Today I am pleased to host an interview with C. David Murphy, author of A Diary’s House:Where True Love Endures. This interview is part of the tour hosted by Promotional Book Tours, and there are opportunities to enter to win a Kindle Fire and 5 autographed copies of the book in paper format.
To read the interview, and see more about the book – please read on
Title: A Diary’s House: Where True Love Endures
Author: C. David Murphy
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Format: Paperback and eBook
Pages: 478 Paper, 734 eBook
Buy Now: Barnes & Noble Amazon Smashwords Kobo
About the Book: A Diary’s House is about adventure, lost love, and the hope that dreams, even those in the final years of life, can at last prevail. It is of a young boy’s attempt to become a man, the once-lost secrets of a diary, a sweeping romance which transcends time and place. It is more than a boy’s journey into manhood, but the mysteries of so many lives unknowingly intertwined, now brought together in a climatic ending; all from the engrossing world embedded in a forgotten diary; a diary of a woman.
Born in the vast and looming mountains of North Carolina during the 1870’s, Landon Hampshire always remembered the folklore and legendary tales his father told him during his early childhood; about the people of the Kituhwa (Cherokee) and the birth of this tribal nation – an enchanting story he could never forget. Incorporating the aid of an eccentric old French trapper (old man Montague), Landon and his friends set out on an adventure, their initial intention is to discover treasure and become men. But what Landon will eventually come to discover is more than he ever bargained for.
Landon didn’t realize his boyhood adventure would yield the incredible journey he ultimately experiences – going down the mysterious and mystical Randola River. At the base of the river is an island even more mysterious than the Randola itself.
The island releases many of its mysterious, yet even many more are created when Landon discovers, on the island, a diary of a young woman who lived forty years prior during the 1830’s (Trail of Tears). The diary entries are hopeful, though haunting. It reveals, in intimate detail, the life and dreams of this very special young girl who is turning into a woman of beauty and adventure, her love for a Cherokee boy, and the trials she will ultimately face. Her story unfolds through the reading of her diary, and Landon suddenly finds himself caught up in a sweeping, empowering world of re-invention and ultimate redemption.
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Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, I promise they shan’t be difficult, and hopefully won’t bore you to death.
Absolutely…thank you for having me!
First: Tell us a little about yourself, where you live, relationship status, what color are your socks? I was born in Charlotte, NC and I traveled to variable places in the southeast of the US (being the son of a Presbyterian Minister) for much of my ‘growing up years’. The impressionable times of my youth were spent in the mountains of NC, which is the backdrop to ‘A Diary’s House’ – A magical, mysterious and enchanting place of beauty, large vistas, lush green meadows, with a true sense of wilderness from the era in which this book was invented. It also was a very fertile ground for a young boy’s impressionable and imaginative upbringing. Imagination was never lost on me. I currently reside in Charlotte NC with my lovely wife, Ginger. AS for the socks, I have a variety of colors – and yes, I do wear whites as well!
Can you tell me a little bit about this book? ‘A Diary’s House’ is based in the mountains of North Carolina just after the Civil War. It relates the life of a young boy (Landon Hampshire) growing up in his youth and trying to become a young man. The diary he discovers reveals the secrets of a world nearly forty years before. Through this diary he becomes more than a witness on the generations of life, the bounty of love, what true love really means, and the rekindling of lost love – but he finds himself living within its boundaries as his own life unfolds. The diary is of a young woman who lived during the times of the Trail of Tears, how she fell in love with a young Cherokee boy, the troubles and trials that this would present, and the endurance of love throughout all times. It turns into a sweeping romance which transcends time and place. It’s more than a boy’s journey into manhood, but the mysteries of so many lives unknowingly intertwined, now brought together in a climatic ending; all from the engrossing world embedded in a forgotten diary; a diary of a woman.
I won’t ask you the all too typical when did you know you wanted to be a writer, but I am curious as to what was your earliest interest – was it a teacher or particular book, parent or a character or situation that just would not go away until you told the story? I always knew I wanted to be a writer. There was never a question about this. Even at an early age (beginning about 6 years old) my teachers spotted my use of the English language. I’m not one so much for the ‘gift of gab’, but when I am writing, there seems to be no restriction on essay formation, evolution of ideas, storylines, characters – all interwoven to tell a universal story I feel the reader will really identify with. It has always been my hope that I can truly affect change, and utilize the talents God gave me. So to answer your question – there is a spark God put inside of me which appears to grow in force everyday. I hope that the reader who reads my work will be so greatly affected by it, that they will be compelled to go out and make a better world for us all.
