I’d been freelancing for magazines and newspapers about two years when my friend, Michelle, invited me to be a guest speaker at her Girl Guide troop’s career night. “There’ll be one other speaker,” she assured me, “so you won’t have to fill the entire hour.”
Visions of inspiring a bunch of nine- to –eleven-year-olds danced in my head. After all, I had first wanted to become a writer after reading Emily Climbs by L.M. Montgomery, and I’d probably been about nine at the time. Even better, I’d recently written a couple of how-to-make-it craft articles for a Canadian parents and kids magazine. I could bring those as a sort of show and tell. I agreed to come and found myself being absurdly excited about it. I could make a difference!
There were about a dozen girls at the Guide’s career night, and they were every bit as chatty and excited as you might expect. Unfortunately, they weren’t all that excited to see me. It seems the other speaker made dolls with interchangeable hair and eyes. Had red hair and blue eyes? No problem. Needed the hair to be brown and curly? Easy peasy.
Michelle did her best. She separated the girls into two groups: one for the doll lady and one for me. And to their credit, the girls did try to feign interest in what I had to say, although their eyes tended to wander over to the other side of the room. A lot.
Did I inspire anyone to become a writer that night? It’s unlikely. But I doubt any of them grew up to be doll makers, either. Sometimes, you just have to keep things in perspective!
Judy’s latest release is Skeletons in the Attic (Imajin Books), the first in the Marketville Mystery Series:
What goes on behind closed doors doesn’t always stay there…
Calamity (Callie) Barnstable isn’t surprised to learn she’s the sole beneficiary of her late father’s estate, though she is shocked to discover she has inherited a house in the town of Marketville—a house she didn’t know existed. However, there are conditions attached to Callie’s inheritance: she must move to Marketville, live in the house, and solve her mother’s murder.
Callie’s not keen on dredging up a thirty-year-old mystery, but if she doesn’t do it, there’s a scheming psychic named Misty Rivers who is more than happy to expose the Barnstable family secrets. Determined to thwart Misty and fulfill her father’s wishes, Callie accepts the challenge. But is she ready to face the skeletons hidden in the attic?
Judy Penz Sheluk has been a freelance writer since 2003. Her debut mystery novel, The Hanged Man’s Noose, was published in July 2015 by Barking Rain Press. Skeletons in the Attic, the first book in her Marketville Mystery Series, was published in August 2016 by Imajin Books.
Judy’s short crime fiction appears in World Enough and Crime, The Whole She-Bang 2, Flash and Bang and Live Free or Tri. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Crime Writers of Canada, International Thriller Writers and the Short Mystery Fiction Society.
Find Judy on her website/blog at www.judypenzsheluk.com, where she interviews other authors and blogs about the writing life.