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September's FEATURED AUTHOR: C.E. Murphy!!

September 1, 2010
It so cannot be September already. Really, nuh uh. No way. Then again, September means that one of my favorite authors will be visiting, so I guess I'll throw away the to-do list and just enjoy having the company of C.E. Murphy!

About C.E Murphy:
C. E. Murphy is the author of the epic fantasy series The Inheritors' Cycle (comprising the novels The Queen's Bastard and The Pretender's Crown), as well as two urban fantasy series, The Walker Papers and The Negotiator Trilogy, and a 5-issue comic series. She has also written action/romance titles under the pseudonym Cate Dermody. She was born and raised in Alaska, and now lives in her ancestral homeland of Ireland, which is a magical land where it rains a lot but winter never actually arrives.

FTC Disclosure: I am an affiliate at IndieBound, The Book Depository, and Amazon, and any purchases made by clicking on the cover(s) or the link(s) provided may result in monetary compensation.

The Interview:
drey: Hello Catie (can I call you Catie? Or do you prefer to keep it C.E.?)! Thank you for taking the time to swing by drey’s library in September. I’m so excited you’re here!!! So, let’s get this show on the road!

C.E.: Catie is perfectly fine. It's what I use in real life, after all. :)

drey: *grin* Ok. Cliff-Notes on C.E. Murphy--tell us about yourself in 10 sentences or less.

C.E.: Aw, heck fire, I can do better than that. Let's try ten words! "Mom, writer, born & raised in Alaska, lives in Ireland."

(Hey, I did it!)

drey: *laughs* You sure did!

Can you share your first sale experience with us?

C.E.: *laughs* Yeah. I like this story. :)

So, okay. I had sent the proposal for Urban Shaman to a couple publishing houses. Luna, my current house, responded with a request for the full manuscript in a very short time. Some weeks later, the other house I'd submitted to also requested a full manuscript, so I called Luna and asked if a multiple submission was okay. Then the other house said they didn't take multiple submissions from unagented/unpublished writers, so I forgot about it.

Three weeks later, my soon-to-be editor from Luna called on a Friday evening. I honestly thought she was calling to talk to me about multiple submissions. So she says to me, "What's new and exciting?" and I said, "Oh, not much, I just made chocolate chip cookies, that's about as exciting as it gets around here right now, how're you?" And she was fine, calling from her cell phone because the office phones were down and the repairman had been there and said he couldn't do anything until Monday at least, and I allowed as how repairmen were always saying things like that, and she apologized for not getting back to me sooner, but she'd been at a convention and then on vacation and then out sick, and since *I* wasn't worried about the multiple submission thing anymore (it turned out the other publishing house didn't take them from unpublished/unagented authors), I said it was okay and I hoped she was feeling better.

(drey: phew!)

Then she said, "Well, I hope you won't be multiple-submitting this book, because I have some good news --I hope it's good news! -- for you: we'd like to make you an offer for Urban Shaman and the next two books in the series...."

And my brain went BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE. Total flatline. I was utterly shocked. Somewhere around SIX MONTHS LATER, it occured to me that they don't call you to discuss something like multiple submissions, but jeez, in that moment, I honestly had no idea she was going to make an offer. It was great. :) :) :)

drey: That was awesome! *grin*

Who and/or what inspires your writing? How do you get from idea to pages?

C.E.: Aheh. One gets from idea to page with practice and by applying butt to chair even when you don't wanna. Possibly especially when you don't wanna. And through judicious research and things like that, but mostly, practice and sitting down to write.

(drey: sass)

My husband inspires a lot of my writing, because he's an idea machine. The opening scene of Urban Shaman, first of the Walker Papers, was his idea, though I don't think he expected it to end up as an "...and nine books later" sort of thing. :)

(drey: thank you, Mr. C.E. Murphy! *grin*)

Beyond that, well, you know. Everything. There's a type of crow here in Ireland, for example, which inspired a trilogy I haven't yet written...

drey: Hmm... Now I'm wondering about the crow... And an unwritten trilogy? *gasp* Y'mean, more books?? :)

murphy momWhat do you indulge in when not writing?

