About Miriam Murcutt:
I'm a former journalist and editor with a lot of experience in the publishing industry. I have an MA in English Literature. With a colleague, I ran a small magazine publishing company (now sold), and currently work full-time as a writer. I'm the author of five books published in seven countries. Because I believe that many individual's life stories are worth preserving, I'm a volunteer interviewer for a Carnegie Library oral history archive. Also, I'm a member of the Authors Guild and the Independent Book Publishers Association.
What inspires you to write?
I write fiction and narrative non-fiction. In either case, it's a story I hear, a place I visit, a person I meet, an event I attend, which triggers my interest in writing a book. After that, the writing follows different routes.
What authors do you read when you aren’t writing?
I like Lucy Jane Bledsoe ('The Big Bang Symphony'), Sarah Waters ('The Paying Guests'), Ian McEwan ("Nutshell,', 'Machines Like Me'), and Kate Moore ('The Radium Girls').
Tell us about your writing process.
My books have been co-written (with author Richard Starks), so we work with a thorough outline of story, plot, characters, etc. You can't co-write a book unless you both agree where the story's going and how you're going to get it there. In narrative non-fiction, we've found that the real story only emerges after you've completed a lot of the research.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Certainly, I think about them a lot. I mentally test their motivations and their reactions to the conflicts they face. And if I'm writing dialog, I will often say it out loud to make sure it sounds natural and unscripted.
What advice would you give other writers?
Be true to yourself. Write the story you want to write rather than try to write one that you think will sell.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I've published my books through traditional publishing houses ('Lost in Tibet', 'A Room with a Pew') as well as through our own imprint ('In A Town Called Paradox', 'Along the River that Flows Uphill' ebook). Sometimes this is a matter of choice, sometimes not. A traditional publisher gives you access to more reviewers and better distribution, but you lose control over the publishing process (the title, the front cover) and the marketing. Also, a traditional publisher won't make anything like the effort I do when I self-publish. That said, self-publishing is time consuming and expensive, and it takes you away from writing the next book.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think it has an excellent future. During the Covid lockdown, more books were read by more people than ever. Also, as books are now available in more formats – print, audio, ebooks – they can't help but appeal to more people.
What genres do you write?: Historical fiction, general fiction, narrative non-fiction, adventure travel non-fiction
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit to allow you the reader to hear the author in their own voice.