The Art of Murder is in its third trimester, seeking only an “obstetrician”
in the form of a publisher—with the help of a “midwife,” also known as an agent.
My first novel ostensibly is a murder mystery conceived from painful physical
therapy, when knuckles broken a few months before were being pressed around
a wooden dowel. I’d just finished reading a sickening scene from Sue Grafton’s
N is for Noose. Kinsey’s knuckle being broken sounded like “...the hollow pop
of a raw carrot being snapped.” Shuddering from the awesome description—and
painful memory of that sound—my physical therapy experience generated a novel
plot. I implored Ms. Grafton to consider using the story line. She responded: “Other
people’s ideas never seem to come home to roost,” and encouraged me to write the novel.
[Apologies for the extended insult finger, but the broken ones offended much more.]
An email to Aaron Elkins, author of “the skeleton detective” series, got a response that he
did not read the message, as he didn’t want to be influenced by another’s idea. Undaunted,
I wrote between the lines and Dr. Elkins responded: “You sly devil. You snunk it in on me.”
He too nudged me to write, gave encouragement that the plot was sound.
With encouragement from two Edgar Award-earning authors, I started
writing longhand, as I couldn’t type with deformed fingers. Within a year,
I had 200 pages but was too wrapped up in details, not advancing the story.
Though The Art of Murder is classified as a mystery, it examines the economic
caste system in America, so prevalent in Miami. Many talented people work two
jobs or so many hours that they can’t devote time to their craft, whether painting
portraits or sculpting. In my case, a mind-numbing job of summarizing medical
records prevented creative writing—until the spinal injury permanently ended that
career. The injury allowed time for reading, which provided the opportunity to review
books. And that led to writing. For each adverse event, good eventually came from
it. Why? Because I learned from adversity and endeavored to help others learn from
To that effect, the injury that allowed time for reading and writing has been somewhat
alleviated. A fourth surgery was an attempt to correct years of damage to nerve
roots exiting the spine. Six three-inch titanium screws and four rods fused three
vertebrae where two ruptured disks were replaced with ceramic cement. The image
to the right is the first installment payment made to the surgeon. Three more to go!
Some of my favorite short stories have been published online and in print.
Through a Child’s Eyes examines how in 1958 racial injustice affected me.
Over the Rainbow tells how a man deals with his wife’s Alzheimer’s.
The Big Hug is a nonfiction tale about realizing how “you get what you give.”
As “the new kid on the blog,” my articles written for The Florida Writer
are adapted for FWA Network’s Blog. Some Blog postings follow.
The Power of Words
Timothy Hallinan & Mary Burton On Writing
Don’t SOTP Proofreading
Four-Letter Words: Don’t Use Them
What Your Reviews Can Mean to Books
A simple way to become known...
When I bump my head against dreaded Writer’s Block, I overcome it by posting reviews on TripAdvisor,
found at DeanMurphy2020, symbolizing my 20/20 view of the sites I encounter.
If The Art of Murder, an Evan Goode Mystery is in its third trimester, Two Bodies is an embryonic 30-page outline. Set in Panama, reporters Evan Knight Goode and Gaston Lowell are stranded in the rain forest, come across the most sought-after drug known to mankind. The mystery is the title. Are the titular bodies those of Evan and Gaston?
Writing a novel is not simply typing. Authors learn from mistakes—and by publishing every possible word.
Florida Writers Association published my short story, “Through A Child’s Eyes,” in Slices of Life, which
is available at the FWA Bookstore or Amazon, where it is reviewed, and republished by Running Out of Ink.
The link below will take you to a two-minute video. It regards the power of words, a lesson for
writers. A reworded sign makes a tremendous difference, something that touches the soul
of any writer. This is why I write, to make a positive change in people’s lives. Click on the
following link to see the touching example of how structuring words can make a difference.
Please forward the following link to everyone you know. Thank you.
The Power of Words.
The following novels are works-in-progress and the covers are proposed. The publisher will make the final decision.
If you have ideas for cover art, I’d enjoy seeing the suggestions. Thank you for visiting my website.