C.E.: Lately, I'm indulging, if that's the word, in being a new mom. And really, for most of the past five years I haven't indulged in much else other than writing. Some photography, which is a great love of mine, but not enough of it...

drey: Yes, you can indulge in being a new mom. As much as it's possible. I'll keep my fingers crossed that your little lovely sleeps more than my little monkey did. *grin*

Do you have a favorite accompaniment to chocolate?

C.E.: ...more chocolate? Ooh. This amazing honey mead a friend introduced me to. It's so sweet and rich you can actually eat slivers (and I do mean slivers) of pure 100% chocolate with it. ZOMG. Lovely stuff! But not for gobbling. :)

drey: I so have to not work on this post, reading these answers, when I have a hankering for something sweet... Now where the heck am I going to find such yumminess? *whine*

Screen versions of your books: Which of your books would you like to see on screen? Who would be in it?

C.E.: General agreement is that the Negotiator Trilogy (aka "The Old Races") would make the most awesome screen story. I'd love to see Kerry Washington and Alexander SkarsgĂ„rd star in that as Margrit and Alban.

drey: *grin* True Blood fan?

Smackdown: Your two favorite characters face off in the ring. Who are they, which one wins, and why?

C.E.: Oh, well, see, I don't tell people who my favorite characters are. Instead I will give you a smackdown of my main characters:

Belinda Primrose (The Queen's Bastard, The Pretender's Crown) v. Joanne Walker (Urban Shaman et all): Belinda. Because Belinda is a murderous, ruthless, heartless assassin, and Joanne's not.

Belinda v. Margrit Knight (Heart of Stone et all): see above.

Belinda v. "Chance" ("Take A Chance", 5-issue comic series): Actually, that'd be a pretty good fight. Probably Belinda in the end, because of the murderous ruthless heartless assassin part, but Chance studies aikido and kung fu, so it'd be a good fight. :)

Belinda v. Alisha MacAleer (The Cardinal Rule et all, written under the byline Cate Dermody): Again, a good fight, since Alisha's a spy. In the end, actually, you might have to give that one to Alisha, if for no other reason than she carries a gun and Belinda's from an alternate Elizabethan England.

But basically: don't screw with Belinda. :)

drey: No kidding! *looks around for Belinda hiding in the drapery before remembering she's not in Elizabethan England*

Electronic readers are becoming more affordable and available. There's been quite a bit of discussion about their impact on paper books, the environment, people's reading & buying habits... What's your take?

C.E.: As an aforementioned new mom, I'm really wishing I had an e-reader so I could read with one hand while holding the baby in the other arm. I honestly don't know much about their environmental impact, but as far as reading habits are concerned, I'm a fan of anything that makes it easier for people to carry my books around.

drey: Awwww! An e-reader really ought to be in a new mom's survival kit... I hope you get one soon! And I'm a fan of carrying your books around. *grin*

On the publishing side--what do you think publishers and authors ought to do about the digital revolution? Jump in wholeheartedly, and blaze the path for others to follow? Watch from the sidelines till there's some consensus on what the new business model is going to be for the digital age? Cross their fingers that this is all just a fad & will blow over soon? Name one thing you think publishers should improve in regards to eBooks.

C.E.: That's a lot of questions. O.O

(drey: sorry!)

Personally, given my druthers, I would offer all my novels as free e-books. That'd be my vote for what publishers could do to improve the e-situation: offer a free electronic copy of the book to everybody who buys a hard copy.

(drey: I heart you! LOVE this!)

There's no chance this is a flash in the pan, not anymore than MP3s are going away. And in that vein, I think Amazon and others who are creating proprietary files for their e-readers should suck up the fact that at the end of the day, the generic .epub extension is going to be the winning file type just like .mp3 is the winning audio file type.

drey: You go tell 'em! I'm just a (dumb) consumer who doesn't know what I really want, so the powers-that-be has to make all the decisions. Bleh. But enough about me! Tell us about Truthseeker, your latest offering, out this month.

C.E.: Truthseeker is a fairy tale about Lara Jansen, a human woman who always knows when she's being lied to, and Dafydd ap Caerwyn, the Faerie prince who turns her life upside-down. I think it's a rather charming book, which isn't a word I usually use to describe my novels, so I hope that means it's new and different and will be a fun read. (First chapter is available here...)

drey: Well, my copy should be arriving in "1-3 days"... I anticipate gushing soon-ish. :)

What are you looking forward to next?

C.E.: Well, I'm taking the rest of 2010 off, but in the spring I'll be writing the seventh Walker Papers novel, and hopefully writing more of the Inheritors' Cycle books, to finish up that story.

drey: In other words, you have lots to keep you busy, and I for one will be antsily waiting for more Joanna and Belinda! Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope you enjoy your visit here this month.

C.E.: Thanks for having me!

Everyone, check out Catie's website at, blog at, and read on for a copy of Truthseeker! And if you'd like to, check out my previous interview with C.E. Murphy (yes, I heart Catie).

Catie has graciously offered up a copy of Truthseeker for y'all, and this one's open INTERNATIONALLY! To enter, comment and say something to Catie--ask a question, say "hi", etc.)... Make sure you have an email address I can reach you at if you win. GFC followers get +1 entry--comment separately. Ditto for twitter followers--let me know your twitter id. Tweet for yet another entry--comment with your tweet link. And if that's not enough entries for you, comment and let us know if you've read C.E.'s books before--which one, who's your favorite character, and why--for +1 per book & character (separate comments, please!). Phew!

You have until 6:00pm CST September 28th.

Don't want to wait all month? Purchase your very own copy at IndieBound, Amazon, The Book Depository


holdenj said...

Hi Catie! I enjoyed Drey's interview, you are a new-to-me author! It sounds like you have an interesting background, I immediately wondered if the Shaman book was somehow historically backed in some Alaskan tale! Have fun being a mom too!

holdenj said...

GFC follower. Thanks!

Catie said...

Actually, no, I deliberately stayed away from the Alaskan background stuff in the Walker Papers because it struck me as being gimmicky (O HAI I AM RITER FRUM ALASKA I RITE BOOK SET IN ALASKA R I COOL OR WHUT). I have a (non-fantasy) detective series set in Alaska that I want to write someday, though.

SandyG265 said...

Hi Catie,

I just finished Demon Hunts and really enjoyed it. I'm looking foward to reading Truthseeker. Is it hard to go back and forth between writting differnet series?

GFC follower

SandyG265 said...

forgot my email address

sgiden AT

Unknown said...

Hi Catie:

I really enjoyed your interview. I have always wanted to visit Ireland. I am hoping to one day. You are a new author to me but I love the sound of your books. I would love to read them very much. Please enter me in contest. Thank you.

justpeachy36 said...

Hi Catie,

You are definitely a writer I have my eye on now, after reading this interview.

Please enter me in the giveaway.

I'm a GFC follower.

A Twitter follower @justpeachy36

Great interview, Drey!

Deborah Blake said...

Hi Catie! I follow you on Twitter and I have read all the Negotiator books and Urban Shaman books, which I love. I always tell people you are on my top 10 "authors I wish I could write as well as" list! And now that I know you write under another name...

*runs off to look for other books*

I loved this interview, and am now following here, too. Thanks so much for giving me one more distraction from my own writing!

magicmysticminerva at yahoo

I'll retweet.

Anonymous said...

Hi Catie. Great interview. Looking forward to Truthseeker. I own and have read all of the Walker Papers books, The Queens Bastard series, & the Negotiator series (including Hot Time In The Old Town Tonight ebook) When are we getting Year of Miracles?
Please enter me in the giveaway.

Unknown said...

Catie, I've been a fan since you wrote the Strongbox Chronicles - you're on the short list of my fav writers! Love, love, love the Walker Papers and devoured The Negotiator Trilogy.

Is it getting difficult to continue the Walker Papers story, and do you know if and/or how it will end?

Thank you for sharing your stories with us!

Darla Luke
darlaluke (at) gmail (dot) com

Catie said...

Ooh, look, lots of comments!

@Sandy: Actually, going back and forth between series is a saving grace, as far as I'm concerned! I much prefer being able to spend time in a variety of worlds, and very rarely write two books in one series back to back.

@Tore: Ireland's a beautiful country, well worth visiting if you get the chance!

@Deborah: you can get the Dermody books as e-books or used through Amazon. They're out of print, but I think you'll like them. They're rollicking good yarns. :)

@Nedma: "Year of Miracles" will be delivered on or by December 31st, 2010! No promises for it before then. :)

@Darla: I've just turned in the proposals for the last 3 Walker Papers novels. I know how the story ends--more or less. :)

Alice of Camelot said...

