Friday, August 6, 2010

J. P. Murray Interview

I was born in Berkley California to Irish-German parents. After receiving a BA in Economics, another in Russian and an MBA, I spent twenty years in a variety of industries while raising two children and teaching evening classes at community colleges. Now, I live with my husband, adult son and two beautiful Labradors and I write. I write how-books, five blogs on everything from the USNA to tech to science, and a column for the Examiner on tech tips.
How to reach me:
Anyone interested in my books, here is where you can find them:

1: What is the most productive time of the day for you to write?
Morning, I think, though I rarely get to write then. Only during summer when I’m off school. I get so much done then!

2: Do you start your projects writing with paper and pen or is it all on the computer?
Oh my—no to paper and pen. I have rheumatoid arthritis so my hands don’t work well. Oddly, it doesn’t affect my typing (except for increased typos). I do print a hard copy out for editing because I seem to catch more mistakes on paper than on the screen.

3: What do you draw inspiration from?
I am inspired by man’s problem solving skills. It motivates my non-fiction as well as my fiction writing. I love pondering how we think through situations we’ve never before faced, why we are pushed to think and experiment where other mammals prefer to sleep in their free time.

4: Do you set yourself goals when you sit down to write such as word count?
If I have trouble writing tht day, I do set goals. The goal then is to write for a couple of hours before taking a break. I don’t count words because my fiction is always too long anyway, so why depress myself? I have found that often, whatever I forced myself to write, is fine. Not greast, but a good start.

5: Being a self published author how do you come up with your cover art?
I use Photoshop to play with a picture. It’s not top notch and is something I must work on. I have girlfriends who are self-published and their cover art makes me want to read their books, so I know I need to work on this area.

6: What drives you to chose the career of being a writer?
I tend to make careers out of my hobbies, so that might be the reason. Another is, it’s always challenging, always a learning experience. I don’t write introspective books. Mine are ‘scientific fiction’ so I must do a lot of research to simplify the science to terms a layperson will understand. That, though, is my goal, to bring science to everyone.

7: Do you own an ebook reading devise?
No. I can’t get past the problem with sharing books. In my family, we pass one book among four or more people. You can’t do that with ebooks, so I’m waiting until someone overcomes that hurdle.

8: Who are some of your favorite authors and What are you reading now?
I love John McPhee. He makes geology so accessible. I’ve read everything by Jean Auel, though her last one wasn’t so good. Right now, I’m reading books on submarines as research for my next novel. I find them fascinating (Big Red, Blind Man’s Bluff), but most people wouldn’t unless they’re military buffs.

9: What do you think of book trailers and do you have any plans to have any?
No. I have a zero tolerance for monetizing my marketing. Right now, I’m exploring social networks and word of mouth.

10: What are you working on now that you can talk about?
Right now, I’m working on a fiction novel, To Hunt a Sub. PhD candidate and single mom Kali Delamagente has something in common with Albert Einstein: They both regret their inventions. His changed the world and hers is on a train-wreck course to destroy it. It starts when her brainchild, a supercomputer named Otto, accidentally uncovers a foolproof way to steal military secrets. Kali’s brilliant friend, Cat, persuades her to enter Otto in a contest, the same one where Cat will unveil her undetectable DNA-based computer virus. It’s no surprise both inventions catch the attention of America’s enemies. Their goal: hijack America’s Trident subs, the most advanced military platforms in the world.

Enter Zeke Rowe, ex-SEAL-turned-anthropology professor. Though he doesn’t believe Otto can find the Tridents’ covert hiding places or that Cat’s virus can hijack them, he soon learns how wrong he is. When Kali’s son is kidnapped, the threat becomes all too real. Now she faces a moral dilemma: Is one life worth that of a nation? Because no answer is acceptable, Kali, Cat and Zeke band together to regain control of America’s most clandestine secrets.

If you’d like to read Kali’s blog

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