Good to meet you…author Judy Penz Sheluk

A couple of years ago I was part of a recipe book called Bake, Love, Write, in which best-selling authors shared their favourite dessert recipes. (There are some amazing recipes in the book, and it’s well worth checking out – especially coming up to Christmas.)

One of the great things about being part of this collaboration was meeting other authors around the world. One of my fellow authors was Judy Penz Sheluk, and I’m really looking forward to getting to know Judy better here today!helena fairfax, judy penz sheluk

Where do you live, Judy? I live in Alliston, a small-ish town about 90 minutes northwest of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, with my husband, Mike, and our one-year-old Golden Retriever, Leroy Jethro “Gibbs.”

Leroy Jethro – I love the name of your dog!

Where is your favourite place in the world? We have a four-season cottage (or camp, depending on where you’re from) in Northern Ontario, near Pancake Bay, which is about an 8-hour drive from our house. We have about 200 ft. of waterfront on Lake Superior and a very private, treed lot. It’s a writer’s dream retreat. The water changes constantly, from calm to choppy to huge, rolling waves with whitecaps, and the sunsets are nothing short of spectacular. Of course, there are black bears up there, and they do occasionally come for a visit! Folks on the Michigan side know the area as the Upper Peninsula.

helena fairfax, judy penz sheluk
Leroy Jethro “Gibbs” by Lake Ontario – what a happy looking dog!

Being a writer is a great job.  What’s the worst job you’ve ever had? Ha! I’ve had a few, but probably the worst was a summer job in high school. Do you remember those socks and tie boxed sets that department stores would sell at Christmas? I made the boxes (which were white with gold stripes), then put in the tie and socks, and then shrink wrapped them. I lasted about three days.

What book do you wish you’d written? Without question The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein. I laughed, cried, got mad and cheered at the ending. I read it shortly after my 12 ½ year old Golden, Copper, had died, and it was so healing for me to read that book.

I’d never heard of that book, Judy. I have a dog, too – a rescue dog called Lexi. This looks a great read. Thanks for the recommendation!

What’s your favourite song? That’s a great question. I’m trying to think of songs that make me want to sing along. Probably Try by Blue Rodeo, or maybe Bulletproof by Jim Cuddy (who is the lead singer of Blue Rodeo).

If you could meet anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would it be and what would you say to them? I’d like to meet my father as an adult. I was 14 when he died (at age 42, of stomach cancer). I only remember him from a child’s perspective. I’d like to talk to him, adult-to-adult. I hope he’d be proud of what I’ve done, but I’m not sure. He always thought I’d be a lawyer!

It’s a tragedy he didn’t see you grow up, Judy, and I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m sure your dad would be filled with pride at everything you’ve achieved.

What’s your happiest childhood memory? Swimming, water skiing, boating, fishing, reading, and just plain hanging out at our cottage on Gull River in Norland, Ontario. My mom sold it a few years after my father died. It just got too much for her. But it was a great place, and I have such great memories of it.

That sounds wonderful!

If you had to marry a fictional character, from film, television, or books, who would it be? I should pick someone noble, but I’d probably go with a very old movie: John Norman Howard (Kris Kristofferson) in A Star is Born. He was a druggie disaster, but he was also drop dead gorgeous! Of course, I’d be strong enough to set him on the right path! (Seriously, readers, Google Kris Kristofferson, A Star is Born and tell me he isn’t totally hot. In fact, my Levon Larroquette character’s appearance in my first book, The Hanged Man’s Noose, is patterned after Kris.)

What’s the most important lesson life has taught you? That it isn’t always fair. That sometimes, bad stuff happens to good people, and good stuff happens to bad people. But if you live your life trying to pay the good stuff forward, it will mostly come back to you. And that the harder you work, the luckier you get.

And finally, please tell us about your latest book, where we can find it, and where we can find your blog/website

helena fairfax, judy penz shelukThank you for asking! Skeletons in the Attic is the first book in my Marketville Mystery series. It’s the story of Calamity (Callie) Barnstable, who inherits a house she knew nothing about, from her father, who died in an “unfortunate occupational accident.” The condition is that she move into the house for the period of one year to find out who murdered her mother 30 years before – a mother Callie thought had left for “the milkman or some other male equivalent.”

Skeletons is available on Amazon on Kindle and Kindle Unlimited, and in paperback on Amazon, B&N, Chapters, and some indie bookstores.

My website is, where I blog about the writing life, interview other authors, and host “New Release Mondays.”

SPECIAL NOTE: If you’re on Goodreads, Judy is hosting a Goodreads giveaway for a signed copy of Skeletons in the Attic for Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand. Contest ends December 1st.

* * *

Thanks so much for coming to my blog, Judy. It’s been great meeting up again. Wishing you all the best with Skeletons in the Attic!

If you’ve enjoyed Judy’s interview, or have any questions or comments at all, please get in touch. We’d love to hear from you!

11 thoughts on “Good to meet you…author Judy Penz Sheluk

    1. I love that film, too, Kate, and the old version with Judy Garland and James Mason is brilliant, as well. I’m going to join you in looking out for it again! So glad you liked our recipe book. Thanks very much for dropping in!


    2. Thanks Kate! Bake, Love, Write was put together by Lois Winston. It’s a super collection. She also put out We’d Rather Be Writing. My Veggie lasagna recipe is in that one.
      Yes, Kris…very charismatic, even though he was a train wreck in that movie (and I think he had a few demons in real life). Do check it out!


  1. Hi Judy,
    I loved your post , partly because I grew up in Ontario, partly because I love dogs and mysteries and mostly because your plot line intrigues me. I’ve downloaded the sample. Thanks for sharing.
    all the best,
    Jo-Ann Carson

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Joanne. I hope the sample piques your interest :-)
      Where did you grow up in Ontario? I’ve lived in Toronto, Port Credit (Mississauga), Peterborough, Newmarket, Holland Landing, and now, Alliston.
      I also love dogs. Gibbs is my fourth purebred Golden (Einstein, Ranger, Copper were ahead of him) and as a kid I owned a Golden mix called Sandy. The dog hair…well, I like to say, “Welcome to my home. It was clean yesterday. Too bad you missed it!”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I grew up in Toronto – Don Mills. During my university days I headed west and have been on rhe coast since then. Still, I have many wonderful memories if Ontario. The beautiful falls, the cottage areas and the ROM.
        I wish you lots of sales.
        All the best,


    1. Thanks so much Marsha! I really appreciate it. And I’ll let Gibbs know you like his name. He is named after Leroy Jethro Gibbs on NCIS TV show — not sure if you have that show in the UK. Very popular over here.


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