Saturday, August 17, 2013

Joseph Murphy Interview

M. Joseph Murphy kindly offered to do an interview here on Eye on Ashenclaw and is working on two series at once! He considers his books to be YA friendly, fantasy and a few other things, and so, with all of that in mind, let's get to know Joe!

First off, tell us a little bit about you...I write under the name M Joseph Murphy but just call me Joe. I live in Windsor, ON, Canada, right across the river from Detroit Michigan. I’ve taught accounting and business classes at local colleges for the last 8 years. I’m engaged; the wedding is set for November 16th, 2013. I’m an obsessive video game addict but I rarely have time to play. Writing and my other projects keep me too busy.

Tell us about your books/What genre do you consider your books? 
I’m writing two series simultaneous. One, set on Earth, is a paranormal thriller/urban fantasy. The other, set on another planet, is epic fantasy. Each series is YA-Friendly. Both series are tied together. Characters from one series will show up in the other and vice versa.

I published my first book, Council of Peacocks in July. I’m currently revising the 3 draft of my next novel. It will be out to beta readers in September with a publishing date scheduled for early December.

When did you start writing? I started writing novels in Grade 4, so over 30 years ago. My first was a horror novel about an old, haunted school house. Since then I’ve written several hundred poems, 50 or so short stories and 8 novels. Although it was my first published, Council of Peacocks the first polished enough to be worthy of publishing.

Why do you write? For the same reason I breath. I do it or die. Also I may have a death wish.

What would be your choice for a superpower? Telepathy just like Professor Xavier. If you can control the minds of every other person on the planet, you don’t need any other power. 

Who is your favorite author? 
Tough Question. From a pure craft perspective Alice Munro. She’s a Canadian writer who works mostly in short stories. She has a way of transmitting a great deal of story into very small number of words. I’m envious. From a story telling perspective either Clive Barker of Jim Butcher.

What are you reading now? Nowadays I read mostly independently published work. I belong to several Read for Review groups on Goodreads. I also belong to a writers group called Suckersguild. I beta read and edit for our members. I just finished The Nightlife: Paris by Travis Luedke. It was easily one of the best-written vampire books I’ve ever read. No sparkling but a good deal of sex and violence.

Who is your favorite character to write? The most fun to write is a character from Council of Peacocks named Jessica. She’s a really bitch young girl with insane amounts of telekinetic power. Emotionally, I’m very connected to a character from my next book, Tadgh Dooley. He’s a young man turned into a werecat by a demon. Even though he does some unspeakable things, he is the most human, fully realized character I’ve ever written.

Do you have a writing process? Yes. Vomit on paper for the first draft then revise, revise, revise. For my first draft I set daily page goals (usually 5-10 pages). I don’t stop writing until I hit my quota. I make a conscious decision that the first draft will need massive work so I don’t get hung up on making it perfect.

First drafts are fun. The real artistry comes in the hard work of revision.

What advice would you give to an aspiring author? Stop thinking about being a writer and just write the damn book. There is no secret to it; just hard work. Don’t wait for “muse”. Sit down every day for at least an hour and just write whatever comes to mind. Who cares if the first draft is terrible. Usually, I don’t even know what the book is about or why I’m writing it until I’ve finished the first draft.

Don’t expect a quick road to fame and fortune. That’s very rare. Focus on writing as many high quality books as you can. It’s the only sure-fire road to success.

What inspired you to pursue writing? I had a teacher in high school, Mrs. Elizabeth Christie. She pulled me aside one day and told me she saw something in my writing that she had only seen in a handful of students. She told me she had faith that I could make it as a writer. It gave me the courage to be a writer. It also made me want to become a teacher. I saw the way she helped transform my life simply by believing in me. Now, I get to affect people’s lives every day. I’m the luckiest person on the planet.

What are your favorite TV shows/Movies to watch in between writing? Currently I’m watching Homeland and 24. I like the tension and the confined nature of the story telling. In September I work on the 2nd draft of the direct sequel to Council of Peacocks. It’s called Beyond the Black Sea. I want it to be a little bit Homeland and a little bit X-Men.

What are your current projects? Too many. I’m promoting Council of Peacocks, revising A Fallen Hero Rises, assisting the members of the Suckersguild with promotion of their works, and I beta read or review 3 books per month. I’m also working on a documentary about the Windsor Hum. If you’re not familiar with the phenomenon you could Google it. It was recently showcased on Joe Rogan Questions Everything.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to readers? Thank you. All my reviews have been positive, even those that concerns or criticisms , in general, have thrown high praise at my work. Hearing those kind works is the greatest feeling in the world.  My blog is

Quick Fire:
Cats or dogs?
– For food or companionship? I’m going to go with cats.
Coffee or tea? - Coffee
Favorite food? - Taco Bell. No seriously
Vanilla or chocolate ice-cream? - vanilla
What are 3 things you never leave home without? - cell phone, wallet, pants
Laptop or desktop? – laptop for work, desktop for video games
Who are 3 famous people you would to hang out with? - Joss Whedon and Jane Espenson because they are super cool. Liam Payne from One Direction because hanging with him would make me instantly famous.
TV or Movies? – I love big screens and I cannot lie. Imax 3D. I’m spoiled.

Please join me and the other amazingly talented authors over @ Skulldust Circle where we have formed a Writer's Circle that must be seen--a collection of brilliant, up & coming independently published speculative fiction authors with much to give both now and in the future!

See you in Wothlondia! Cheers!

Also, please visit MY HOME PAGE to enjoy an extended reading experience and to see what else Ashenclaw Studios, LLC has in store in the future!

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  1. Wonderful interview. I'll have to take a look at Joe's titles. To Ashenclaw - I like your page. Easy on the eyes, and well set up.
    J.E. Rogers, Author

  2. First, thanks to Joe for agreeing to do the interview and thanks to you as well for the comments. I have a background in graphic design and kind of try to stay neutral and not so busy. I cannot tell you how many blog I've visited that are busy, using the color RED, which is horrible to try to read and have so much going on that it distracts the eye from the important thing: the content. I hope you stop by to visit more often in the future and if there is anything I can do for you, let me know. All the best!