Catie, I am a huge fan. I own the Inheritors' Cycle, the Walker Papers series, and the Negotiator trilogy. Honestly I can't even attempt to say which book or which character is my favorite. I enjoy all of the leading ladies.

Anonymous said...

Good interview. I'm glad you tweeted the link!

Environmental impact of ereaders? Offhand, I'd say it's a little more plastic and electronics and a lot less paper, glue, and ink (not to mention fuel for shipping). Heck, it's not necessarily even that, given converging technologies like the Kindle iPhone app.

But if you could get an ereader, which would you get? Kindle? Sony? Nook? Something else?

(Personally, my Kindle has opened up so much to me because it gives me means and motivation to explore all the amazing free public domain books at Project Gutenberg and Mobileread.)

Anonymous said...

Oops, forgot email addy: pgw at inbox dot com

But I have read several books. I just hate picking favorites. I like to take people and things on their own terms.

Have to say that Chance rocks as a hero. It's rare to see a complex, independent, strong female superhero. (By independent, in this context, I mean that she has her own "brand," for lack of a better term. As opposed to, say, Batgirl or Supergirl.) Even rarer to see any superhero having to deal with practical details like only being able to fit part of her costume in her everyday bag.

Anonymous said...

Feels strange being encouraged to make serial comments like this. Usually, that's bad netiquette. But hey, if it makes things easier for you...

Twitter handle: @hataroni

Tweet link:

drey said...

lol pgwfolc... it's 'cuz i can then just plug in the # of comments into Randomizer, and have 'em spit out the winner for me... :) but i love comments anyways so thanks for sharing!!

Anonymous said...

Oh, and fine, I'll be greedy. One more. The Negotiator series is what drew me to CE's writing in the first place. Well, sort of. Chance is when I first encountered CE's writing, and I was such a fan of the comic that I had to go look up the print books. The Negotiator series is what told me I had to go seek out the rest of her published works. (Read the first few Walker books. Have much yet to seek out. But, as mentioned above, I'm spending most of my reading time these days with public domain classics.) And it's strange, but I think my favorite character is Janx. Usually, I go for the obvious choice - the hero of the book. And there's a lot to say for Grit. And, really, all the major characters. But Janx's sinuous complexity and well-written charm caught my attention. Also, I just love dragons.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the explanation, Drey. Makes sense, on both counts. :) (And I suppose that if your number or Catie's comes up, you'd just reroll?) In any case, please call me Paul. :)

And... okay. I'm writing a comment anyway. So I'll say that much as I like Jo as a character (not to mention several others - like I said, I hate picking favorites and Catie has a real talent for vivid, fleshed-out, likable characters), I think I'd have to go with Gary as my favorite character in the Walker Papers. He's just a really good guy. Fun, funny, supportive, loyal, and more. And, as with Janx, I like how he defies categorization - he's sort of a father figure, sort of a brother, but also on the edge of being a love interest. That's hard to pull off without being strange and creepy, but with Gary it works, and that's pretty impressive.

drey said...

lol Paul! Of course I'll re-roll. Or, rather, put Randomizer back to work. :)

I love Gary! Not sure about the love interest part, but I love that Joanna gets teased about it... :p

Anonymous said...

I don't think Gary would seriously be a love interest, no. Don't actually expect them to start kissing or dating or anything. But they tease each other back and forth about it. And he compliments her. And she's caught herself admiring him more than once. Which is what I meant by him being "on the edge" of that territory.

lingeorge said...

I just love the Walker Papers and can't wait to see what happens next. troublelore at gmail dot com

Corby said...

Can't wait for the new book, as well as the next Walker Papers novel.

Anonymous said...

Catie, I'm glad you're taking the rest of 2010 off--you need & deserve it, esp. as a new mom. Love the gurning face you made at young Indy.

I have all your books, but only #1 of Chance. I'd welcome ecopies of your books, in multiformat or Secure e-reader (iPhone here). How will you tell if someone has print copies of your books, if you give free downloads to them?

I think Joanne and Gary are my favorite characters in your books, but Morrison and Coyote (loved that new development) coe not far behind.
Marina Fournier, South SF Bay area, CA.

