Monday, April 19, 2010

Star Light, Star Bright...Interstellar Interview with C. E. Murphy



Though her friends would like to think of C. E. Murphy as "a thin veneer over a woman who is constantly moving and shaking...and she squeezes out a book or two every three days.”

In real time, it takes her at least six weeks to write a book and usually more. Her friends also say she began her writing career when she ran away to write copy for the circus that came to town...when she was five. With imaginative stories like this, C. E. is contemplating having her friends write all her biographies.

Her own recollection pinpoints the start of her career at age six, when she submitted three poems to a school publication. The teacher in charge of the magazine chose the one she thought was the worst (of course) but told her to keep writing. C. E. has also untertaken the usual grab-bag of jobs often seen in an author's backstory, including public library volunteer (at ages 9 and 10), archival assistant, cannery worker, and web designer.


To her, writing books is better, and she now has a dozen in print! In her down time, C. E. writes comic books and is working on a screenplay, which prompted her editor and agent to ask her to find a hobby that wasn't writing related.


She was born and raised in Alaska, and now lives in her magical homeland of Ireland.







What triggered the idea for your popular series’, especially the re-released Negotiator Trilogy?

Oh, Beauty and the Beast is my favorite fairy tale, and I wanted to do a BatB story, particularly one where the Beast was never going to become human. And I was in the shower one morning and Margrit leapt into my head fully formed--a NYC lawyer who ran in Central Park at night--and so suddenly I had my heroine. I knew she was very rounded in the real world, so I had to throw her up against something truly extraordinary, and I figured a world which had gargoyles in it must also have *other* kinds of hidden, magical peoples. Hence the birth of the Old Races!






Why did you choose a gargoyle hero to pit against a NY lawyer heroine?

I'm not that crazy about vampires. :) Actually, not exactly true. I love me a good vampire. But lots and lots of people were, and are, writing vampires protagonists, and nobody was using gargoyles. Part of what interests me about writing is trying to find something a little off the beaten path. And because there was nobody else using gargoyles, it gave me a lot of room to shape ideas of my own--especially, for example, the gargoyle racial memory--which I really enjoyed.

Margrit is a lawyer partly because she *did* spring into my brain fully formed as one, but also because lawyers belong to a world of *rules*, and a creature like Alban Korund absolutely destroys all the rules Margrit thinks she knows. I like to put my characters up against things they don't (or can't) expect, to see how they react and adapt--that's half the fun. :)







Will there be any more Negotiator novels or have we seen the last of Margrit Knight and Alban? If so, what can fans turn to in order to console their sorrow?

Margrit and Alban's story is done. I imagine that someday I'll go back to the world of the Old Races, because there's clearly a lot left unexplored there, but those two characters won't be more than background or cameo characters for any other stories I might write. I have hopes of doing a couple Old Races anthologies down the road, but that's not on the front burner right now.

The obvious place for people to turn is my Walker Papers series (book five of which, DEMON HUNTS, is out in June!). They're a completely different kind of story than the Negotiator trilogy--Seattle cop Joanne Walker is a woman with no use for the mystical, but the mystical, it seems has a use for her: faced with dying or being reborn as a shaman, she chooses the latter, and...doesn't handle it very well, actually. :)





What prompted you to pen paranormals, in lieu of something more mainstream?

Personal preference. I love fantasy and science fiction and always have. I have an extensive ideas file for straight mysteries and thrillers, but I just haven't gotten to them yet. Too busy writing my beloved fantasy novels. :)






Out of the various jobs you’ve had before becoming a full-time author, which would you go back to?

I worked in the university archives for a couple years when I was in college. If I had to go get a real job at this point, I would really love to do something like that. It was fascinating--one day I was photocopying old letters for a library patron, turned one over, and discovered that I'd just photocopied a hand-written letter from Theodore Roosevelt to a friend of his. You can't beat that kind of thing with a stick. :)






How has living in Ireland helped or hurt your writing? If you could “beam” anywhere, what location would you pick?

So much of my job happens within the confines of my head that the outside surrounds don't matter all that much. Ireland's a beautiful country, and I've discovered things here that will no doubt turn up in later books--things you'd have to be here to find--but I don't consider my location to be much help or hindrance either way.

Hm. If I could choose one beam point on the planet from which I could go back and forth at whim, *probably* I would choose San Francisco. I have a lot of friends there and I love the city, and it's a much shorter flight home (to Alaska) from there than it is from Ireland. :)


If we're going for something more dramatic, a one-shot kind of thing, I'm thinkin' the Moon. :)






Do you have other upcoming news fans need to know about?

Well, as mentioned above, book five of the Walker Papers is out in about six weeks. It's possibly my favorite of the Walker Papers so far. :) And this September I have the first book in a new duology, TRUTHSEEKER, out--it's about a woman who always knows when she's being told the truth, and so is taken aback but fascinated when the new man in her life confesses to being a prince of Faerie...!

And, oh! A couple anthologies I've participated in are coming out in April and May. One, RUNNING WITH THE PACK, has a Regency romance werewolf short story, and the other, DRAGON LURE, has a post-Negotiator-trilogy Janx story in it. :)




If you'd like to learn more, check out
http://www.cemurphy.net/!







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4 comments:

Linda Andrews said...

Your books sound fascinating. I love a good gargoyle tale myself. But what is the comic about? Is it more SciFi, fantasy or paranormal?

Catie said...

The comic is pure superhero! It's about Frankie Kemp, a woman whose little boy is killed in the cross-fire of gang warfare, and who becomes a costumed vigilante in a world without superheroes in order to try taking on problems the police can't. Her life is further complicated when a virus triggers superhuman abilities in part of the population, and suddenly she's not sure where she belongs in the world...

Nicki Salcedo said...

C.E. you are proof that a good writer writes and her mind is never quiet. I love you dearly! (your old pal from San Francisco) :)

Catie said...

Nicki! Hi! How lovely to hear from you!!! I hope you're doing well!