7 Minutes with an Author

WELCOME LEE MURRAY!

So glad you could pop in and share a little about yourself and your writing.  

Hi Efthalia! Thank you so much for hosting me on your blog. I’ve been a Fan of 7 Minutes with an Author for a while now, so it’s a thrill to appear here. (I’m glad that you’re here.) 

1. What is the theme of the book you are working on?

I’m currently working on the stand-alone sequel to Into the Mist, another military thriller with mythological and cultural connections. (Oh, I’ll be keeping my eye out for it.) 

2. What is one of the hardest things about writing one of your books/current manuscript? (Did you or do you want to throw it in the fire  like Frodo?)

I’m a slow writer. It’s so frustrating. I see other authors posting comments about their daily word-count and I feel so inadequate. I’ve tried all sorts of brain gymnastics—nothing seems to work. It might have something to do with the editor in me, which, for the life of me, I can’t switch off. And yes, I am the annoying person in the group who points out the misplaced apostrophe in street signs. (Hahaha. The truth be told Lee, we need some annoying friends.) 

3. Because everyone always wants to know. Are you a panster or plotter?

Definitely a pantser, although I like to have a vague idea of where I’m going. It’s a bit like my life really: I have an end point in mind, but with the freedom to go off and explore the tangents. (It’s about what works best for you.) 

4. How important are reviews to you? Do you get upset when they aren’t favourable? (Like stalk the reviewer and wish they get infested with a thousand fleas.)

They’re important, but mostly because of their effect on the discoverability of our writing. Of course, I’m not immune to a bit of flattery: I glow when a positive review comes in, and anguish over what I might have done to improve the work and please the naysayers, but as many other 7 Minutes contributors have already said, you can’t please everyone. Readers are just part of the story. At its essence, as writers, I believe each of us has a responsibility to ourselves, to write the story that resonates for us and in a way which best tells the story we intend to impart. We write the books we want to read—we’re our own target audience—and if we want to stay motivated, if we wish to continue craft work that we are proud of and can stand behind, then perhaps the only review that counts is our own.

5. How do you market your books? Any events you want the reader to know about e.g. Coming appearances or signing?

It’s a good question, because even traditionally published authors are required to contribute to publicity these days, which means blog posts, podcasts and radio interviews, guest articles in magazines and newspapers, and readings and appearances at conventions and conferences. Whenever I can manage it, I like my publicity to add value in other ways, so I tend to jump at opportunities to judge writing competitions, edit charity collections and mentor young writers. It’s good publicity for me and also important work, helping to develop writers and writing and promoting their work to a wider readership. Where am I appearing next? In a few months, I’m heading across the ditch to participate in Book Expo Australia in Sydney (8-9 October, 2016), contributing to a panel on mythology and appearing alongside some of my Cohesion Press colleagues like Greig Beck, Alan Baxter and Kaaron Warren, all of whom I’m excited to be meeting in person. If you live in the region, please stop by and say hello. (Sounds exciting!)

6. Social Media – Love it or hate it? Where do you hang out the most? Any tips to share?

I have a love-hate relationship with social media. I love the opportunity to connect friends, but there is a superficiality to it, which is frustrating. It’s understandable: after all, it’s human nature to want to put our best foot forward, but are we seeing anything real? On the other hand, some of what we see is simply too real: the brutality of recent news reports almost undoing me. I’m on Facebook and most days people can find me there, talking about my family life and, occasionally, my latest book projects. One caveat, if you’re tempted to join me there—I’m almost afraid to say this—I’m not a big fan of cats.  

7. What is your favourite motivational phrase or positive saying?

“I meant what I said and I said what I meant, an elephant’s faithful, 100%.” — Horton the Elephant (Dr Seuss). (Love this!)

If you want to know more about Lee you can find her here at: 

leemurray.info

Into the Mist

Buy link: Amazon

When NZDF Sergeant Taine McKenna and his squad are tasked with escorting a bunch of civilian contractors into Te Urewera National Park, it seems a strange job for the army. 
Militant Tūhoe separatists are active in the area, and with its cloying mist and steep ravines, the forest is a treacherous place in winter. 

Yet nothing has prepared Taine for the true danger that awaits them. Death incarnate. 
They backtrack toward civilisation, stalked by a prehistoric creature intent on picking them off one by one. With their weapons ineffective, the babysitting job has become a race for survival. 

Desperate to bring his charges out alive, Taine draws on ancient tribal wisdom. Will it be enough to stop the nightmare? And when the mist clears, will anyone be left? 

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