Thursday, August 19, 2010
Interview with Clodagh Murphy and book giveaway!
**Giveaway is now closed**
Clodagh Murphy was raised in Dublin with her two brothers and two sisters. She didn't like attending school, but then had fun spending a few years living in London in her twenties. She's now living in Dublin again and is the author of "The Disengagement Ring" and "Girl in a Spin." Melissa P. and I got to ask her a few questions and enjoyed reading her answers. She has a great sense of humor and we hope you will enjoy learning more about her, as well. In addition, she has offered to send out three signed copies of "Girl in a Spin" anywhere in the world.
MP: “Girl in a Spin” is about a girl with a not so ideal past in a relationship with a politician, what inspired you to write a political romantic comedy?
CM: I had a bit of a crush on Alastair Campbell, and I loved his book "The Blair Years", about his time as Tony Blair's spin doctor, so that's what initially sparked it off. I find the whole business of spin fascinating, and I thought the basic premise of a politician, his spin doctor and a girl who's a bit of a loose canon had a lot of potential for comedy. On the one hand you have Richard, a politician whose public image is very carefully managed and who never does or says anything that isn't thoroughly thought out; and on the other hand you have Jenny, who is quite naïve in ways and doesn't know how to be anything other than herself. She can wreak havoc in Richard's world without meaning to, just by being who she is and I thought I could have a lot of fun with that.
MP: Do you have a specific place where you go to write?
CM: I do most of my writing at my desk in my apartment, but I'm actually more productive when I'm away from home, and I'd love to be able to go away somewhere to write. It's easier to concentrate when I'm not surrounded by my day-to-day life. I also find travelling inspiring, and I have lots of ideas when I'm rolling along on a train or bus, watching the world go by. Daydreaming is an important part of the writing process for me.
MP: What do you do when you aren’t writing?
CM: I still have a day job, so I go to work. In my free time I like to hang out with family and friends, go to the movies or theatre, read, watch TV - all the usual things. I adore eating out and do it far too much. Travelling is a big passion, and I do it as much as I can. I have such itchy feet, I think I must have been a nomad in a former life.
MA: How did you come up with the titles of your books?
CM: I try to come up with something snappy and witty that encapsulates the story and also sets the tone of the book. "The Disengagement Ring" is about a girl whose family team up to try and break up her engagement, so I think the title sums it up pretty well. Finding the title for "Girl in a Spin" was a longer process and more of a joint decision between me and my editor. It was originally called "Spinning Jenny", but my publishers didn't feel that was the right title, so after a lot of brainstorming, we eventually we came up with "Girl in a Spin".
MA: If "Girl in a Spin" were made into a movie, who would you cast in the main roles?
CM: I'm always a bit reluctant to answer these kinds of questions because one of the beauties of books is that readers can have their own images of the characters, and I don't want to impose mine on them. However, since you ask, I'd have to cast Richard Armitage as Dev because he's who I always saw as Dev while I was writing it. Rupert Penry-Jones would be good as Richard, I think. Jenny would be more difficult to cast. Carey Mulligan would be lovely and she has the right vibe, but she'd have to dye her hair platinum blonde – and shrink. She's much too tall for Jenny. You can tell I've hardly thought about this at all, can't you? Would you like to know what I'll be wearing on the red carpet?
MA: Although you live in Dublin and are well known amongst the Irish chick lit crowd, do you plan to make yourself more well-known to readers in North America?
CM: I'd love to! Unfortunately, though, I don't have a U.S. book deal so far. Hopefully that will change in the future. But I'm told chick lit is having a hard time at the moment in the U.S.
MP: What is your favorite thing about living in Dublin?
CM: There are lots of things I love about it, but my favourite thing about living here is that my family all live here too and I'm within easy reach of them.
MA: Are you friends with other Irish chick lit authors (Cecelia Ahern, Marian Keyes, Claudia Carroll)?
CM: I'm friends with quite a few on Twitter and Facebook. Claire Allan is a 'real life' friend. We first met in an online writing group, but I've met her in real life since then.
MA: Have you ever used your own dating experiences in your stories?
CM: No, I don't write misery lit! Seriously, though, I might use small details and fragments of things, but nothing substantial.
MA: What is the most unusual activity you have participated in over the past few years?
CM: I attended a virtual Christmas party a couple of years ago in my online writing group. It was really good fun – and no worrying about what to wear or how to get home! Is that unusual? Maybe people go to virtual parties all the time now, but it was unusual for me.
Special thanks to Clodagh for taking the time to answer our questions and offering the books to give away.
Thanks always to Melissa P. for her fun and thought-inspiring questions.
How to win "Girl in a Spin":
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Giveaway ends Monday, August 23rd at 6:00 pm EST.