Susan Sands is a well known league tennis player here in Atlanta, Ga. If you haven’t had the pleasure to meet her on the tennis court, then you may have faced one of her kids.
Aside from her court presence, Susan’s first novel titled, “Again, Alabama” was launched in 2015 and The Peach Review® had the opportunity to have a quick chat with her to see how the sport of tennis helps with her writing and managing a busy family life.
This romance novel is the story of Cammie Laroux’s return back to Alabama again. Right?
Dragged back to her small town to help her mother recover from surgery while rescuing the family event planning business should be a cinch. Even for a disgraced television chef, right? Wrong. Among the many secrets Cammie’s family’s been hiding is the fact that their historic home is falling down. Oh, and the man hired to restore the house, Grey Harrison, is the same high school and college love of her life who thrashed her heart and dreams ten years ago. Yeah, that guy. Grey, a widower with a young daughter, has never stopped loving Cammie, and when they are face to face once again, the chemistry is off the charts. Cammie may be in full-blown denial, but letting go is no longer in Grey’s vocabulary, even when winning Cammie’s forgiveness and renovating their love may seem like an impossible build even for a master architect and carpenter. As Cammie finds herself forgetting all the reasons she can’t trust Grey or love again, he finds himself remembering all the reasons he wants her to stay with him in Alabama… forever.
The Louisiana native explained how she got involved in the sport years ago and how the much she enjoys her court time:
I’ve lived in the North Fulton/Alpharetta area for just over twenty years. I started playing tennis right after my eighteen-year-old son, Cameron, was born. I learned pretty quickly that the way to make friends and find community here was to learn to play tennis and join a team! We moved from New Orleans right after my husband, Doug, graduated from dental school. Now our three children are nearly grown, and I’m still playing every Alta, USTA, and T-2 every season. I’m not as young or as fast, but it’s the one thing that forces me out of my solitary “writing cave” and thrusts me into a fun social setting, and pushes me to get moving. It’s great for my brain and my mood.
Writers tend to pull in to themselves a little too much at times. Sitting in front of a computer screen hyper-focusing on a storyline and characters for hours at a time without human contact is a very isolating lifestyle. I admit to taking regular social media breaks when the writing doesn’t flow, but since I’ve been writing seriously, my time out with friends has become far less than before.
Tennis is truly the one thing I’ve kept as my sacred “me” activity during the week. I schedule it in my calendar and don’t let anything take its place.
Her love for tennis has even reached and impacted how her children grew up here in Atlanta and her immediate community in Alpharetta and Johns Creek:
Everyone in our family has played through the years, either recreationally, competitively, or both. I’ve captained and been team mom of more junior, middle school and high school teams than I can recall. It’s been a pure joy. My oldest son has had his teaching professional’s certification and coached at Beck Tennis Academy in Athens during his time at UGA. Tennis has taught and encouraged sportsmanship, working with others toward a common goal, building camaraderie with peers, and improved social skills. I’ve seen such a benefit to my children through tennis in so many ways.
I can’t say enough about the fantastic coaches who have mentored my kids through the years as well. Coach Desmond McLennon was my twenty-two year old son, Kevin’s coach when he was in sixth grade. They remain very close today. Desmond is a dear family friend. There have been many others.
As a woman connecting with and forming friendships with other women in my community, tennis has been a huge part of my life for years. I’ve moved around to several neighborhoods and clubs in the area and made wonderful life-long friends through tennis teams I’ve played on. I think Atlanta is truly unique in that way.
Here’s a shout out to my girls in Deerlake, Chartwell, Country Club of Roswell, St. Regis, and my current team, Horseshoe Bend! You ladies are awesome!