Novelists often have past lives that both distract from and enrich their writing careers. While my alternate life shall remain shrouded in mystery because it involves either a top-secret position with Canada's spy agency or several decades of cleaning house and raising children, first-time novelist Luke Murphy willingly reveals his youthful and exhuberant chase after his dream to wear NHL colours.
Thanks, Luke, for sharing. Welcome to the world of writing.
|Luke Murphy author of DEAD MAN'S HAND|
This is my first guest blogging experience, so I’m a little nervous—“first day jitters”. Thanks Eileen.
My transition from professional hockey player to published author was surprisingly smooth. Hockey and writing have many things in common:
For both, it takes hard work and practice. There are many critics, and you need to be thick-skinned. Both the hockey and writing worlds are small communities, filled with people who want to help you succeed. In order to find success, in both you need to be persistent and confident.
It’s all about taking a chance, putting yourself out there to be evaluated by your peers. That’s the scariest part.
I was born in a small rural community in Western Quebec, where you either worked in a mill or on a farm. But I aspired to be an NHL superstar (set the bar kind of high).
My mother’s death in 1992 (cancer), opened my eyes, and I realized that if I wanted to pursue my dreams, I was going to have to leave home. But in the mid ‘90s, the NHL had transferred from a fast-paced game of skill, to one of “bigger is better”. I was only 5’9’’, 160 pounds, so my goals shifted. I accepted a hockey scholarship to Rochester Institute of Technology.
After graduation, I received an invitation to the Florida Panthers Camp. I showed up in the best shape of my life, and scored the game winning goal against the Ottawa Senators (my claim to fame, as my friends say). Unfortunately, I broke my hand that ended my camp, but the Panthers offered me a Minor League contract, $500 a week to play the game I love. I spent six years in the minors, and retired in 2006.
I’m from a family of avid readers, so I’ve always had a passion for books. I just never knew this would become my future until the winter of 2000, while playing hockey in Oklahoma City.
After sustaining a season ending eye injury, I had a lot of free time on my hands. I remember walking by my roommate’s open computer one day and stopping. I sat down and stared at the screen. Then, without a plan, I began to type.
Some of my favorite authors are Greg Iles, Michael Connelly, and Harlan Coben, so it only made sense that I write in the suspense/thriller/mystery genres, write what I knew. I wrote a little everyday, around my rehabilitation schedule and before I knew it, I had completed my first manuscript.
I didn’t write with the intention of being published. I wrote for the enjoyment. I’ve been accused of being a perfectionist, and I didn’t see my novel at the level to compete with best selling authors. I continued to hobby write through the years, honing my craft, making time between work and family obligations.
I’ve never been one to take things lightly, or jump in halfway. So when I decided to get serious about writing, I took a full year off just to study the craft. I constantly read, from novels to books written by experts. I researched, reading up on the industry and process. I made friends (published and unpublished authors), learning what it took to become successful.
Feeling that I was finally prepared, in the winter of 2007, I started to write DEAD MAN’S HAND. It took me two years to complete the first draft of my novel. I then worked with editors and joined a critique group, doing anything I could to learn, to improve my writing and my novel.
|Aces and Eights--"The dead man's hand". Legend says this was the hand held by|
Wild Bill Hickok when he was murdered.
I hired the Jennifer Lyons Literary Agency and in May 2012, I signed my first publishing contract with Imajin Books. DEAD MAN’S HAND is scheduled for release this fall.
My goal was to please anyone who loves thrillers, sports, or a walk on the wilder side of Las Vegas in writing DEAD MAN'S HAND.
Murphy's debut novel DEAD MAN'S HAND will be released this fall by Imajin Books.
For more information about Luke Murphy and his book visit him online at: