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Birthday bash - day 9! C.E. Murphy answers some rambly questions...

June 18, 2009
birthday bashHave I mentioned how much I like C.E. Murphy?? I'd swear I have, but if not, here's my correction to that awful oversight - I REALLY LIKE C.E. Murphy!! =) She's kind enough to answer some of my (very) rambly questions, and has a surprise for y'all too... Read on!

c.e. murphy
drey: How did you come up with such diverse heroines? Joanne/Siobhan the cop/mechanic, Margrit the lawyer, and Belinda the queen's "doer"... All three are such strong women, even if Joanne took a while to come to terms with her "gift"... How much of them are you, or those close to you, and how much is completely made up?

C.E.: It's somewhat alarming to say "um, well, they just sort of appeared in my head this way, fully formed" but to a degree it's true. Jo's the most like me in voice, although she has a whole host of issues I entirely lack. She's also really the only one who has any of my characteristics--we share some favorite drinks, for example--but she also drinks amaretto coffee, which I think is utterly nauseating. So the bits of me that are in her aren't exactly a flaming sign saying HI THIS IS CATIE ONLY IN A BOOK TEE HEE HEE! :)

urban shamanthunderbird fallscoyote dreamswalking dead
Interestingly--or maybe not, since she was the first published character--Jo was the hardest to pin down. Margrit really /did/ arrive fully formed. I was in the shower and suddenly I was thinking about this black woman lawyer who ran in Central Park at night, and wham, there she was. What she has in common with me, probably, is ambition and/or a determination to see things through. I think I might get on well with Margrit in real life.

As for Belinda, I always knew her only redeeming quality was her loyalty, that everything about her was defined by ruthlessness. So I sort of hope she hasn't actually got very much in common with me, except, um. We both have brown hair! :)

drey: Speaking of Joanne, what brought about WALKING DEAD (book #4, to be released in September)? Was it always planned, or one of those hey-I-have-a-huge-need-to-tell-more-of-Joanne's-story thingies?

C.E.: Oh, the series was never intended to end with book three. I've got nine books planned for the Walker Papers. The delay between books three and four was just--I write a lot. I write a lot and I write fast, and one of the things I was concerned with as someone who writes both a lot and fast was I didn't want to get pigeon-holed into being The Person Who Writes The Walker Papers. This is particularly true because it's a 9 book series. I didn't want to only have it out there because people get very attached and I wanted to be able to tell other stories. So there was a natural break point after book 3, and I already had HEART OF STONE written, so I very much wanted to get another series out there before I went back to writing Joanne. And the Negotiator books were only a trilogy, and my publisher was eager to put them all out in the space of a year, so I felt that worked very well for me and my goals as a writer.

drey: And on the topic of series continuation, will there be more Margrit? And Eliseo, Janx, Alban, etc.? I'm assuming there will be more Belinda?

C.E.: There will not be any more Margrit. There will almost certainly be more Old Races books in the (comparatively distant) future, but Margrit and Alban's story has been told. Someone asked me the other day if the Negotiator sales hadn't been as good as we hoped, if that's why there weren't going to be more, and I was floored. The sales were just fine! I finished telling the story, that's all!

heart of stonehouse of cardshands of flame
You're more likely to see Janx and Daisani and some of the others than Margrit and Alban. I'm doing the occasional short story for the Old Races, and eventually I hope to put together an anthology of those, but no, for the foreseeable future (ie, until the Walker Papers are finished), there won't be any more Old Races novels.

As for Belinda, your guess is as good as mine. I'll be writing a proposal for more books in the Inheritors' Cycle this summer, so hopefully my publisher will pick those up and that story will continue.

drey: You write such diverse worlds, along with the diverse heroines. How did you come up with them, and how do you keep them separate?

C.E.: *laughs* Man, the truth to this sounds so *boring*, but here you go:
When I wrote URBAN SHAMAN (first of the Walker Papers) the explosion in urban fantasy hadn't happened yet. All that was out, really, were Laurell K. Hamilton's books and Jim Butcher's books. So I said, ok, we have a vampire hunter and a wizard, and they're both extremely good at what they do. I need something different. A shaman is different. A shaman who *doesn't* know what she's doing. Okay... and then I ran with that.

