Entertainment Books

Former Lumber King pens third book

By Stephen Uhler, The Daily Observer

SHAWVILLE - Luke Murphy is keeping busy these days, what with juggling the first few weeks of school, the needs of his family and promoting his third crime novel.

 

Wild Card is a sequel to his first novel Dead Man's Hand, catching up with his characters as they get involved in a new mystery, one which spans two continents. He said the end of his novel hinted of a follow up.

Calvin Watters, one of the leading characters in the first novel, returns. After proving his innocence as a murder suspect, taking down an assassin, and being an instrumental part in solving a high profile murder, he believes he can finally move on, until Ace Sanders escapes from prison.

Meanwhile, something has always bothered Detective Dale Dayton about the arrest of Ace Sanders. When he reopens the case, he’s introduced to new evidence that leads him into a political nightmare.

While Calvin tracks Sanders across continents and into unknown, unfriendly surroundings, Dale remains in Las Vegas to uncover the truth behind police corruption, prison escapes, and hired assassins. But Calvin and Dale must be vigilant, because there’s a deadly, new player in town.

The novel will be released on Kindle through Amazon on Oct. 14, and hits the bookshelves as a paperback a week or so later.

“The readers wanted another Calvin novel,” Murphy said, and he has now delivered.

“You have to keep the fans happy.”

The 41-year-old Shawville native moved to Pembroke in 1992 where he joined the Lumber Kings, remaining a member until 1995, when he graduated from Fellowes High School. He distinguished himself during those three seasons, being awarded Rookie of the Year, named Most Sportsmanlike Player twice, was the league's top scorer, and was runner up to the league's MVP.

Murphy then moved on to the Rochester Institute of Technology on a hockey scholarship, where after four years and being named a second team All-American, he receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing with a Minor in Sociology.

The summer after graduation, Murphy was invited to the Florida Panthers Training Camp. He had a successful camp, even scoring the game winning goal in a pre-season game against the Ottawa Senators, but ended up breaking two bones in his hand, ending his camp early. The Panthers offered him a minor league contract, and after playing six years stepped off the ice for the last time as a pro in 2006.

He moved back to Shawville with his wife and daughters, where he coached the local junior hockey team, and wrote a weekly sports column in the local newspaper, the Pontiac Equity. He is a teacher who holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing, and a Bachelor of Education (Magna Cum Laude).

Murphy was always interested in writing, but it was only while nursing a season-ending eye injury in 2000 during his hockey years that it became a more serious pursuit. During his time off he helped his wife, who was going to school in Montreal, write a short story, and the process got him interested in writing.

An avid reader, he also wanted to emulate his favorite authors, and so began to sit at the computer to learn his craft, making time between work and family obligations, while also researching the writing business.

A year after returning to his home town, in the winter of 2007, Murphy began work on Dead Man's Hand. It took him more than two years working around full time jobs to complete the first draft. He then worked with editors and joined a critique group, doing anything he could to learn, to improve his writing, and make his novel the best it could be.

Murphy hired the Jennifer Lyons Literary Agency to represent him, and in May 2012 signed a publishing contract with Imajin Books. Dead Man's Hand was published that fall, and now appears as a Kindle download and a paperback.

He wrote a second novel Kiss and Tell, which was published in 2013 and featured completely different characters from his debut book. If there is a fourth book, and he is working on one, it will be a follow up to Kiss and Tell.

Alternating between the two novel series keeps Murphy's writing fresh.

“This way, I won't get into a rut writing the same characters, and end up getting sick of them,” he said.

Murphy said his first book is getting the screenplay treatment, which is currently being shopped around Hollywood. It has been a year, but he said these things take time.

“It might never happen, but who knows?” he said.

Despite his success, Murphy still views his writing as a hobby, but one with which he has a passion.

“I'm not retiring off of the books,” he said, “but I am glad people enjoy reading them.

For more information, visit Murphy's website at authorlukemurphy.com.

SUhler@postmedia.com