Thursday, 6 November 2014

Interview with Brendan Murphy, Author of Beyond the Gloaming

Beyond the Gloaming Tour Graphic


Beyond the GloamingSebastian and the Hibernauts: Beyond the Gloaming 

 It is Easter, 1973 and twelve year old Sebastian Duffy has some serious self-esteem issues. He is beaten by his parents, bullied at school, steals from his friends and still mourning the death of his brother. To cap it all, strange things have begun happening around him and he is finding it hard to distinguish dreams from reality. After a nightmarish assault, he wakes in the Gloaming, a shadow world inhabited by ghosts. There to greet him is Porrig, a creature from Hibercadia, a magical realm crafted from Celtic dreams. Inhabited by Fir Bolg, Tuath and Milesians, it has been overthrown by brother gods from another dreamworld. One brother, Phobitor, is a tyrant and even the Tuath, who took to their underground sidhe millennia ago, are concerned. Sebastian discovers that he alone can save Hibercadia by finding an enchanted spear. Teaming up with the Hibernauts—a mercurial sorceress, an orphaned druidess, a taciturn warrior, a snuff-sniffing leprechaun and a lovelorn poet—he embarks on a fantastical quest, but can he succeed when he is yet to find his magical potential or even his courage, and half the realm is bent on his destruction?  


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  Beyond the Gloaming from Kaleb Lechowski on Vimeo.

Hi , Brendan! Welcome to We Do Write. 

Thank you, it's wonderful to be here.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I grew up in Sheffield, England, with dreams of becoming a writer. After studying medicine in London and psychiatry in Manchester, I moved to Melbourne, Australia in 1999. I'm a consultant psychiatrist and associate professor at Monash University and write widely on youth mental health. I live with my wife, Katrina, and our children, Sebastian and Violette, in a sprawling property built for the composer, Dorian Le Gallienne. We share our garden with a mob of kangaroos, a wombat, two possums, any number of creepy crawlies, and some very feisty kookaburras. I play soccer for the local team, and love laughing, reading, yoga, northern soul, and time with family and friends.

How long have you been writing?

Since I was nine years old. I wrote a lot as a child including a fledgling fantasy novel that came to nothing, utter bobbins the lot of it. After slaughtering poetry as a teenager, I buried myself in academia for years before resurfacing in an artists commune in Italy in 2005 where I began writing again, initially stream of consciousness stuff after reading Ulysses, which I burnt, and then autobiographical stuff, again playing with form and consciousness in the context of trauma and pre-cognitive memory. This necessity of reflecting pain through immediacy dredged up a lot of stuff for me. As luck would have it, rather than thrusting me into woeful catharsis, it led me to writing a book on the history of soccer; I’d been pretty ordinary at it at school in Sheffield and the city was the home of football, possessing the oldest club in the world in any code, Sheffield FC. Called From Sheffield with Love, it was published in England in 2007. After that, I turned to the current fantasy series I’d been plotting for a number of years.

Tell us about BEYOND THE GLOAMING. What’s the story about?

It is Easter, 1973 and twelve year old Sebastian Duffy has some serious self-esteem issues. He is beaten by his parents, bullied at school, steals from his friends and still mourning the death of his brother. To cap it all, strange things have begun happening around him and he is finding it hard to distinguish dreams from reality. After a nightmarish assault, he wakes in the Gloaming, a shadow world inhabited by ghosts. There to greet him is Porrig, a creature from Hibercadia, a magical realm crafted from Celtic dreams. Inhabited by Fir Bolg, Tuath and Milesians, it has been overthrown by brother gods from another dreamworld. One brother, Phobitor, is a tyrant and even the Tuath, who took to their underground sidhe millennia ago, are concerned. Sebastian discovers that he alone can save Hibercadia by finding an enchanted spear. Teaming up with the Hibernauts—a mercurial sorceress, an orphaned druidess, a taciturn warrior, a snuff-sniffing leprechaun and a lovelorn poet—he embarks on a fantastical quest, but can he succeed when he is yet to find his magical potential or even his courage, and half the realm is bent on his destruction?

How did the idea of the story come to you?

