Comparing Hockey & Writing – A Guest Post by Luke Murphy

Today I have a guest post for you from Luke Murphy, retired professional hockey player and author of the thriller DEAD MAN’S HAND
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It can almost be said with certainty that I didn’t follow the path of the average writer. As a child, I never dreamed of writing a best-seller, never aspired to write the next classic novel, I wanted to be an NHL superstar…period.

With the death of my mother in 1992, losing a battle to cancer she had fought so hard against for years, I sensed it was time to get serious about reaching my dreams, and moved away to pursue hockey.

From 1992-1995, while playing for the Pembroke Lumber Kings in the Central Junior Hockey League, I noticed a shift in the game of hockey and realized that the odds of making it to the NHL were unfavorable for a kid who stood 5’9’’ and weighed 160 pounds. So, my goals shifted. I accepted a hockey scholarship to Rochester Institute of Technology. If I couldn’t make a living playing hockey, at least I could achieve an education and open doors for my future.

After four rewarding years at College, receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing, I wasn’t ready to give up on the game I love.

I attended the Florida Panthers Rookie Camp and played well, playing in four games, as well as scoring the game winning goal against the Ottawa Senators.

Unfortunately, I broke my hand in an awkward hit in my fourth exhibition game that ended my camp, but my hard work paid off. 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 with no regrets.

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 in Oklahoma City, I found myself with a lot of time on my hands, and a new hobby emerged.

One day, with an idea in mind, I sat down in front of a computer and began writing. I wrote a little every day, around my intense 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 love of writing, as a hobby. Ever the perfectionist, I didn’t see my novel at the level to compete with best-selling authors across the country. I continued to hobby write through the years, honing my craft, making time between work and family obligations.

Then I made a decision – I enjoyed writing so much, I decided I wanted to take my interest one step further – write a story with the intention of being published. I realized that I wanted to be like my favorite authors – entertain readers and allow them, like when I read, to escape reality and for a moment be in another place and time.

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. I continually researched on the internet, reading up on the industry and process. I attended writing conferences and made friends (published and unpublished authors), bombarding them with questions and 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.

I then worked with editors and joined a critique group, doing anything I could to learn, to improve my writing and my novel to point where I could create the best possible novel.

I sent out hundreds of query letters to agents. 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 Ms. Jennifer Lyons of the Jennifer Lyons Literary Agency.

After months of work with Jennifer, and more rejections from publishers, my dream was finally realized in April, 2012, when I signed a publishing contract with Imajin Books.

The term “practice makes perfect” can basically relate to anything you do. Hockey and writing are no different.

Many people might not see a connection between writing and hockey, but there are many similarities in not only your preparation, but “musts” once you’re there.

In both hockey and writing, you need three things: patience, persistence and thick skin.

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 able to take criticism with a grain of salt. 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.

It takes time to get “good” at something. I started writing when I was young and playing professional hockey. A couple of hours a day on the ice and in the gym and then the day was mine. I also suffered a serious eye injury and couldn`t play, so I had a lot more time on my hands. Now that I`m older, with a family and full time job, makes it a lot harder to find the time to write. Take advantage and chase your dreams while you’re young.

My one piece of advice for all aspiring hockey players and writers…you’ll get a lot of “no’s” along the way and people trying to bring you down. But remember, it only takes one “yes”. Stick with it. Anything is possible. It’s all about “staying the course” and not getting off track. Have no regrets and leave nothing on the table.

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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, ‘like’ his Facebook page www.facebook.com/#!/AuthorLukeMurphy and follow him on Twitter www.twitter.com/#!/AuthorLMurphy

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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.

  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

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Spilling Blood Episode 4 Available Today

The vampire horror serial comes to the Season Finale with SPILLING BLOOD Episode 4, available now.

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This is it, the violent conclusion to Season 1 of Spilling Blood. 

Emily can no longer run.

With no sanctuary left, she must face the coven of vampires who destroyed her life.

It ends tonight.

This is Episode 4 of a 4 part serial novel. 
Want it in one complete novel? The entire Season of all four episodes will be released in a collection on October 31st.

Available on Amazon here. 

 

Spilling Blood Episode 2 of Vampire Horror Serial Releases Today

As promised, Episode 2 of Spilling Blood is available today.

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The dead have their secrets. 

Chosen to join the ranks of a coven of vampires, Emily learns that her nightmare is just beginning. Unable to control her thirst for blood, she kills someone very close to their leader, and threatens his plans.

As quickly as her new unlife begins, it seems that every move she makes creates more enemies. Can she come up with a plan to escape the reach of the monsters, before they decide she’s a threat?

