Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Hanged Man’s Noose by Judy Penz Sheluk

Hi all!  Please help me welcome Judy Penz Sheluk to Killer Hobbies today. Judy chose to make her protagonist a runner, like she is.  But a bacon eating vegetarian?  That I need to hear about.  Judy, please tell us more!

Tracy Weber

Read the first four chapters of The Hanged Man's Noose free and get a 35% off coupon to buy the book at:
I am a runner. I’m not a particularly fast runner, I don’t necessarily “look” like a runner, and I’m far from being a natural athlete. Nonetheless, running has been a passion since I took my first tentative steps fifteen years ago. Since then, I’ve covered a lot of miles. Because, well, runners run.

It seemed only natural, then, that Emily Garland, my protagonist in The Hanged Man’s Noose, would be a runner. Initially, I thought Emily might run along a trail and find a dead body (it doesn’t happen). Or perhaps she’d run around the neighborhood and meet up with the murderer (also doesn’t happen). In the end, Emily’s running became merely incidental (at least in this book), but the references to it still help the reader get to know her a little bit better. Here are a couple of examples:

·        Emily started her day with a five-mile run followed by a visit to the Sunrise Café, where she ordered black coffee, an asparagus and red pepper egg white omelet with rye toast, lightly buttered, and two strips of well-done bacon on the side. She experienced a pang of moderate guilt over the bacon, but dammit, she needed something to calm her nerves, and the run alone hadn’t done it. [Author’s note: Emily is a bacon-eating vegetarian.]

·        “I’d love a shot of cognac.” Emily was grateful for the invitation to sit. Her feet were as tired as the time she’d run the Toronto Marathon—and that was twenty-six point two miles.

The best part about giving your characters a hobby—whether it be running or baking or knitting—is that it adds another layer. And people have layers. Lots of them. As writers, we have to remember that, because if we don’t, our readers will simply stop reading.


Photo by Jen Short
Judy Penz Sheluk is the author of The Hanged Man’s Noose (July 21, 2015, Barking Rain Press), an amateur sleuth mystery featuring journalist-turned investigator, Emily Garland. Her short fiction has appeared in literary publications and anthologies, including The Whole She-Bang 2 and World Enough and Crime. She also contributed to Bake, Love Write, a dessert cookbook featuring recipes from 105 authors.

In her less mysterious pursuits, Judy works as a freelance writer, specializing in art, antiques and the residential housing industry. She is currently the Editor of Home BUILDER Magazine, and the Senior Editor for New England Antiques Journal.

Judy is also a member of Sisters in Crime International, Sisters in Crime — Guppies, Sisters in Crime — Toronto, and Crime Writers of Canada.

Find Judy at where she interviews authors and blogs about the writing life. You can also find her at, on Twitter @JudyPenzSheluk, and on



Linda O. Johnston said...

Welcome to Killer Hobbies, Judy. Your description of running, both yours and your protagonist's, is inspirational. Well, maybe I won't go off for a run right away, but I hope to read your book!

Judy Penz Sheluk, author said...

Thank you Linda. It is a real treat to be on Killer Hobbies. I love this blog! I actually should have said that I don't run so much as plod, but Emily, she's pretty fast...

I hope you enjoy the book! It's on sale right now on Kindle, Kobo, Nook etc. for $1.99 (in fact, all eBooks published by Barking Rain Press are on sale) -- that ends today but there is still time :-)

Kristina Stanley said...

I love that the main character is a bacon eating vegetarian. That shows a sense of humour along with at the mystery. I've read Handed Man's Noose and it's fantastic. I noticed the sale is ending today, so any reader interested should grab a copy now...

Megan Calista said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.