Eric Murphy interview with David Alan Binder
Post date: Feb 13, 2016 4:09:22 PM
Eric Murphy interview with David Alan Binder
bilingual, I also work in French in both narration and on-camera.
My family and I now call Toronto home. I bike year-round, jog with our Jack
Russell, Fitzroy and sail wherever and whenever I can.
The Phantom’s Gold is my first novel. My publisher told me The Phantom’s Gold would be made into a film because it was such a visual story. In anticipation of that hoped-for need, I’ve adapted it as a film script.
The second novel in the series, The Dead Man’s Boot is published. The third book, The Bermuda Shipwreck is written and I’m working on book number four, Saving Horses and Hawks.”
1. How do you pronounce your name?
Eric Murphy is easy to pronounce but I’m good with it being pronounced Stephen King, or John Irving.LOL.
2. Where are you currently living?
3. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
When I was ten or so I read the story of a French Resistance group against the Germans and I wrote a fictionalized account of it.
4. How long on average does it take you to write a book?
Hard to say. I’m a stew-pot writer. I toss ideas, bits of dialogue, fragments of philosophy into a pot on the stove and when it reaches critical mass, I plot the outline then write full out.
5. What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
I rise early, usually with an idea dragging me from bed to my home office. I write with a big mug of tea, usually re-reading some of the previous day’s work to get my momentum. That will usually carry me through 2 or 3 hours of work. I pause to do a workout in my home gym or take our Jack Russell for a walk. That’s when I usually solve a plot point â€“ by not actively thinking about it. Keep notepad handy or phone text note to self. 2 to 3 more hours and I’m cooked for the day.
6. What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
My pogo stick mind that allows me to extrapolate a whole new spin on something innocuous.
7. Did you self-publish or have a publisher?
a. If publisher, who is the name of your publisher and in what city are they?
Cormorant Books publish my works. My first book was distributed through the US in January and the second; The Dead Man’s Boot will be available in May, just when I head to Maine to do research on my fourth book.
8. How do you feel about eBooks vs. print books and alternative vs. conventional publishing?
As long as people read, the format is a personal preference. My wife reads ebooks, I tend to like paper.
9. What process did you go through to get your book published?
After receiving a ton of rejections from agents and publishers, I dropped the manuscript off at a neighbour’s house. He loved it and thrust it upon a publisher he knew. That led to a phone call.
10. Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
As mentioned earlier, I’m a stewpot writer. I usually start with an idea that comes from something I’ve read or heard and that could impact my cast of characters. That comes from writing a series. Then I make sure I have my beginning and end. The ideas can come at random. Walking through the graveyard with my dog gave me the idea of setting some of “Saving Horses and Hawks” in a Maine graveyard.
11. When did you write your first book and how old were you?
In my fifties.
12. What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I sail, I ride my bike, I travel for research. Nicaragua is my next port of call for Saving Horses and Hawks because one of the principle characters is a 15 year-old Nicaraguan vaquero.
13. What does your family think of your writing?
They seem proud and impressed.
14. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books? I had started writing screenplays so was delighted to see how much I love writing novels.
15. How many books have you written?
You can read the first chapters or listen to me read them on my website eric-murphy.com. My books are available through most local bookstores and of course, Amazon.
Which is your favorite?
I love all of my progeny.
16. Do you have any suggestions to help others become a better writer? I
f so, what are they? Read a lot. Get your one line pitch out and use that as the spine of your story. If an idea doesn’t hinge off the spine, it might belong in a different story. Get your beginning and end sorted BEFORE you start writing. Same goes for plotting your three act structure. Read Stein on Writing.
17. Do you hear from your readers much?
What kinds of things do they say?
Most only write or talk to me to say positive things. Some catch and correct something but so far very few corrections.
18. Who is your main audience for your books?
My young adult series has attracted 3 generations. My political thriller Hard Drive is aimed at an adult audience. I’ve aimed it at the reader who likes to think and feel while reading an action adventure story.
19. What do you think makes a good story?
Something that makes me feel then think.
20. As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
A lawyer like Atticus Finch. Now I intervene in people’s lives as a writer.
21. How did you become involved with the subject or theme of your book?
Usually a visceral reaction to something the characters are going through.
22. . Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?
The Phantom’s Gold was optioned by a film company. When they let the option lapse, a school principal friend urged me not to let the story die and to write it as Y.A. fiction
23. If you write more than one field or genre, how do you balance them?
Each project needs a resting period so you can come back with fresh eyes. That’s when I shift focus to either start a new one or go back and continue to write or polish a story. But there’s always one story that has captured most of my focus.
24. What do you think most characterizes your writing?
25. What inspires you?
People with hope.
26. How did you get to be where you are in your life today?
By keeping my legs churning, especially when many said give up.
27. Who are some of your favorite authors that you feel were influential in your work.
A writer famously said, “I can’t recall the books I’ve read any more than the meals I’ve eaten but there’s no doubt that they have made me the man I am.”
28. Are you a full-time or part-time writer?
How does that affect your writing?
29. What are some day jobs that you have held?
I’ve been a paperboy, a warehouse worker, forklift operator, truck driver, school janitor, construction worker, sound engineer at an outdoor theater, event host and actor. Did any of them impact your writing? They all bring grist for the mill. But being an actor helps me hone my characters. I think every writer should take an acting class. If nothing else, it will stop you from overwriting. Early writers tend to make their characters too loquacious.
30. What makes your book stand out from the crowd?
Have to ask that of my readers.
31. What are some ways in which you promote your work?
I get involved in literacy initiatives. My motto is “You can’t be the author of your own destiny if you can’t read or write.”
32. What do you like to read in your free time?
I like a good adventure but when writing I’m usually swamped with historical, non-fiction research.
33. What projects are you working on at the present?
The fourth book in my young adult series and plotting the second book in my political thriller series.
34. What question do you wish that someone would ask about your book, but nobody has?
How did you get so wealthy? LOL.
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