I’m delighted to introduce guest blogger, Luke Murphy, international bestselling author of Dead Man’s Hand (Imajin Books, 2012). Luke played six years of professional hockey before retiring in 2006. His sports column, “Overtime” (Pontiac Equity), was nominated for the 2007 Best Sports Page in Quebec, and won the award in 2009. He has also worked as a radio journalist (CHIPFM 101.7). He lives in Shawville, QC with his wife, three daughters and pug. He is a teacher who holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing, and a Bachelor of Education (Magna Cum Laude)!
Today, Luke’s blog is Professional Hockey Player to Published Novelist. Enjoy!
From a family of avid readers, even as a child, I always had a passion for books. Whether it was reading novels on road trips or writing assignments in school, literature was always part of my life.
In the winter of 2000, after sustaining a season ending eye injury while playing professional hockey in Oklahoma City, I found myself with a lot of time on my hands, and a new hobby emerged.
I didn’t write with the intention of being published. I wrote for the love of writing, as a hobby. I continued to hobby write through the years, honing my craft, making time between work and family obligations.
Then I made a decision to take my interest one step further. I’ve never been one to take things lightly or jump in half way. I took a full year off from writing to study the craft.
I constantly read, from novels in my favorite genres to books written by experts in the writing field. My first two purchases were “Stein on Writing”, a book written by successful editor Sol Stein, and “Self-Editing for Fiction Writers” by Renni Browne and Dave King.
I read through these novels and highlighted important answers to my questions. My major breakthrough from Stein’s book was to “Show don’t Tell”. I had to trust my readers. I even wrote that phrase on a sticky note and put it on my computer monitor.
The Self-Editing book helped me learn how to cut the FAT off my manuscript, eliminating unnecessary details, making it more lean and crisp, with a better flow. I learned to cut repetition and remain consistent throughout the novel.
I continually researched the internet, reading up on the industry and process “What is selling?” and “Who is buying?” were my two major questions.
I attended the “Bloody Words” writing conference in Ottawa, Canada, rubbing elbows with other writers, editors, agents and publishers. I made friends (published and unpublished authors), bombarding them with questions, learning what it took to become successful.
Feeling that I was finally prepared, in the winter of 2007, with an idea in mind and an outline on paper, I started to write DEAD MAN`S HAND. It took me two years (working around full time jobs) to complete the first draft of my novel.
The first person to read my completed manuscript was my former high school English teacher. With her experience and wisdom, she gave me some very helpful advice. I then hired McCarthy Creative Services to help edit DEAD MAN’S HAND, to make it the best possible novel.
I joined a critique group, teaming up with published authors Nadine Doolittle and Kathy Leveille, and exchanging manuscripts and information. Working with an editor and other authors was very rewarding and not only made my novel better, but made me a better writer.
When I was ready, I researched agents who fit my criteria (successful, worked with my genres, etc.) and sent out query letters. After six months of rejections, I pulled my manuscript back and worked on it again. Then in my next round of proposals, I was offered representation by the Jennifer Lyons Literary Agency.
After months of editing with Jennifer, and more rejections from publishers, my dream was finally realized in April, 2012, when I signed a publishing contract with Imajin Books.
Note that Luke’s Book, Dead Man’s Hand will be free from Feb. 13 – 17th!
You can find it at: http://ow.ly/hd4Xv
"You may want to give it the whole night, just to see how it turns out."
—William Martin, New York Times bestselling author of Back Bay and The Lincoln Letter
"Dead Man's Hand is a pleasure, a debut novel that doesn't read like one,
but still presents original characters and a fresh new voice."
—Thomas Perry, New York Times bestselling author of Poison Flower
"Part police procedural, part crime fiction, Dead Man's Hand is a fast, gritty ride."
—Anne Frasier, USA Today bestselling author of Hush
Review Blurbs for Kiss & Tell
“Luke Murphy scores big with this deep psychological thriller. Just when you think you've got things pegged, Murphy serves up another twist. Fast paced and fun, you won't want to put this book down.” —Tim Green, New York Times bestselling author of Unstoppable
“An intricately detailed and clever mystery featuring a tough minded but vulnerable protagonist with more than a few demons of her own. The twists and turns kept me guessing to the very end.”
—Christy Reece, New York Times bestselling author of Nothing To Lose
“Luke Murphy’s novel, Kiss & Tell, has lots of twists and turns, and police procedures where the good guy, in this case, Charlene Taylor, is not always good. The characters come to life with suspense, drama, explosive action, and an ending you never see coming.”
—John Foxjohn, USA Today Best-selling author of Killer Nurse