in England. The result is Topspin.
A bit about the characters I...er, invented. Jack Regent is an ex East End enforcer. When his wife cheated on him he lost focus, packed it in and moved to the Isle of Wight to spend his days drinking too much and playing tennis. He's a hard man with a past he doesn't share with anyone.
Joe Porterhouse is a respected cardiologist deeply in love with his much younger wife Claire. What he doesn't know is that Claire has voracious sexual appetites that she satisfies with an endless stream of faceless lovers. An accident waiting to happen if ever I heard of one.
Angela Shah has designs of Jack. She needs someone to relieve her loneliness and act as father to her fourteen-year-old twins. She's so tight-lipped about the identity of the twins' father that the other members conclude she must have a murky past.
And let's not forget Ed Brady, a man with his own agenda. When he's not bullying his wife he's plotting to take over the running of the club. We've all met someone like Ed, I'm sure.
The members rub along together, after a fashion, until the new coach turns out to be someone from Jack's past. In fact he's the man whom his wife cheated with and his presence affects not just Jack but all the main players at the club. Personal secrets become public property, resentments and grievances are aired, revenge extracted and firmly held views questioned as the story bulldozes to a bloody and unexpected conclusion.
This fast moving, gritty account of life in a small club will have you burning the midnight oil. Visit my website at http://www.wsoliman.com/ to read an excerpt. If you enjoy it please 'like' my Facebook author page athttp://on.fb.me/oBRZLO to keep up with all my latest news and releases.
I'm planning a sequel to Topspin but need your help. I can't think of a catchy title connected with tennis. Any ideas? Come up with one that I use and it will earn you a mention in the acknowledgements and a copy of Topspin.
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