Monday, March 17, 2008

Q&A: CECIL MURPHEY

Today we check in with author and speaker Cecil ("Cec") Murphey, who has written or co-written more than 100 books on a variety of topics -- with an emphasis on spiritual growth, Christian living, caregiving, and Heaven. Among his output are the best-sellers Gifted Hands, with Dr. Ben Carson, and 90 Minutes in Heaven, with Don Piper. He enjoys preaching in churches and speaking and teaching at conferences around the world.

He has also written one of the inuagural titles for Heartsong Presents -- Mysteries!, the cozy mystery Everybody Loved Roger Harden. Find Cec online at CecilMurphey.com.

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HOW DID YOU GET YOUR BIG BREAK?
I worked hard at learning the craft and sold more than 100 articles before I wrote a book. For a couple of years, my wife and I offered a soft shoulder to a well-published writer. When her publisher asked her for a book, she said she had nothing to say, but she told him about me and he contacted me. He read a few my articles and asked me to write a book.

Most of my writing is nonfiction, and I've specialized as a ghostwriter. That happened when the senior editor at Revell asked me to ghostwrite. He asked because of the influence of a person whom I had helped, and his way of thanking me was to connect me with Revell. Because of my association with Revell (and 35 books), I became a full-time writer.

HOW MUCH DO YOU WRITE FOR AN "AUDIENCE" VERSUS SIMPLY WRITING FOR YOURSELF?
Both. I must first feel passionate about what I write. If I'm passionate, I have to decide if there is an audience for the book. Part of that audience-centered perspective came after selling a few hundred articles.

WHAT CLASSIC AUTHORS DO YOU CONSIDER ESSENTIAL MYSTERY READING?
I'm quite an eclectic reader, so I may not be a good person to ask about mysteries ... Wilkie Collins, Edgar Allan Poe, but classics such as Jane Eyre can teach the element of suspense and characterization.

WHAT MODERN AUTHORS DO YOU CONSIDER ESSENTIAL MYSTERY READING?
Michael Connelly, James Patterson (I like his writing less and less but I love his pace), Helen MacInnes (more adventure/espionage)

BEFORE BEING SIGNED, WHAT'S THE BIGGEST MISCONCEPTION YOU HAD ABOUT BEING AN AUTHOR?
I had no idea that it was a long journey to learn the craft and most of us have taken years to develop our talent.

Thanks to our guest, Cecil Murphey. Find him online at CecilMurphey.com.
Subscribe to Heartsong Presents -- Mysteries!

More interviews:
Q&A: LONNIE CRUSE (Fifty-Seven Heaven)
Q&A: NANCY MEHL (In the Dead of Winter)
Q&A: BRANDT DODSON (White Soul)
Q&A: JANICE A. THOMPSON (Gone With The Groom)
Q&A: Mystery / Suspense / Thriller authors
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A woman with a complicated past returns home to become the small town's new sheriff. Best Mann For The Job is by the writer/artist team of Chris and Erica Well. Read it from the beginning at StudioWell.com. Watch the trailer on YouTube.