Red Dwarf: Psstt…Wicked?
Wicked *looking up from current reading choice RAVEN CALLS*: Mmm? What? I’m kind of in the middle of a really good part here…
Red: I’ve brought you a surprise.
Wicked *looking up, squinting*: OMG! Is that…? Where did you…? How did you…?
Mighty *hushed awe*: It’s C. E. MURPHY!
Smokey: What? Did I see a Smurphy? What the hell is that?
Wicked: Not Smurphy, MURPHY! You know, awesome authoress of URBAN SHAMAN, TRUTHSEEKER, Belinda, Joanne, Margrit…any of these ringing any bells?
Snarky *w/contemplative look, running newest supple whip through hands*: This aught to be fun!
Eerie w/Mischevious on his shoulder: Are you sure those bonds are going to hold her to that chair?
Quirky: Yeah, if she falls, Eerie’s pets are going to have a feast.
Dreamer: Umm, guys, I think perhaps you might want to consider that kidnapping and imprisonment might not be the best way to make new friends. *under breath* Or have them come back.
Wicked *dancing manically with uber Fangirl glee*: It’s CE Murphy, CE Murphy and she’s going to talk to us…we are soooo cool!
**Swamp disclaimer: We promise to release Catie as soon as we’re done and no harm was done to this or any writer during this interview**
Catie was nice enough to answer all our questions, so sit back and enjoy the visit!
As children we tend to have an idea of what we want to be by the time we’re ten. Before you decided to pursue the artistic dream of being a writer, what did you want to be and why?
…a writer. No, seriously, my earliest memories of job ambitions are that I was going to be the first woman Senator from Alaska (I may have grown up in a somewhat political family *wink* ) and a writer. An astronaut and a writer. A fireman and a writer. A laywer and a writer.
The writing stuck. The other things, not so much.
We’re glad the writing stuck, we’re kind of partial to it as well!
If your character(s) came with a warning label, what would it say?
Joanne Walker, from the Walker Papers, would probably have one that says, “WARNING: TENDS TO SAY THE FIRST THING THAT COMES INTO HER HEAD. RESULTS ARE NOT NECESSARILY PRETTY.
Margrit Knight from the Negotiator Trilogy would have one that says, “DON’T GET HER STARTED, BECAUSE SHE NEVER BACKS DOWN.”
Belinda Primrose from the Inheritors’ Cycle’s warning would just be that: “WARNING! STAY AWAY! DANGEROUS!”
If you turned your laptop/computer/pen/typewriter (yes, some of still use these!) over to your character(s), how would they describe you?
I would not care to have my characters describe me, given the things I put them through.
We all have favorite characters, either main or secondary, and there are always bits and pieces of them we don’t share with our readers, but keep close to our hearts. Choose your favorite from your cast of characters and tell us a couple of things that you haven’t shared in your books/writing.
Dude, if I was going to tell you those things, they’d be in the books!
Awww man, c’mon, we promise it will stay just between us!
Personally, I tend to be a bit on the introverted side so the thought of being in the actual presence of one of my favorite writers makes my heart race, my knees shake and tangles my tongue (yes classic fan girl behavior). Who could reduce you to such a level and how do you imagine your initial meeting?
Meeting Guy Gavriel Kay pretty much turned me into a gibbering idiot. The worst part was that he’s kind of shy, so after I babbled at him I literally couldn’t figure out a way to keep–or more accurately, *start*–an actual coversation. “I love your books!” I said to him. “They make me cry!”
“Everybody says that,” he responded, a little wryly. “I’m afraid that’s what they’ll put on my gravestone: “He made me cry.”"
Me: *inane attempts to assure him I meant it in a good way, followed by slinking off feeling silly*
Really, though, I mean–shortly after I got published I ended up on a mailing list with Mercedes Lackey, for example. I managed to keep my cool, but then I was invited to be in an anthology with her. At that point I emailed her privately and I was like, “Okay, look, I know that to you you’re just Mercedes Lackey, but to me you’re MERCEDES LACKEY AND OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG *SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE* I GET TO BE IN A BOOK WITH YOU *flails like an idiot fangirl*”‘
She was very nice about it. And most writers are, really, so at this point it’s much more difficult to think who I’d become incoherently fangirl at (I did it to Marjorie Liu fairly recently, though, again via email, and in a CLASSIC MANUEVER, I sent it to THE WHOLE MAILING LIST instead of just her. *dies in a pit*).
Yes, they are, much like the graceful patience you showed me as I demonstrated my best airheadedness (yes, it’s a word) when you *gasp* spoke to me! *squeeee*
Growing up, what was your favorite book, comic, game or movie and did you create a character/player that might resemble you?
Of course I did. Some of the most lingering ones–ones who’ve spun off their own stories that I might tell someday–were from the Highlander tv show universe and, well, from the breadth and width of Marvel comics. My online moniker, Miz Kit, comes from that.
