Most writers will say they have wanted to write as far back as they can remember. Not Judi Coltman. Her first indication that words were her talent came during her first algebra class. “The whole concept of replacing numbers with letters turned my world upside down. An x, to me was an x, not a 4 or a 7. My math brain shut down and the writing part of my brain flowed into that space. I have a whole pile of bad poetry to prove it!”
Coltman won her first writing award through the Detroit News Writing Contest in high school. Majoring in English, Coltman graduated from Northern Illinois University and went to work in the publishing industry, editing and writing for local, regional and national publications.
Raising two children became Coltman’s priority and she traded publications for a stint in the educational field as a paraprofessional. “The school work calendar suited parenting,” Coltman says.
“My mother always told me, ‘Maintain a sense of humor when all those around you have lost theirs.’ Those words have served me well. After leaving the world of education, I started a blog called “My Life in a Nutshell” that ballooned into my first book, a collection of humorous essays, “Is It Just Me? or Is Everyone a Little Nuts!” and thus, the writer in me was let loose.”
The success of her first book, which for a time held a top ten position on the Amazon Best Seller list encouraged Coltman to take the intrepid step toward her real desire. . .fiction writing. In her first novel, “In The Name of The Father”, Coltman plies her mystery/suspense interest telling the story of a serial killer lurking in a beach community. Serial killers have become a theme for Coltman who followed up with a second mystery/suspense novel, “No Such Thing”.
“A serial killer stalked the county where I grew up, abducting children, holding them for a time and then leaving their bodies out in the open to be easily found. The final victim was the brother of a friend of mine. The killer was never found. It devastated the whole of Southeastern Michigan and changed the way people lived.
There are numerous suspects and theories, but no resolution even 35 years later. I wove the theories into a story that, while fiction, at least has an ending. I had a need to tell a story that reminded people to be aware not only of these crimes, but of the ever present possibility that it can happen where they live.”
“No Such Thing” was released a few weeks ago and has received stellar reviews. Unlike most authors who plow into their next project, Coltman is taking a break, “I have to work off the wide backside that grew while writing my last book. For now, you can find me out on the road. I’m the slow jogger everyone snickers at. . .but at least I am out there.”