A couple of years ago Nicole Murphy came to Brisbane and we met for coffee in town. We talked about her ‘tenacious dream’ and how hard it was to believe in yourself and keep writing. I am delighted to be able to invite Nicole onto the ROR blog to promote the first book of her series!.
Lovely cover, by the way.
Take it away, Nicole ….
I remember quite vividly the moment I decided to be a published author.
I was eleven years old. Our school had just been introduced to process writing – until then, all the writing was ‘What I did on my holidays’ or excursion reports. Then, in Year Six, we were allowed to write whatever we wanted.
I wrote what I still believe to be my magnum opus – Thunder King. The story of a boy and his horse, who won five Melbourne Cups and three Caulfield Cups and in-between, had adventures in the Australian bush such as finding and killing a rampaging lioness, then adopting her orphaned cubs.
Damn, it was a good story.
Anyhoo, the teacher decided our stories would be published. A parent typed them up. I worked feverishly on the cover (the horribleness of the horse I drew still haunts me to this day) and then it was collated, stapled together and there it was.
A book. That I wrote. With my name on the cover.
And I knew that one day, I’d have that for real.
It’s taken nearly thirty years but today, that dream has finally come true. Secret Ones, book one in the Dream of Asarlai trilogy, is on the shelves.
It’s entirely my fault it’s taken so long. You see, I kept turning away from the dream. I let things like fear, or doing the “right thing” get in the way.
But the dream never gave up on me. It sat there, tapping me on the shoulder, continually feeding me ideas, never letting up.
In 2000, I started to commit to the dream. By the end of 2003, that commitment had petered out but not before the dream sowed its greatest seed – I’d written the drafts of a three-book fantasy romance series.
In 2005-2006 I edited The Outcast, one of the CSFG anthologies (with some kick-arse stories, by the way, including by RORers Maxine, Rowena, Tansy and Richard). Finally there it was – a book with my name on it. But it was a hollow victory, because the words inside weren’t mine. Other writers had sweated and laid themselves onto the page. I hadn’t.
The dream kicked me and we got back in business. It pointed to the fantasy romance series and whispered in my ear that it was good, it was fun to work on, it was commercially viable, and this was the one that could do it for me…
The dream was right. Thanks to its persistence, the dream came true. Then, to my surprise, it very calmly stepped aside to let other dreams come to the fore.
Dreams of success. Dreams of making this a career. Dreams of writing and being published for the rest of my life.
The dream wasn’t holding on just for itself – no, it was holding on for the other dreams, which I hadn’t begun to conceive of yet.
So the moral – follow your dream, because you don’t know what dreams it’s working for.
Question for giveaway – I think coming up with this question has been harder than writing the novel. Anyway, here ‘tis – In my first published book at age 11, my horse Thunder King won five Melbourne Cups. In reality, what is the most number of Melbourne Cups won by a single horse?
(We will collect the right answers, put them in a virtual ice-cream bucket and pull one out).
NOTE -The copy of Nicole’s bookw as won by Leanne C Taylor.