The Author’s Corner is presented by Kathleen Gage and The Street Smarts Marketing Blog.
This week’s featured author is Michael Murphy. Michael has lived in Arizona most of his life. A former journalism major at Arizona State University, he set aside his writing and concentrated on starting a family and a business career.
1. Tell us about yourself – where you are from, how you got started writing, what you do when you are not writing (or anything you want our readers to know)
I’m a former journalism major who switched to get married, switched to business and began to raise a family. I became serious about my writing in my forties and wrote my first novel, which won first place in the Arizona Authors Association novel writing contest in 2000.
2. What inspired you to write your first book?
My first novel, Class of ’68 was inspired by the year I graduated from high school, one of the most tumultuous years of the twentieth century. I wanted to write a book that captured the horror of war, despair of the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy, and the end of the idealism of the sixties.
3. How many books have you written?
I’ve written six novels. Three came out this year, Try and Catch the Wind, the first in my Casey Bannister series, Class of ’68 and Secrets of Sheridan Manor, the second in the series. My fourth novel, Cold File, comes out September 1. Two more next year, the third in my series, Cuts Like a Knife and a spin-off of that series, called Ramblin’ Man. I’m currently finishing my seventh, a suspense novel called Scorpion Bay.
4. How do you decide on their topic?
After Class of ’68 I focused on writing the types of books I like to read, mystery and suspense thrillers. The series that began with Try and Catch the Wind focuses on a former NYPD homicide detective struggling with retirement and his wife’s death in upstate New York. In many respects, the setting of the series gave direction to the novels.
5. What works best to keep you focused and on track?
What’s kept me on track most of the time is belonging to a critique group. We meet weekly and if I don’t have a new chapter to turn in, I feel like I’ve let them down. Keeps me on my toes.
6. Do you write to make money or for the love of writing?
Since my publisher is small with limited distribution, I’m definitely not in it for the money, but I love creating novels and would never want my writing to become work.
7. What are some traditional methods of marketing you have used to gain visibility for you and your book(s)?
I’ve enjoyed book signings. It’s quite humbling when people take time from their day to come see you and purchase your book. I’ve had good success with media coverage, three newspaper articles, a radio, a web chat, and a television interview. I have a nice website, www.mjmurphy.com that emphasizes my books, not me.
8. What are some unique methods?
I’ve really jumped into the My Space phenomena, and have “met” people from all over the world who have purchased my books. They’ve becomes some of my biggest fans.
9. Do you sell through a website?
My website routes readers to amazon.com or my publisher’s website, www.wings-press.com.
10. Do you plan on writing additional books?
I’m looking forward to putting the final polishes on my seventh novel, Scorpion Bay. Then I’ll jump right back in with a new one. I will continue my Casey Bannister series, but next I’m going to tackle something new, but still in the suspense/thriller genre.
This interview was done in conjunction with Nikki Leigh, author of Book Promo 101 – www.nikkileigh.com/book_promo_101.htm.