Author interview with Michelle Murray
Q: What is the first book that made you cry?
A: The first book that made my cry is a book called “A Child Called It” – I don’t even remember why I read that book, but this account of child abuse would make anyone cry.
Q: What is your writing Kryptonite?
A: I would have to say just doing it, just sitting down and writing. It sounds harder than it is or should be. Some days, you just don’t feel the mojo, or make excuses not to do it. That is one of the reasons I love National Novel Writing Month in November, it gives me the motivation, guidance, and fellowship to concentrate on my writing. Though, I have only completed a novel in a month one time, I love the fellowship and getting to know fellow authors. I will miss our meetings this year. If anyone wants to be writing buddies, this year friend me on https://nanowrimo.org/
Q: Who is one author you are friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
A: None of my close friends write, but I do belong to the Kenosha Writers Guild. Having a place to share my writing and get feedback has been extremely helpful. They help me see things I might have missed, and give suggestion for places things can be clearer, or maybe is missing something.
I also had some beta readers read my work and give their feedback and suggestions. I highly suggest using/finding a writer’s groups, and beta readers.
It amazes me what other people interrupt/find in my work.
Q: If you could tell your younger writing self-anything, what would it be?
A: I would tell my younger self (and myself now for that matter) to keep at it, keep writing, keep submitting. Don’t give up. Don’t let others discourage you from your passion. Don’t let anyone tell you it is a waste of time. Anything that you enjoy is not a waste of time!
Look around and you will be surprised at the amount of creativity in your local community.
Reach out and become involved with them. Surround yourself with positivity and support.
The world can be negative enough, you don’t need to be around anyone that adds to it.
Q: How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
A: Well, I went from small poems to a book, so that was a bit of a change. I also learned to flesh out the story and characters more.
I created a world and characters out of my imagination and crafted a story, and that is something I will always be proud of.
However, some things still haven’t changed. I still handwrite everything first; I just can’t get into typing up my stories on the computer. It doesn’t have the same feel.
I do use a rough outline and sketch of where I think the story should go, which I don’t do with my poetry. Though, sometimes, the characters have different ideas!
Q: What was the best money you ever spent as a writer? If you have not made any money, do you dream about it?
A: I would say the best money I every spent as a writer is in marketing. Getting the word out about my book, and having people buy it and read it is the best experience I think I’ll ever have.
Good notebooks and pens are always an investment also, a writer can never have too many notebooks or pens. I have notebooks lying all over the house, my husband always sighs at me, but you never know when inspiration or a story idea might come.
Before Covid, I used to bring a notebook with me and write on my lunch hour, but that’s a little harder these days if the weather isn’t nice.
I have made some money off my books, but not enough to quit my day job.
I do dream of more people reading my books and poems, and hopefully enjoying them. I never started this to be famous, and that is not my intention, but would always like more fans/readers.
Q: As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
A: I think I would choose a dream catcher. The power of dreams inspired me to write my series, and there is such a mystery about them. Why do we dream certain things? Why can we remember some and not others? A dream catcher is supposed to protect you from shadows and bad dreams. I am a positive person, and I think that would be powerful protection to avoid negative energy at night (and during the day if possible)
Q: How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
A; I have one fully completed unpublished book, a continuation of my Dream Walker series. One of these days, I will get it edited, find a cover, and publish it. I really think I have come a long way since the first book. I also have started Lightning’s Journey a prequel of what the white wizard Lightning was like before being turned into stone.
I have also started another similar book where a girl goes to another world to fight the darkness.
So that makes one completed unpublished, and two in progress.
I also started a short story about my main character and a vampire, so I guess that’s four.
If we are counting short stories, I wrote one called Rif the Snow Dog, which is unpublished.
So, we are up to five!
Q: Have you read anything that made you think differently about fiction:
A: I can’t think of anything off my head that made me think differently. I read a lot of fantasy series, but I’ve recently starting readying mystery books as well. Of course, the classics are always fun to re-visit.
Q: How do you select the names of your characters?
A; I selected Miranda using alliteration, I wanted the same sound as Mystica.
For the wizards, I came up with a list of words for both Shadow and Light, and went from there
Lightning, Midnight, Shadow, Silver, Spyder, and Polaris – Can you guess which is which?
Q What is your favorite childhood book?
A I would have to say my favorite childhood book would be a tie between Huckleberry Finn, and Chronicles of Narnia.
I love Huckleberry’s Finn adventures, and am a big fan of Mark Twain. I also, as I mentioned before I am a big fantasy fan, so Chronicles of Narnia has always been one of my favorites.
Michelle is a married working mother of two fine young men (her children). She lives in Wisconsin. When not writing, she enjoys reading especially science fiction/fantasy and classics.
Her favorite authors include Shakespeare, Mark Twain, Margaret Weiss, and Colleen Houck.
She also enjoys doing painting and crafts, and spending time with her family. She enjoys going for walks, and swimming. She has been known to jump in Lake Michigan with no life jacket!
Author picture Once upon Mystica, there were six wizards, three light and three dark. One day, one of the dark wizards said a spell to trap the fellow wizards. The spell went astray, and all of the wizards were trapped in stones. Now, one curious boy finds one of these stones and releases Midnight. Midnight is loose on Mystica! He gathers an army and prepares for war. Miranda is an average college girl, until she has dreams of Mystica. Her dreams lead her to travel through Mystica to find Lightning, the one wizard that can defeat Midnight. Follow Miranda through the Plains, Ice.