This is Episode 2 of a 4 part serial novel. The planned release dates of the rest of the Episodes are:
Episode 3: October 23
Episode 4: October 30

Want it in one complete novel? The entire Season of all four episodes will be released in a collection on October 31st.

Buy Episode 1 on Amazon

Buy Episode 2 on Amazon

Buy on Barnes & Noble

Spilling Blood – a New Vampire Horror Serial

Episode 1 of my new serial novel, Spilling Blood, launches today. What’s it about? Well! Let me tell you!

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SPILLING BLOOD EPISODE 1

Emily has been chosen. Emily is going to die. 

Emily Steel’s life is in upheaval. Her relationship with her boyfriend is falling apart, and a strange man has been haunting her dreams. His lips taste of dirt and his hands are the cold of the grave.

Tonight Emily’s life comes to an end. 

Kidnapped by a sadistic vampire known only as Gnasher, Emily becomes the prisoner of a coven of vampires. With time running out, she must find a way to escape before Gnasher’s plans for her are realized.

This is Episode 1 of a 4 part serial novel. The planned release dates of the rest of the Episodes are:
Episode 2: October 16
Episode 3: October 23
Episode 4: October 30

Want it in one complete book? The entire Season of all four episodes will be released in a collection on October 31st.

 

Blogger Book Fair Reader’s Choice Award

Remember the book fair I participated in earlier this year? BROKEN THINGS won the Reader’s Choice Award for Science Fiction.

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BTW, BROKEN THINGS is on sale for the entire month of September, for the bargain price of $.99!!! If you’ve been waiting to read it, this is a great time to grab it. It’s available at that price through AMAZON USUKCABarnes & NobleKoboSonyitunes; and Smashwords.

Interview on Smashwords

I just recently took my first novel, Broken Things, out of the Amazon exclusivity. Smashwords distributes books to Kobo, Sony, and Apple (among others).   When you buy a book on Smashwords, you can download the ebook in any format for any type of ereader.

Check out the interview by clicking here. 

 

Interview on Indie Author Land

I recently did an interview over on Indie Author Land. Click on over for a bit of behind the scenes on Death Storm.

The couple that runs this site are readers that provide a great service to discover new authors. Besides mine, they have a wide selection of interviews with other authors. Definitely worth checking out.

Death Storm – Paperback Edition Available Now

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You’ve waited long enough, Death Storm, book 1 of the Hungry Gods series, is available to order through Amazon!  If you are interested in a signed copy, I will have inventory by August 12th. Watch for details of book signings after that date.

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A Dark Fantasy Zombie Apocalypse

A great evil descends upon the kingdom of Medanholm. A necromancer in the service of a fallen god leads an army of undead to extinguish all life. In the village of Briar’s End, there are few survivors. They are scattered and hopelessly outnumbered, with dwindling options for sanctuary. Hidden away within their mountain temple, the gods are oblivious to the horror on their doorstep…

…and it’s coming for them.

Death Storm is book 1 in the Hungry Gods series, a Dark Fantasy Zombie Apocalypse that brings the nightmare of Armageddon to a high fantasy world.

Interview with Author Jamie Campbell

Jamie Campbell
Please take a moment to introduce yourself. 

 

My name is Jamie Campbell, I’m an author based on the Gold Coast, Australia. I write mainly young adult paranormal romance, however I do write some adult murder mysteries on the side. I enjoy both genres so I write whatever story comes to me.

 

Describe your writing process. Do you have a daily routine?

 

I have a set word goal every day. Without fail, I do at least 2,000 words. On a day where I get to write all day, I’ll write about 8,000 words across all my current projects.

 

Introduce us to your latest work. What’s it about?

 

A World Without Angels is the first in The Aron Angels series. It follows guardian angel Jerome as he inadvertently falls to Earth during a battle with some demons. While on Earth, he falls in love with a human, Leila. In order to stop the demons killing all the guardian angels and therefore plunging the world into the influences of evil, he and Leila must solve an ancient prophecy. Only then can peace be restored.

 

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Speaking of your work, you have a number of titles available. Which of your books are you the most fond of?

 

I really enjoyed writing the Aron Angels series, mainly because Jerome is such a sweetheart. I also had a lot of fun with the Fairy Tales Retold series, where I twisted the perspective of well known fairytales. I changed the antagonist into the protagonist and enjoyed making the villain the hero.

 

If you had the choice of which book to introduce a new reader to, would that be it, or would you start them with a different book?

