Please help me welcome Author Victoria Christopher Murray to my channel. It is a pleasure to have her here on my blog. Welcome.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
- Wow! This is such a big question. Okay, I’ll start by saying that I’m a woman who loves God, her family and friends and…writing. I love to write and I love to read.
What do you do when you are not writing?
- Oh, gosh, there are so many things. I love to read, I love to work out, I love to edit other people and then, there’s my family. I love spending time with them as well as my friends.
Do you have a day job as well?
- My day job is writing. I’ve been writing full time for 22 years. That is a hallelujah revelation because it’s hard to stay in this business that long.
When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?
- I started writing when I was seven, but I finished my first novel, Temptation in 1997.
How did you choose the genre you write in?
- I didn’t choose a genre and even today, I don’t think about my books in any particular genre. I’ve been called a romance writer, a mystery writer, a Christian writer. What I call myself is a heart writer. Whatever is in my heart at the time, I write it. Now, God will always be in my books because He’s always in my life. But I write to the story, not to the genre.
Where do you get your ideas?
- I never struggle for ideas at all. I once heard Michael Jackson say that every song he was ever going to write was already inside of him when he was born…and his job was to get all the songs out. That’s how I feel. The stories are like seeds inside of me. And at different times they sprout up. The ideas are part of the gift. God gave me a gift to write and He would never give an incomplete gift.
Do you work with an outline, or just write?
- I used to just write, but recently, I’ve been working more from an outline.
Is there any author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
- Richard Wright really inspired me as a teen and Yolanda Joe’s Falling Leaves of Ivy is the book that really got me moving when I was an adult.
Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
- I decided to self publish my first book, so just months after I finished writing, I published it. I sold 9,000 copies in six months and found an agent right away. It did take my agent two years to sell the book because publishers weren’t sure where my books would fit in. But my first book was published by Time Warner in 2000 and in 2004, I moved to Simon and Schuster and have been there since.
Who are some of your favorite authors that you feel were influential in your work?
- I don’t think anyone has influenced my work. But authors like Richard Wright, Maya Angelou and others showed me that African Americans could write.
What do you think is the future of reading/writing?
- I have no idea, but I can’t imagine that people will ever stop reading. There is something that reading gives you that watching television does not.
Do you write more by logic or intuition, or some combination of the two? Summarize your writing process.
- Hmmm….not sure that I understand this question. I write from my heart. And I don’t really have a process. I fill out character resumes for my characters, then do a sketchy outline and then, I write. I try to write every day and when it’s close to my deadline, I’m miserable writing 15 + hours a day.
What is your role in the writing community?
- My role is as an author. And now having all these years behind me, I try my best to give guidance to others. I love to edit because that gives me a chance to teach one on one.
How does your book relates to your spiritual practice or other life path?
- In all of my books, God is a character because He’s in my daily life.
How has your environment & upbringing colored your writing?
- I think I write about strong families because I was raised by my mom and dad who taught me that I could do anything. Because of my educational background, I tend to write about women like the ones I know.
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
- Being a great mom.
What projects are you working on at the present?
- I’m working on the fourth book in the Seven Deadly Sins series that will be movies on Lifetime. Shaun Robinson and TD Jakes are the producers.
What do your plans for future projects include?
- I will be writing all seven of the deadly sins, so I still have: Gluttony, Pride and Slouth to do. I’m also so excited about a new project that I will be collaborating on with Marie Benedict. She’s a historical fiction writer and has asked me to join her in fictionalizing the story of Belle da Costa Greene, a woman who worked for JP Morgan, especially in the establishing of his library. The only thing was that no one knew that Belle was black. She was passing. Heather and I are both so excited about this one.