MIKE’S TOP WRITING TIP: Know what your story is and make every word you write work to tell that story.
Mike Murphy has spent a lifetime writing as a journalist, editor and magazine publisher and writer for hire. His first short story was published in 1963 and many since, including some that won competitions. After writing seven novels without finding a traditional publisher he has self-published A New Era For Manny Youngman. He is currently working on a series of crime novels. Find out more about Mike on his website mikemurphythewriter.com and read his blog here.
Why do you write? It’s what I am – my talent if you like. I have always written since I was a child.
What would you be doing if you weren’t a writer? Playing music. That’s my other love. Guitar, ukulele, banjo – not well but I keep myself amused,
What was your toughest obstacle to becoming published? the traditional publishing industry. I still don’t understand how it makes its choices and I hate that it is contemptuous in the way it rejects writers without explaining why.
What’s the best aspect of your writing life? A while ago I would have said it was when I completed a novel and knew it was as good as I could do – any more editing would just be playing around for the sake of it. Now, having experienced it, I know it is the moment when you hold your published book in your hand for the first time.
—the worst? Getting yet another rejection slip or not even hearing back from the publisher, agent or whoever I have put so much time and effort into approaching.
What would you do differently if you were starting out now as a writer? Start writing novels straight away. I began with short stories and while it was fun, writing a full-length novel is the real test.
What do you wish you’d been told before you set out to become an author? That what you read in books about writing is mostly wrong, or at best just a guideline. The reality is you are telling a story and that rules everything. The words you use (yes, even adverbs!), the sentence structure, the characters, the settings, the tone, the pace, everything has to be true to the story and move it forward. If it doesn’t, chuck it out.
What’s the best advice you were ever given? To stop talking about writing and write.
Having controversial theories about feminism is one thing …
… having a teenage daughter is quite another.
Architect Manny Youngman believes it’s time for men to assert a new role for themselves in post-feminist society. President of the New Era Men’s Support Alliance and author of The Male Conundrum, he is prepared to defend his theories before even the most hostile female audience. That is until he is confronted by a former girlfriend and a 15-year-old daughter he didn’t know he had.
The girlfriend is going to jail and the daughter moves in. Defending his theories is not so easy now he has a daughter to consider, and not only his daughter but her mother, her friends, his parents, colleagues and clients. All have something to say on the matter.
Often funny but always with an underlying thread of seriousness, A New Era For Manny Youngman is a ground-breaking novel which challenges accepted thinking about male-female relationships.
A New Era For Manny Youngman is available from the author at $20 plus postage, as an e-book from Kobo at $4.99 or from Ingram-Spark through most on-line book retailers. RRP print form $19.99; e-book $4.99