 

I would start with A World Without Angels as the reader can see the kind of worlds I create and fall in love with Jerome.

 

Do you have a character in your writing that you relate with more than most?

 

A have a four part series called A Hairy Tail going at the moment, I’m just in the middle in the forth installment. The main character is named Hannah and she’s a lot like me when I was fifteen. I have found a lot of myself in her when I read it back to myself, even though it wasn’t intentional.

 

Where do you find inspiration?

 

Inspiration is everywhere. Sometimes it’s found when I hear a song and then suddenly see this whole book in front of me. Other times, it’s from something I’ve seen or heard in the street. The best ideas always come to me in the shower and then I’m scrambling to remember them afterwards.

 

What can we look forward to in the future?

 

I have lots and lots more unpublished books. I’m currently working on an alien trilogy which I am so excited about that it might push all the others aside and jump the queue to be released next.
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Every day this week, I am featuring a different author on my blog as part of the Blogger Book Fair.

The Top Eight Things You Might Like to Know About Mindy Kilgrove – Guest Post

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Hello and thank you to everyone for reading my Guest Blog today. I’d like to extend a special thank you to G.S. for allowing me to post on his blog. My name is Mindy Killgrove and I’m a contemporary fiction, romance, and humor novelist. I have a great time popping from one genre to the next, but most of the time, I focus on creating fiction that my readers find realistic. On my own blog, I enjoy writing top eight lists. (Eight is my lucky number.) For today, I’d like to share with you:

The Top Eight Things You Might Like to Know About Me:

8.  I just moved to Perrysburg, OH with my family. I’ve lived in Ohio for the majority of my life, but I spent two years living near Charlotte, NC.

7.  I love media! In my own blogspace, I devote my blogs to writing about media-related items that move me. Movies, Books, Television, Music, Video Games: You name it and I cover it.

6.  I have two little boys at home. My obsession for media spread to them, as both were named after famous people.

5. In my books, I aim to write storylines that feel relatable to the readers. I use my own experiences as a jumping off point for my tales. When you read my stories they may feel real, because they are (in some cases).

4. The first book in the Missy Lawrence Series, Meet Me at the Pond, was dedicated to my sorority: The Philalethean Society of Heidelberg University. They are a local group, and I’m proud to call myself a member of this fine organization.

3.  Meet Me at Fountain Park, the second book in the Missy Lawrence series, is dedicated to the Fit Chicks of Ravenna, OH. I was a member of this group for a number of years and I was supremely moved by their caring and encouraging ways. The Fit Chicks promote healthy living that will not only benefit your body, but your mind and your soul as well.

2.  Every chapter in the Missy Lawrence series is based around answering a question. In that way, you can read a chapter, just like you would watch an episode of a TV show, and then come back to the book later—if necessary. (Or, you could read through the whole book in one afternoon, if that suits.)

1.  I love reading–I love sitting on my back porch and reading a book. This can be done in the sunshine or the shade, but either way, I enjoy kicking back and devouring a new novel. My own novels are what I would describe as the perfect books to throw in your beach bag and take down by the water. Whether you’re downloading the ebook or taking the paperback along with you, Meet Me at the Pond and Meet Me at Fountain Park are pure fun. They’ll help you relax and enjoy your vacation.

I created the Missy Lawrence Trilogy a few years ago. Currently, Meet Me at the Pond and Meet Me at Fountain Park are available in paperback and ebook editions. The third and final book in the series Meet Me at Rock Creek will be published before the end of the year. If you’ve ever been in love, or if you’re still searching for the right one, let Missy Lawrence and her gang of girlfriends entertain you (and commiserate, perhaps).

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Pen name: Mindy Killgrove

Website: http://www.mindykillgrove.com

Featured title: Meet Me at Fountain Park

Amazon buy link: http://www.amazon.com/Meet-Me-at-Fountain-Park/dp/1612962262/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1373456383&sr=8-1&keywords=meet+me+at+fountain+park

Barnes & Noble buy link: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/meet-me-at-fountain-park-mindy-killgrove/1115785856?ean=9781612962269

Smashwords buy link: http://www.smashwords.com/books/search?query=meet+me+at+fountain+park

Book video link (YouTube preferred): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqS9PKkWGps

I’ll be conducting a giveaway during the Blogger Book Fair. I’ll be giving away three copies of each book.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/share-code/YmU5M2JlMTlmNjBjY2VmNWU4NTgwYWQwNGFlOTAwOjA=/

July BBF button copy

Every day this week, I am featuring a different author on my blog as part of the Blogger Book Fair. Check back tomorrow for another author.