WE WOULD LIKE TO WELCOME,PETER TO MY BOOK ADDICTION AND MORE TODAY…
By Peter Murphy
MBA: First, tell our readers a little about you, Peter Murphy? Some likes and dislikes?
I was born in Killarney and raised in Dublin, Ireland, in the middle of the last century of the last millennium! I grew up surrounded by the memories of the old ways. My mother was a teacher and wouldn’t allow a television into our house so, when we weren’t out scouring the countryside for adventure, we read books and sat around discussing (arguing about) things. I am the youngest of six brothers – an eclectic and intriguing bunch – so the ‘debates’ were varied and fascinating.
We were also a musical lot: my father loved stirring Irish ballads while my mother preferred sentimental love songs. My eldest brother developed a taste for opera and the next one liked Buddy Holly. The middle two liked the ‘Beatles’ and the ‘Stones’ and the rest of us grew up with ‘Dylan’, ‘Jethro Tull’ and ‘Fairport Convention.’
But one thing we all shared was a great love for the music of ‘The Dubliners’ and in particular – the voice of the late, great, Luke Kelly. Our family gatherings were often musical and sometimes – the music wasn’t bad.
I try to avoid nostalgia because not all of the past was pleasant but – it was what it was and we are better, or worse, because of it. I am optimistic about the future because, as history has shown, we rise to overcome our worst challenges – sooner or later.
I believe that we, collectively and individually, will prevail against all the doomsayers and all the fear and doubt they spread. I also believe that we must look at all that we have in common and see past the things that divide us. And for that we will need a bit more tolerance and understanding.
MBA: How hard was it to research for “Lagan Love” and what did it detail?
Most of the research was osmotic in that I learned so many things from folklore – myths and legends and traditional folksongs. For me, they remain a record of times and events that had huge impact. That they linger speaks to their resonance that continues.
Stories like Lagan Love are for and about people and, as the world is full of people, with all kinds of follies and foibles, there is no shortage of ‘material.’
The biggest challenge was getting the mix right – not unlike cooking, I suppose. As in life, where people are both ‘good’ and ‘bad’, the characters had to have their beauties as well as their flaws. They had to mean something to the reader as well as the story and they had to be true to themselves, despite their flaws and shortcomings.
MBA: Since “Lagan Love” is your first novel will there be more on this subject?
Yes, in that Lagan Love deals with relationships and human interactions.
Relationships fascinate me. They more people I talk with the more I begin to think that we all perceive them to be something else. Are they the best expressions of ourselves: our willingness to extend our deepest emotions to another? Is it where we can care more for another than ourselves or are we just driven by lust, passion, pity, the need for reassurance and avoidance of aloneness?
‘Love’ has a dark side too and can be misused for so many things that are less positive – like the excuse for emotional entanglements and, sometimes, as a license for jealousy and insecurity. But then again I have no certainty on these matters, just a lot of questions.
MBA: Can you give our readers any juicy tidbits on your next project?
I have two stories on the go. One will delve into the concepts of love and all we mean by that through the eyes of a young Dubliner who emigrates – (and no, it is not about me!)
Like Janice, in Lagan Love, being transported to a new world will force change as well as leaving the young emigrant more open to new ways of looking at things – including himself. Naturally, there will be lots of pathos and heartache but, as in life, lots of tenderness and hope, too.
The second will look at concepts of reconciliation, atonement and the search for peace and contentment. It is set in Rome, Italy, and takes place in the years following 9/11. For me, Rome’s history is a living record of the best and worst of humanity but I cannot imagine anyone not being affected by the ghosts that linger on the warm breezes that scurry down the little streets and alleys when the sun begins to set.
I hope to learn more as I write about them!
MBA: What made you interested in writing “Lagan Love”?
Lagan Love is a story that has been ghosting around inside of me for years. I think it first‘infected’ me one night in Grogan’s where I spent a part of my youth.
