Judy (Judith) Copek's Website
Writer, Ex-geek, Cook, Gardener, Traveller, Cat Fancier
I was born in Montana, raised in Colorado, educated in Texas, and lived in suburban Chicago for years and now even more years in suburban Boston where I became a Red Sox fan, a Patriots fan, and a writer. An information systems nerd for years, I'm a survivor of Dilbert-like projects and other high-tech horrors. In my writing, I like to show technology’s humor and quirkiness along with its scary aspects.
Some of the best writing advice I've received is, "Plant butt in chair". If you're sitting in front of your writing, chances are you'll write something. Or edit. There are also exercises like the "plotting walk." You take a walk to ponder your plot. Ideas will come. And then there's revision. "Writing is rewiting." Get used to the idea.
On Writing Organizations
I belong to Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime and The Short Mystery Fiction Society. Some mystery related conferences I like to attend are Left Coast Crime, Bouchercon, Sleuthfest and The New England Crimebake. Other good conferences are Malice Domestic, Killer Nashville and Thrillerfest.
On Writing Groups
I've been in the same writing group for about twenty years. In this time, it's gone through four locations, and many writers. Some writers hate critique groups, but if you want feedback on your writing and don't have an editor in the wings, these groups are useful. You can also send your manuscript to friends who write. You can do both. This is not science. Some feedback can be terrible. Write the book you would like to read.
Murder in the North Woods
She’s into high tech. He’s into homicide. The Northwoods rock and roll when a savvy cyber-sleuth teams up with a hunky homicide cop to route corporate miscreants and to solve a murder. Murder in the North Woods is an amateur sleuth mystery, noir not nice.
When she arrives in Wisconsin’s Northwoods to determine who is sabotaging an unpopular business project, Laura Goode discovers her only contact is now a corpse. Gar Morris, information officer at Great Northern Shoe Company, was a local lothario whose killer could be anyone from an enraged husband to a bitter factory worker whose job is heading overseas.
Office politics thwart Laura’s mission to find out who is delaying the project. Adding more complications to her life, boyfriend Jack, a homicide cop and husband Taylor, with more money than sensitivity, visit on alternate weekends. Who needs all these distractions when you’re swanning from boardroom to bar room, trolling for bass, hunting hackers, and rescuing your kidnapped cat? A nude biker’s club and the whitewater raft trip from hell provide a bizarre but thrilling climax.
Chased By Death
What would you do if you found your ex-husband’s dead body and the cops asked where the money was and you had no clue? How did your ex-husband’s laptop get into your car? How could you look for your lost sister with your husband’s killer on your trail? Was it fair to embroil your new boyfriend, his little girl, and your new kitten in your growing problems? You leave South Florida hoping to leave all the trouble behind, but it only grows when you open an old safety deposit box near Boston. Troubles multiply in Chicago where the laptop is stolen. And in Reno the killers wait, anticipating your every more. And you find your sister and the reunion isn’t exactly happy. What else could go wrong? Pretty much everything until you’re out of options in the Black Rock desert with a gun and two kids and a killer after you.
More about Chased By Death
Maxine wants to find her long-lost sister.
Cartel kingpin Lotto wants to find Maxine and the two-million dollars her ex-husband skimmed. In a motorhome with boyfriend Jeff, Jeff’s young daughter, and a kitten, the foursome embarks on a cross-continent trek to escape Lotto and find the sister. Maxine is smart and Lotto is determined. Will Maxine reach safety before Lotto’s goons close in?
Or will the road lead to death?
The Burning Man Festival, two murders, and high-tech hi-jinx equal Festival Madness for a troubled cyber-sleuth.
A killer stalks three reformed hackers who share a shameful secret dating to their MIT days. The killer hits first at a folk music festival in the Berkshires, the second time in Reno at a Burning Man “decompression” party. The only hacker still standing is Wayne Wendel, uber-geek and friend of Emma Lee Devens. Emma’s determination to keep her best buddy from harm endangers her shaky marriage and even her job. Wayne’s refusal to confide his secret is one obstacle, his frequent disappearing acts are another.
Once Emma tumbles to the murderer, she assembles a rag-tag team of characters who race to save Wayne from a watery grave in an Adirondack Lake.
Festival Madness is a race through Boston and the desert to find a killer. It is filled with crunchy technical bits about the challenges of the software development business, but not overpowering or too esoteric. The characters came alive for me as authentic members of a close-knit project team. I experienced the Burning Man Festival through Emma Lee Deven (aka Dust Bunny) with great joy and a large dose of adventure. A mix-master of high tech, loyalties, relationships and finally resolution. Great Read!