Lisa here, delighted to welcome amazing author, anthology editor, publishing entrepreneur, and our good friend Judy Penz Sheluk to Chicks today. Even though we can’t imagine the prolific Judy ever procrastinating on anything, she’s sharing a little secret…
Procrastinating with Meat Loaf
by Judy Penz Sheluk
I was working on my latest book, Before There Were Skeletons, and having one of my “Agatha Christie Days”—and by that I don’t mean channeling my inner Miss Marple, but rather attempting to follow Dame Agatha’s sage advice, which is “to write even when you don’t want to, don’t much like what you’re writing, and aren’t writing particularly well.”
And while I sat there staring at the blank page, the radio playing softly in the background, a song came on that changed everything. Oh, not right away…that would have been too easy. But it did allow me the blocked writer’s greatest gift: procrastination in the name of research.
The song was Paradise by the Dashboard Light by the late Marvin Lee Aday, better known as Meat Loaf. Included in his 1977 bestselling album, Bat Out of Hell, the song has remained a cult favorite for decades. At the time, however, it would have been revolutionary, and as luck would have it, my protagonist, Calamity (Callie) Barnstable was in the midst of researching the disappearance of a pregnant seventeen-year-old who disappeared in Toronto in the spring of 1978.
It might be a stretch to call a song coming on the radio an omen, but it was certainly enough to get me googling “Meat Loaf concerts 1978.” And here my luck continued. Turns out that Meat Loaf’s Bat Out of Hell concert tour took him to Toronto’s Massey Hall on Friday, April 21, 1978. A bit more googling and I found a ticket stub for that same concert on eBay (even went so far as to look at a Massey Hall seating chart) and then found a vintage t-shirt from that same concert. Procrastination at its finest.
Naturally, Callie makes good use of my Meat Loaf finds, but I’m afraid that’s as much as I can tell you without a spoiler, though I can share this YouTube link to the official music video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C11MzbEcHlw
You can find out a bit more about Before There Were Skeletons below!
Readers, what’s currently your favorite way to procrastinate? (Reading doesn’t count, because that activity is never a “waste” of time!) Let us know in the comments below.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
The last time anyone saw Veronica Goodman was the night of February 14, 1995, the only clue to her disappearance a silver heart-shaped pendant, found in the parking lot behind the bar where she worked. Twenty-seven years later, Veronica’s daughter, Kate, just a year old when her mother vanished, hires Past & Present Investigations to find out what happened that fateful night.
Calamity (Callie) Barnstable is drawn to the case, the similarities to her own mother’s disappearance on Valentine’s Day 1986 hauntingly familiar. A disappearance she thought she’d come to terms with. Until Veronica’s case, and five high school yearbooks, take her back in time…a time before there were skeletons.
Universal Book Link: https://books2read.com/u/mqXVze.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
A former journalist and magazine editor, Judy Penz Sheluk is the bestselling author of two mystery series: The Glass Dolphin Mysteries and the Marketville Mysteries. Her short crime fiction appears in several collections, including the Superior Shores Anthologies, which she also edited.
Judy is a member of Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers, the Short Mystery Fiction Society, and Crime Writers of Canada, where she served as Chair on the Board of Directors. She lives in Northern Ontario on the shores of Lake Superior. Find her at judypenzsheluk.com.