Twitter: EC Murray @ writersconnect3
I often quote without knowing where to attribute the helpful words. In this case, “Good fiction is both entertaining and edifying.” I believe that. And, I’m reminded that Steven Spielberg couldn’t have produced SCHINDLER’S LIST if he hadn’t produced JAWS first.
When I dove into writing seriously over a decade ago, I felt compelled to write about my transformation, to give hope and possibly offer tools, by writing with humor and vulnerability. Writing A LONG WAY FROM PARIS was an emotionally wrangling endeavor, one I didn’t wish to replicate soon. Therefore, I wrote two “mini-books,” followed by my first novel, AN UNFAMILIAR GUEST, about friendship and family and forgiveness, an old fashioned who-dun-it, a mystery of much lighter scale than PARIS.
For the past four years I’ve been working on an upmarket book “with elements of romance and intrigue” as they say in the “biz,” about a young man searching for his mom in homeless camps. It’s fiction, it’s difficult to write, and yet again I am compelled. That balance between entertainment and edification is tricky. According to the e-mails I received from readers, A LONG WAY FROM PARIS achieved that sweet spot, that balance.
My initial three revisions for my novel currently titled AN IMPULSE OF LIGHT did not work, so I put it away for a year, hired a professional editor once more, and I continue to move forward, often at a slug’s pace. In the meantime, it’s been exciting to see several of my students publish their books, some of which are quite extraordinary. Soon, I hope, AN IMPULSE OF LIGHT, which improves daily as fall in love with the characters once again, will see the light of day. In the meantime, I hope that you who are reading this now will continue to find inspiration, to write and encourage others along this ever so bumpy writer’s journey, and will find joy along your path.
With heart and hope-
November 30, 2022
Waverly Fitzgerald http://www.waverlyfitzgerald.com/2015/04/e-c-murray/
University of Washington http://www.pce.uw.edu/certificates/memoir/student-perspective/elizabeth-murray/
Review: Publishers Weekly http://www.publishersweekly.com/978-0-9903102-1-1
Bio Short Form
E.C. Murray (Elizabeth Corcoran Murray) is a freelance writer and author whose book, A Long Way from Paris, was named a KIRKUS BEST BOOK of 2014. Her most recent book is An Unfamiliar Guest, a mystery set in a town much like Gig Harbor, Washington. She’s published in Hybrid Mom, Spokes and Strokes, ABILITY magazine, Seattle Child, and more. The founder and publisher or The Writers Connection, EC studied writing at the University of Washington and Stony Brook, Southampton, New York. Her short story, “The Urban Goatherd” received a Pushcart nomination. Her first book, Life Kind of Sucks, reflects her Masters in Social Work. EC Murray teaches writing at Seattle Central College, and lives on island near Seattle with her family and frisky cat. www.ecmurray.com ; www.writersconnection.com
Bio Long Form
My first play, Lilly and Milly Go to Mars, starred my best friend, me, and our two turtles. That was second grade. Decades slipped away as I roamed the world, heading out from my conservative New England home to the west coast, and on to Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, and Australia. My jobs varied from cocktail waitress to telephone book delivery; from wedding hostess and to goatherd; from retail to bureaucrat. Eventually, I earned a Masters in Social Work, working with people with developmental disabilities. Romance struck, then marriage, child, love sweet love, and all the accoutrements: soccer tournaments, dance recitals, cross country meets, family fun.
When empty nesting approached, I recognized I’d detoured from my calling. Returning to the University of Washington, I studied memoir and literary fiction, then continued learning the craft of writing at the Richard Hugo House and Southampton Writers Conference. Eventually, I published two extremely different books, Life Kind of Sucks (not much larger than a booklet with gorgeous illustrations by Germaine Austin filled fundamental ideas for tough times) and A Long Way from Paris (a true story about personal transformation while herding goats in the mountains of southern France). I founded and publish The Writers Connection, a newsletter and Web site for readers and writers. Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Birthplace: Holyoke, Massachusetts
Education: MacDuffie School for Girls
University of Massachusetts, Oregon, Washington (yeah-I roamed)
Plus, Holyoke Community College, Tacoma Community College
Degrees: B.S. Philosophy (Oregon)
Masters of Social Work (Washington)
Certificates: Memoir and Literary Fiction, University of Washington
Southampton MFA and Writers Conference, Stony Brook, New York
Why did I start the blog (go to Blog section on Web site) On Reading One Hundred Memoirs? Carlene Cross, author of Fleeing Fundamentalism, advised me and other students of Theo Nestor to “read one hundred books of your genre” in order to write our books. In 2013, I completed my one hundred. Some books were enchanting, some entertaining, some tear jerkers, some best for starting campfires.