As a child, I escaped into the magical world of books. It was this – this rare and noble alchemy compressed between the covers of a children’s book – that I longed to recreate. I’d been dipping in and out of Celtic mythology for years and wanted to write a book based loosely upon it. I began to construct Hibercadia – the world my characters inhabit – through developing its geography, language, politics, history etc. The storylines came easily and I had six books plotted out before I had begun on the first. I wanted to write a rip-roaring adventure series like the ones I had loved a as child, but I also wanted to portray a number of other things: the loneliness of childhood trauma; how children deal with grief; the soothing power of dreams and dissociation; the external forces acting on the moral and psychological landscape of a child turning teenager, and dislocation as therapy: what would happen when you removed a child from a vicious home life and placed them in a nurturing, but potentially more traumatic environment. The book is not only an homage to Celtic mythology, it’s also an allegory of the Irish troubles; I had grown up through much of it in the 1970’s, and my grandfather had been a lieutenant in the Irish Volunteers - later to be renamed the IRA - in the Easter Rising, in 1916.

Do you have a critique group/partner or beta readers, or do you self-edit?

The book has been through five major drafts. I do self-edit to a point, often after leaving the current version well alone for a few weeks, but the novel has also been through the hands of several beta readers and, more importantly three editors. I cannot overstate the importance of good editors.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

If I had to pick one, I'd say a plotter; Hibercadia was realised over a number of years and took a lot of concocting. The framework for the plots are also developed well in advance, though I apply some hybridity once I am actually writing a book, pantsing my way through some of the more complex story arcs. It is an utter joy when you pants your way to an elegant solution.

What do you absolutely have to have nearby when writing?

Tranquility

If you could have any super power, what would it be?

Curing my dying father

What's the weirdest thing you've googled?

Tough one. Maybe 'if a barn owl and a tawny owl had a scrap, who'd prevail?' I even got an answer, albeit an equivocal one: 'Far from certain, although tawny owls are much heavier, barn owls are far more agile and their long legs and talons would provide formidable opposition.' What a hoot.

Finish this sentence: If I'm not writing, I'm probably ... 

Plotting

And finally, where can people find you and your books online?


I have an author website at brendanmurphyauthor.com  while Beyond The Gloaming has its home at hibernauts.com . The book is available as paperback or ebook from many online retailers including Amazon (Kindle or paperback) Barnes and Nobel (Nook or paperback), The Book Depository (paperback), The Apple Store (iBook) and Kobo (ebook).


Praise for Beyond the Gloaming

 I cannot say just how much I have enjoyed this book; you are a very accomplished writer with a wonderfully rich imagination. Your use of the English language is amazing and your ability to create the many different speaking styles in the book and to maintain them is remarkable. You have an incredibly inventive mind and readers will come to love the many wonderful creations in this novel, it is jam-packed with the most wonderful and inventive characters; new, exciting and beautifully realised. ~The Oxford Editors  

 An imaginative epic...an intricate and fully realised fantasy world with a big cast of likeable characters that are charming, well drawn and endearing, with wonderfully apt names. The depth and breadth of your high-voltage imagination, and the richness of the world you create is very impressive. ~Sam Mills, author of Blackout, The Boys Who Saved the World, and The Quiddity of Will Self


Brendan  Author Brendan Murphy Brendan Murphy was raised in Sheffield, England, with dreams of becoming a writer, and has written every day since he was nine years old. After reading medicine in London and psychiatry in Manchester, he moved to Australia in 1999. He is an Associate Professor at Monash University and has written widely on youth mental health. His nonfiction work on the development of football in Victorian society, From Sheffield with Love, was published in 2007. He lives with his wife, Katrina, and their children, Sebastian and Violette, in a sprawling property built for the composer, Dorian Le Gallienne. They share their garden with a mob of kangaroos, a wombat, two possums, any number of creepy crawlies, and some very feisty kookaburras. In 2013, he was signed to Assent Publishing for a six-book deal. Beyond the Gloaming, the first Sebastian and the Hibernauts adventure, will be published by Assent imprint, Phantasm Books in 2014.


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 $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 11/28/14 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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1 comment:

P V Ariel said...

Hi Elizabeth,
It's really a wonderful experience to read this informative piece.
You did ask well knitted questions and the author did answer aptly!
I am so glad that i landed here today to read this informative piece from a wonderful author.
Thanks for presenting the prolific author Brendan Murphy,
May you have a great weekend
Regards to you and Brendan Murphy
Best
~ Phil
PS: please remove this word verification its difficult to post comment. Thanks