Noah Murphy Authorsday
1. What was the name of the first novel you wrote? Did you try to publish it?
My first novel was The Sapphires, an 80,000-word fictional autobiography of a superhero husband-and-wife team that I wrote in 2004. I sent out a few query letters, all of which were rejected. I eventually realized it was terrible. When I go back and read it years later, I’m shocked at just how poor my writing was at the time.
2. Why did you pick the publisher that ultimately published your book?
I’m self-published; currently I have three books released in a series of eccentric fantasy thrillers called K23 Detectives plus a collected edition, along with a short story collection based on the same setting called Sandworm Rodeo. I chose to self-publish because my book premises would never make it past the query stage with a publishing company. It’s a choice I don’t regret. While my K23 Detectives series had poor sales, the evolution I have made as a writer since June 2011, when I published A Clear and Feathered Danger, has been far greater than my development in the previous 6 years when I was trying to get published traditionally.
3. What do you know now that you are published that you didn’t know pre-published that you wish you knew?
Writing for money and writing for a hobby are completely different. When writing for fun, you don’t really have to tailor your work for an audience. Like any business, publishing ultimately comes down to selling a product. If nobody is interested in reading your work, it doesn’t matter how great that work may or may not be. The literary establishment hates authors like James Patterson because they see him as a no-talent hack. But James Patterson is a great writer because he puts books in hands, which is ultimately the true measure of an author, since quality is subjective.
For me, this lesson is why my writing has evolved so much over the past year. I had to stop writing purely what I wanted to and start writing fiction that other people would want to read.
4. What’s your favorite quote?
A quote from John Locke in “How I Sold 1 million Ebooks in 5 Months” in regards to the term “vanity publishing”: “When I invested my own money to start my insurance agency, no one accused me of starting a vanity agency.”
I like this quote because I can relate to it. In addition to writing, I run a small pet sitting business which I started with my own money. Nobody accused me of starting a vanity pet sitting business. I see investing in my pet sitting business as no different from investing in my books - both are businesses.
5. What was the best writing advice someone gave you?
The best writing advice I ever got recently came in the form of a scathing one-star review of a book called What Lies Within, which was the second volume of my K23 Detectives series. In the review, the writer stated that the action scenes in A Clear and Feathered Danger (the first K23 volume) were the strongest part of that book, and the book’s severe lack of action hurt it. This told me where my true writing strength really lied.
6. What do you consider your strengths in terms of your writing?
My writing strength, as I eluded to earlier, is action. When I write an action scene, I literally choreograph the scene in my head as if I were directing a film. This helps me add in the subtle details that make these scenes shine.
7. What do you consider your weakness and what strategies do you use to overcome it?
Proofreading. I’m abysmally bad at it. I overcome this by hiring an editor, who proofreads all my stuff, including these interview questions. It’s not cheap, but the benefits in terms of coming across as a professional are well worth it.
8. Describe your book.
My upcoming book is called Ethereal Girls, which is a superhero novel starring four young heroines. It’s a complete rewrite of a novella I released last October but later pulled from sale called Barbarian Girl, which had been hampered by hack-job editing as well as not having a clear audience in mind. When I sat down with Ethereal Girls I wrote it from the ground up to a have more mainstream edge in terms of plot and characterization. While it retains some of the quirkiness of K23 Detectives (literally, in one case!) I believe it is the strongest, more cohesive work I’ve ever written.
9. Who is your favorite character in your book?
Meadow, who is shown on one of the book’s promotional poster. She’s the 107th reincarnation of an ancient sorceress who reincarnates with all her previous memoires and experiences but still has to go through the same stages of childhood development as everyone else each time. So in her you find a constant battle between her adolescent side and her all-powerful deity side, which has nearly disastrous implications in the book.
10. What were the hardest scenes to write?
The hardest scenes to write were the fight scenes, which were also my favorite scenes to write. The fights, being choreographed in my head as I wrote them, took full energy and concentration and usually left me tired after writing them. Still, they were incredibly fun to write because I was experiencing the thrills as they emerged onto the page.
Noah has been writing fiction since he was a child. For many years he wrote sci-fi and fantasy short stories and novels as a hobby, developing as a writer. In 2011, Murphy self-published for the first time. He is releasing his fifth book in November.
In addition to writing, Noah runs a small pet sitting business and volunteers at a parrot rescue. Noah lives in Montgomery County , Maryland.
In Medieval Europe, four mystical weapons were forged in order to combat malevolent spirits – vile entities seeking nothing more than to spread misery and chaos across the universe. Centuries later, only one weapon remains to protect Earth. That weapon, the Axe of Boren, falls into the hands of teenage Liza while she is driving home from cheerleading practice, transforming her into a hulking warrior of immense strength and endurance. At the same time, her best friend Macie is twisted into a psychopathic murderer by one of the Axe’s counterparts, the corrupted Sword of Boren, and goes on a gruesome killing spree.
But just as Liza and Macie are headed for battle, the most powerful evil spirit in generations appears, unleashing an army of monstrous cannibals on Washington, D.C. In order to defeat the spirit, Liza must ally with three odd girls: a sickly waif with macabre teleportation abilities; a member of a snake-like race called the Lamia who wants nothing more than to be a human teenager; and the 107th reincarnation of an ancient goddess who may know far more about the mystical weapons than she lets on. But even with her new friends, Liza faces a near impossible task. Macie is obsessed with destroying her regardless of the devastation unfolding around them….