Friday, September 12, 2014

Meet Jim Murdoch

Good morning everyone!  It is great to see you all today!  You are in for a real treat!  I have the author, Jim Murdoch here to speak about his spectacular series Dragons and Visions, in which book 2, Dragon Song, is being released later this month.  This story is mystical and takes the reader on a journey into a world of revelation and adventure.  There is much more to this story than what the surface reveals.  Get ready to go beyond your imagination.  Check out the trailer for the first book, Pursuit below.

"Dreams of dragons, a mysterious book, a strange ring and three lives."

"Pursuit" Book Trailer

Tell the readers a little bit about yourself.

I grew up in Belfast, Northern Ireland, during the worst of the Troubles. By the time I was 25 I had pursued a religious career with a three year theology training and was married to my sweetheart from Switzerland. We eventually moved to Switzerland, where we raised four sons and where we still live together. About 10 years ago I moved away from religion to pursue a deeper, more personal spirituality. This led to personal development courses and trainings and to my first book; "Wings of Change", a self-help book where my wife and I discuss the changes we both went through. Part of that book contains a parable, a fictionalized story of our experiences using a family of geese. This was when I first began to think about combining self-help and spiritual values into fiction. I had always wanted to write, but I guess the time and experience wasnt ripe until now. So last year, 2013, I self-published my first visionary fiction novel, Pursuit - a story of dragons, dreams, discoveries and destiny, and in September this year, 2014 part 2, Dragon Song, will be released.

What is your story about?

It follows Patrick Ferguson in his discovery of an inner world where he is able at first to communicate with dragons. Later he learns how meditation into the inner consciousness opens up other channels of communication. The first volume also introduces Einarr, a young Irish warrior who sets out to find his treasure and meets his own dragons. Patricks Aunt Gaby comes into the story as a little girl who loves reading and finds an old mysterious book on a market stall. It is this book which connects all three including some magical artifacts found on the way. In book 2, Dragon Song, an ancient conflict between dragons and serpents raises its ugly head, but the real conflict wont play out until book 3. However, this conflict is only a part of the story. It is really about people, how they react, what they learn, and how they advance in their own development, and because its fantasy, how they use the skills and powers they acquire along the way. These traits I believe to be innate human possibilities. I also integrate real objects and mysterious places around the world as I offer alternative explanations as to their origin and use.

What traits were you looking for when you were creating the main character for this story?

Patrick, known mostly as Pat, had to be a skeptic. In spite of the glaring evidence he sees personally and in spite of his own inner experiences, he still finds it hard to grasp the alternative reality he has witnessed. He is smart and a loving husband and father, and he does not want anything to shake his little world. Of course it does.

Did you do any types of writing while you were in school?  If so, did you receive any awards or recognition for your work?

In secondary school, I had a few of my short stories read out in class because the teacher thought they were good. I am puzzled as to why our English teacher didnt suggest I pursue writing as a possible career.

Was there anyone, in your life who was an inspiration for you to write?   If so, what did they do?

No, the inspiration to write comes from within. The desire to write has been with me all my life. Now I write when a story hits me. I surf the Internet looking for interesting ideas and sometimes something will stand out as a possible inclusion into my stories.

Me:  Inside is the best place to get your inspiration for anything.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?  Can you elaborate on what has worked for you?

I write from the heart. I write about what inspires and moves me. If it makes me laugh or smile, or if it makes me cry or get angry, then what I write is working for me and I am sure it will do the same for the readers. My stories are not always so planned out. I get an idea, make some notes, decided on where to begin and more or less where to end. Then I begin writing. What transpires is entirely up to my characters. In Dragon Song someone dies, but it surprised me that that someone was not who I thought it would be. The story emerges mostly as I write. When I get stuck with a scene I have found that simply writing brings more inspiration and so the story often unfolds before my fingertips.

What do you like to do when you are not writing?

Reading. I get ideas from other books too, or now that I am a writer, I am fascinated at how other writers put their stories together. I also like to walk and hike. I live near a mountain lake and that is so refreshing to be able to walk along the plops and splash of mountain water and see the swans and ducks do their thing. Travelling beyond the lake, of course, is something I like to do. I would like to visit some of our planet's most mystical places and perhaps use them in future stories. 

I am also a Toastmaster. This is a great place for inspiration and meeting new people. Toastmasters International is a worldwide organization encouraging public speaking and leadership. I sometimes speak about my books at our meetings.

Me:  I'm encouraging you to write this story.  A visit to other planets is a journey that many are going to enjoy.

Can you tell us more about your involvement with Toastmasters?

I've been a Toastmaster for 5 years. I joined a club in Zurich to improve my speaking skills and self-confidence. It offers many opportunities not only to speak, but also to lead. I have served as a club officer in various positions, was Area Governor which involved training other officers, helped start a new advanced club and became its first president. Toastmaster meetings are fun and exciting places to be, where I get to meet new and interesting people from all walks of life and many nationalities. We have fun contests every year where each contestant has the chance to move up to the international finals and become a World Champion Speaker. I have competed, but I haven't yet got beyond the second level. If that sounds interesting to you, why not go along to your local club for a visit.

Me:  This sounds very interesting.  We all know as authors any chance to speak is promotion for our work.   

What type of music do you like to listen to when you are writing?

Mystical! Are you surprised? David and Diane Arkenstones music has often given me that edge of mystery and excitement I like to feel while I am writing. Anything similar like traditional Irish, Native American Indian or New Age meditation music usually gets me into the mood.

Me:  I too enjoy Native American music.  Check out Jerry Crocker’s  “Wood and Gold, Silver and Clay.”  It is an older album that is one of my faves in Native American music. 

What has been your favorite part of being an author?  The least fave?

