Join us as we continue to discuss The Wolf Queen and ask author Cerece Rennie Murphy questions about her process, her characters, the plot, and everything in between. What inspires you to write?
Almost all of the stories I have written come to me in either a vision or a dream – sometimes in a flash – other times fully formed from top to bottom. When they do come I am so grateful. There is no way I couldn’t try to bring them to full fruition on the page. I assume that’s why they came to me. At the heart of that commitment is a simple and abiding love of stories. Small ones. Big ones. It doesn’t matter. A story – any story – that touches you is a blessing and as long as I have a story in my heart, I will tell it.
Is there a particular book or series that really inspired you to be a writer yourself one day?
Not really. I think mostly because I never thought I would be a writer. I grew up reading and loving the work of Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, John Donne, Alexander Pope, Octavia Butler, and Frank Herbert, but I never thought I would share a profession with any of them – as a poet, a writer. I can’t imagine anyone picking up Octavia Butler’s Wild Seed and thinking, “Oh yeah. I can totally do that!” I’m so glad I never read any of those stories with the aspiration of being a writer. I would have been too intimidated. But I do love a good story, so when I was given one, I had enough humility and respect for the miracle of it to try to write it down.
I can write anywhere really. Most of my books have been written in my house, specifically in my office, at my desk or on my purple couch. I don’t really need anything, but a good pen or pencil, some paper, and quiet. I usually start with an outline because I’m a planner. I need to know how the story is going to work before I start. I just don’t have the spiritual fortitude to write 50,000 words then throw them out. I can’t do it. Once I have an outline, I write each chapter, usually, in the same order they will appear in the book. I write long-hand, so the process takes longer than it should, but the words come to me more easily that way. In my soul, I am an analog girl.
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