But this story had its own maturation process – a journey of its own that it had to take. But in the end, I feel ‘A Diary’s House’ was well worth the journey – for me and the story as well.
Where do your ideas come from? Do you set out to ‘outline’ a plot and situations, or do you let the characters take you along for the ride, and clean it up later? Well the ideas fly in my head, from time to time. Nothing really stirs them during my everyday routine. I think of a story, as a reader, I would like to read about and would be compelled to invest my time with. I create enduring characters and storylines, and present a unique message (narrative) of hope in its final consequence. But to answer your question about planned structure versus intuitive creations along as the story develops – I think it is both – sometimes one takes principal importance over the other. Character pre-development, storyline invention, scene sketching all form and weave the novel into the comprehensive story that it becomes. If I were to have a concrete methodology upfront, and all the development has to be established before writing a word, then I might find myself with an itch I can’t scratch. Many times the characters will dictate the tale and scope, and the ultimate direction the work will take. I have to be genuine to the lives I write about, and the reader has to know the sense and sensibility on the genuine nature of each character. It binds ‘viability’ to the story.
If you had the opportunity to do anything else in the world BUT write, would you trade in the writing to do it? What might tempt you? Nothing – simply nothing. It was what God had planned for my life. I am living in his direction now. There is no greater place to be in than to find contentment and peace within your life.
What is the first book you remember reading? There were multiple ones: ‘The Adventures of Winnie the Pooh’. I enjoyed the ‘Curious George’ series. Anything I could grapple with regarding the tales of Walt Disney. The early animation forms really ignited my imagination.
What is the last book you read? I am actually reading ‘Cold Mountain’ by Charles Frazier. I am somewhat reluctant to read other writer’s works, strictly due to the fact I don’t want to ‘copy-on’ their styles. I want to remain unique to my own style and narrative. But in preparing a synopsis and query letter for ‘A Diary’s House’, it was compared to ‘Cold Mountain’. In reading the 1997 best seller, the narrative between myself and Charles Frazier is completely different, though the backdrop of the times and locations are very similar. The characterizations are also vastly different between the two books. The storylines are far different as well.
Coffee or tea? Oh gosh! Tea – I am from the south!!
Cats or Dogs? I love both. I have cats now, but would love to have a place where I can keep dogs. Cats will do for now… I am truly an animal lover.
Ebooks or traditionalpaper books? Probably traditional. But I can do both…
Do you have a character that keeps returning for their spotlight? I think about all of my characters in every scene and situation they find themselves in. I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but my characters are as much a part of me as I am to myself. One of the hardest things to do is finish a novel, especially if it is not in a series, because that means you are saying an intimate goodbye to a character or a stream of characters you have taken a long 9-12 month journey with.
Best advice you have ever been given about writing? Don’t short-change your writing or don’t get to full of yourself. Always know where you are, who you are, how you writing skills are and what you need to do to improve them anytime during your journey – through your entire writing career. If you get settled, then you lose the basic passion for the reasons why you do what you do. Self-evaluation is the key; prudent, discerning self-evaluation.
What does your writing day look like? Are you able to set a daily goal of X number of words, or do you just concentrate and write for X number of hours? What about editing? Do you clean up and make adjustments to yesterday’s work before starting today – or just get it all out and then start at the beginning again? I don’t have a set number of pages or words I write in one day. I have an outline for that scene for the day (or next couple of days) and the next few chapters which are coming up. Sometimes for me, writing is like driving a boat slowly through the fog. You can’t see too far ahead of yourself, but you know you have security in the immediate area you are in. You know where you are going, yet you can’t see it fully. This is where you allow the story, the characters, the circumstances guide you through. I don’t have writer’s block. I can write up to 12- 14 pages per day, or as little as 3 pages in a day. – just depending on my individual schedule.
As far as editing goes – I do what I call ‘back-fill’ edits. I review yesterday’s writings under a different light and mode of feeling (perhaps the last few days or so) and I do a hard edit. After this, I’ll review chapters after they are completed. Then do a re-read on the story, in whole, once I am done. Put it down for awhile, then come back and do another re-read. You still miss things, but that’s inevitable considering my novel lengths can reach 250,000 words or more.
