Author Interview with Noah Murphy
I’m hosting an interview today with Noah Murphy, the author of fantasy novel “Deltan Skies”. Thanks for answering my questions, Noah!
1) When did you know you wanted to become an author?
I have an overactive imagination so I’ve been writing fiction off and on since I was a child. However, I never got serious until my early twenties, when I complete several long works. However, due to the nature of the publishing business, I never put any real effort into getting published because I just didn’t see the point of waiting years to get published, and even if I did get published, I’d still run the risk of failing anyways . It wasn’t until the rise of self-publishing that I decided to give it a try, and do not regret it. Self-publishing lets me be the author I want to be both in terms of what I write, and how I engage my readers.
2) Where did you get the inspiration from for Deltan Skies?
Deltan Skies started life as the first work I ever self-published, a fantasy thriller novella entitled A Clear and Feathered Danger. The novella was set in a world called Terrall which was high-fantasy world brought technologically into the realm of science-fiction. As a result, dragons and elves exist among laser weapons and cyborgs. It had the same plot and characters as Deltan Skies, but was a third of the length and focused almost entirely on action. While the novella went on to sell over a hundred copies, its two sequels did terribly. Ultimately, I decided that the trilogy, know as K23 Detectives, was not nearly as good as it should have been for a variety of reasons, including too little world building and not enough characterization.
In November 2012, after releasing my superhero novel Ethereal Girls, I sat down to revise A Clear and Feathered Danger. What started out as a simple revision and expansion eventually morphed the novella in full-length fantasy novel that bared little resemblance to the original. I deleted the entire second half and took the book in an entirely different direction while emphasizing world-building and characterization.
Consequently, the world of Terrall has never been so vibrant and engaging as it is in Deltan Skies.
3) How long did it take you to write Deltan Skies from start to finish?
It took me two months to turn a Clear and Feathered Danger into Deltan Skies. Then I spent the next five months editing it.
4) What is your editing process like?
Do a revision run and then leave it for two weeks. Then I’ll do another revision and leave the work for another two weeks. I’ll repeat the process until it’s ready to release. I also always make sure to get the book beta read, and proofread by someone else at least once during the process.
5) What was the most challenging part about writing Deltan Skies?
Editing is always the most difficult part of writing, but it was especially challenging this time because I employed a different editing methodology that I never employed to any other work before. Instead of simply running through a work editing awkward lines and correcting mistakes, I targeted specific words and phrases I have a tendency to overuse.
For example, I found I over used the phrase, “began to.” While the phrase has its uses, I overused it to the point where sentence that should have been active were passive in tone. I searched through the document and removed more than half of all uses.
Then end result is my writing is the best it’s ever been. I’ve even gotten numerous compliments from people that didn’t particularly like the original novella.
6) What are your writing goals for 2013?
Before I sit down and write a sequel to Deltan Skies or Ethereal Girls, I’m going to write something completely new. Like Deltan Skies, Ethereal Girls is a complete revision of a previously self-published work, so I’ve been writing in the same two worlds for the past two years. I want to expand my creative horizons a bit further before returning to familiar territory.
7) Are you working on something right now? If so, can you tell us more about it?
After I finish editing a book, I take a creativity break for a month or two to let my imagination recharge. Writing and editing is an exhaustive process so I find I stick with project until its completion more often if I can devote my full creative energy to it. Since I was editing Deltan Skies right up until I released it in late May, I’m still on my break, but I’ll most likely start work on my new world sometime this month.
That project will most likely be something called the Animal Zombie Apocalypse, which is a zombie story where all the animals in world become rabid at once and mercilessly attack humanity. It will follow a few people from animal related-professions as they try to survive and make sense of what is happening. It will of course have a deep environmental message, but I will balance it with numerous exciting horror set-pieces featuring cute and not-so-cute animals devouring people.
Thanks for answering my questions, Noah! Good luck working on the Animal Zombie Apocalypse! It sounds like a great idea.
About Deltan Skies
Author: Noah Murphy
Genre: Fantasy / Adventure
A young elven mage named Quintanelle Fillion flees from her totalitarian homeland to New Delta, a dense metropolis made up of hundreds of mile-high towers. She finds employment working for New Delta’s top private detective, a human named Alfonso Deegan, and his red dragon associate Mordridakon. Quintanelle’s first case thrusts her in the middle of New Delta’s own problems.
After millennia of oppression, members of the disenfranchised avian race have taken complete control of the criminal underworld, but what they want is the one thing they can’t steal. To achieve their goals, the avians’ charismatic leader enlists the help of a goblin shaman cast out from her own suffering people. Together they create a risky and daring plan that involves everyone from the city’s inept mayor and a corrupt city senator, to Quintanelle’s new boss and even her own family.
As their plan unfolds, a dark reality emerges. New Delta stands on the brink of total annihilation, and Quintanelle may be the only one who can stop it.
Noah Murphy grew up in Montgomery County, Maryland which features prominently in his writing. After graduating from Goucher College with a double major in philosophy and religion, he began a pet sitting service. In his spare time Noah volunteers at a not for profit parrot rescue. His love of animals provides inspiration for many of the anthropomorphic characters in his books.
Part of the generation just before autism awareness began, Noah was diagnosed at age 26. For him, a later diagnoses was a hidden blessing. Being forced to be “normal” gave him the skills and knowledge to publish and run a business. Autism also unhinges his mind, allowing him to approach situations and characters in strange new ways, and seriously enough to make them work.
An avid writer, Noah Murphy is the author of the fantasy novel Deltan Skies,and the superhero novel Ethereal Girls. He also enjoys sharing his opinions on life, literature and popular culture with his 29,000 followers on Twitter and on his blog.