Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Writers on Wednesday: Susan Murphy

Welcome back to Writers on Wednesday. This week I am chatting with Adelaide based author, Susan Murphy ...




Tell me a bit about yourself …

I’m an author with HarperCollins Australia, mum to 3 fabulous ratbags, wife of 15 years, marriage celebrant, university student, teacher, Government employee and self-confessed chocolate addict. I’ve been found on numerous occasions hiding in the pantry while eating my stash.

My life can be chaotic most of the time, but I don’t seem to be able to function when I’m standing still! I work 3 days a week in a Government department and conduct wedding ceremonies (and a range of other ceremonies) on weekends. For the last few years I’ve also been travelling the country teaching Ongoing Professional Development to marriage celebrants and doing a writing degree with the University of South Australia.

I have an amazing little albino cockatiel who insists on being on my shoulder at every opportunity and a couple of gorgeous puppies, Bubbles and Jasper who keep me on toes (usually hiding things they’ve chewed before my husband gets home).

Tell us about your most recently published book?

‘Confetti Confidential: They Do, I Don’t’ is a fun chick-lit story loaded with cringe-worthy moments, family, love, weddings and disaster. When the main character, Genevieve discovers that her husband of 19 years has been having an affair she confronts him in a dramatic scene. Left hurt and fed-up, Viv decides that she no longer believe in love, in fact she can’t stand it, but unfortunately as a marriage celebrant it’s constantly in her face. With 10 weddings already booked and paid for she decides that once they’re done, then so is she. She’ll give up being a celebrant forever. With her 3 crazy sisters by her side and best friend, Tom, Viv sets out to get through all 10 weddings which result in some hilarious moments. As new men enter her life she also has to once again navigate all that it is to be single including paranoia, waxing, awkward sexual encounters and embarrassing slip-ups. Overall, this book is a mix of love and heart-break with romance, fun and laughter.

Tell us about the first time you were published?

As an aspiring writer I never thought I’d hear those words ‘we like it’ from a publisher, but in August last year (while walking down a street in Hawaii, those wonderful words were uttered by the good people of Harper Collins and only 6 months later on Feb 1st 2015 ‘Confetti Confidential: They Do, I Don’t’ was released.

My children, of course, immediately thought we’d won the lotto when I started hollering in the middle of the street and doing a happy dance. They were pleased, but deflated to find out I’d only been offered a publishing contract. I was over the moon!

As writer, what has been your proudest achievement so far? 

Finishing! Honestly, I have never felt prouder than I did the moment I finished writing this book. (That was until the edits came back!) I remember that the day I finished it I felt as if I had just been let out of prison after a long stint. That sounds bad, but it wasn’t. My head had been in this story for so long, constantly re-working the characters, their lives and their stories. I’d ride the bus thinking about them, cook dinner with them talking to each other in my head, I was like a zoned out potatoe. I’ve learnt now how to turn it on and off rather than have it constantly consuming my thoughts, but when I finished this manuscript it was like being set free for the first time in months. It felt amazing!

What books or writing projects are you currently working on, if anything?

I’m currently working on book 2 in this series which is set for released May 1st 2015. I’m also working on another wedding based story set in Hawaii, given my recent travels there and have plans for a few other chick-lit, fun reads.

Which do you prefer? eBooks or Paper Books? Why?

Oooooh, hard one! I’ve always been a book person. I like the feel of a book and turning the pages, but after getting my first Kindle for Christmas, I have to admit, it’s pretty damn awesome. I jump around a lot with my reading so being able to take a Kindle loaded with different genres when I’m travelling or on the bus is fantastic. I gave myself a neck injury from carrying a hand bag stuffed with a Patricia Cornwell novel in it once. Those things way a tonne (but are so worth the injury!)

Indie Publishing, or Traditional Publishing?

I respect both 100% Traditional publishing isn’t for everyone and neither is Indie. I think that writer’s need to do what feels right for them and their work and if they feel they want or need a traditional publisher then great, but if not then Indie is a fabulous way to get their work out there and read by the masses. When I look for books I go by what appeals to me about it, not by who published it.

Aside from your own books, of course, what is one book that you feel everybody should read?

Well, if you’re a writer or love words then Mark Tredinnik’s ‘Little Red Writing Book’. I fell in love with it when I had to read it as a text for university. It really made me think about my writing and the way I portray things.

Finally … is there anything you would like to say to your readers in Adelaide, Australia?

Let’s have coffee! I’m a born and bred Adelaidian and spend most lunchtimes in book shops in and around the mall. I’m hoping to have a launch for ‘Confetti Confidential: They Do, I Don’t’ sometime in April in or around the CBD, (yet to be decided). Keep an eye on my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/susanmurphyauthor for details.

~ Lol, we probably see each other at bookshops and cafes all the time and never realise, Kathryn.

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