Emily Murray is a debut author who hails from a small town in Ontario, Canada. You can find her daydreaming about her books in local coffee shops or in her renovated farmhouse, pen and notebook in hand and with a café mocha by her side. When Emily isn't writing she's wrangling her young children, her husband and two dogs.
Emily is the author of Alixandria Fire and will be visiting the Alexandria Branch to celebrate the launch of her book on Saturday, February 25 at 10:30am.
Q: When did you first call yourself a writer?
A: I believe that it was written in my baby book as my career of choice at age 10.
Q: Can you tell us a little bit about your book?
A: Alixandria Fire is a closed door romance set in small town Ontario, close to the Québec border (sound familiar?) It's about love in your thirties after heartbreak. My characters are people that you could pass by on the street, sit beside on the bus or share a drink with after work. They are real people who deal with real life situations, but with a splash of a sexy man and an independent woman.
Q: What inspired you to write this book?
A: Coffee shops are infamous for getting names wrong, but what if the coffee shop got the names right but the people got the names wrong? What if two people, who had the same name, got each other's coffee and romance ensured from there? I found the twist funny, endearing and it could totally happen!
Q: What part about this book was the hardest to write?
A: The middle. I had the beginning "meet cute" in mind and I knew how it was going to end... but how was I going to get there? What was the struggle for the characters individually and together. I had to get to know my characters better to find out what would drive them forward or set them back. What was their motivation?
Q: What risks did you take in your writing and did they pay off?
A: Every step was a new risk. That first word on the first page of Chapter 1, sharing it with friends for their opinions, and then letting it out into the big world. All of that was a risk, because having written for over 20 years I finally got the courage to put myself out there. That is worth it and it is a huge payoff for me. It also shows my children that you can make your dreams come true, even if they take awhile.
Q: What does the writing process look like for you?
A: I used to be a "panster", someone who just wrote without a plan. Now I'm a "plan-ster." I create a rough outline of basic plot points and where I want to go with story, but I know (and leave room for) my characters to take some of the lead and to let me know what's true for them.
Q: What advice would you give to someone getting started in their writing journey?
A: Just do it. It’s scary sharing your ideas/thoughts/stories with the world, but I assure you, your book is exactly what someone is looking for. Your book will become someone’s favourite. Your first draft will be cringe and that’s ok, it’s just you telling yourself the story. The true magic comes with editing, and EVERYONE needs to edit. It won’t be perfect right out of the gate so take the pressure off yourself. Grab a pen and notebook and write what you want to read, not what you think is popular. Notice things around you, everything you see, hear, touch, smell and taste has potential to inform your stories. These are all things I’ve been told and now firmly believe.
Q: What snack or drink accompanies your writing?
A: I like a bit of brie cheese on crackers if I’m at home. But away from home, a cafe mocha please!