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Interview: Cerece Rennie Murphy, Author of Order of the Seers

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Cerece Rennie Murphy is currently hard at work on the sequel to her first novel, Order of the Seers . In addition to her work on the Order of the Seers trilogy, Ms. Murphy is also in the process of developing a children’s book series entitled Enchanted : Five Tales of Magic in the Everyday and a book on understanding marriage/relationship advice for single women entitled More than the Ring.

She currently lives and writes just outside of her hometown, Washington, D.C.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Probably figuring out exactly how the story unfolded. I start each story with a synopsis of what happens, but the real work is in the detailed chapter outline that not only describes what happens in each chapter, but how it happens. The “how” I find much more difficult to discern than the what. For months, I was stuck on how do you fight against people who have the ability to see the future? Once, I answered that question, the action and suspense really picked up for me and opened up a host of new opportunities for the story.

When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?

I started writing poetry just before high school, but never wrote anything longer than a poem up until almost three years ago, when I wrote a short story called Spirit to Flesh, as a Twilight fan fiction piece. A couple months after that, I got the idea for what is now Order of the Seers. I finished the first draft of Order of the Seers around March of 2011. It took about seven months after I completed the chapter outline to finish the first edited draft of the book.

Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published (if any)?

Hmmm. I think the biggest challenge for me has been the steep learning curve. I decided to self-publish about four months ago. I went from “Ok, I’ll just wait for an agent” to “I’m doing everything myself” over breakfast with a friend. Learning all the ins and outs of the business side of publishing has been a real challenge. I’m still learning, but I am also very grateful for the experience and the knowledge. I’m a much more informed consumer and participant of this industry.

Have you written a book that you have not been able to get published? If so, can you share a little about it with us?

Not yet. I can’t imagine in this environment that would ever be the case for me. If I felt the book was good enough and I couldn’t get a traditional publishing deal, I would just put it out there on my own. That’s the case with Order of the Seers, I guess. I got about 25 agent rejections before I decided to go it alone. From what I hear, that’s not a lot, and originally I had planned to send out at least 100 queries before I even considered self-publishing, but the truth is I’m bad at waiting. With everything else going on in my life, I knew now was the right time for me to publish my book. In writing the book, I had a wonderful editor who edited my chapters as I wrote them and helped me make sure the whole story was coming together in a way that made sense. I had gotten very good feedback on the story from about 200 readers who had no reason to tell me they liked the story if they didn’t, so I felt like I had something that could find an audience if I had the courage to seek it.

How did you come up with the title?

It just really came to me…almost at the same time that I had that first image in my head of Marcus Akida, one of the story’s main characters. I knew the title of the story was Order of the Seers. Back then, I didn’t know it would be a book. I didn’t even know if I could write the story that was playing out in my head. I just knew I wanted to write it so I would try.

Is there anything else you would like to share with us?

Sure, if you would like to know more about me and my upcoming project, check out my website at www.crmurphybooks.com. Thanks!

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