26 October 2019

Special Guest Interview with Susie Murphy, Author of A Class Entwined


Available on Amazon UK and Amazon US

Trapped in a loveless marriage far from home, Bridget does what she can to fill her lonely days. She throws herself into charitable work, but her cherished daughter, Emily, is her only true source of happiness.

I'm pleased to welcome author Susie Murphy to The Writing Desk:

Tell us about your latest book

A Class Entwined is the second book in my historical fiction series A Matter of Class, the first book of which is called A Class Apart (published July 2018). Beginning in Ireland in 1828, the series is set on a manor estate in County Carlow and follows the relationship between Bridget Muldowney, a landowner’s daughter, and Cormac McGovern, a stable hand’s son. They were childhood friends but as adults their class differences present a barrier to any kind of friendship between them. 

However, despite Bridget's engagement to a wealthy English gentleman and the interference of her domineering mother, Bridget and Cormac still find themselves drawn to each other. The series poses the question: can love overcome the social class divide? A Class Apart begins when Bridget returns to the manor estate for a single summer after having spent seven years away in Dublin, while A Class Entwined deals with the consequences of what happens that summer. The story will continue in the third book, A Class Forsaken (coming 2020).

What is your preferred writing routine?

I don’t actually have any specific writing routine. The past year was pretty hectic for me as I changed jobs twice, moved house twice, and published two books, so really my attitude to writing has been to simply fit it in any time of the day that works!

What advice do you have for new writers?

Be patient. You may want to get your books out there as quickly as possible but it’s worth waiting and making them the best they can be before submitting them to agents/publishers. If you choose to go down the self-publishing route, I would definitely advise seeking a professional editor’s opinion on your writing. If you can’t afford a full edit of your book, then at least get a manuscript assessment which shouldn’t cost as much but will still point you in the right direction. That’s what I did before I published my books and it was the best decision I made.

What have you found to be the best way to raise awareness of your books?

This is a tricky one because I’m still struggling to be successful in this area! I think reaching out to book reviewers for my book launches was helpful as it spread the net of awareness wider when their reviews went out to their readers. I do think engaging with other writers and with readers is very important and so rewarding as well – there’s a really wonderful community out there. I’m also studying an online advertising course at the moment and am hoping to put what I’ve learned into action very soon, so we’ll see how that goes!

Tell us something unexpected you discovered during your research

I was a bit lax when it came to historical research back at the very beginning, so by the time I came to my senses and started properly researching the time period of my books, I encountered a number of historical facts which caused me unexpected difficulties. There were several aspects of inheritance law that had the potential to ruin the entire premise of A Class Apart, but I managed to makes some adjustments without sacrificing the original storyline. 

Then, in doing my research for A Class Entwined, I stumbled upon the New Poor Law of 1834 which wouldn’t have posed any problem if it had only been introduced two years later. It necessitated a good deal of rewriting but I succeeded in both amending the story and keeping the historical elements accurate. Needless to say, I now do meticulous research before writing anything!

What was the hardest scene you remember writing?

Essentially, rewriting two whole books. Back in 2015, I almost had success in getting traditionally published – an acquisitions editor was really interested in taking on A Class Apart but her associate editor unfortunately turned it down. I received feedback from both of them which alerted me to several things I could improve on in relation to both my standard of writing and the construction of the whole story. 

However, it would mean a huge revision of the first two books in my series which I had believed were already in good shape. This was so hard to accept because I knew it would mean taking a step back from trying to get published for a very long time. In the end, the rewriting process took eighteen months. But I’m so glad I took the time to do it because I feel it made the series much better overall. Getting that rejection in 2015 was the best thing that could have happened!

What are you planning to write next?

I am currently working on the third book in my series, A Class Forsaken. It continues Bridget and Cormac’s story, where the timeline has now reached 1836. I aim to publish it in 2020. This whole series was originally intended to be just one book but my characters have insisted that there will now be at least seven volumes in the series.

Thank you very much for having me as a guest, Tony!

Susie Murphy

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About the Author

Susie Murphy is an Irish historical fiction author. She loves historical fiction so much that she often wishes she had been born two hundred years ago. Still, she remains grateful for many aspects of the modern age, including women’s suffrage, electric showers and pizza. Susie wrote her first ‘novel’ when she was eleven – entitled The Rabbits’ Journey, it was eleven pages long and an unashamed plagiarism of Watership Down. At age sixteen, Susie put pen to paper on the story that would eventually become A Class Apart but it took another sixteen years before she published it. She promises it won’t take sixteen years to write every other book in her A Matter of Class series. You can find out more at www.susiemurphywrites.com, and you can connect with Susie on Facebook, InstagramGoodreads and Twitter @susiemwrites. If you would like to keep up with news of Susie’s books, you can also subscribe to her newsletter here.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for having me as a guest on The Writing Desk, Tony!

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