The Old Races were born from a love of the Beauty and the Beast story and a particular dislike of werewolves and therefore a real desire to not go down that road. I just wanted something nobody was doing, and I thought a world that had gargoyles would probably also have *other* magical creatures, so I put together this idea of the five surviving Old Races: dragons and djinn, selkies, vampires and gargoyles. And Margrit, like I said, leapt into my head fully formed, and she was obviously the heroine for these books.

the queens bastardthe pretenders crownAs for the Inheritors' Cycle, I've been an Elizabethan history buff since I was a little kid, so writing something set in that era was always something I wanted to do. I'd expected the story to adhere much more closely to actual history, really, but I've had an awful lot of fun with how it's diverged.

Keeping the worlds apart isn't at all difficult. They're just so *different*. I did spend a while wondering if Margrit and Jo were in the same universe, but they're really not. The magic in Margrit's world is very much physical, with all the different races, whereas the magic in Jo's is very, very much spiritual. So yeah, they're just totally different universes.

drey: And speaking of writing - how did you get started? Is it something you've always wanted to do?

C.E.: I'm one of those people who always wanted to be a writer. When I was very very small I was going to be the first woman Senator from Alaska, and a writer. Or an astronaut and a writer. Or a lawyer and a writer. The "and a writer" was always there, and it sort of turned out that no, actually, I was going to be a writer "and a", rather than the other way around. :)

I was six years old the first time somebody told me to keep writing, so in a way that's how I got started. As for published novels, I went to the Colorado Gold writers' conference in Denver in...2001, I think, and it really lit a fire under me. I went away from it saying if I was going to pursue a writing career I needed to actually *do* it, and fourteen months later I had my first contract. But I'd been writing my entire life, you know? URBAN SHAMAN and several others were already finished at that point.

drey: You write novels and graphic novels. Which is more fun to write? =) Why?

C.E.: Oh, jeez. They're *totally* different. GNs might be more fun 'cause they're shorter. :) And it's awesome beyond *belief* to send somebody pages full of words and to get back pages full of pictures!
And, the Proust-lite to bring up the rear:
C.E.: Bahah. Thank you for this; I've always wanted to get to answer these questions. :)
  1. What is your idea of earthly happiness? A long walk on a sunshiny day with good friends or family is just about my idea of perfection. Anything with sunshine and friends is a win.
  2. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? Loneliness.
  3. Who is/are your favorite heroine(s) in fiction? Anne of Green Gables. Menolly of the Harper Hall. Sarah Connor. I could go on forever. :)
  4. Who is/are your favorite heroine(s) in real life? Margaret Sanger, who was an American suffragette and birth control advocate. She founded what would become Planned Parenthood.
  5. What sound do you love? Laughter.
  6. What sound do you hate? At the moment, my cat yowling because she refused to eat breakfast and is now insisting on telling me how miserably hungry she is....
  7. The quality you admire most in a man? Humor, wit, intelligence.
  8. The quality you admire most in a woman? Same as above.
  9. If not a writer, you would be a professional photographer, probably. Or an actor.
  10. What is your favorite swear word? Embarrassingly, it's probably "frak" or "frell" or possibly "puckernuts", though I don't use that one as much as I used to.

Thank you so very much for stopping by! I LOVE your writing, and will definitely have to check out the rest of the Walker Papers series... Can't wait for #4!! Find miz Murphy online at her website ( and blog (! And check out her bibliography ( too... Whew!

Giveaway!!urban shaman
C.E. is kindly offering a mass market copy of the Walker Papers #1 - Urban Shaman. #4 (Walking Dead) is coming out in September, and if you haven't read this yet, here's your chance to win a copy of the series beginner! This is open to anyone who has a mailing address (don't you just LOVE her?), so go ahead...

