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Please give a big welcome to MICHAEL MURPHY.

 

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rem: Hullo Michael! Welcome to my blog! Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?

Michael: I was born in South Dakota but spent most of my life in Arizona where I currently live with my wife of 43 years, our four dogs, a feral cat, a handful of chickens and our five kids.
rem: Tell us three things about yourself.

Michael: Two years ago my wife and I adopted five of our grandchildren now ages 16, 11, 9, 9 and 4. The adoptions have changed our lives and theirs. Having raised two children many years ago, it’s an interesting experience to say the least. Although people commend us for taking on this responsibility, these kids have given my wife and I joy and love we wouldn’t have experienced again. It’s been a delight to watch them grow and adjust to their new lives. And my wife and I get to watch all those great old Disney movies we haven’t seen in forty years.

rem: That’s remarkable. I know they are a joy to you and your wife. What is your most treasured possession?

Michael: My most treasured possession is my original Goodbye Emily manuscript autographed by two Woodstock icons, Country Joe McDonald and Wavy Gravy.

rem: Your original manuscript AND signed by two icons! Can’t beat that! What is your greatest fear?

Michael: Nothing much, just the future of mankind. J There are parallels between the world’s economic collapse in the 1930’s and today’s world, most notable and most troubling is the growing gap between the have and the have nots.

rem: It’s a scary world. And yes, the parallels are uncanny. What is your greatest regret?

Michael: Setting aside my writing aspirations in my early twenties. I didn’t start writing again until my late forties. Since then I’ve had ten novels published.

 

rem: You’re ahead of me! I didn’t start writing til my mid [ahem] fifties!

What do you most value in a friend?

Michael: I value anything a friend can provide. I read somewhere that friends, good friends, are like four leave clovers, hard to find but when you do, they should be cherished.
rem: Cherished indeed. And every friend brings something different. What quality do you most admire in a man or woman?

Michael: I admired people who take chances in life, who leap into the unknown. It took me years to appreciate that in myself so I could take chances in life.

rem: Indeed! As I said earlier, in my mid-fifties… What do you do as a hobby?

Michael: My wife and I raise chickens in the backyard. We actually get eggs, they’re organic because they’re fed well, but I once computed the cost of a dozen eggs at just over forty dollars.
rem: Them’s some darn good eggs! Dogs or Cats? Which do you prefer?

Michael: Definitely dogs, but cats like me for some reason.

rem: What is your Writing Routine?

Michael: With five kids in the house writing is anything but routine. However I learned early in my writing career, the most important part of writing is the creative part that comes from the subconscious. I get my best ideas and solutions from sleeping or jogging. After the subconscious has done its work, the rest is just a mechanical process.
rem: What are your Top Writing Tips?

Michael: Three important lessons 1) forget about writing what you know, write what you love and in the genre of what you read. 2) Don’t be intimidated by the prospect of writing a 70,000 word novel. Break it down into the essential component of fiction, the scene, and write a 250-500 word scene; then another and another. 3) The most important part of writing is rewriting, so get started and keep going without stopping to agonize about what you’ve written. When you’re “done”, rewrite, rewrite, rewrite.

 

rem: Good stuff. Tell us a little about your writing journey.

Michael: As I mentioned before, my writer’s journey was interrupted by the need to earn a living, so I concentrated on business for the next thirty years. In 1999 I wrote my first novel, The Class of ’68. I finished a year later and it was published by Wings ePress in 2007. My writing career evolved for the best when I landed a terrific literary agency, Dawn Dowdle, who founded Blue Ridge Literary Agency. She’s a fabulous editor and works magic with publishers.

 

rem: Gotta love when it takes off! What do you enjoy most about being a writer?

Michael: Interacting with readers who’ve shared with me their thoughts about my novels. I cherish deeply those people who take the time to post reviews on Amazon, Goodreads etc.

 

rem: What is the hardest aspect of being a writer?

