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, through the years, honing my craft, making time between work and family obligations.
Then I made the 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 my craft.
I constantly read, from novels in my favourite genre to books written by experts in the writing field. My first two purchases were "Stein on Writing", a book written by a 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 reader. I even wrote that phrase and put it on a sticky note and put it on my computer monitor.
The self-editing book helped me to 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attended the "Bloody Words" writing conference in Ottawa,, Canada, rubbing shoulders with other writers (published and unpublished), bombarding them with questions, learning what it took to become successful.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 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 author, 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 genre, etc.) an sent out querying 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 Jennifer Lyons Literary Agent.
After months od editing with Jennifer, and more rejections from publishers, my dream was finally realised in April 2012, when I signed a publishing contract with Imajin Books (Edmonton, Alberta).
Back cover text for DEAD MAN'S HAND
What happens when the deck is stacked against you…From NFL rising-star prospect to wanted fugitive, Calvin Watters is a sadistic African-American Las Vegas debt-collector framed by a murderer who, like the Vegas Police, finds him to be the perfect fall-guy.…and the cards don't fall your way?When the brutal slaying of a prominent casino owner is followed by the murder of a well-known bookie, Detective Dale Dayton is thrown into the middle of a highly political case and leads the largest homicide investigation in Vegas in the last twelve years.What if you're dealt a Dead Man's Hand?Against his superiors and better judgment, Dayton is willing to give Calvin one last chance. To redeem himself, Calvin must prove his innocence by finding the real killer, while avoiding the LVMPD, as well as protect the woman he loves from a professional assassin hired to silence them.Short Bio:Luke Murphy lives in Shawville, Quebec with his wife, three daughters and pug.He played six years of professional hockey before retiring in 2006. Since then, he’s held a number of jobs, from sports columnist to radio journalist, before earning his Bachelor of Education degree (Magna Cum Laude).Murphy`s debut novel, Dead Man`s Hand, was released by Imajin Books on October 20, 2012.
For more information on Luke and his books,
visit: www.authorlukemurphy.com, ‘ ike’ his Facebook page in
ww.facebook.com/#!/AuthorLukeMurphy and follow him on Twitterwww.twitter.com/#!/AuthorLMurphy
Review Blurbs:"You may want to give it the whole night, just to see how it turns out."—William Martin, New York Times bestselling author of 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
Well I hope you all enjoyed reading my guest blog this week, and many thanks to Luke and good luck with the book.
I found this a particularly interesting blog post as I am always intrigued as to how other writers came in to writing in the first place.
I see Luke also uses on of my little tricks, I always have a highlighter pen at the ready so that I can highlight a particular snippet of information that catches my eye.
As a student at university my notes were always dotted about with highlighter and also sticky notes.
Love to you all