I welcome author Michael Murphy once again on my blog to discuss his latest release, Goodbye Emily.
1. So Michael, tell me about your book, Goodbye Emily.
Goodbye Emily is a fun and funny look back at Woodstock even though the novel deals with loss and learning to live again. Three men decide to relive their trip to Woodstock in 1969. One final roadtrip. One last chance to say, Goodbye Emily.
Author Alisha Paige nailed it, calling Goodbye Emily, “a road trip full of adventure, love, laughter, fun, superstar appearances and heart-felt healing.
2. What inspired you to write this book?
A few years ago, a woman I’d worked with for more than ten years got cancer. Her health forced her to retire. One her last day we were chatting and she told me about attending Woodstock and how it impacted her life. Although I was ashamed I had not gotten close enough to realize she’d attended this special event, I began to think of Woodstock and the aging Woodstock Nation. The book is dedicated to my former co-worker, Louise Castro.
3. Have you always wanted to be a writer?
From an early age I enjoyed reading. For me it was a logical step toward writing. I first started in journalism and majored in it in collage, but writing and I drifted apart until my forties. I began a long delayed novel which was published in 2007. Now I’m a full-time writer and part time urban chicken rancher in Arizona. Goodbye Emily is my eighth novel.
4. What advice do you have for unpublished and emerging novelists?
Be patient. My biggest mistake as a writer was thinking my work was finished because I’d typed The End at the bottom of my manuscript. The thing I’ve learned the most about writing is rewrite, rewrite, rewrite. Like wine, manuscripts get better with age.
5. Do you think it is absolutely paramount for a writer to promote his/her book before querying agents and publishers?
As noted above, I’d advise writers to focus on polishing their manuscripts before getting it to the right agent or publisher. I’ve found that because my first few novels were published by a small publisher, larger publishers are now reluctant to consider my work, so be patient. I was lucky with Goodbye Emily. Koehler Books has been great to work with.
Marketing and promotion, especially establishing one’s literary brand is crucial. I’ve done this more and more with each book, establishing a Woodstock blog, http://blog.mjmurphy.com where one can read about most of the great performances. And in addition to my personal website, www.mjmurphy.com, I also have a Goodbye Emily website www.mjmurphy.com where people can read the latest reviews of the novel.
6. What’s next for Michael as a writer; what future projects are you working on?
Goodbye Emily is so good I actually thought I’d never progress beyond it as a writer, but I fell in love again with the characters in my next novel, The Yankee Club. With this novel, I return to my mystery/suspense roots, this time set in 1934 New York. I get to use the word dame a lot. It’s a funny look at noir fiction and the first in a series. While waiting for The Yankee Club to be placed with the right publisher, I’m working on the second in the series called All That Glitters.
7. Where can readers find your book?
Goodbye Emily is available at most major bookstores and through all the online major sites.
I also encourage all my readers to hop on over to Boomer Cafe and read the first chapter of Goodbye Emily.