Name:  I commonly use 2 names-one being d. v. Murray and the other Dwight V. Murray, but both are in varying parts If my book and cover  and does not seem to confuse anyone. [perhaps the use  of 2 names is a built in  an oddity on my part, but I like doing  it]

 

Age: 70 and firmly holding onto it.

 

Where are you from: born raised in the “Tar heel State otherwise known as North Carolina.

A little about yourself, ie your education,  Family life: Married to the love of my life. She and I have 2 sons and 2 daughters. Attended school of hard knocks, [but seems I haven’t graduated yet,] then graduated High School and from there  attended 3 separate trade schools-2 of which were mechanical related and 1  of the construction industry.  Ended my working career as one of the first licensed mold-remediators in Houston, Texas.  

 

Fiona: Tell us your latest news?

Currently putting finishing touches on the last of a trilogy [part 3—titled “the gristmill”   the conclusion of my “Carolina gamble” series]


Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?:

In high school, 1959-62 inspired by English teacher’s words of encouragement. 1978, over worked and tired of being on call [Insurance Companies can be very demanding, but they do pay well] I attempted  my first novel, but lay my dream aside in order to keep feeding and seeing to the needs of my family.  After retiring, [2005] I picked up where I  dropped off , hooked up  the jumper cables and restarted my long dead first attempt which resulted in my Antebellum era novel “Carolina gamble” Now have published 3 books with one soon to be released.


Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?:

 Not until Barnes and Noble took a chance on me and the signing turned out to be a sell-out.


Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

: As a child, playing in the woods beyond our  “sharecropper’s” shack, I found what was left of a civil war era sword. After being told  [on a show and tell day at school] that indeed  it was a sword of that era, I, from then on, was hooked on that war and those hard years leading up to it. I have done considerable research into my Great-grandfather’s and his brother’s, my Great granduncle, and found amazing things of their involvement in that war. [All of which has been proven true by the Rangers at the Gettysburg Battlefield Historical record department.]


Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?:

 Being born in the deep South of the United states, I enjoy writing in the lyrical southern dialect common to that era and still predominate today, but am overly cautious not to over do it, since some, if not most is hard, to understand. Likewise  and especially since slavery  was such an awful thing, I am just as cautious when writing of the relationship between the negro and the white man. to date, I have never received  any negative feedback.  In my novel Harlan McFadden, a daughter’s murder, a father’s revenge, I used the same caution with the Hispanic versus Texan dialect.


Fiona: How did you come up with the title?”

 As for “Carolina gamble” I based it loosely on handed down rumors and  so-called facts of plantation owners in my own family and wondered what it would be like to gamble everything you owned on building an empire with hardly any money to invest.’  “As the Cannon Roar” is also based upon rumors, be they fact or fiction, I’d heard of a badly wounded Confederate officer who struggled to stay in control of his father’s, but  now his, plantation holdings,  as his world is crumbling piece by piece.

“Harlan McFadden . . .” is also based upon an actual murder of a six year old girl at the hands of a drug runner in west Texas. This was a hard book to write since here in the United States there exists an unspoken governmental mandate  to “leave  the illegals alone . . .we will see to the problem.” The main character has no one to turn to to help him find the murderer.

 


Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?:

Yes . . . in all. While most people will help if they are asked for assistance

some will not, but those are greatly outnumbered.


Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?

All three of my released books are based upon realistic things, and real events, be they actual or invented during story telling. For instance, in “Harlan McFadden . . .” the murder of the six year old actually did happen at the hands of a drug runner. And too, I walked the grounds which once existed as the  Carolina Plantation  and visited each and every battlefield in search of realism.


Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

The Carolina gamble trilogy is loosely based upon rumors said to be true and upon the occasionally found recorded facts [news-paper articles, books,  and detective work by relatives of my family. To use as an example, the cover of the soon to be released  ‘the  gristmill” features the historical mill which today still stands as it did almost 2 centuries ago and a historical road side marker  is erected for all to see. This mill still belongs to my family, the Murrays. The same is true of the nearby, albeit small, cluster of houses named Murraytown, in the Piedmont of North Carolina and not far from the Gristmill.


Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?

I read the work of many notable authors-to name a few, John Grisman, Elmore Leonard, Dennis Lahaye [spelling???] I can’t really say I have a particular author which I prefer. If the first page or 2 does not set the hook, I hardly ever buy the book.


Fiona: What book are you reading now?:

Vagos, Mongels and … by Charles Falco.  And just finished the couldn’t put it down novel-American Sniper.


Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

Have over two hundred books in my kindle, but most are first novels so, as of yet I would answer not really.


Fiona: What are your current projects? 

 In process of editing “The  gristmill.” It, as are all my novels, a stand alone work. I am also in the early stages laying the ground work for an expose’  of a particular cult I was raised in and finally managed to  break free of. I am still haunted by the lie I was forced to live. And I so desperately want  to get it done before my time on this little round ball is used up.


Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

Other than my wife, I can’t name I single entity but feel I had to live in a make believe world for a long portion of my life. If day–dreaming is an entity, then it would be  day-dreaming.


Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

 I do consider it a career.


Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?:  In “Harlan McFadden,” I would not change a single word, for it came from my heart and my view of a government  gone mad. That being said, I would have been wise to not be as harsh as I was about the current governmental stand when it came to the illegal invasion.  I say this because as thought provoking as I am told by those who have read it, once Barnes and Noble read the back cover, they refused to let me do book-signings with this particular book. And this after doing many, many, many book signings  in all the lower states with my first two release. Go figure. Seems they thought the story too harsh of a review of our outlandish illegal invasion. But yet they stock  it in their stores and selling it through Nook. And there it is in English. So I might get confrontational? Is that it, maybe? Or too loud sometimes?


Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?:

The English teach I mentioned praise a piece of my work in class.

 

Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?

 In the forthcoming “The Gristmill” 2 brothers, those I mentioned, one nine years older than the other, joined the Confederate Army, each believing they would only be needed for a few short months. But the few promised short months turned into 4 plus,  dreadfully long years. The younger brother, my Great-grandfather Gus Murray was badly crippled,  but survived. His old brother  returned home unscathed.  But home no longer exists. Everything has been devoured by the war. Their Father, John Murray devises a plan to help his sons survive the long years needed to restore the simple lives they had lost. The gristmill becomes the focal point of all things Murray. And neighbors become jealous of the success,  thence lives become complicated and painful.


Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Oh yes. Too many words and too jealous of each word to delete as might be needed.


Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

 I think John Grisman. I like the way your mind wonders off and leaves you with the feeling you and he are talking of days and events long gone from across the table, as steam from a cup of hot coffee blurs the face of the other.


Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

Oh my, yes. Traveled from Houston to Gettysburg to verify facts twice [by car . . . I do not like flying] and thousands upon thousands of miles for book-signings.


Fiona: Who designed the covers?

 My wife and I compete with one another to see which of us can take a better picture and usually she wins and gets credit for it. Then my son, himself already recognized for his graphic styling of other’s work might suggest things, but generally I already know, even before the book is finished what I want. But sometimes I concede to others, but not often.


Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Telephones and emails. And the fact I collect antique civil war anything, and restore classic automobiles and then there’s . . .


Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?:

I learned to release before it has been read many times by others is a huge and expensive mistake. And I also learned the need to ask someone for opions and such offered as requestd, should not make one mad when they get said advice, especially that which is not to their liking as much as yous


Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?

If they believe from the bottom of their heart theirs is a world class best ever story, they better quit and just go mow the lawn  ‘cause that just plain ain’t going to happen. [see what I mean by dialect?]


Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

As long as you love it keep at  it. Hell of a lot better than sitting in a bar and drinking.

 

Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

 Nah. Can hardly remember what I had for breakfast. Oh, but wait. I don’t think I ate breakfast.  I’ll be right back. Gotta go see if there’s any dishes in the sink.

 

Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Watching my kittens play. Sad movies . . . “American Sniper” made my eyes mist over.

 

Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?

 I would love to meet presidential Candidate Ben Carson. I think he truly loves America and does not give a damn  about race.

