This is the second in a series of profiles of the people who work to put on our successful writing conference. Our vice president, Judy Matheny, is recruiting the talented faculty for the 44th Annual Conference in Dubois June 1-3, 2018. Thank you to Judy!
Judy Green Matheny, writing as JG Matheny, answers some questions for us: Where I grew up – I grew up in Lansing, MI, along with my four sisters. In the 1970’s, my Dad moved us to Cheyenne. All five of us are University of Wyoming grads, although I later obtained my M.A. in Magazine Journalism from New York University. I loved to read as a child, and usually had two or three books going at a time. Although I mastered Gone With the Wind by third grade, my tastes changed to gothic romances through my teens. I was one for adventure, and after being recruited at 23 by the FBI, while working as a radio news director in Cheyenne, I spent ten years as a Special Agent. My historical contribution was to be a founding woman on the first FBI – New York Police Joint Terrorism Task Force, a concept that has proliferated since. After leaving the FBI for a three year stint on Wall Street chasing money swindlers, I moved to Denver to be closer to home. I married the next year and had my daughter Kelley the next. Through marriage, I inherited another daughter, Brianna. We all live in various suburbs of Denver now.
To relax and recharge – I play the piano, ski, golf and hold wine tastings. I’m a bit of a gym rat, too, after being indoctrinated to that kind of conditioning since my FBI days.
How long I’ve been writing – My early background was in journalism ,but I began writing novels while still in New York City, shortly after leaving the FBI. My younger sister suggested I try romance, since I’d had some very interesting experiences. I found that I preferred mystery. My first two mysteries have been combined into a series – The Samantha Wilde FBI Series – with one currently available on Amazon (Wilde at the Waldorf), and the next coming out soon (Wilde at the Amherst).
Where I prefer to write – I love to look out the window when I write. I have a lovely bay window in my current home that is perfect. I also like to visit Starbucks, and the cafe at Barnes and Noble, to mix things up. I still work full time as a financial investigator, so I treasure my writing time and places.
My plans for my career – I am hoping that my writing career gets a boost from a middle grade book I wrote for my daughter ten years ago. I was convinced to turn it into a play, and then some Denver music pros wrote a musical score for it. The Princess In My Head will be published this Spring by Aignos Publishing LLC, an imprint of Savant Books and Publications. It’s the first of its kind – novel / play / libretto published as one volume. I am excited for the music webpage, also. My composer, Patrice LeBlanc, has written some exceptional songs that can be downloaded for kids, schools, theaters, clubs, etc.
What I’m writing now – Despite having completed The Princess In My Head several years ago, I have been very busy on the details leading to publication. My new material, still untitled, will be the first in the Sylvie Dyer mysteries. This has been a great novel to research and write. It’s set in 1892, as the heroine travels by train from her home in Boston, to Colorado’s western slope. She’ll solve two mysteries along the way, including who murdered her fiance, and bring readers into the Golden Age of train travel. It’s a blast to write! I love my characters.
What might be surprising or shocking about me – I was with Lehman Brothers at the time of the financial crisis. I have a creative nonfiction in the works on the personal impacts of financial tragedy – something that I know first hand.
Where to find more on me – My current website – jgmathenymystery.com – also has some pictures from the Wyoming Writers Inc. 2017 conference. There will be a new website soon for The Princess In My Head.
Anything else? – I’m looking forward to our WWI members enjoying the 2018 conference in Dubois on June 1-3. As Vice President, I’ve rounded up some outstanding talent, as well as agents and editors. And I look forward to being President in 2019.