My favorite part of being an author and is the creation of a world, its characters and events. It is also a thrill to see how others enjoy what I write. My least fave part is the editing. This is a very necessary part of writing and no writer should shun from the task. I edit my own work first before having some volunteer proofreaders kindly give a read though. It then goes to a professional editor and more proof reading before I am happy to release it to the public eye.

What has been the strangest thing a reader has asked you?

Am I going to be in your book? Seriously, I hear people I just meet for the first time and they find out I am a writer. I am tempted to say, Yes, but youre going to die a horrible death. But I dont say it. There is a growing trend, though, of authors giving their readers the chance to be in their next book or to suggest a character for the book. I am open to suggestions, but will make no promises.

Where would you go for your dream vacation?  Would you ever use that location as the main location in a future story?

As already mentioned, visiting some mystical place like India and some of the ancient, mysterious megalithic sites would be on the top of my list. China is also a place of ancient mystery and I recently received an invitation to visit. And of course, such places stand a good chance of appearing in a future book.

What is in the works next for you?  If you cant share, I totally understand and respect this.

Well, Book 2, Dragon Song, is already finished and soon to be published. Next comes Book 3 with the continuation of the story. I am constantly gathering ideas which may become a part of the current or next story. In Book 3 Pat will still have a major part to play, but a new main character will emerge and lead the reader into new adventures. Thats all I can say about that. The story will introduce more human potential to give the reader something more to contemplate. Occasionally Ill get a story idea which may be stuff for another story, and not part of the current Dragons and Visions series. Some of that is science fiction, but I will always want to bring some element of human love, potential and inner strength in order to inspire my readers to be better human beings.

Me:  Wow.  This is so impressive!   Before you read his incredible excerpt from Dragon Song, check out these interviews in which he speaks more about Pursuit:

Here is an excerpt from "Dragon Song":

     Pat had fallen asleep on the couch with baby Susy sleeping on his chest. Holding the baby, he slowly sat up.
"You were calling for the cavalry," laughed Jenny. "What were you dreaming?"
"Oh, was I?" Pat rubbed his face. He didn't want to repeat his dream and worry Jenny. "Wow! I was really gone, wasn't I?" He diverted. "I didn't know where I was for a moment." Looking at Jenny he laughed, "The cavalry, eh? I wonder what I needed them for."
"Who knows? Have you got everything packed?"
"Yes, I don't need much. I'll only have a carry-on bag." Checking his watch, he got up and passed the baby to Jenny. "Its almost time to go. I'll get ready."
Pat was troubled by his dream. It had been so real that it felt as if it had already happened. He wondered if he was getting a premonition. No, it must be the stress getting to me. It was just a weird dream, that's all. Yet it still troubled him because it all fitted into what he was about to do, visit Aunt Gaby in London. Aunty had worn the pendant in his dream and he had worn the ring. These two items were still somewhat mysterious to him. Aunty had given him the ring months earlier, before his daughter was born, and right after his mind-blowing discovery in a cave in the mountain peak called, Mount Pilatus. After a series of strange dreams he had felt compelled to go up that mountain, which was not far from his home in Zug, Switzerland. What he found there still troubled him.
He had discovered, what could only be, the bodily remains of Pontius Pilate, the Roman Governor responsible for Christ's crucifixion and whose corpse, a later Christianized Roman Bishopric, didn't want buried in Saint Peter's city. The book of Einarr, which Aunty had given him, was an old mysterious book of unknown origin that told of the young Irish Warrior, Einarr, and his journey in pursuit of treasure, a treasure which his father had ensured him would make him very powerful. But what Einarr had discovered was not a treasure of gold and silver. Einarr's treasure was the knowledge that he had an inner being which dwelt in what was called: the Inside. Einarr had met a dragon in this Inside place and later met the real thing in the same mountain cave where Pat had found the corpse. Einarr had learned from the dragon how to face his fears, those tormenting memories from his past, and to emerge stronger and more confident from his Inside experience. In this same cave Pat had faced his own dark past, having also been guided by a dragon on the Inside, a dragon named, Rich.
There had been something that Pat had read in the book which had driven him up the mountain, the mention of Einarr's dragon dying in that cave. His own visions of dragons and their talking about an Inside place made Pat want to see the proof with his own eyes. He was dumbfounded by his find. With the aid of another vision, as he had rested on the mountain trail, Pat had been guided to the entrance to a hidden cave. Inside was the remains of Pilate and not far away the skeletal remains of a creature which could only have been a dragon. These discoveries had convinced Pat that what he had read in Aunty's old book was true. However, this find had created a thousand unanswered questions in Pat's mind. Why was he having these visions? How come he just happened to live close to the mountain of Einarr's travels? Why was his sister, Ann, also dreaming of dragons? And much more.
All that had happened months ago. It had started when his finance company was closed down due to his bogus partner's illegal activities. Pat and their clients had all lost their money and Jonathan, his former partner, had disappeared. Pat had gotten a few jobs making presentations for a friend, earning enough to get by. Now, with a six month old daughter and being a few weeks before Christmas, Aunt Gaby had insisted Pat make a brief visit to her home in England in order to go over some documents and look at her estate. She wanted Pat to manage her assets. That's where he was going now and it had all seemed harmless until this dream occurred. It troubled him because it pointed to events yet to happen.

This is definitely a story to check out.  I want to thank Jim for stopping by to chat.  His new story, "Dragon Song", will be out this month.  Be sure to check out Jim's links, including his blog.

Jim's Facebook Page

Also, take a look at these book reviews for his book,  "Pursuit."  FYI Buffy is a reviewer and would love to hear from authors.  So take a visit to this site. 

Until Next Time,


Before you go take a look at my links:


No comments:

Post a Comment