Q&A with author Cynthia Murphy

  1. What inspired you to first start writing?

I was a voracious reader as a child and loved to write stories at school, all the way up to GCSE level – I actually enjoyed my English Language exam! Once I realised anyone could write a book, I thought I’d have a go!

2. Can you tell us a little about your new book The Midnight Game?

It was inspired by the creepy pasta ritual games I had discovered on the internet. It’s told through the story, internet threads, DMs and text messages. Six strangers meet to summon The Midnight Man – they all have a secret but they won’t all survive…

3. Can you describe it using only three words?

Dark, pacy and twisty.

4. How long have you been writing? When did you first start?

I’ve always written to some extent, but I first started to write with a view to publication in around 2012. My debut novel was actually the fourth manuscript I had written.

5. You write YA/Crime/Thriller novels, why these particular genres?

I adore YA – it didn’t really exist as a category when I was a teen and the books within it cover so much of the teenage experience. I have always loved scary stories, and as worrying as it sounds, horror seems to come naturally to me. It keeps my attention and allows me to explore things. Would never wish to deal with in real life.

6. How does it feel being a published author knowing readers are really enjoying your stories?

It’s the best feeling ever. I love getting messages from readers or meeting them in real life at event and school visits – it’s the best part for me!

7. What is the most difficult part of your writing process?

For me, it’s starting. The idea is so perfect and shiny in my mind and it’s always harder to start than I remembered the last time! Once I’m half way it almost writes itself, but that first half is really tough.

8. What advice would you give to those who are writing their first book?

Don’t worry if this is not ‘the one’. You will learn and grow with each rejection and your writing will get better. For most authors, publication doesn’t happen overnight, it takes years of trying again.

9. Which authors do you most admire and why?

Stephen King is my all-time favourite. He has written so much in so many genres yet all his novels are so distinctly him. I’d love to have a back-catalogue as vast and varied as his one day!

10. What are common traps for new authors?

Not doing enough research. A publisher should never ask you for money to print your book, they should be offering you a fee for your writing. Researching the right agent for your book can help massively, too. It’s not always easy to get signed with an agent, but again, most things don’t happen overnight. A good agent will support you and help navigate things like the tricky legal side of contracts.

11. What risks have you taken with your writing that have paid off?

When I was struggling for inspiration, before I got an agent, I thought ‘I’ll write a book for teen me’. I didn’t care if nobody liked it, and I threw in all of the tropes I loved as a teen. That book earned me 9 agent offers and became my debut novel, Last One to Die.

12. If you could spend the day with another author who would you choose and why?

I’d love to go back in time and meet Mary Shelley. I’d ask her if she really did keep her husband’s mummified heart in a drawer.

13. What were your favourite books growing up?

I loved the Point Horror and Christopher Pike books, but I have always loved The Secret Garden. I loved the fact that the main character was a grumpy, stubborn girl. I think I could identify with her J

14. How many books have your written and which is your personal favourite?

I have three out in the world to buy and a few more on the way, though I can’t talk about those yet! Expect more from me in 2023, though. I think my favourite is always the one I’m working on, though LOTD will always have a special place in my heart, because it’s the one that made my dream come true!

15. Are you writing anything else at the moment? If so, are you able to give us any clues?

I am currently working on three projects…one involves a summer camp, one has a US setting and the other features a bridal shop. Have fun figuring those out!

I want to say a huge thank you to Cynthia for taking the time to answer my questions and feature on my blog. You can buy all of Cynthia’s books using booksellers, online and using any independent local bookshops.

You can follow Cynthia on social media. Twitter: @CynthiaMurphyYA and Instagram: @cynthiamurphyya


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