As for his tennis game, he peaked in the early '80s when he was in his teens playing junior tournaments in Georgia, usually ranking in the top twenty or thirty players in the state. He spent a few weeks training at the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy over the holidays in 1981-82, but showed absolutely no promise of ever making it on the pro tour and was usually assigned to a distant court. He did win the Georgia Region 7-AAA high school championship in 1985. He now plays once or twice a week and holds a USTA rating of 4.5. In 2010, he played a 15-year-old girl ranked 920 in the world, winning six games and writing about it for Peter Bodo's blog. He also wrote about a search for Bill Tilden's grave for the August 2008 issue of Tennis magazine. In April 2016, on an assignment for Sports Illustrated, he wrote about what it's like to return serves in the 140-mph hour range from a young pro making his ATP debut. For more of his nonfiction tennis writing, visit his tennis blog, Topspin Blog Redux.
Follow and contact him on Twitter @JSamuelStarnes or Facebook at www.facebook.com/joesamuelstarneswriter.
Starnes is represented by literary agent Scott Miller, executive vice president of Trident Media Group.