Author JZ Murdock says he spent the first half of his life afraid of even trying to be a writer. “That was a lofty goal, I wasn’t worthy. Not until my first college English composition teacher told me to just stop worrying about the mechanics so much and all the author hero worship, and just write.”
He has done just that. His writing has encompassed non-fiction and fiction. He is now also shopping around some completed screenplays. “I was a Technical Writer for years because as a kid I had read Isaac Asimov say that most of the first great Sci Fi writers were Tech Writers for the military. Funny how I ended up in the USAF for a while and then later worked as a Tech Writer after I got my degree.”
One of the great pleasures of writing for JZ is taking the reader on a ride or a journey that they have never taken before—giving them a new way to think about something.
JZ says authors need two things in large doses: to support one another and to write, constantly. “Artists and sculptors can hold up a painting or a statue and you can judge instantly. Musicians can play a riff and it’s either immediately good or not. But writers have to labor to get anyone to read their works and even then they tend not to get any useful feedback. It’s tough out there kids, so remember to be safe.”
He feels that his writing stands out in the areas of conceptual originality. “All my life I’ve been told I had a very different way of viewing life and reality. As a kid my sister described it as just being ‘weird’. Mostly though, I suspect I was just annoying. But as a writer that is definitely a plus. Being ‘weird’ that is, not annoying. In getting my degree in Psychology, I did a lot of work on Phenomenology and asking the question: what is creativity?”
JZ says part of what attracted him to study psychology was the opportunity to learn about people and how the mind was put together so he could use that in his writing. “I felt that to really understand people to be able to write about them, what better way than to get a degree in Psychology? When I told this to a friend of mine on campus who was a Literature major, she liked the idea so much that she wanted to switch majors.”
He says he’s ready to be done with other careers now and write full time. “I’m having too much fun now writing fiction to want to go back to full time non-fiction writing. Bouncing between nonfiction, as in my blog (Murdockinations.com) and fiction, as well as writing screenplays, really gives one an interesting and broad spectrum of writing styles to work in. I think that in this way, I find that the writing life overall, is never very boring.”
JZ says he has met and read some very interesting indie writers. “Although in a way I’m new to the indie field, I find I enjoy it more and more, as I become more acquainted with it. After years in the corporate world, it’s liberating.”
He finds the indie movement exhilarating. “I think there is a freedom in the Indie movement that you simply cannot get going mainstream traditional. There have always been many good authors out there who, for whatever reason, cannot get published. Either because of having what I like to call the, “Write-Only Syndrome” where either they lack the business or marketing skills, or simply refuse to do it.”
JZ is aware of and interested by the major changes taking place in the writing industry, and emerging discussions about whether books will even be here in the form we know them, in years to come. “Are books dead? I hope not. But if so, we will need to come up with innovative ways to get our works out to the public, while supporting authors so they can continue to produce more quality works. And I can easily see where that will come from the Indie community.”
He has high hopes now and in the near future for the Independent Writer Community. “I see the quality of writing going up over time, and not down like some think. Thinking (that is, writing) outside the box is not necessarily the best way to get into traditional publishing. Indie publishing allows for a lot more possibilities and authors to get their works and name out there, and to allow the reading public access to them. And maybe even the viewing public should their books get turned into films.”
His advice to aspiring writers? “The quality and style of your writings will in the end, if exceptional, get you noticed. But even if you are not that technically perfect, time and effort are still the greatest teachers. If you have something interesting or unique to say, or you have a voice that energizes and tantalizes, you may still find an audience. The best way to find out though, is to try, to keep at it. Listen and learn, and adjust as you go. When something works, focus on that and think of new ways to launch from that new position. But, write.”
JZ Murdock’s latest title is Anthology of Evil, a collection of short stories that delve into the depths of human emotions. It explores life’s choices, and how it can twist into something very different from its starting point. Where love can become hate; life, death; and how it can take you to places that are sometimes frightening to the point of insanity. The final story in the book, “Andrew”, has an essential relationship to his next book, “Death of Heaven”, which should debut this month (April 2012).
The tales in this anthology examine the many forms of Evil. Evil is in our relationships, on the streets we travel, in the news, and in our entertainment. At times it’s right in front of us and we don’t even recognize it. No matter what the circumstances, Evil surrounds us in our daily lives. Evil. It is all around us. It takes many forms. It patiently waits. Choose your next step well… We may find Evil in a relationship with a close friend, or in the odd neighbor down the street. We may one day wake and find that it has included us in its grip before we get out of bed, or even before we wake.
Anthology of Evil is available from Amazon and Smashwords. Learn more about author JZ Murdock from his Amazon Author Page and his blog. You can also find him on Facebook and LinkedIn and follow him on Twitter.