Interview with Valerie Murphy, author of “The Gumshoes”

Do you think writers have a normal life like others?

I think writers are always in their own head. At least I am. I once interviewed for a job at a mental health office. The doctor told me he would not hire me because he thought it would break my spirit as a writer.

Do you set a plot or prefer going wherever an idea takes you?

I set the plot way before I begin writing. I am a planner the whole way through.

Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?

I love to read, sadly I don’t have much time to do it. I’d have to say Mary Shelley, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Stephanie Meyer, Rick Yancey and Maggie Stiefvater are my favorite authors right now.

Have you ever left any of your books stew for months on end or even a year?

The book I am currently writing has sat idle for months at a time. It’s been three years since I started writing it.

Have you ever designed your own book cover?

I designed the cover for both The Gumshoes: A New Town, Oh Joy!, and Children’s book of Poems Schmoems.

How realistic are your books?

I like to keep a balance between reality and fantasy. I think reality is boring and fantasy is too over the top. When you mix the two, it makes the perfect story.

What books have influenced your life the most?

Twilight. I call it the bible. When in doubt, if I’m looking for some inspiration, I refer to it.

Who is the most supportive of your writing in your family?

My daughter Brenna and I are writing our first YA novel together, so she would probably be the one who is most supportive. My husband however has been my biggest cheerleader. He built me a writing den because I lost inspiration writing in my house. It’s a little dream room. I love it, and him!

How do you see writing? As a hobby or a passion?

I have never been so passionate about anything in my life. Writing feeds my soul.

They say books die every time they are turned into a movie; what do you think?

I disagree. I think it is an amazing thing to finally get to see everything you had imagined.

Which of your books took you the most time to write?

The one I’m currently writing with my daughter. It’s been three years. Someday it’ll be finished.

Do you believe you have done enough to leave a legacy behind?

Yes, my daughter Brenna. She is an amazing writer.

Fiction or non-fiction? Which is easier?

Non-fiction is easier. You have more freedom to do what you want.

Some writers create a bubble around themselves until they’re finished with their project – how true is that in your case?

I wish I could. If it was feasible I’d lock myself away for the duration of the entire book. I’d actually love that.

In case one or any of your books honor the big screen, which book would you like it to be?

The one I am currently writing. I think it would make a great movie.

How many children do you have? Do you see any young writers in any of them?

I have three children. Brenna is 20, Baylie is 16, and Brayden is 13. Brenna is an English major. She is co-writing a YA novel with me. She plans on being a writer.

What weather inspires you the most, in terms of bringing out your literary best?

I love writing when it’s cold and rainy. When it’s not cold and rainy, I turn the a/c up and play rain sounds on my phone.

How do you think concepts such as Kindle, and e-books have changed the present or future of reading?

I think it will encourage more young readers, however, I hate it. There is nothing better than the feel and smell of a good book.

What is that dream goal you want to achieve before you die?

I want my characters to come alive through the readers. That would be the ultimate reward.

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