Oooohhh, Highlander, loved that show! Marvel universe…Wolverine, Gambit…’nuff said!
Many writers have that first novel which will never see the light of day. Out of curiosity, do you have one stashed somewhere? Inquiring minds want to know: what was your first attempt at writing and how old were you?
My first attempt at a novel was when I was 8. Sadly, I don’t have it anymore, but it featured red-headed twin girls and their 3 best friends, all of whom together were a mystery-solving cadre a la Trixie Belden or the Happy Hollisters. It was intended to be a long, on-going series like those books. Even at age 8 I grasped how success in writing worked.
My first full novel I wrote when I was 19, and I’m afraid to look at it again.
OMG, Trixie Belden, that was a great series and sadly not many recognize it nowdays! Can’t forget Lloyd Alexander’s Book of Three or Susan Cooper’s Dark is Rising though…
Whether we’re plotters or pantsers (outlines not needed), creating our stories takes us on very memorable journeys. Sometimes we may be part way through before we realize some major aspect of our story is just not working (plot, character, setting). Have you ever hit this sharp, pointy snag and if so, how did you escape? We’re you battered and bruised or a bloody mess?
*snorts* It happens all the time. I’m suffering from a bad bout of it right now, in fact, which is why I’m enthusiastically answering interview questions instead of stabbing a knife through the heart of the book I should be working on.
The fastest I’ve ever gotten through that is about seven minutes, when I once wrote Joanne Walker into a corner from which she could not be extricated. Like, if the scene happened the way I wrote it, that was the end of the series. No, she didn’t die, but somebody else did (no, nobody you’re thinking of), and there was *no way* the book or the series could continue with that person’s death. So I had to reverse, throw things out, and start again. Usually it takes a lot longer than 7 minutes, but being on deadline helps.
Seriously, though, you escape by gritting your teeth and accepting it and going back to fix it. It’s the only way you can escape. It sucks, but it’s all you can do.
What’s some of the funniest/sweetest/strangest things you’ve heard from your readers?
I’ve had some utterly lovely commentary over the years. My favorite is always when people email to say they stayed up too late reading one of my books. I love that one particularly because I know just what that’s like, so from my perspective it’s the greatest compliment ever.
But there was one guy–this was quite wonderful–who was standing in line for the 6th, I think, Harry Potter novel, at, y’know, 11:30 at night at all, and as he wound his way through the SF/F section, he picked up URBAN SHAMAN and started reading it. And kept reading. And bought it along with the Potter book. And went home and started reading Harry Potter, but then couldn’t take it and had to put it down and finish reading URBAN SHAMAN first because he JUST HAD to find out what happened!
It’s the only time in my life I’ll ever trump JK Rowling, so I’ll totally take it.
What’s the one genre you won’t ever try and why?
Straight-up industry romance, not because I disdain it, but because I have tried it and I flat-out don’t have the skill set to write it. People belittle industry romance, but honestly, it takes real knowledge of how that style of romance works in order to tell a story that way.
What is some of the best advice you were ever given?
About writing? Get the character’s motivation on the page. It makes them much more relatable and much less cardboard. In general? Forgive me for going all -Galaxy Quest- on you, but “Never give up! Never surrender!” I think it’s a good mindset.
What is the best advice you can share with others?
You can’t get what you don’t ask for. Always let the other guy say no.
Blades, guns, fists or feet?
Feet! Run away! Run away!
Favorite Fairy Tale of all time?
Beauty and the Beast.
Three titles and their authors sitting on your nightstand/bookcase/table/floor waiting to be read?
UNSPOKEN by Sarah Rees Brennan, THE GODS OF MARS by Edgar Rice Burroughs, and AGATHA RAISIN & THE VICIOUS VET by MC Beaton.
Greatest one liner of all time?
Ron Perlman, Aliens 4, “I am not the man with whom to fuck.” I get a lot of mileage out of that one, anyway.
Sarcastic witticism, Southern sweetness or Geeky disdain?
Depends on what’s called for.
Strangest item currently taking up space in your writing cave?
…there is nothing in here I would consider strange, but perhaps from another’s POV the 15+ Rogue and Gambit figurines would be a little odd…
I wouldn’t call that odd, Catie, but if some of your Gambits went missing, I have no idea where they could have gone….
Favorite supernatural creature?
Oh, Dean Winchester, definitely. No doubt abo…that’s not what you meant, was it…
Yummm….Dean…what? Oh no, that’s okay we’ll take that answer!
Huge THANK YOU to the lovely C.E. Murphy for taking time out of her busy day and spending some fun filled moments with us! Want to see what makes her such a great writer? Come over to Amazon and check out her Author Page:
or just swing over to her place at: