Author Assistant: Judy Penz Sheluk’s Trusty Companion, Gibbs

Fun Fact:  Some authors write in a coffee shop, others to classical music, country or rock. Judy writes to talk radio, even listening to weekend paid programming. She can tell you what to do or not do if you want to buy a car, how to hire an employment or injury lawyer, or invest in fancy colored diamonds.

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Gibbs is a three-year-old Golden Retriever, named after Leroy Jethro Gibbs on the TV show, NCIS. For those unfamiliar with the show, Gibbs is a former Marine turned special agent who commands a team with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.

My Gibbs spends most of his days lying under my desk as I write. He’s even been known to listen to me practice an author reading, though I’ll admit his feedback is minimal. But perhaps his greatest role is that he gets me out walking, and it’s on those long walks that I often come up with my best ideas.

Finally, I love that the U.S. Marine Corp’s motto is Semper Fi, which means “always faithful” in Latin. Perfect, right?

 

pnp3Judy Penz Sheluk is the Amazon international bestselling author of the Glass Dolphin Mysteries (The Hanged Man’s Noose; A Hole in One) and the Marketville Mysteries (Skeletons in the Attic; Past & Present). Her short stories appear in several collections.

Judy is also a member of Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers, Inc., the Short Mystery Fiction Society, and Crime Writers of Canada, where she serves on the Board of Directors, representing Toronto/Southwestern Ontario. Find her at http://www.judypenzsheluk.com.

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How Bella keeps author Lee Murray on her toes when she’s writing

Fun Fact: “A big lover of cheese, I have been lucky enough to have lived for several years in some of the most significant cheese locations of the world, beginning with my home country of New Zealand, then England (home of Red Leicester and Wensleydale), France (my favourite is still the Tome de Savoie) and America’s Dairyland, Wisconsin, famous for its cheese curd and Montforte Blue.”

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My author assistant since April 2018 is Bella. She’s an 8-month-old Jack Russell-Shih Tzu cross with a penchant for adventure and causing trouble. The perfect antidote for depression, Bella’s main job is to encourage me to get up from my desk and stretch my legs at frequent-frequent-frequent intervals, a task she takes very seriously by bringing me balls to throw. She tends to go crazy whenever the postie stops by, no doubt in anticipation of new books to be added to my to-be-read pile, since Bella recognises the importance of reading to a writer’s craft. Occasionally, she’ll hop up on my office chair, squeezing herself into the gap between my back and the chair back. This spot serves the dual purpose of providing me with a lovely warm lumbar support, while also allowing her a sneak peek at my latest plot twist. She barks any time I’m too long on the phone, a gentle reminder that I have a book to write. She also makes short work of any pages that might land on the floor, saving me a trip to the rubbish bin. And recently, she ate through a TV remote in a not-so-subtle reminder that, in her view, the book version is always better than the movie, and for that reason I should keep at it. I’d already completed INTO THE SOUNDS by the time we adopted Bella, but she was my assistant while I wrote INTO THE ASHES, the final instalment in the Taine McKenna adventure trilogy. I hope Bella’s influence shows and, like her, the latest adventure is high-speed and action-packed.

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Lee talks about Into The Sounds here, and shares her casting call for the novel here.

Lee-15-Head-BWLee Murray is a ten-time winner of New Zealand’s Sir Julius Vogel Award for science fiction, fantasy and horror. Her books include the military thrillers Into the Mist and Into the Sounds, and supernatural crime-noir titles Hounds of the Underworld and Teeth of the Wolf (co-authored with Dan Rabarts). She is proud to have co-edited nine anthologies, one of which, Baby Teeth, won her an Australian Shadows Award in 2014. She lives with her family in the Land of the Long White Cloud. Find her at leemurray.info