From Professional Hockey Player to Published Author

Hockey Lifestyle™ — By on December 4, 2012 2:13 PM

It can almost be said with certainty that I didn’t follow the path of the average writer. As a child, I never dreamed of writing a best-seller, never aspired to write the next classic novel, I wanted to be an NHL superstar…period.

I was born in a small rural community in Western Quebec. Like every boy growing up in Canada, I aspired to be an NHL superstar.

With the death of my mother in 1992, losing a battle to cancer she had fought so hard against for years, I sensed it was time to get serious about reaching my dreams, and moved away to pursue hockey. 

From 1992-1995, while playing for the Pembroke Lumber Kings in the Central Junior Hockey League, I noticed a shift in the game of hockey and realized that the odds of making it to the NHL were unfavorable for a kid who stood 5’9’’ and weighed 160 pounds. So, my goals shifted. I accepted a hockey scholarship to Rochester Institute of Technology. If I couldn’t make a living playing hockey, at least I could achieve an education and open doors for my future.

After four rewarding years at College, receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing, I wasn’t ready to give up on the game I love. I’d been told my whole life that I was too small, not a good enough skater, and I didn’t have what it took to make it.

The summer after graduation, I received an invitation to the Florida Panthers Rookie Camp – I wasn’t about to let this opportunity slip away. I trained hard during the summer, on and off the ice, and showed up for camp in the best shape of my life. I had a successful camp, scoring the game winning goal against the Ottawa Senators (I still talk about that goal with my buddies and after a couple of drinks, it becomes an end-to-end rush with a top-shelf finish )

Unfortunately, I broke my hand in an awkward hit in my fourth exhibition game that ended my camp, but my hard work paid off. The Panthers offered me a Minor League contract, $500 a week to play the game I love. I spent six years in the minors (ECHL, UHL, CHL, etc.), and retired in 2006 with no regrets.

From a family of avid readers, even as a child, I always had a passion for books. Whether it was reading novels on road trips or writing assignments in school, literature was always part of my life.

In the winter of 2000, after sustaining a season ending eye injury while playing in Oklahoma City, I found myself with a lot of time on my hands, and a new hobby emerged.

Some of my favourite authors are Greg Iles, Michael Connelly and Harlan Coben. I love suspense-thriller books, movies and everything about the genres.

One day, with an idea in mind, I sat down in front of a computer and began writing. I wrote a little every day, around my intense rehabilitation schedule and before I knew it, I had completed my first manuscript.

I didn’t write with the intention of being published. I wrote for the love of writing, as a hobby. Ever the perfectionist, I didn’t see my novel at the level to compete with best-selling authors across the country. I continued to hobby write through the years, honing my craft, making time between work (hockey) and family obligations.

Then I made a decision – I enjoyed writing so much, I decided I wanted to take my interest one step further – write a story with the intention of being published and making it available for friends, family, and readers around the world to enjoy. I realized that I wanted to be like my favourite authors – entertain readers and allow them, like when I read, to escape reality and for a moment be in another place and time.

I`ve never been one to take things lightly or jump in half way. I took a full year off from writing to study the craft. I constantly read, from novels in my favorite genres to books written by experts in the writing field. I continually researched on the internet, reading up on the industry and process. I attended writing conferences, made friends (published and unpublished authors), bombarding them with questions, learning what it took to become successful.

This was when my experience in hockey really paid off. My competitive edge kept me going. Breaking into the publishing industry was a lot like competing in the world of hockey – many candidates vying for very few spots. It takes hard work, patience, and persistence.

Feeling that I was finally prepared, in the winter of 2007, with an idea in mind and an outline on paper, I started to write DEAD MAN`S HAND. It took me two years (working around full time jobs) to complete the first draft of my novel.

I then worked with editors and joined a critique group, doing anything I could to learn, to improve my writing and my novel to point where I could create the best possible novel.

I sent out hundreds of query letters to agents. After six months of rejections, I pulled my manuscript back and worked on it again. Then in my next round of proposals, I was offered representation by Ms. Jennifer Lyons of the Jennifer Lyons Literary Agency.

After months of work with Jennifer, and more rejections from publishers, my dream was finally realized in April, 2012, when I signed a publishing contract with Imajin Books (Edmonton, Alberta).

DEAD MAN`S HAND

For more information on Luke and his books, visit: www.authorlukemurphy.com, ‘like’ his Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Luke-Murphy/268343729930467 and follow him on Twitter www.twitter.com/#!/AuthorLMurphy.

65 Comments

  1. c9parks says:

    That’s where the best stuff comes from, hockey or writing. When you have a passion for something it creates something beautiful. Good read!

  2. kammy says:

    Hockey player that can write .. my kinda man!

  3. Keither says:

    Anything by Michael Connelly is a great read.

  4. 17AnneSo says:

    Awesome story

  5. Eddie says:

    just shows that hard work and dedication pays off

  6. wheeltheblonde says:

    sick!

  7. Pete says:

    Great story. Congrats on the book getting picked up.

  8. Gongstate says:

    pretty sweet

  9. CaptainKlutch says:

    wow what a guy! Keep pursuing your dreams as an author!

  10. RRGonger says:

    Always gotta go full pull, congrats

  11. fox says:

    Great story, and great to hear the success of getting published. I wrote a novel last year, but haven’t done much with it yet. Hoping to someday publish something, though =) (and eagerly awaiting the day our boy Macker writes a novel, too haha)

  12. Thrill says:

    Wish I were that passionate about writing some of my papers for class. Good work

  13. ben14 says:

    looks like a great book.

  14. Jordan says:

    Great story! Very accomplished

  15. TheREALStallman says:

    Great story!

  16. hasser4 says:

    this is the stuff i like reading

  17. bardown6 says:

    good for you man doing what you want !

  18. adamotm says:

    good stuff !!!

  19. Hendu says:

    Hard work right there

  20. Capn Kev says:

    good for you!

  21. Burgos says:

    Good guy! Smart guy!

  22. Joey Z says:

    Great story hope to see the book out there!

  23. cchockey4 says:

    thats awsome

  24. Scans22 says:

    so surprising, good for you!

  25. mace4 says:

    great perseverance

  26. beautygonger97 says:

    unreal

  27. Riley Strowbridge says:

    steeezzy

  28. cdorval says:

    seeing guys make a cross from hockey into another profession is awesome and this guy just proves that hockey players arent stupid

  29. Jam10 says:

    looks like a good book

  30. pop the cherry says:

    cool

  31. 31hawk13 says:

    great read

  32. shortsxit says:

    Good to see somebody take the offer of an education instead of throwing it away

  33. thehockeymaster says:

    Talent + Brains

  34. dominic88 says:

    what a kid !!

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