I met the fabulous Zoe Murphy at the first Llandysul Book Fair, organised by Cheryl Beer of Parlour Press Publishing. A new poetry anthology was being released during the day, and we, authors and public, were treated to poets reading their work. As another Welsh writer I didn’t know well, I invited her to have a chat, and tell us more about herself…
1 How do you write? Is everything plotted, planned to perfection? Do you ever change tack as
you go along or always stick to a pre-made plan?
I am a complete Pantser. I always have a rough idea of plot and characters, but I very much make it up as I go along which isn’t always productive if I’m honest. The book I am writing now has evolved and changed in so many ways and that’s because I am interested in too many things! But, I have finally set my cap with what I am doing, and I’ve adopted a more methodical approach by planning my characterisation and chapters. While I like to feel like I’m free when writing, I have had to concede and have some kind of organised chaos.
2 Do you have a writing ritual? Meditation, certain cup for your tea, writing trousers?
I think I am quite eclectic when it comes to my writing time and rituals and I don’t have a set ritual really. However, one thing I always do, is listen to music. I have specific playlists which get me in the zone and are almost a soundtrack to my book. Music has been my saviour and it really helps and inspires my writing process.
3 Aside from writing, what makes you tick? Tell us 5 things about yourself we probably don’t know.
- I am also a performance poet and I was part of a TV programme called ‘Ugly Lovely: Poet on the Estate’ in 2014. Poetry wasn’t a great love of mine but it is now.
- I used to be a Street Dance teacher and absolutely love Hip Hop and 90’s R ‘n’ B.
- 80’s movies particularly Brat Pack films- Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles and Teen Witch!
- I avidly watch trashy reality TV such as TOWIE, Love Island…(guilty pleasure.)
- Gin (especially ones that have flavours or pretty colours.)
4 If you were stranded on a desert island with shelter, food and water, what 5 items would you
want with you?
- Picture of my children
5 On said island, what 5 books would you take and why?
This is a hard one!
- Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden- I could read this book over and over and over. Evocative and rich in detail. Beautiful story.
- The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood- The fact that the majority of the book is from a female perspective and it was a bit of a different approach to the dystopian genre.
- Lucky by Jackie Collins- Pure escapism.
- The Emperor’s Soul by Brandon Sanderson- This introduced a really cool magical power and an original take on fantasy fiction. Could read it over and over.
- My Grimoire
6 Off the island now, which famous person would you like to have dinner with?
Anjelica Houston- Incredible actress and I’d like to ask about her Dad too as he has directed some of my favourite films.
7 Your current writing projects?
I am currently on the second book of a fantasy series I am writing set in Wales and involving witches and Welsh/Norse mythology. The first in the series is called Promise: Unearthed and I am to launch the first two instalments in February 2019.
I am also writing a Creative Education book as I am a lecturer and I have a passion for creative teaching techniques and would like to provide some inspiration for fellow teachers.
8 Other published work and links….
https://zoetryweb.wordpress.com/ My blog
https://www.facebook.com/ZoeMAuthor/ FB page for links and news
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1404242866503911/ Poets on the Hill FB page.
Released Feb 2019
Thanks so much for taking the time to come and share, Zoe. It’s been lovely having you.
For more author interviews, book reviews, writerly musings, dance, plant based recipes and magic, visit again. Bright blessings xx