Kate Murdoch: Six things I love about the author life

Today’s guest blog is by Kate Murdoch, author of the historical drama The Orange Grove.

From her website:

Kate Murdoch is the author of Stone Circle. She exhibited widely as a painter both in Australia and internationally before turning her hand to writing. Stone Circle is a historical fantasy novel set in Renaissance Italy. Fireship Press released it in December 2017. Stone Circle won First in Category in the Chaucer Awards 2018 for pre-1750’s historical fiction.

Kate’s second novel, The Orange Grove, was published by Regal House Publishing in 2019.

Six things I love about the author life 
Immersion

In real life, I have to be present to situations and people all the time. There is limited control over events and no control over the actions of others. Through writing, I can be magically absorbed in a place of my invention with characters I can control.

Writing community

Like-minded friends who enjoy this temporary escape as much as I do. Who love nothing more than tinkering with a sentence, researching obscure subjects, and hiding from the outside world in a cocoon of nourishing words. Being together is stimulating and comforting. Writing friends also give support on social media, critique work, attend events and amplify each another.

Research

Both a procrastination method and an essential part of process. From YouTube videos of locations I can’t visit, reference books, comparable fiction titles, movies and sometimes travel to the places I’ve imagined. For my latest novel, I learnt to read tarot cards and for my debut I read an enigmatic book about Hermetic Alchemy, completely at sea. Research brings everything to life. It essentially transplants me into my written world if I’ve consumed enough material.

Good reviews and feedback

Writing a novel is both a fraught and rewarding experience. I meticulously and obsessively construct a world, rewrite, rework sentences, all the while plagued with self-doubt and anxiety. Hearing from people who have felt both immersed and connected with my story is one of the greatest joys possible. I’ve sometimes been lucky enough to speak to readers in person about what they’ve enjoyed, and this is also surreal and wonderful.

The comfort zone and coming out of it

The idea of speaking at events and doing interviews can be terrifying. Yet there has been immense satisfaction in doing something I’m afraid of, rising to the challenge and realising that people are there to support me, not heckle me. These experiences have made me stronger and I’ve begun to enjoy them. It’s an amazing opportunity for growth.

Making sense of it all

In writing novels, there is the chance to make sense of people, society, history and my own feelings and views. Unpacking years of my own experiences and traumas can be exhausting and even upsetting. However, the process gives clarity about my purpose and what’s important to me. In doing this work and translating it into fiction, I hope readers of my novels might gain some insight into their own feelings and views.

You can find Kate Murdoch On her website and On Twitter.

Kate Murdoch author of The Orange Grove