Michael: Balancing writing and promoting what I’ve written. I’m not unique in this, promoting is increasingly a writer’s responsibility.

rem: I heard that! Promoting / marketing, not my cup of tea! What was the hardest thing about publishing? The easiest?

Michael: Since 2007, I’ve had a number of publishers. With my Jake and Laura series, I was fortunate to land with Alibi, Penguin Random House’s mystery ebook division. From editing to promotion they offer a fabulous team of professionals.

rem: What advice would you give to aspiring authors for writing and/or publishing?

Michael: Join a critique group to hone your craft and don’t be in a hurry to get your finished novel published. I can’t stress that enough. Set your “completed” manuscript aside for a month or two and go back and rewrite it. Do this several times.

rem: Interaction with critique partners is invaluable. If you could choose to be a character in a book, who would it be and why?

Michael: Nelson DeMille’s John Corey. He’s smart, tough and funny, traits I can only hope to achieve one day. Wait, I’m kind of funny.

rem: And your humor shows in your writing! Where do you get your greatest ideas for writing?

Michael: My greatest ideas come to me at the least expected time. There’s that subconscious working again.
rem: Mine too, random moments, random phrases. You have so many books out, and I must confess, your Jake and Laura series is what first caught my eye. What prompted this series? Tell us about your other works.

Michael: The Jake and Laura series was inspired by a Turner Classic Movies Thin Man marathon one summer afternoon. I’d seen most of the movies and read Dashiell Hammet’s The Thin Man, but watching them all made me really appreciate the interaction between William Powell and Myrna Loy. In The Yankee Club, set in New York during the end of Prohibition, I created Jake Donovan, a former Pinkerton detective turned mystery writer and Laura Wilson a successful Broadway actresses. Jake never seems to be able to escape his gumshoe days so they both get involved in crime and murder investigations. In All That Glitters, Jake and Laura travel to Hollywood where William Powell, among others makes an appearance.

My novel before the Jake and Laura series was Goodbye Emily, a look at the Woodstock generation today and a look back at the 1969 music festival.

rem: I love that Dashiel Hammet – and Cole Porter – showed up in The Yankee Club! Makes for more interesting and realistic reading. Your latest in the series, Wings in the Dark, released on Tuesday. Tell us a little about that?

Michael: Wings in the Dark takes place in Hawaii in January of 1935. Jake and Laura finally get married and are enjoying their honeymoon in a beachfront cabana, but when Laura’s friend Amelia Earhart gets in trouble, it’s Jake and Laura to the rescue and romance takes a vacation.

rem: And now Amelia Earhart! What’s coming next?

Michael: In February of 2016 comes book four in the series, The Big Brush-Off. Unlike the first three that take the reader to New York, Hollywood and Hawaii during the 1930’s, this novel is set in a small town in Pennsylvania. While Laura has become a Hollywood star of screwball comedies, Jake’s writing is at a crossroads. He tries to revive his career and with Laura’s help solve a crime he was unable to crack ten years earlier. After this novel, I’m hoping to continue my Jake and Laura series as America fights to get out of the Depression as war clouds loom in Europe and Asia.

rem: I can’t wait to read them all! Michael, thanks for being with us today.

 

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AUTHOR BIO:

Michael Murphy is a full-time writer and part-time urban chicken rancher. He lives in Arizona with his wife of more than forty years and the five children they adopted recently. He’s active in several local writers’ groups and conducts novel-writing workshops at bookstores and libraries.

 

http://mjmurphy.com/

https://www.facebook.com/mmurfy86?ref=hl

https://twitter.com/mmurfy68

http://blog.mjmurphy.com/

http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/246837/wings-in-the-dark-by-michael-murphy/

http://www.amazon.com/Michael-Murphy/e/B0030HEZCY/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

 

 

 

#michaelmurphy, #authorinterview, #the yankeeclub, #allthatglitters, #wingsinthedark

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