Cerece Rennie Murphy

National bestselling author Cerece Rennie Murphy fell in love with writing and science fiction at an early age. It’s a love affair that has grown ever since. In 2012, Mrs. Murphy published the first book in what would become the Order of the Seers sci-fi trilogy. Mrs. Murphy has since published ten books and short stories, including her latest release and first fantasy series, The Wolf Queen.

In addition to releasing the 2nd book in The Wolf Queen duology, Mrs. Murphy and her son are also working on completing Ellis and The Cloud Kingdom, the 3rd book in the award-winning Ellis and the Magic Mirror early reader children’s book series. Mrs. Murphy lives and writes in her hometown of Washington, DC with her husband, two children and the family dog, Yoda. To learn more about the author and her upcoming projects, please visit her website at www.cerecerenniemurphy.com.

BPM: Please, share something our readers wouldn’t know about you.
Your readers might be shocked to know that while I have always loved reading and books, my first language is dance. It is my truest, purest self. When I was a kid, I wanted to be Judith Jamison and Mikhail Baryshnikov all in one.

 

BPM: If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?
Shy. Creative. Determined.

 

BPM: Is writing your full-time career? How much time do you spend writing?
It is. When I am writing (as opposed to marketing, researching, exhibiting, or focusing on production), I write about 4-6 hours a day.

 

BPM: Tell us about your first published book. What was the journey like?
My first published book was Order of the Seers and the journey of writing it and publishing it were two totally different experiences. Writing the book was such fun. I just dove into this world. I had no idea if anyone would read it (and no real plans to publish it) so the experience was just really relaxed and joyful. On the other hand, publishing it was absolutely nerve-racking. I had so many self-doubts combined with a mountain of absolutely unrealistic expectations. It was a dangerous and very defeating combination. I remember being so crushed that the book didn’t become an instant bestseller, even though I barely told a soul about the book. LOL!

 

BPM: Introduce us to your most recent work. Available on Nook and Kindle?
My latest novel is The Wolf Queen: The Promise of Aferi. The Promise of Aferi completes The Wolf Queen duology which follows the journey of Ameenah Yemini, a young woman who after years of rebuilding her life from a terrible tragedy is confronted with a secret that shatters the quiet comfort of her existence – bringing a long lost hope and a new destiny to light.

Book II finds Ameenah struggling to understand her place in a magical world she can no longer deny. But, time is not on her side. While she is just discovering the potential of the magic in her blood, the Hir has sought the power of the Amasiti all his life and has every intention of taking her birthright for himself. To stop him from assuming control over her power and the land she loves, she must learn to go beyond the legacy of her ancestors and build a new coalition of creatures and men with the will to come together and fight behind their true Queen.

 

BPM: Can you share with us something about the book that isn’t in the blurb?
The setting of the Wolf Queen is very much inspired by the culture, language, and traditions of ancient northeast Africa, specifically Ethiopia, but I got the idea for the story from listening to an audiobook of Nelson Mandela’s Favorite African Folktales.

 

BPM: Give us some insight into your main characters or speakers. What makes each one so special?
What I love about Ameenah Yemini, the main heroine of the story is that she comes from a place of such isolation and slowly finds a space within the larger world. The stranger her surroundings become, the more she feels that she belongs. I know that feeling intimately. I also love how every character she encounters pushes Ameenah in a different way, showing her different aspects of what it means to belong to something more than yourself.

 

BPM: Does one of the main characters hold a special place in your heart? If so, why?
Honestly, I couldn’t pick a favorite. Each one of them is special to me for different reasons, but if I had to pick one to highlight here, I’d probably talk about Nasir, because I love the way he loves Ameenah. It is very hard for him to watch her walk away from him, but he loves her with an open hand and I admire the strength it takes for him to do that. He knows he can’t rescue her. She has to do that herself.

 

BPM: Did you learn anything personal from writing your book?
Oh, so much! Though the spark for this book began with discovering, then questioning this folktale that I was listening to, the story really allowed me to explore my own feelings and questions about the role of women in society and how we came to struggle so much to have a place of respect in the world we quite literally gave life to. Through the Wolf Queen, I got to delve into those questions quite deeply and come up with a resolution that not only fit the story but healed a bit of my soul.

 

BPM: When developing a new book, what comes first, the plot or characters?
I think the plot comes first. I see what’s happening to them and I want to know why so I start asking questions. Through those questions, the story and the characters are revealed.

 

BPM: Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot-driven or character-driven?
My book ideas come to me in visions and dreams mostly. I just start to see the story in my head. Even though I usually start with the story, I don’t think I’ve ever written a story that wasn’t character-driven. The focus is always on the journey the characters take.

 

BPM: What did you enjoy most about writing and developing the characters for this book?
I just love when my characters trust me enough to tell me their secrets, the things that really make them move through the world in a certain way. I consider getting to know them a great honor.

 

BPM: Is writing easy for you? Do you feel lonely being a writer during the creative process?
Writing is an absolute joy, a place of pure discovery and escape for me. Even when my hands are sore from writing longhand, I love it. I’m never lonely when I’m writing. I’m surrounded by my characters.