After I left Dublin, the story stayed with me like a vague yearning while I was busy doing all the things that fathers have to do. Over the years I pecked away at a draft until I finally packed my sons off to University and lost a job I had grown to hate. When I finally got to consider what I was going to do next, I knew it was time to sit down and try to tell this story properly
By then it had become a story of a time and place that has undergone profound change. I wanted to share memories of that and of some great people who are no longer with us – Jimmy Neil and Paddy O’ Brian amongst others. And I wanted to make a gesture of appreciation for all that they have done for me and the rest of humanity – despite its condition.
MBA: If you could travel back in time what or who would you be and why?
Turlough O’Carolan: the last of the great Irish Harpist. He lived from 1670 to 1738, was blind, and left behind some of the finest music I have ever heard. He also penned the lines:
A while drunk
A while mad
A while tearing harp-strings to shreds
Smoking tobacco, going insane
This new fashion we practiced and never will we part from it His ‘Farewell to Music,’ written in the shadow of his death, still makes me shiver.
MBA: How hard is it to get published in the US and why?
Lou Aronica, of the Fiction Studio, once described getting published for the first time as ‘winning the lottery.’ For many years unpublished authors had great difficulty establishing dialogue with anyone in the industry. The Book Business was deemed to be in decline and Publishing Houses seemed to be afraid of taking chances on new, unknown writers – preferring instead to put their resources behind known, proven writers.
Recent developments like ebooks and print-on-demand have reduced the ‘investment’ required allowing Publishers to take more chances. The lower price of ebooks has also encouraged readers to take chances on writers they are not familiar with. All of this has opened the door to exciting times for new as well as established writers and has brought a wider range of choice to readers.
I was fortunate to find Lou, a few years back. He took an interest in my work and pushed me to make it better. So when he offered me the chance to publish with Fiction Studio Books – I didn’t hesitate.
Publisher:The Fiction Studio (June 7, 2011)
hesitate. In their love, Aidan, Dublin’s rising poet, sees a chance for redemption and Janice sees a chance for recognition. Sinead tells her that it is
all nonsense as she keeps her head down and her eyes fixed on her own prize – a place in Ireland’s prospering future. She used to go out with Aidan, before he met Janice, so there is little she can say. And besides, she has enough to do as her parents are torn apart by the rumours of church scandals. But after a few nights in Grogan’s, where Dublin’s bohemians gather, or a day in Clonmacnoise among the ruins of Celtic Crosses, it won’t matter as the ghosts of Aidan’s mythologies take form and prey on the friends until everything is at risk. Lagan Love is a sensuous story of Love, Lust and Loss that will bring into question the cost we pay for our dreams.
realistic but will also capture your hearts as they embark on a long journey through Ireland. This is the story of the love of Ireland that was hidden in the lyrics about a beautiful woman in a 15th century son,My Lagan Love.It has love,lust,desire,passion,dreams lost,a restless past,volatile
anger,myths,poetry,a blend of old ways and new. We meet Janice, Aidan,and Sinead. Janice,who has grown bored with her Toronto sheltered existence,and desires to embark on an adventure to Ireland. She wants recognition and a place in Ireland’s future. Aidan, a up and rising poet,who is looking for redemption,who leads her through Ireland’s veil of Celtic Twilight.Sinead,who once went out with Aidan,her parents are being torn apart by rumors of church scandal.When Aidan’s ghosts of mythology start preying on the friend’s everything is at risk of being lost. This is the story of lust,dreams lost,the price paid for said dreams as well as Ireland’s myths and legends. At a time when Ireland is on the brink of prosperity and foreigners. This is a wonderful debut novel of Ireland’s old ways,Celtic Crosses ruins and reveals the complex layers of Ireland and its people. This story will appear to romance readers as well as history bluffs, and anyone who enjoys a good Ireland tale. This book was received for the purpose of review from Meryl L. Moss Media Relations, Inc. and the publisher and details can be found at Fiction Studio Books.