For Caryn Schulsinger, setting her new novel in the pickleball world just felt comfortable.
“They say write what you know,” Schulsinger said.
Since she and her husband, Robert, moved from New Jersey to South Florida, recreational pickleball has become a growing part of their lives.
As an athletic 62-year-old woman newly retired from her insurance industry job, Schulsinger fell into a Florida social life that revolved around pickleball.
“I have a group of about 30 or 40 people,” she said. “I pretty much play seven days a week. I’m totally obsessed.”
Schulsinger had tried pickleball ball years ago, got hurt quickly, and vowed to never play again, choosing instead to get her exercise by cycling and playing golf.
But pickleball summoned her last summer, and she fell in.
With more spare time on her hands, she decided to write a novel, and it just seemed natural to make the plot revolve around a romance forged on open-play pickleball courts.
“I would play pickleball all morning, then go home and write about pickleball,” she said.
The result is her novel, Zero Zero Start: a Pickleball Tale of Love, Lies and Deception, written under her pen name, C.S. Singer.
The book is available here on Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/2p86kuar
It’s a breezy plot about sexy adults getting the hots for handsome strangers showing up and looking to play. It’s part romance, part mystery, and full of secret pasts, vindictive family members, and pending criminal charges.
Not everybody loves each other in this story, but they all love pickleball. And the plot just zips along through constant gatherings for pickleball at Caloosa Park in Boynton Beach, which is a real pickleball haven in Palm Beach County.
A passage from the book explains:
“There are so many others, young, old, and in between who come for reasons only known to themselves. Some as an escape, some for the genuine fun and some, well who really knows. The pickleball courts can be a place where anything can happen.”
There are lots of familiar touches Schulsinger weaves into the plot, including a player getting a black eye during doubles play.
“That happened to me,” Schulsinger said. “I got hit in the eye with the ball, and I thought, ‘I’ll use this for the book.’”
Where is all this pickleball energy leading? Maybe to a trilogy for her pickleball characters, she said.
In the meantime, there will be lots of non-fictional pickleball games in her future.
“As long as I’m out there moving and having a good time,” she said. “That’s when I get the most out of it.”