Anonymous said...

Hi Catie, I enjoyed reading the interview. Thanks! Congrats on the new baby (try to get some sleep!)

My favourite series has to be the Walker Papers - Joanne is by far, one of the best written characters I have come across and I love Gary. Coyote, on the other hand ... I'm not too happy with him.

I'm looking forward to the Truthseeker, seems like a promising read.

Anonymous said...

Hi Catie - I have enjoyed immersing myself in reading your work. I love your writing and look forward to reading more of it. I'm especially anxious for the next installment of the Walker Papers.

Anonymous said...

Hi Catie, I just want to say I love your books. Also, out of all the authors I follow I just have to say I love how approachable you are. As a fangirl there's definitely something special in being able to connect with an author I love. Besides, Alaskan girls kick ass, my bumper sticker says so. So thanks for gifting us with your stories, I look forward to reading many more. <3

rachie203 [at] gmail [dot] com

Unknown said...

Hi Catie,
Love your writing and congrats on your beautiful son. I am currently reading Demon Hunts and really enjoying it.

Catie said...

Aaaah, thanks for all the compliments, everybody. *pink*!

@Rachie: Alaska girls *do* kick ass! :) Glad you find me approachable. That's the whole idea of the web presence. :)

@Joyce: thanks very much. <3

PSevetson said...

I just finished _Truthseeker_ (Drey, please don't enter me in your sweepstakes; I'd prefer the book go to someone who doesn't already have a copy.)

I'm not one for spoilers... but the book is really good mindcandy. Working ideas of the "sound of truth" into Fae worldbuilding is just... cool.

Catie said...

oh, glad you enjoyed it! :)

Unknown said...

I have followed you for a long time. I think the most intriguing topic you ever spoke about was visualization. How you could ever write the fascinating stories you do without being able to visualize them.

I think your writing is phenomenal.

I finished Demon Hunts and loved it. Don't want to post any spoilers but will look at winter here in NJ differently.

Unknown said...

Just wanted to add that I have read The Walker Papers
WINTER MOON (anthology containing the novella “Banshee Cries”)
The Negotiator Trilogy:
The Strongbox Chronicles:
written as Cate Dermody

I think I like Joanne Walker the best because she makes mistakes and does the best she can to fix things.

Feaky Snucker said...

I've read all of your books, but the Walker Papers FTW! I'm excited to see how it goes down with Joanne and Morrison/ Coyote...

tamarapederson at

rubynreba said...

Hi Catie, enjoyed the interview and am anxious to read the book. Looks very good!

rubynreba said...

I am a follower.

ossmcalc said...

Catie, are you going to incorporate your love of photography with your writing some day? I did enjoy reading your interview.

Thank you,


ossmcalc said...

I am a GFC follower.

Thank you,


ossmcalc said...

As ossmcalc, I tweeted about this giveaway

Thank you,


ossmcalc said...

I have not read any of her books but hope to have the opportunity to do so.

Thank you,


Catie said...

*laughs8 My husband wonders the same thing, Joyce, but I don't find it an impediment at all.

Ossmcalc: I'd love to do a photography coffee book someday, but it's not in the immediate future. :)

Mysteriousrose said...

Hi Catie

I love your books and I can not wait to get my hands on Truthseeker!
Thank you for this giveaway.


Mysteriousrose said...

+1 I'm a GFC follower (mysteriousrose)

Mysteriousrose said...

+1 I follow you on twitter (forceofstars)

Mysteriousrose said...

+1 I tweeted:

Mysteriousrose said...

+1 I will mention Urban Shaman because it was the first book I read by C. E. Murphy.

I love the story and my favorite character is Joanne Walker

Ruthie said...

Hi Catie...loved the interview! Please enter me, thanks.

Spav said...

Hey Catie, I can't wait to read Truthseeker. It sounds awesome!


Spav said...

+1 GFC Follower


Spav said...

+1 Twitter follower: (@Sparima)


Spav said...

+1 Tweet:


Spav said...

I've read the Walker Papers series and my favourite character is Coyote. I like that he's mysterious and at the same time understands Joanne better than anybody else.

I've also read the Negotiator trilogy and my favourite character of that series is Alban. He's sweet and at the same time dangerous.


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