GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ Sci-Fi Author Mike Murphey: Authors Who Have Inspired Me | I Smell Sheep

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Sci-Fi Author Mike Murphey: Authors Who Have Inspired Me

Authors Who Have Inspired Me

Is there a difference between inspiration and influence? If so, it’s a subtle distinction. Several authors have influenced my writing style which has been described to me as “darkly humorous.” First and foremost, Mark Twain. Among contemporary authors, I would include Christopher Moore, Douglas Adams and Tom Robbins.

I grew up in eastern New Mexico and have also been influenced by Southwest writers like Larry McMurtry; John Nichols, whose New Mexico Trilogy includes The Milagro Beanfield War; and Tony Hillerman.

My interest in science fiction came early in life because another resident of the small town where I grew up was Jack Williamson, who along with Robert Heinlein, shepherded the American Sci-Fi movement through the 1930’s and 40’s. I read many of Jack’s books, although I must confess that my primary motivation was not literary. His granddaughter and I were the same age and, mostly, I wanted to get to know her better.

The writer who most inspired me to want to write, though, was a New Mexico author named Richard Bradford. Bradford wrote only two books. The second, So Far from Heaven, an acerbic and clever satire on New Mexico political culture. As a reporter, I covered the New Mexico Legislature for the Las Cruces Sun-News for several years and knew some of the targets of Bradford’s pen.

His first book, though—Red Sky at Morning—lit a spark of inspiration that made me want to become a writer. The novel, published in 1968, is a coming-of-age story set in northern New Mexico during World War II.

The New Mexico I grew up in was Larry McMurtry’s New Mexico—the flat geographical monotony of the high plains. The Llano Estacado. I didn’t discover the full richness of New Mexico’s geography and culture until I experienced Bradford’s New Mexico.

Two weeks after my high school graduation I departed to attend summer session at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces. I read Red Sky during that summer of 1969. I left behind a girlfriend with whom I thought I shared a destiny. We did not, as it turned out, although we remain valuable to each other.

In any case, Bradford’s story of a boy and a girl whose destiny was uncertain as well touched me in a way none other ever had. I determined then that I wanted to be a writer. And if I ever was, I wanted to write a coming-of-age story like that one.

My first novel, Section Roads, tells the story of growing up in that eastern New Mexico town.

In Killing Time—my fifth novel which harkens back to my science fiction roots—I return to the same small town, and memories of my teenage years.

by Mike Murphey
May 11, 2021
Humorous Science Fiction
Publisher: Acorn Publishing
At every crossroads he has encountered in life, Sean Brody has made the safe choice. In the year 2046, at the age of ninety-three, Sean is given one final opportunity to deal with his greatest regret. Sean is the only man Marshall Grissom and Marta Hamilton can find who might be able to save Sheila Schuler, their friend and fellow traveler lost in the distant reaches of time. If Sean accepts the task of traveling to his childhood in a parallel universe—with no guarantee that any aspect of the past can be changed—Sean must also accept his death in the only world he knows.

About the Author:
Mike Murphey is a native of eastern New Mexico and spent almost thirty years as an award-winning newspaper journalist in the Southwest and Pacific Northwest. He left journalism in 1998 to form a business related to adult amateur baseball. At the age of 60, he stopped procrastinating and revived his life-long ambition to write a novel. He is author of Sections, an award-winning coming of age novel set in Eastern New Mexico where Mike grew up. He is also author of The Conman … a Baseball Odyssey, another award-winning novel. Killing Time is the third novel in his Physics, Lust and Greed Series. Mike splits his time between Spokane, Washington and Phoenix, Arizona where he enjoys life as a writer and old-man baseball player.

No comments:

Post a Comment