Judy Penz Sheluk releases the Marketville Mysteries Box Set
Welcome back to Judy Penz Sheluk who has released a box set of her Marketville Mysteries!
A former journalist and magazine editor, Judy Penz Sheluk is the author of two mystery series: the Glass Dolphin Mysteries and the Marketville Mysteries. Her short crime fiction appears in several collections, including The Best Laid Plans and Heartbreaks & Half-truths, which she also edited.
Judy is a member of Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers, the Short Mystery Fiction Society, and Crime Writers of Canada, where she serves as Chair on the Board of Directors. She splits her time between Alliston and Goulais River, Ontario.
Do your characters come before or after your plot?
My books are definitely character-driven, so I’d have to say that while plot is important (after all, without a plot, there’s no story), my characters are the ones that steer the direction.
How do you choose a villain and how do you make them human?
I never pre-plan the villain, they just sort of emerge while I’m writing. Sometimes, I just find myself not liking a character very much, even if they appear likable on the page, and I can’t imagine bringing them into the next book in the series! But even bad guys are people. We’re all flawed in some way, even the most honorable among us. Remembering that keeps them real.
Do your reading choices reflect your writing choices?
I read a lot – always do the Goodreads Reading Challenge (last year 42 books) – and most of what I read are mystery and suspense with the occasional historical fiction or non-fiction tossed in for good measure. So, I guess the short answer is yes, because I try to learn from every book I read, even the ones (or perhaps especially the ones) I don’t particularly like.
Which type of characters are your favorite to write?
Strong, independent women who aren’t afraid to make mistakes in love and in life. If you read my books, my protagonists: Calamity (Callie) Barnstable (Marketville Mysteries), Arabella Carpenter and Emily Garland (Glass Dolphin Mysteries), you’ll see that’s the common thread. I also enjoy writing about the men in their lives, the ones they love, and the ones they loathe. The loathsome ones are a great fun.
What are you working on now?
I’m working on a new cozy series, a standalone suspense, the prequel to Skeletons in the Attic, and the third anthology under the Superior Shores Press imprint. At least, that’s the goal for 2021. We’ll see what unfolds.
What sort of research do you do for your work?
Probably too much. I’m a former journalist and magazine editor, so research comes naturally to me. And I believe it’s the small, factual details that bring a story to life. I have a page on my website called Facts in Fiction which showcases some of these. http://www.judypenzsheluk.com/facts-in-fiction-2/ But it’s also easy to go down the rabbit hole of research and avoid the actual hard work of writing.