A new tennis novel from tennis pro Marcus Cootsona

by Linda Hubbard Gulker on October 7, 2016

Given that local tennis pro Marcus Cootsona teaches about 45 hours a week in Atherton, Los Altos Hills and at the San Francisco Tennis Club, on hearing that he’d written another novel, we could only ask, “When do you find time?”

“I write between lessons,” he said. “If I have an hour free, I write. On Saturday afternoon and Sunday, I write. But I write slowly. The latest novel took two years.”

Rubber Match is a sequel to Slammin’, which was published in 2014. “A lot of the same characters are in it,” he said. “It takes place two years after the events in Slammin’.

“Wally and his wife and teenage son are visiting colleges in Southern California when their minivan breaks down. He gets a phone call inviting him to play in an exhibition match. And his life begins to spin out control again. He’s picked to play in the Davis Cup. He gets framed for stealing a 15th-century painting. And he’s chased by obsessive compulsive Canadian Mounties.

“The play is on ‘rubber match,’ the deciding game in sports. Throughout the book, Wally faces decisions, so it’s about life being a rubber match.”

As much as Marcus loves writing, he also loves teaching tennis and works hard to balance the two. “I have kids as young as four and adults in their late 70s,” he said. “What’s interesting is that I have two big bunches, the kids and then adults 40-plus.

“For the adults, many turn to tennis as a distraction. People can exercise without thinking about the fact that they are exercising!”

As for the writing, he’s just finished the first draft of what he calls a “straight up thriller with no tennis.”

When he isn’t on the court or writing, what does he do? He jogs around his hometown of Menlo Park or reads.

Photo by Linda Hubbard (c) 2016

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