This might be a bit rambly... I really really like the covers to these books... So, to enter this giveaway, comment & tell me--have you read these? If you have not, would you pick 'em up just from the cover? I sure would! =)

+1 for following, +2 for sharing (come back & tell me where, please)... This yummy goodness ends 6:00 p.m. CST June 25th, so move along... Good luck!


CE Murphy said...

I don't need a copy of my own books, but yes, I would've picked URBAN SHAMAN up for the cover. O.O I still love it, four years on. :)

This is kind of an addendum to the interview: people've asked frequently enough about whether there'll be more Old Races stories that I'm trying an Internet Experiment, and am running a commission opportunity for a Janx and Daisani short story through The details are here at my website. :)


Anonymous said...

Hi Drey and CE Murphy,
Thanks for the intro and interview. I have not read any of your books(yet). I would pick these up for the cover, I have bought many books just because of the cover. I know I'm bad.

Karen H said...

I haven't read Ms. Murphy's work but the covers would definately encourage me to pick up the book and take a look!


Karen H said...

+1 I'm a follower


housemouse88 said...

Hello to Drey and CE,

I'll be honest I don't pick a book just because of the cover. I have to read the blurb and see if it hooks me. The cover gets me to pick the book up, but the blurb gets it bought. Also if I know the author, it has a better chance of being bought. Would love the opportunity to start a new series to me. Count me in for the contest. Have a great day.

house_mouse88 at yahoo dot com

I'm a follower.

Bridget said...

No need to enter me; just posted on Win A Book.

Pissenlit said...

Yep, read them! :D Love the covers! I had one or two of them up as my desktop picture for the longest time. I don't tend to pick up books solely on the cover but based partially on the cover? Yep. :)

Great interview!

Annie1 said...

I haven't read any, I must confess! The cover is very cool and if I saw it I would indeed be tempted to get it!

I follow

I tweeted


Kat Bryan said...

No, I haven't red any of this series. Yes, the covers of these books would definitely make me pick them up.

I am a follower.

KR said...

Hi y'all,
I really enjoyed the interview. I havnen't read any of these so I'm hoping to win.


ps puckernuts just may become my NEW favorite swear word!

Llehn said...

I haven't read any of the books yet but it looks like something I would pick up because I love books with strong female leads!


Anonymous said...

I have not read any of the books, but they look very interesting. A book cover as well as the blurb on the back help me consider buying a book.These cover are great.

I'd love a chance to win these books, and hey the contest ends on my birthday ;)

Anonymous said...

I'm a follower


Eva S said...

I haven't read any of the books but the covers look awesome and yes, I'd pick them up!

Astaryth said...

I haven't read any of these (so many books, so little time...sigh), but I think that cover would definitely draw me in if i was looking for something new to read. So, I guess I'm adding another book to the growing numbers of books I'm going to get ;p

Anonymous said...

I haven't read them, but I love the covers and would definitely pick them up. Usually before buying a book, I sit at a table in the bookstore with a fancy frozen coffee-sugar-caramel-whipped-cream drink and start reading. If I forget where I am and my drink melts before I finish it, then I buy the book :)

Jessica ( frellathon ) said...

I have not read any but I think the cover of a book is very important in catching the eye. A lot of the time I will pick up a book for that very reason a great cover and yes I'd pick it up it's a good looking cover one that catches your attention. jessica(at)fan(dot)com

chey said...

Great interview.
I haven't read these books yet.
The cover probably would make me pick up the book.

Kimberly B. said...

I haven't read this series yet, but as to whether I would read the books based on the cover, I'd say most definitely. In fact, the cover was why I bought the Queen's Bastard!

Nicole said...

I haven't read these books and honestly I don't buy books based on the cover. I generally pick them up based on recommendations from friends, family members or book blogs I follow.

I follow.

donnas said...

I havent read them but they have been on my wishlist for a while. I would definitely pick it up at the store because of the cover. But while catching my interest, covers alone wont make me buy the book.

Dawn M. said...

