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Friday, 27 February 2015

An interview with Kim Murphy, author of Whispers from the Grave

Greetings Humans,

Today I am a little nervous. Normally I'm happy to stay out of sight, living in your dreams and legends. But Colin made an odd request a few weeks ago which has been playing on my mind.

You see, he suggested that people might be interested in chatting with me on a one to one basis. 

So this is how this has come about. I had to pick a book which I liked the look of and contact the author. This was incredibly difficult. You humans write a lot of books, some of which were even worse than Colin's.

In the end I went for a book about one of my favourite times in your short history, the American Civil War. I've recently read another book set in this period. I find your outlook on what happened quite amusing; I mean, you completely overlooked the shortage of mint sauce which was caused throughout the world, when every ship flocked to supply your military with that silly gunpowder stuff...Ha!

The Author's name is Kim Murphy, and her book is called Whispers from the Grave
Whispers from the Grave




Claude
Well, Kim, do you like dragons? And if so what is your favourite colour?


Kim
Of course, I love dragons. How could anyone in their right mind, not love them? As for color, my favorite color depends on my mood, and right now, with the snow on the ground, green sounds rather attractive.


Claude
Hmm, I find that for a human, you seem to have rather good taste. I think we might enjoy each other's company. But, I digress. Please, tell me about the book you've written. I believe it's about a ghost. I'm not a great fan of ghosts to be honest, but this one might be a friend of mine. Apparently they haunt the mid 1800's. I was there you know. Lots of humans dodging large round balls. I found them quite tasty myself (the cannon balls, not the humans. They give me indigestion). But please, tell me about your book.


Kim
I can definitely understand why you're not a fan of ghosts, and I doubt the one in my book Whispers from the Grave is a friend of yours. He's not very nice. My story begins in the modern era on a secluded Virginia plantation by the name of Poplar Ridge. Christine Olson visits her friend Judith Cameron. Before long, she dreams of a Confederate soldier, who happens to look a lot like Judith's brother, Geoff. Chris continues to have visions, which include a terrifying one-eyed Union scout. She discovers she's seeing the past through the eyes of woman by the name of Margaret. Little by little, she uncovers Margaret's dark secret that took place during the American Civil War, and Geoff's connection to the woman from the past.


Claude
Hmm, an intriguing plot, Kim. I will clear a space on my shelf for it. I find I'm drawn to this one eyed scout, however. Is he the ghost, or might this question cause too much to be given away? Snort, I know what you writers are like with your plots and plans.


Kim
Yes, he's a ghost. He's the one that I warned about not being very nice.


Claude
Ooh...I see this book spans two time periods, one modern day, and the other back a few years ago when your countrymen had that little fight.. Oh it was bloody enough, but nothing compared to the dark ages. I still remember my old friends Merlin and Arty. He hated being called that, you know, but Merlin teased him endlessly. I must say, however, you have done your research for this book. I know, I was there. Do you feel it's important to get the details correct in historical fiction? After all, this is a novel, not a textbook.



Kim
I think it really depends on what type of historical fiction. For instance, I would expect fewer details in a genre historical romance, than straight historical fiction. There are a lot of very knowledgeable people when it comes to the American Civil War. Heck, many are still fighting it. Therefore, I aim to be correct as possible, and I put a note at the end so readers know where I've taken liberties. That certainly doesn't mean my way is the only way. I love the research because I enjoy bringing little known facts to the forefront. At the same time, I certainly believe a writer shouldn't bog the book down to the point where they've forgotten to tell a story. As you said, it's a novel, not a textbook.


Claude
Hmm, I totally agree. I have read quite a few books over the years. Colin used to get headaches after I moved into his head, because I bought them all with me. Something about my bookshelves giving him a migraine. I have unfortunately read some books that concentrate on the facts, to the detriment of the story. Yours strikes a lovely balance, if you don't mind me saying. I loved the inevitability of the actions in the past affecting the present. this was very well done.


Kim
Thank you for your kind words. Sometimes it can be tough to strike the balance, but I try my best.


Claude
It's obvious you've but a lot of work into this. Do you find that you miss your characters when you've finished?


Kim
Most definitely. It usually takes me a year or two to write a book, so when I write sequels, I've spent a lot of years with characters. Then I'll start something new and begin the process all over again. It's fun getting to know new characters and see where they'll take me.


Claude

Yes, well Colin feels the same. The idiot actually cried last week when on of his characters died. But anyway, Kim, thank you very much for agreeing to chat to me. As you can see I don't get many visitors. I personally like the aroma of roast lamb and mint, but it's not to everyone's taste. I wish you many sales and lots of luck.


Kim
Thank you. It's been fun!








So this has been my first interview thingy. I enjoyed it. Almost as I enjoyed my supper. But then you all know dragons love their food.