I am still fascinated by Mr. Luke Murphy so I sat down and had a little chat with him.
BSW: Playing hockey is a very grueling sport; when did you know that it was time to hang up your skates?
LM: I grew up loving hockey and that never changed. But my years of “chasing the dream” took their toll. I’ve never been very big, so injuries played a big part in my decision. I had a series of injuries throughout my pro career, everything from broken bones to scratched corneas to herniated discs. I was nearing my 30th birthday so I knew that my chances of ever making it back to the NHL were slim. Plus my girlfriend wanted to start her own career and a family, so I knew it was time to settle down and get a stable job.
BSW: You did what few authors do. You actually studied how to become a better writer, why? And what did you learn from that?
LM: No matter what I did: I always want to be the best. I’ve always set high goals for myself, and expect nothing but the best from myself. I constantly read; from novels in my favorite genres to books, written by experts in the writing field. My first two purchases were “Stein on Writing”, by successful editor Sol Stein, and “Self-Editing for Fiction Writers” by Renni Browne and Dave King. My major breakthrough from Stein’s book was to “Show don’t Tell”. I wrote that phrase on a sticky note and put it on my computer monitor. The Self-Editing book helped me learn how to cut the FAT off; eliminating unnecessary details.
BSW: You sent out a lot of query’s to agents. What made you stop and pull back and rework your manuscript?
LM: I was just fed up. After months of rejections, I determined my manuscript just wasn’t good enough. I was persistent, and I knew I had it in me. I just had to stick with it. There were many people along the way, professionals in the industry, who helped me realize at the time that my novel needed work. These people wanted me to succeed, and took the time to not just send a rejection letter, but also tell me what needed to be done.
BSW: Your protagonist is a black man…you are not. Why did you decide to write a black character and not just make him a white male?
LM: I read a lot, especially in the crime-thriller genres, and I decided that there were not a lot of African-American protagonists in novels. When I first started reading adult novels, I was heavy into James Patterson. “Kiss the Girls” was the first adult crime-book I ever read, and I fell in love with the genres. I also loved Patterson’s Alex Cross character, an African-American detective who was widely popular with readers.
BSW: . Have you attended conferences and what is the best advice you can give to someone who has never been to a conference?
LM: In 2007 I attended the “Bloody Words” writing conference in Ottawa, Canada, rubbing elbows with other writers, editors, agents and publishers. I made friends (published and unpublished authors), bombarding them with questions, learning what it took to become successful. My advice, be outgoing and friendly, and never turn down an opportunity to speak with someone or let someone read your work.
BSW: My blog is about books, shoes and writing. What book are you reading or working on right now? What shoes can’t you live without and give one piece of writing advice.
LM: I’m currently reading Bood Memory by Greg Iles. I’m currently working on my second novel, another crime-thriller, following the career of rookie, female LAPD detective Charlene Taylor. I would love to write another book. Right now, I have a full time job (teaching), a part-time tutoring job, and three small children (all girls, YIKES!!).
I don`t have much time to write, but when I get a chance, I do all I can. It could take some time, but eventually I would love to write a series of novels featuring Calvin Watters. But I will not limit my novels to Calvin Watters, as I would like to write a variety of novels, all in the crime-thriller genres.
As for fashion, I admit I don’t have much (LOL). I leave my clothes up to my wife and I wear what she tells me to wear. As for shoes, since I enjoy working out, I would say my running shoes I couldn't live without. I know, pretty boring.