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    Red Zone can be purchased in a variety of locations in mid-July including on Amazon. (Submitted photo)

    Book cover, faded, reddish football stadium in background
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    Author Luke Murphy (Submitted photo)

    Author Luke Murphy waring dark blue shirt on grey background



Local author Luke Murphy set to release fifth novel ‘Red Zone’ this month

By Patricia Leboeuf

Posted on Thursday July 9th, 2020

Shawville author Luke Murphy is getting ready to release his fifth novel.

He discovered a new purpose in writing, becoming an International Bestseller after a career in hockey.

Though he was always an avid reader, it never occurred to the former minor league hockey professional that he could join the ranks of his favourite authors until he sustained a season-ending eye injury. While he recovered, he took to the keyboard like he once took to the ice and renewed his passion for the written word.

He honed his craft and once he retired from the game, he decided to try his luck in the publishing world.

His first full novel, Dead Man’s Hand, was a success when it came out in 2012, launching him to international bestselling author status. He followed that with Kiss and Tell, Wild Card, Rock-A-Bye Baby and his newest novel Red Zone, slated to be released in ebook form on July 15 and in paperback just a few days later.

“To be honest it, it feels amazing,” said Murphy. “Every time, I complete a book, it feels great. Whether it is the first one or the fifth one.”

Red Zone combines the protagonists from his two series, Calvin Watters and Charlene Taylor, into one tantalizing thriller.

He credits his fans for inspiring his upcoming novel.

“They’ve been asking for this for years, and I really didn’t think much about it until I came up with this idea,” said Murphy. “(The fans) basically pushed me towards having my two protagonists in the same story at the same time. That’s what’s really exciting about this new book.”

He tried to make it as much of a 50/50 split between both characters so neither take centre stage, but instead bring in their own personality and influence to the action-packed mystery.

The novel’s title is a football term, which works well with its premise involving a football cheerleader who is found murdered. It’s up to Calvin and Charlene to solve the case.

“They are both really knee-deep in the case,” said Murphy.

He created these series of mystery, murder and intrigue to amuse and delight his readers, just as other novels did to him.

“You are following a character on all the adventures that they are going on,” said Murphy. “It is escapism for sure.

“I write to entertain people,” he added. “That’s all that I do. I want to entertain people and give them an escape from reality so they can go to another place and time. Forget about all their troubles for that moment they are in my book.”

Murphy writes when he can. But as a high school teacher in Shawville, QC, and father of three, he can’t always dedicate large blocks of time to his craft. But that doesn’t stop him from indulging as much as possible.

He has created a system that allows him to complete his books. He writes his first draft in the summer when he isn’t in the classroom then does most of his editing and fine-tuning in the quieter months. Mostly in the evenings after his daughters have been put to bed, though whenever he can spare the time is fair game.

Having a plan and schedule in place has helped him with his writing.

“I, very much, like to know what I’m doing one day to the next and in the order I do it,” he admitted.

An exception was made for Red Zone, however. He started writing the novel and his characters just took him for a ride, which he eagerly followed.

He does hope to write more in the future.

“Five books in eight years doesn’t seem like that much,” he admits. “But considering this is just a part-time job, I’m pretty proud of what I’ve accomplished.”

Writing is one of his biggest loves, though hockey was a close second.

Ever since he was a young boy, Murphy was an avid hockey player, starting with the Pembroke Lumber Kings and finding acclaim in the junior league, using his talent on the ice to net himself a scholarship to Rochester Insitute of Technology. There he received a Bachelor of Science Degree in marketing with a minor in Sociology. He then landed a contract with the Florida Panthers, where he played six years in the minors.

After retiring, he returned to his hometown where he took on a teaching position at the local high school and wrote a hockey column for The Equity newspaper. There, he and his wife raise their kids and a rambunctious pug.

More information on Murphy as well as links to purchase his novels or audiobooks, visit authorlukemurphy.com.