 

BPM: Tell us a little about your creative process. Do you use a computer or write out the story by hand?
I am an analog girl all the way, so I write my stories by hand then dictate them into my phone using Dragon Anywhere. Then I send it to my email and cut and paste it into a Word document. It is an incredibly inefficient process, but I can’t get it done any other way.

 

BPM: How much planning goes into writing a book in general?
Lots. I write a detailed story and chapter outline before I get started writing a single word. I have to see the road map before I start writing because I can’t imagine getting halfway through a book THEN realizing that something major doesn’t work. I’d probably have a nervous breakdown. LOL! So I spend a lot of time planning the story. By the time I’m ready to write the book, most of the thinking and plotting has been done. All I have to do is be with my characters.

 

BPM: How long does it take to complete one of your books?
About a year from outline to finished book.

 

BPM: How much ‘world-building’ takes place before you start writing?
Almost all of it. I literally can’t write without it. I can tell I haven’t done it well when I get to a scene and I can’t see it. I don’t know what the room looks like or the road because I haven’t gone deep enough into the world.

 

BPM: How do you feel when someone disagrees with something you have written?
It’s always a little sad, but I respect their right to disagree with me. Reading is a very subjective experience. The story they want to read may not be the story I wrote. That’s ok. I wish them luck with the next book, but keep doing my thing.

 

BPM: What were the key challenges you faced when writing this book?
I’m always pressed for time. I have two young kids and I write primarily when they are at school. So when they get sick or school closes for a snow day, it throws my whole schedule off. Dealing with the unpredictability of life with kids is my constant challenge.

 

BPM: How has writing impacted your life?
It’s opened up a whole new world of creativity inside me and forced me to get out of my comfort zone in a whole new way. I used to be terrified of public speaking, but after meeting literally thousands of readers all over the country, I can honestly say that I don’t even think about it anymore. It’s almost second nature.

 

BPM: What projects are you working on at the present?
Besides the release of The Wolf Queen: The Promise of Aferi, I am working on completing the 3rd book in the Ellis and The Magic Mirror series and a short story. I am also working on a plan to expand my online platform NARAZU to include a robust marketplace where sci-fi fans can find excellent books, art, film, and comics made by independent artists.

 

BPM: What advice would you give aspiring writers that would help them finish a project when so many ideas are running together?
Focus. You’ll have time to get to the next book, but first you have to finish the one you’re working on!

 

BPM: Do you have a Goodreads, LibraryThing, BookBub™ or Facebook community?
Not really. I do have the following pages.

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/cerece-rennie-murphy

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6094167.Cerece_Rennie_Murphy

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Cerece-Rennie-Murphy-205753729546299

BPM: Please share all of your social media links so we can connect with you.
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CereceRMurphy
Website: https://www.cerecerenniemurphy.com
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/cerecermurphy
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cerecermurphy
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/cerece-rennie-murphy
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6094167.Cerece_Rennie_Murphy
Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/Cerece-Rennie-Murphy-205753729546299

 

 


 

 

About The Wolf Queen Duology
The Wolf Queen duology follows the journey of Ameenah Yemini, a young woman who after years of rebuilding her life from a terrible tragedy is confronted with a secret that shatters the quiet comfort of her existence – bringing a long lost hope and a new destiny to light. Inspired by the culture, language, and traditions of ancient northeast Africa, the story explores themes of female divinity, elemental magic, belonging, and the many layers of personal identity.

Book II finds Ameenah struggling to understand her place in a magical world she can no longer deny. But, time is not on her side. While she is just discovering the potential of the magic in her blood, the Hir has sought the power of the Amasiti all his life and has every intention of taking her birthright for himself. To stop him from assuming control over her power and the land she loves, she must both reclaim the legacy of her people and build a new coalition of creatures and men with the will to come together and fight behind their true Queen.

Book Review:
“An imaginative, immersive fantasy [with] beautiful details, exciting action, and a chillingly evil villain.”
– Laurie Forest, Author of The Black Witch Chronicles

Meet the Author
National bestselling author Cerece Rennie Murphy fell in love with writing and science fiction at an early age. It’s a love affair that has grown ever since. In 2012, Mrs. Murphy published the first book in what would become the Order of the Seers sci-fi trilogy. Mrs. Murphy has since published ten books and short stories, including her latest release and first fantasy series, The Wolf Queen.

In addition to releasing the 2nd book in The Wolf Queen duology, Mrs. Murphy and her son are also working on completing Ellis and The Cloud Kingdom, the 3rd book in the award-winning Ellis and the Magic Mirror early reader children’s book series. Mrs. Murphy lives and writes in her hometown of Washington, DC with her husband, two children and the family dog, Yoda. To learn more about the author and her upcoming projects, please visit her website at www.cerecerenniemurphy.com.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CereceRMurphy
Website: https://www.cerecerenniemurphy.com
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/cerecermurphy
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cerecermurphy
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Cerece-Rennie-Murphy-205753729546299

 

 

 

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