I've read the Walker Papers and the Old Races books - loved them! And I can't wait to read Walking Dead. :0) Loved the covers, too.

librarygrinch at gmail dot com

Ashley E said...

I've read and love these books - my favorite C.E. Murphy series. :) Originally I picked this book up because of its cover. Gotta love the library. Come on, they're just all so pretty! And because it was Luna, actually. I was just venturing in to urban fantasy and I trusted Harlequin not to lead me too far astray. Worked out quite well, if I do say. :D


Marie said...

I haven't read these but I agree that the covers are great and certainly would get my attention.

Sara M said...

I love all of C.E. Murphy's covers. They're so colorful and definitely draw my attention. I've read Urban Shaman and the short story Banshee Cries. I haven't read anything else, but I'm planning on it. And I'd love to win!

Sara M
silentalibis AT yahoo DOT com

CherylS22 said...

I've never read any of these books. Yes, the covers are great!

Please count me in - Thanks,

CherylS22 said...

I follow.


M. said...

These sound like a different take on the UF swell of titles I see available at the moment. Haven't read any in the series, but am always happy to take suggestions from clever and eloquent bloggers! (*g*)

I do like the cover, especially that unusual background line drawing. Also, I give points for standing out from the regular UF cover crowd by the woman NOT having a tattoo that I can see (I have no problem with tatoos, but it seems like it's part of the uniform by now, along with tight jeans and midriff baring top. There may be some tight-ab-envy on my part involved here.)

mayamissani AT yahoo DOT ca

M. said...

I'm a follower! And BTW: happy belated birthday. You certainly celebrate in style.

mayamissani AT yahoo DOT ca

Valorie said...

I would definitely put it on m y wishlist by the sight of the cover. It looks very sultry and... western.

I am a follower.



LadyVampire2u said...

Great Interview! And its great of you to celebrate your special day with all these giveaways so thank you. I sure hope you have an awesome Birthday there and get back ten-fold the happiness your giving out to everyone.
On another note, I am a follower of your blog and have posted about your Birthday Bash on my blog here:
Thanks. LadyVampire2u(AT)gmail(DOT)com

LadyVampire2u said...

Err..forgot to answer your question on my 1st comment...
I have book 2 of the Walker Papers that I got recently. I've been holding off reading it until I get book 1 since I hate reading series books out of order. I also have The Queens Bastard which was an awesome read.


i am curious to see how much of her writing is like her speaking voice. i do so like historical fiction, so can already see me liking this book...let me win, let me win

spvaughan at yahoo com


spvaughan it's a ce murphy book this time in the giveaway!



Sandra Vaughan more of the birthday bash, this time it is a book of ce murphy's, sounds good!

drey's library: Birthday bash - day 9! C.E. Murphy answers some rambly questions...
I inhale books when I'm not hanging with the hubby or son, working, playing games (


spvaughan at yahoo dot com

Anonymous said...

I have not read these yet and yes the front cover would make me pick up the book - would still have to read the back for a description but the cover art would draw me in.


Anonymous said...

I am a follower.


host said...

Hi Drey and CE Murphy!
I love the interview. I haven't read any of your books, but I would definitely buy these for the covers (it wouldn't be my first buy because of the great cover:)). Great contest!

I put the link to this contest on the right sidebar of my blog

Mishel (P.S. I Love Books) said...

I'm such a cover brat and I definitely would pick up any of her books for their covers. It's actually what I did for Heart of Stone. I haven't read it yet but I'm definitely planning on it.

I'd love a chance to get this one too since I'm interested in the series =)

Thanks so much Drey!

mishtakes AT gmail DOT com

Mishel (P.S. I Love Books) said...

P.S. I'm already a follower <3

&& I posted a link to this contest on my sidebar


mishtakes AT gmail DOT com

Unknown said...

Hi Drey!

I haven't read any of these books, but the covers are fantastic, I would pick them up for the covers.

Please enter me!

I'm already a follower

Dottie :)

L said...

These books look awesome. Enter me please!

I'm a follower.


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