Over the past few weeks I’ve networked with many new people. One of the most dynamic, friendly, and helpful is Judy Penz Sheluk. Her debut mystery, THE HANGED MAN’S NOOSE was published July 2015 through Barking Rain Press. Her short crime fiction is included in The Whole She-Bang 2 and World Enough and Crime.
In her less mysterious pursuits, Judy works as a freelance writer/editor. She is currently Editor of Home BUILDER Magazine and Senior Editor, New England Antiques Journal.
Judy is a member of Sisters in Crime, Crime Writers of Canada, and International Thriller Writers. Find Judy at www.judypenzsheluk.com where she interviews other authors and blogs about the writing life.
I’ve posed some questions for Judy. You’ll find her answers insightful!
Tell us about your book
The Hanged Man’s Noose is the story of Emily Garland, a Toronto-based freelance writer who is offered a lucrative assignment in the small town of Lount’s Landing: find the real story behind a ruthless developer’s plans to convert an old schoolhouse on the town’s historic Main Street into a mega-box store. Recently dumped by her fiancé and tired of reporting on the same old condo stats, she jumps at the opportunity to relocate and start anew. Adding to her motivation is the fact that she blames the developer for her mother’s recent suicide.
When Emily arrives in town, she quickly learns that not everyone is on board with the mega-box store, least of all Arabella Carpenter, the outspoken owner of the Glass Dolphin, an antiques shop on Main. But Arabella is not alone in her opposition. Before long, a vocal dissenter at a town hall meeting about the proposed project dies. A few days later, another body is discovered, and although both deaths are ruled accidental, Emily’s journalistic suspicions are aroused.
Putting her reporting skills to the ultimate test, Emily teams up with Arabella to discover the truth behind Stonehaven’s latest scheme before the murderer strikes again.
Describe an average writing day. Do you have any rituals and schedules?
I try to write every day, though it doesn’t always work out that way. My goal is 6,000 words a week, which gives me a first draft in three months. Once I have the draft completed, I leave it for a couple of weeks and start something else. After a couple of weeks, I’ll go back and change the color of the font on the entire document from black to blue. Then I start rereading it, editing chapter by chapter as I go, and changing the font color back to black when I’m satisfied that the chapter works. I’ll repeat that process once more, and then send the manuscript to a professional editor for their review. Then I’ll revise based on their input. After that final revision, I’ll send the book out into the world for publishing consideration.
As for rituals, I drink lots of tea (Warmth by Tetley, a cinnamon rooibos blend) and water. I also listen to talk radio while I write: either Newstalk 1010 or Talk 640 Toronto.
What are you working on right now?
I’m on the final revision of Skeletons in the Attic: A Marketville Mystery. It also takes place in small town (Marketville) but with the exception of Arabella Carpenter, who has a minor role, all the characters are different than in The Hanged Man’s Noose. I’m also planning the sequel to Noose, this time with Arabella as the protagonist and Emily along for the ride.Read the first four chapters of The Hanged Man’s Noose free, and get a 35% off coupon HERE
Check out Judy's book on Amazon!