Hi readers, while you are waiting for my summer reading list to arrive, I thought I would entertain you with my interview with Murray who has the the 411 on all things Downton Abbey…. I mean Ashton Park, seriously! Enjoy and happy reading ! 🙂
Me : What made you want to become an author ?
Murray: It was something I wanted to do from the time I was very young. Even at 8 and 9 I was very serious about writing stories and giving them to mom to read.
Me: Who is your favorite author?
Murray : Ernest Hemingway.
Me: What are you reading write now ?
Murray: Just finished re-reading Cry the Beloved Country by Alan Paton. It is a novel set in South Africa during apartheid.
Me: Where do you get inspiration for your stories?
Murray: The people I meet and the experiences I have and the books I read.
Me: What do you think makes a good hero and heroine?
They have to have something worth fighting for, living for, even drying for. They also need both passion and compassion. And they need to do the right thing – they may not do it right away but eventually they need to do what they know is right and good.
Me: What do think are the ingredients for a good romance ? How do you create it in your stories ?
Murray: The lovers have to really begin to care for one another. The physical attraction has to be balanced with a heart attraction and a soul attraction. We have to see the inner beauty of the lovers and the tender feelings they have for one another. Then the kissing scenes really work and are so much sweeter.
Me : What has been your favorite novel to write ?
Murray: Oh, of course you like all your novels in different ways. I really liked writing The Wings of Morning, The Rose of Lancaster County, The Last Waltz, and Ashton Park.
Me : Who are your favorite characters ?
Murray: The girls I would like to take out for coffee are Rose Lantz (The Rose of Lancaster County), Becky Whetstone (Whispers of a New Dawn), and Michal Troyer (A Road Called Love). The guys I’d like to hang with are Kipp Danforth (Ashton Park), Ethan Daniels (The Rose of Lancaster County), and Remington Holt (The Dangerous Road).
Me: Your book Ashton Park has been compared to the popular tv series Downton Abbey. Do you love the show ? Who are your favorite characters?
Me: Since taking on the Ashton Park trilogy I’ve stopped watching it because I don’t want interviewers asking me if I get my ideas from the show. So I haven’t seen the show in well over a year. I liked the father and Mary and Matthew (the late Matthew) the best.
Me: Are there any similarities to the charachters ? Are the any differences ?
Murray: See? You’re asking! LOL! I suppose people would say Victoria Danforth is most like Mary. But after that there really aren’t any similarities because I have 3 sons and 4 daughters and the lord and lady of the estate are strong Christians so it’s very different from Downton Abbey from the start.
Me: What can you tell us about any projects in the works ?
I have two series that I’m writing where a chapter is sold every month – one is called Seven Oaks and is set on a plantation in Virginia during the civil war; the other is called The Painted Sky and takes place in New Mexico in 1866 and centers around five young women who are settlers. I am also planning a medieval fantasy set about 500 AD with knights and castles and beautiful young ladies and terrible villains and a plot that brings God and his angels into the story. I’m looking forward to telling that tale around a summer campfire.
Me: Can you give us any hints for your plans on your Danforths of Lancashire series?
Murray: Book 2 in the series comes out July-August and is entitled Beneath the Dover Sky – it covers the years 1924 – 1933 in the family saga. Book 3 is due out for Christmas-New Year’s and covers the years 1934-1941 – I’m writing it now.
Me: Do you have anything that get you in the writing mood?
A clear head and a fresh imagination. Sometimes music of various kinds helps. But mostly I just need to be well rested and have a mind crackling with colors and landscapes and skies and my characters’ faces and voices and love for each other.
Me: What do you hope readers take away from your stories?
Murray: I want them to be blessed, challenged, and inspired. I want them to feel like they’ve lived the story just as if they were in it and it was real life for them. I want them to feel stronger about living their lives to the full and reaching out to God and true love with all their heart.
Me : Thanks for letting me interview you:)
Murray: Thank you! A pleasure!