Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Lagan Love - author interview - Peter Murphy

Peter Murphy was born in Killarney where he spent his first three years before his family was deported to Dublin, the Strumpet City. Growing up in the verdant braes of Templeogue, Peter was schooled by the De La Salle brothers in Churchtown where he played rugby for ‘The Wine and Gold’. He also played football (soccer) in secret!

After that, he graduated and studied the Humanities in Grogan’s under the guidance of Scot’s corner and the bar staff; Paddy, Tommy and Sean.  Murphy financed his education by working summers on the buildings sites of London in such places as Cricklewood, Camden Town and Kilburn.  Murphy also tramped the roads of Europe playing music and living without a care in the world. But his move to Canada changed all of that. He only came over for awhile – thirty years ago.  He took a day job and played music in the bars at night until the demands of family life intervened.  Having raised his children and packed them off to University, Murphy answered the long ignored internal voice and began to write.  He has no plans to make plans for the future and is happy to let things unfold as they do anyway.  LAGAN LOVE is his first novel.

You can visit his website at www.peterdamienmurphy.com or his blog at www.peterdamienmurphy.blogspot.com.  Connect with him at Twitter at www.twitter.com/PeeloMurphy and Facebook at www.facebook.com/LaganLove.

Visit his tour page at Pump Up Your Book

About Lagan Love
If you know something about passion, and desire, and giving everything to live your dreams then leave your world behind for a while. Come with Janice to Dublin, in the mid nineteen-eighties when a better future beckoned and the past was restless, whispering in the shadows for the Old Ways. Janice has grown tired of her sheltered existence in Toronto and when Aidan leads her through the veils of the Celtic Twilight, she doesn’t hesitate. In their love, Aidan, Dublin’s rising poet, sees a chance for redemption and Janice sees a chance for recognition. Sinead tells her that it is all nonsense as she keeps her head down and her eyes fixed on her own prize – a place in Ireland’s prospering future. She used to go out with Aidan, before he met Janice, so there is little she can say. And besides, she has enough to do as her parents are torn apart by the rumours of church scandals. But after a few nights in Grogan’s, where Dublin’s bohemians gather, or a day in Clonmacnoise among the ruins of Celtic Crosses, it won’t matter as the ghosts of Aidan’s mythologies take form and prey on the friends until everything is at risk. Lagan Love is a sensuous story of Love, Lust and Loss that will bring into question the cost we pay for our dreams.

Q:  Give us an example of a typical writing day.

On a good day I start early (5 or 6 AM) and write new copy until midday. I break for lunch, a quick check on emails, etc. and then take a nap. I spend the later part of the afternoon catching up on what is going on in the wider world, watching European football games and interacting with real people – like my family. By 7 PM I get back to work and edit what I wrote earlier until night.

On a bad day I start early; shuffle punctuation until noon, get distracted by the internet, smoke too much and, when frustration gets the better of me, wander the neighbourhood until it is too late to worry about all that might have been achieved!

Q:  Do you write on a computer or with pen/pencil and paper?

I worked as a computer programmer for years so working on the computer is natural for me. I like that I can write, edit and delete, add notes, cut and paste, and review without wasting paper. That said; proofing on screen is very difficult. Also, I spend a lot of time arguing with my word processor about syntax and spelling. I have tried pen and paper but my handwriting has deteriorated to the point that even I can hardly read it.

Q:  Do you work from an outline?
Yes, but my outline for Lagan Love was completely hijacked by my unruly characters and they were right – they made it a better story. But I learn as I go and the outline for my next work is more flexible, focusing more on the story arc and leaving room for my characters to grow and go as they must. Without an outline a story could be a great adventure from which the writer might never return – and that might be the best way for a writer to ride off into the sunset!

Q:  What’s next for you?

I have my next two books outlined and one drafted. I hope to go back and explore all that lies in interpersonal relationships and the relationships between people and their history and mythology. We are, whether we admit it or not, greatly influenced by all that has gone before. This is as true for the radical as the conservative. I want my stories to be readable and enjoyable on the surface but also riddled with rabbit holes down which the more Alice-like among us can wander.

Q:  Writer’s Block – If you have ever experienced it – how did you resolve it?

I do not believe in writer’s block but I do accept the existence of procrastination and inertia. There are times when the creative process is beyond me but I find that these can be the best times to edit and review. By doing these things I can coax my creative self back into the mood. I suppose it is the same in every area of life. How many of us have been at work and wished we were somewhere else? What can you do but roll up your sleeves and get busy doing things until you get something done? That was the most valuable lesson I learned from my years in my day-jobs.

Q:  How did you feel holding your book in your hands for the first time?

It was incredible. I felt validated and relieved – and to be totally honest – a little impressed with myself. I immediately sat down and reread it, making mental notes as to what was good and what could have been better. However the bigger thrill came when I sat and watched by son devour it from cover to cover – pausing only to pass comments that were not unkind!

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