Do you have a favorite chair or corner that always seems to keep you inspired? If I could spend every day writing on top of the most beautiful mountain ridge, with expansive views. Or a bald with arching domes and grassy meadows – then that would be Heaven to me! But most of the time the beauty resides on a spiritual and mental plain – where my mind’s eye sees the views from an internal perspective. In the end, the story and characters drive me…
What is your favorite sound? Least favorite? Probably symphonic, orchestral music – some modern works along the lines of Future World Music and Hans Zimmer. ‘A Diary’s House’ is filled with the mental pictures from such incredible music. Least favorite? Has to be rap…sorry…
You can only keep one: Thesaurus or Dictionary Both! – Please don’t make me choose…
Which character have you created would you take out for a night of Karaoke? As long as that character doesn’t make me sing! I prefer to listen and I assure you, the audience would want me ‘just to listen’ also. Probably Daniel Mulligan… You’ll have to read ‘The Chronicles of Good and Evil’ to know more about him!
What about out for a meal? Italian – and Daniel Mulligan gets to pick up the tab… I plan to make him famous.
With all the characters you have created – are there any that you feel need to have another book or series to get their “story told”?
Actually ‘A Diary’s House’ sequel is in the works. ‘The Long journey Home’ – it continues the life of Landon Hampshire as a young man. The story centers around his new journeys on multiple levels. The brief synopsis is below –
Landon knew his heart bent homeward. Though what he left behind was lost, still Annabelle remained. There was another love aspiring to capture his heart, and through time he was torn between what was before him, and what still kindled his memories for the past. This is story of a young man fighting desperately to rediscover his past, and to recover the love he once knew.
My next novel ‘When Tomorrow Never Comes’ will eventually have a second novel for this as well. ‘When Tomorrow Never Comes’ is complete – just a few tweaks here and there. It is a family drama with real and viable circumstances. The compelling nature of this story tests the very will of the ‘James’ family in ways they could never have imagined – before actually falling into a tragic world for survival. It’s an American family tale which should resonate with a large audience base. You discover how lives can change and alter in ways that are very, very unscripted. It’s based on a true story – a relationship novel with many layers.
The third novel in the pipeline is ‘The Chronicles of Good and Evil – Dracula’s Lair/The Darkest Tower’ (which is in it’s final edits)is the beginning of a series of books. It is the galactic struggle for humanity. A Christian fictional novel – its composition turns visionary and will provoke the debate on how humanity should travel and how the age-old war between good and evil is truly universal. Timing placed aside, it is a story which will resonate into today’s world – very much so. I wanted to create a form of Christian ‘superhero’s’, if you will, a legion of angels. I believe it is a provocative tale which delves in the real life and times of Dracula, the true battles of Satan and God, and how attrition war for humanity still greatly affects us today. I am truly excited about this novel.
This book will be a series of books, perhaps as many as seven in all. Now you know the reason why Daniel Mulligan (the main character) has to pick up the tab if we go out to eat Italian!
What’s the one thing you want to share that you haven’t yet shared with us today? How much time do you have? Hmmm… I suppose to simply say that my passion for writing does not elude the narrative and writing style I present. It is all intertwined, with every moving part, into the most memorable novel possible. I believe the ingredients are there for the intuitive reader who wishes, above all else, to discover a novel, or novels, that will inspire them, change them, present a value of hope. When they are finished with one of my novels, it is my hope that I can move the reader to discover feelings and emotions they have either long-forgotten or have never felt before; to instill compassion, and inspire others to act out in kindness for our fellow humanity.
About the Author: I am a writer; first and foremost. Anyone who reads my works will instantly know this. I have found no greater joy on this earth than to be close to God and nature; exploring the serenity of landscapes, waterfalls, epic mountains, meadows and grasslands. To sit on those spots of earth and write to where my imagination will take me yields a tremendous amount of peace and serenity.. To create characters with true and genuine emotions, feel their heartbeat thru every word I write; their trails, their hopes and ambitions; to breathe life into their eyes and see their soul become one with me and the reader is absolutely amazing. I simply love to create on that venue and canvas; to affect change in the lives of others. It is my hope, when someone picks up my stories and reads the full weight of them, that somehow I have affected change in their lives, brought them to places they could never have imagined before, and moved them to believe in humanity again – to go out into the world and create ‘goodwill towards all’.
A Diary’s House is C David Murphy’s first digitally published novel. He is also the author of two Shakespearean-style genre plays: In the Years of the Ages and Hildengrass. He is currently finalizing his next novel, When Tomorrow Never Comes and The Chronicles of Good and Evil – Dracula’s Lair / The Darkest Tower, both due out later this year. Also, the sequel to A Diary’s House is in the works – The Long Journey Home due out the first part of 2013.