 

Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why?

“Hey get off my of grave . . . I do not intend to stay down here long.” Why? I think people would see the humor in it.

 

Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?

As mentioned before  collecting anything of the American Civil War, Gun collecting [old ones] Restoring old classic cars, and eating Carolina style, vinegar based, pork barbeque.

 

Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?

 True crime. The Cops series, Justified and The NHRA races. {National  Hot Rod Association]

 

Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music

Fried Cat fish and sea foods, Love harsh loud   reds.

 

Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?

Build a  log cabin in Colorado.

 

Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it? www.wildponypublishing.com

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Info on back side of book-mark for Carolina gamble

 

Born into crushing poverty, Samuel Elywn Biggs fights back. He now owns an undeveloped parcel of land in North Carolina. He leaves his home of Petersburg, Virginia to begin his new life.

Upon arriving, he is confronted by his neighbor, a plantation owner who is not only mentally ill, but an alcoholic. And one illness feeds the other. Hesper Griffin has long claimed the land as his own. He challenges the recently arrived Samuel Biggs, using the same tyranny which has always kept his other neighbors at bay. But Griffin finds the recently arrived interloper has no fear of him and is surprised the newcomer is willing to counter with extremely violent retaliations of his own.

Emmett is Sam’s neighbor to the south. He despises Griffin and with an agenda of his own, he becomes Sam’s mentor. With Emmett lives a mysterious and beautiful young woman. Rose is not Emmett’s wife, nor is she his daughter. Who is this woman? Sam wonders. Rose and Sam fall in love and wish to marry, but Rose continually forestalls the wedding.

There are things Sam must be told . . . secrets that can ruin lives—secrets which hint at incest and sexual aberrations. And there are wrongs which must be righted.

Read more at www.wildponypublishing.com or samples of each on Nook and/or Kindle

***

Cannon_cover

Info on back side of book-mark for As the Cannon Roar

 

      Thaddeus is spoiled and unpleasant to be around. He has been treated as an equal by his parents all of his life and does not have within him the makings of a good man. He believes his is a life of entitlements. His father, himself born into poverty, knows he has spoiled his child, yet he is unable to teach his only son how to handle the hardships life will surely sling at him.

But the boy must learn to be a man and stand on his own. An “uncivil” time has arrived and Tad’s growing ego must be curbed. There is no one more prepared to do so than the cagey old professor at the Virginia Military Institute. But in order to do so, the boy’s spirit must first be broken.

An unexpected series of dramatic events rushes in upon Thaddeus—things over which he has no control. His life catapults in a drastically different direction from which he expected. He must learn to ask for things—not expect. A wide range of characters, each with baggage of their own becomes more important to him than any material thing he has ever possessed.

Thaddeus Biggs no longer feels entitled.

Read more at www.wildponypublishing.com or samples of each on Nook and/or Kindle.

***

harlan_front

Info on the back of book-mark for Harlan McFadden, a daughter’s murder, a father’s revenge.

 

Harlan McFadden is an ex-husband, an ex-Texas lawman, and soon to be an ex-father. Trouble seems to follow Harlan. He and his ex-wife, Pearl, herself a “closet” drug abuser, constantly fight over the “Court granted” visitation rights with their only child, a precocious seven year old daughter named Sue Ellen.  A truce of sorts is reached and over a getaway weekend the father takes his daughter with him to inspect his few “jack pump” oil wells in the Permian Basin of West Texas. In an unguarded and careless moment, Sue Ellen wonders off and from nearby he hears her scream. Thus begins a desperate search for his only child—but it is a search started too late. In a bone-dry creek bed he finds the last thing he has left to love as she breathes her last, and catches a glimpse of a big unkempt man fleeing into the thick mesquite brush. With no one to help him track the man, his world is changed forever. Harlan McFadden remains an ex-husband.  But now, he is an ex-father. And soon he will no longer be an ex-lawman. Harlan McFadden becomes a law unto himself. What does he know about the man who murdered his daughter that no one else knows?

Read more at www.wildponypublishing.com