Hello, my bookish divas and divos. I’m always interested in learning what makes authors tick, so to speak. What makes them feel compelled to write? Why do they write the stories they write? Today, I’m honored to host a visit by Peter Murphy, author of the recently released The Last Weekend of the Summer and more, and he’ll be revealing his path to becoming a writer. Ladies and gents, I give you Mr. Peter Murphy.
Looking back, I suppose it was inevitable that I should end up as a writer.
I was born in Killarney, Ireland, the youngest of six boys who ranged from four to sixteen years older than me. My mother was a woman of intellect and in another time might not have been “harnessed” with a family. She was inspiring but had a sharp tongue and little patience for fools—and on occasion children. Her peer group included women who went on to have a profound impact on Ireland in their various fields, law, literature, education, and politics. She died many years ago but she would have been proud of what I became; as well as a vibrant critic as she was a bit of a cultural snob.
My father was once a charming fellow who succumbed to alcoholism and made life hell on earth for my family. But he had one gift—he was a great storyteller. In those times when he tried to reconnect with all that he was losing, I was treated to bedtime stories of such vibrancy that I remembered every detail when I shared them with my own children.
Growing up, our house was like a dusty old library. There were books everywhere. On tables, on chairs, on window ledges and, of course, in the bathroom. My mother would not allow television. She often declared, with a sniff and quick flick of her head, that television would make the world a far more stupid place. Instead, we read and, as my older brothers had a very wide range of interests, I read a great variety of books—some of which might not have been age appropriate.
Like most families, we had our share of sibling rivalries and our choice in books became ammunition in the fiery debates that occurred. As the youngest, I was constantly negotiating shifting alliances and for the sake of inclusion, tried to read them all. And borrowed opinions on what I read until I was old enough to form my own. The result is that I tend to be genre-free in my reading and, I suppose, in my writing.
That said I devoured all of the Agatha Christie books I could find. I had a Len Deighton period, toured the old west with Louis L’Amour, had wonderful childhood summers with Enid Blyton, and when it was time to understand all things female, studied Jane Austen.
I struggled through Joyce and rewarded myself with the rest of the Irish mob, Flan O’Brien, James Stephens, the great and gracious Edna O’Brien who wrote what could not be said aloud back then. She was a bit dark but then there was the delightful Maeve Binchy who I met through my mother—back when she was just starting out.
I got serious for a while with the Germans, Hesse during my transcendental period, Mann when I began to “study” writing, and Heinrich Böll after I discovered a discarded copy of The Clown.
I enjoyed many laughs with P.G. Wodehouse and Tom Sharpe, indulged my love of legend and lore with Tolkien and Alan Garner, wandered through Sci-Fi, Religious, Irreligious, Political . . . The list goes on and on to this day.
The point of all of this is that I cannot define what genre I write in. I don’t even try anymore. I prefer to think of myself as a storyteller because that is what it is. I have the same view of most things we might call “art.” It is about telling a story through one media or another. I am happy with that and refrain from getting involved in the type of discussion where one might hear terms like “Literature,” “postmodern,” “metanarrative.” I think there are bigger problems in the world and I do confess to indulging in guilty pleasures like watching a favorite TV show but don’t tell my mother.
I have had, by accident and by design, a very interesting life so far. I have had my share of heartbreak and setback, but I think this journey we are on is remarkable—so remarkable that I have to tell stories about it.
Notwithstanding what I said early, my first novel, Lagan Love, was filed under literary fiction. It had to be. It was my homage to Dublin and the times I had lived in. I wrote it to keep a promise to my younger self. As a young man I spent hours in a pub called Grogan’s. It was, and remains, a literary type of place in that writers and other artsy types frequent it, along with the more down to earth. Lagan Love was conceived there and you can read about that here: http://peterdamienmurphy.blogspot.com/2012/11/the-story-behind-lagan-love.html.
Following that, I began a story about a young man with a very checkered future. After three different attempts to get the story started, I came to the realization that it had to be a trilogy and thus Born & Bred, Wandering In Exile, and All Roads were born. They tell the story of a life that was so disrupted by past events that the protagonist, Danny Boyle, almost misses out on all of the wonderful things his future tried to give him. It is not—and I repeat not—autobiographical although much of what happened in the story happened all around me, and to people I knew. It is the product of the very interesting times we live in.
With The Last Weekend of the Summer, I suppose I am paying direct homage to the institution that shapes most of us—family. For that is where we are formed and that is where our most dominant influences come from. And, with the life I have had so far, something that I just had to write about.
The Last Weekend Of The Summer
by Peter Murphy
on Tour September 1 – October 31, 2018
They have been coming to their grandmother Gloria’s lake cottage since they were babies. Now Johnnie and Buddy have families of their own and C.C. has a life full of adult drama and adventure. And this trip – the only stated purpose of which is to bring the family together for the last weekend of the summer – seems full of portent. Gloria has been hinting that there’s more on the agenda than grilling and swimming, and when the three siblings learn that their estranged father will also be in attendance, it becomes clear that this weekend will have implications that last far beyond the final days of the season.
A touching, incisive view into the dynamics of a family on the verge of change and filled with characters both distinctive and utterly relatable, The Last Weekend of the Summer is a rich, lyrical reading experience that will resonate in your heart.
Genre: Literary Fiction
Published by: The Story Plant
Publication Date: August 28, 2018
Number of Pages: 224
ISBN: 1611882575 (ISBN13: 9781611882575)
Purchase Links: Amazon Barnes & Noble Goodreads
Peter Murphy was born in Killarney where he spent his first three years before his family had to move to Dublin. Growing up in the verdant braes of Templeogue, Peter was schooled by the De La Salle brothers in Churchtown where he played rugby for “The Wine and Gold.” He also played football (soccer) in secret! After that, he graduated and studied the Humanities in Grogan’s under the guidance of Scot’s corner and the bar staff, Paddy, Tommy, and Sean. Murphy financed his education by working summers on the buildings sites of London. He also tramped the roads of Europe playing music and living without a care in the world.
But his move to Canada changed all of that. He only came over for a while and ended up living there for more than thirty years. He took a day job and played music in the bars at night until the demands of family life intervened. Having raised his children and packed them off to university, Murphy answered the long-ignored internal voice and began to write. He has published five novels so far and has begun work on a new one. Nowadays, he lives in beautiful Lisbon with his wife Eduarda and their well-read dog, Baxter.
Connect with Peter at:
– Twitter – PeterD_Murphy
– Facebook – PeterDMurphyAuthor
Tour Host Participants:
Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!
This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Providence Book Promotions for The Story Plant and Peter Murphy. There will be 5 winners of one (1) copy of Lagan Love by Peter Murphy (eBook). The giveaway begins on September 1, 2018, and runs through November 1, 2018. Void where prohibited.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thank you for your interest in this tour!