I love reading posts by writers who share their journeys. As an author and blogger, Jacqui Murray fits that description perfectly.
Get to know Jacqui Murray
Through the wonders of cyberspace, I met fellow blogger Jacqui Murray. We’re kindred spirits for research and education.
Her latest book, Natural Selection, is the third book in her Dawn of Humanity series. She’s published over 100 fiction and non-fiction books.
She’s candid and loves to help by sharing what she’s learned on her writer’s journey.
On Becoming a Writer
Grant: When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Jacqui: For me, it was less about wanting to write than wanting to understand a particular topic. In this case, how early man survived in a savage world that should have destroyed him. I first wrote the book in a factual way, but found without living characters, I hadn’t convinced myself of their survival. Once I added elements of fiction—dramatic plot, engaging setting, interesting characters—all became clear.
Grant: What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
Jacqui: The biggest surprise about writing fiction was that I could trust my imagination. I’m not terribly creative, but when I listened to my inner voice, it told me where the story should go, where it slowed down, and how to keep it from becoming boring. It’s as though the characters are talking to me. I’ve read about that happening with other authors, never understood it and certainly didn’t expect it to happen to me. Yet, it did.
Grant: How do you develop your plot and characters?
Jacqui: I use research to guide both plot and characters. As I dig into the history of the times, the background of the characters, try to unravel motivations and consequences, the story takes shape. I am often surprised by a twist that develops, but I let it. It’s like traveling with a trusted friend. I just follow along.
Grant: What is your kryptonite as a writer?
Jacqui: Fatigue. I can’t think well when I’m tired. It becomes like digging through dark molasses. I have a few chronic illnesses that make me tired, as do the meds I have to take for them. I hate that and struggle against it. I am a huge consumer of Red Bull!
Grant: Other little known facts about you?
Jacqui: Well, I speak/spoke Russian. I used to program in DOS. And I (used to) play Blue Grass on a mandolin.
Grant: Well, I don’t speak Russian, but I dabbled with DOS. Playing a mandolin — wow! I still pound on the strings of my hammered dulcimer, but don’t expect to see me on the stage soon.
Jacqui Murray’s Latest Book
Grant: So what can readers expect in your latest book, Natural Selection?
Jacqui: In this conclusion to Lucy’s journey, she and her tribe leave their good home to rescue former-tribe members captured by the enemy. Lucy’s tribe includes a mix of species — a Canis, a Homotherium, and different iterations of early man.
In this book, more join and some die, but that is the nature of prehistoric life, where survival depends on a combination of our developing intellect and our inexhaustible will to live. Each species brings unique skills to this task. Based on true events.
Set 1.8 million years ago in Africa, Lucy and her tribe struggle against the harsh reality of a world ruled by nature, where predators stalk them and a violent new species of man threatens to destroy their world. Only by changing can they prevail.
If you ever wondered how earliest man survived but couldn’t get through the academic discussions, this book is for you. Prepare to see this violent and beautiful world in a way you never imagined.
Grant: Who do you think would enjoy your books, and where can we get copies?
Jacqui: It’s a perfect book for fans of Jean Auel and the Gears! It’s available in print or digital, and here’s the link to the latest in the series, http://a-fwd.com/asin=B0B9KPM5BW, and the earlier books are shown on that page, too.
Oh, and here’s the book trailer on YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o5GOm4jbgZw.
Grant: Thanks, Jacqui!
Author Bio and Links
Jacqui Murray (https://jacquimurray.net/) is the author of the popular prehistoric fiction saga, Man vs. Nature (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07NKM58GB/) which explores seminal events in man’s evolution one trilogy at a time. She is also author of the Rowe-Delamagente (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B072NZF8N8/) thrillers and Building a Midshipman (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0978780086/), the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy.
Her non-fiction includes over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, reviews as an Amazon Vine Voice (https://www.amazon.com/Jacqui-Murray/e/B002E78CQQ/), a columnist for NEA Today (https://www.nea.org/advocating-for-change/new-from-nea?nea_today=1&), and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics.
Jacqui’s passion for a subject comes through in her writing, showing fellow writers how she turned keen research into a fascinating three-book series — inspiration for those who want to write a book readers will love.
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What’s your current writing passion? Your plans for turning that hot topic into a book?