I’m happy to welcome back best-selling author Judy Penz Sheluk. Today, Judy chats about her writing journey and new release, A Fool’s Journey.
It seems like only yesterday that I began writing Skeletons in the Attic, the first book in my Marketville Mystery series starring Toronto-to-suburbia transplant Calamity (Callie) Barnstable. When I started, it was simply a way to keep on writing while I shopped around for a publisher for what would be my debut novel, The Hanged Man’s Noose (book 1 in the Glass Dolphin Mystery series). You see, I couldn’t imagine writing book 2 in a series when no one was interested in book 1.
Except something unexpected happened: as someone who always wrote in third person, writing as Callie in first person was strangely liberating…and somewhere along the line, I “became” Callie. Now, I don’t mean that I suddenly became 36 again (wouldn’t that be nice) and I’ve never inherited a house, but she filled my thoughts in a way no other character had before. The result was that Skeletons in the Attic, first released Aug. 2016, became my bestselling title, and the sequel, Past & Present, released Sept. 2018, has been a strong second.
Fast forward to 2019, and Callie is back, this time in A Fool’s Journey, where, along with her team at Past & Present Investigations, she searches for Brandon Colbeck, who, at age twenty, left home in 2000 to find himself. No one has seen or heard from him since.
While Brandon’s case is fictional, it is by no means unique. In 2017, more than 78,000 adults went missing in Canada. While most such cases are solved within a few days, many are decades old, leaving friends and family waiting for answers.
And now, a bit about A Fool’s Journey:
In March 2000, twenty-year-old Brandon Colbeck left home to find himself on a self-proclaimed “fool’s journey.” No one—not friends or family—have seen or heard from him since, until a phone call from a man claiming to be Brandon brings the case back to the forefront. Calamity (Callie) Barnstable and her team at Past & Present Investigations have been hired to find out what happened to Brandon and where he might be. As Callie follows a trail of buried secrets and decades-old deceptions only one thing is certain: whatever the outcome, there is no such thing as closure.
Judy Penz Sheluk is the bestselling author of the Glass Dolphin Mystery and Marketville Mystery series, and the editor of The Best Laid Plans: 21 Stories of Mystery & Suspense. Her short stories can be found in several collections. Judy is also a member of Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers, the Short Mystery Fiction Society, and Crime Writers of Canada, where she serves as Vice Chair on the Board of Directors. Find her at http://www.judypenzsheluk.com.
A Fool’s Journey, book 3 in Judy’s Marketville Mystery series, is available in trade paperback at all the usual suspects, and on Kindle.
A natural storyteller, Ms. Sheluk skillfully drew me into the storyline and kept me hooked until the end. The premise—A young man leaves everything behind and embarks on a fool’s journey—captured my attention. Having taught many older adolescents, I could easily imagine the heartache that followed as parents and loved ones dealt with this unexplained absence of almost twenty years. Woven into the narrative are fascinating details about tarot cards, tattoos, missing persons, and Y2K technology.