cj Sez: Okay, folks. Lyrical Pens has enticed internationally published author Judy Penz Sheluk away from her Lake Superior home (and golfing buddies) just long enough to answer some questions about her writing life and introduce her latest novel: Before There Were Skeletons. Read on and become fascinated with how this busy author stays on track …
LP: When did you realize you wanted to write?
Hybrid. My debut novel and a couple of others were
originally picked up by two small presses. One has since shuttered its
Judy's photo of Lake Superior
as seen from her gazebo
doors completely, the other is now only publishing her own novels. Being “orphaned” twice, I decided to indie publish and set up Superior Shores Press. In addition to my own novels, I have edited and published three multi-author collections of short mystery.
The mass market paperback versions of my Marketville and Glass Dolphin series were also picked up by WWL Mystery, a division of Harlequin, which is a division of HarperCollins.
Where you do most of your writing?
Is silence golden when you write, or do you like some accompaniment…music, a TV program, some kind of white noise?
Characters are usually composites of real and imagined people. How much of your plots and characters are drawn from real life—from your life in particular?
I like to joke that everything interesting that happens to me ends up in one of my stories. Of course, I haven’t killed anyone or solved a cold case. But I definitely get my ideas from real life, and develop characters based on my observations of people I’ve known or have met in passing. I’ve even included a scene in one of my books about a man who butted in front of everyone who’d been waiting in a long lineup at the dollar store. Let’s just say it wasn’t my finest hour – or his – but it was fun to recreate.
Lots of ways but one way is that I read the credits on TV shows and movies. For example, in my latest book, Before There Were Skeletons, I have a new character, Denim Hopkins. The Hopkins is a nod to a friend of mine who passed away a few years back. The Denim is from Denim Richards, who plays Colby Mayfield on Yellowstone. I knew Denim would be a great name (and of course, she has a stepbrother named Levi).
The complete works of Agatha Christie. She was prolific, so I’d have a lot of books, and her work stands up to this day.
The complete series (including the Netflix movie) of Gilmore Girls. I never tire of Lorelei and Rory.
Judy is a member of Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers, the Short Mystery Fiction Society, and Crime Writers of Canada, where she served as Chair on the Board of Directors. She lives in Northern Ontario on the shores of Lake Superior. Find her at judypenzsheluk.com.
cj Sez: Thank you so much for stopping by, Judy. I’m inspired, and I love Gibbs. Not only does he have the name of one of my favorite TV characters, but he’s gorgeous, and I want to squeeze him. Best wishes for best-seller sales and rave reviews for Before There Were Skeletons.
THE DAWGSTAR and DEATH ON THE YAMPAmy fast-paced, exciting suspense/thriller ebooks, are now low-, low-priced at $2.99.
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