My Write Bytes guest today is Nicole Murphy writing as Elizabeth Dunk. Nicole is a fantasy writer with Harper Collins and Elizabeth is a contemporary and erotica writer with Escape. Take it away Nicole!
What’s on top of your to-be-read pile?
Depends on whether you mean the electronic or the physical one. Electronically, it’s Lost in Kakadu by Kendall Talbot. I met Kendall when she introduced me to give my presentation at RWA on the Gold Coast a couple of years ago and I was so excited when she scored her first publishing deal. I don’t normally read romantic suspense but this one is getting such good raps, I have to read it. Physically, I’ve got a couple of Kylie Chan novels that are screaming at me to read them. Kylie’s awesome and I can’t wait to sink into her books.
What do you feel when you contemplate your to-be-read pile?
Sad. I’m not going to read them all. I know that. Every book there I got wanting to read it, but there’s just not enough time. Particularly since I like to buy and read all my friends’ books, and as you can guess, a LOT of my friends are writers…
What’s your most guilty pleasure?
If the reaction of the girls at work is any indication, my recent purchase of Fergus O’Hanlon Murphy aka a giant teddy bear is a pleasure I should fee guilty about, but I refuse to. I’ve wanted a giant teddy all my life – why shouldn’t I get one, even if I’m in my mid-40s and ‘should be beyond those things’. Honestly, growing up is overrated. I certainly DON’T feel guilty about the things that I know a lot of people would put here eg my love of Next Top Model (regardless of the franchise). Love? Heck, it’s an addiction. Why should other people’s judgements stop me enjoying what I love? Next, someone will tell me loving Duran Duran is uncool!
How often do you exercise?
Great week to ask that. After a few bad weeks with stress at work, I’m getting back into exercise so the answer at the moment is every day. I go to Curves three times a week, and walk other days. I’m intending to start the Couch to 5K program (again!) in the next couple of weeks. I’m on a health kick at the moment – sick of feeling sluggish and achy from the extra weight I’m currently carrying. I want to write for decades and decades, and that requires me making my body strong now. Plus, it means I can feel less guilty about the alcohol and chips on the weekend
Where was your last holiday?
You know, I’ve not been for a holiday (in the idea of doing no work and just relaxing) for years. The last time I went away was in January, for the annual writing retreat I take with a group of friends. We were in this amazing house on the lake in Jindabyne – complete with deer head over the fireplace and pool table to occupy the evening hours. Despite the fact we are there for work (I did something like 45k words over the two weeks), it is also really relaxing because we leave behind the rest of our lives. For that time, we’re surrounded by writers. We live writing. We talk writing. We watch Sherlock. Life is pretty perfect.
What do you like to cook?
Like is a pretty strong word. I have to cook – I am the cook in the family (my husband had a stroke a couple of years ago so he can’t help). I have moments where I want to create a lovely meal and when I do, it’s generally something like this really yummy cheesy mince and pasta I do, or a lasagne. I used to like to bake sweet things, but I’m now gluten-free and I’m not cook enough to spend the time to work out how to make the old things I cooked still work. But generally, it’s get home from work and going ‘oh crap, what to feed us today?’ and ending up doing something simple like savoury mince with rice or pizza.
If you could live anywhere in the world where would that be? Italy.
Cliched, I know, but I am part Italian. And the imagery of the vineyards and olive groves over the hills, the overgrown garden, the cottage, the warm days and sultry nights… See, it’s got romance written all over it!
What time of day do you write?
In the morning. I get up super early, exercise, then write until it’s time to get ready for work. When I’m not super busy, I write on weekends as well. I just can’t make myself sit at the desk and write of an evening. Plus that’s hang with the hubby time.
What are the best and worst things about being a writer?
Best thing is being able to escape this world into another, better one. A world that for the most part you can control. Particularly when you’re writing a romance, a world where there is going to be a great ending and people will be happy. With the outside world how it is at the moment, that’s a really cool thing. The worst thing is that you have to leave that world, and come back to this one. I work full-time and while I enjoy my job, it isn’t writing and there are days I really resent having to go to the office and not being able to do what I love.
What was the last non-romance book you read?
Bound, by Alan Baxter. It comes out July 1, from HarperCollins. Alan is a mate of mine and HarperCollins is one of my publishers, so I scored an ARC. A rollicking great read.
Describe your writing space?
I have my own office (which is also a bit of a storage space, as well as where hubbie has his clothes because there’s not room enough for us both in the bedroom). I adore having a place where I can shut the door, and thus shut out the world and just get on with it. Haven’t worked out the ergonomics of it yet – not sure why, but I need to because I do have some minor back/neck issues and I don’t want them getting worse.
What was the last movie you watched?
Saturday night hubbie and I saw Blended – the new Adam Sandler/Drew Barrymore romantic comedy. It wasn’t the best they’ve done (honestly, The Wedding Singer is one of the greatest movies of all time) but it was a nice way to spend a Saturday evening. We laughed, we smiled, I teared up a bit at one point and hubbie and I walked out not over the moon, but quietly satisfied.
What’s your favourite television series?
Man, that’s a hard question. There’s so many I enjoy and obsess over – Downton Abbey, for example. Can’t missing an episode of that. Also, I love Big Bang Theory, although it’s frustrating as hell that the tv stations just can’t get their act together and play each new series in its entirety in order every week. But the show I watch the most, and love every time I watch it, is Spicks and Specks. The new one was growing on me and I’m sorry it’s been canned. People seem to not want to give shows time to grow any more. Watching early episodes of the original version were often cringe-worthy. But thankfully ABC2 plays re-runs of the first version and I looooove it.
What are three words to describe your relationship with the world wide web? Co-dependent. Neccessity. Fun.
Windows or Mac?
Windows. I don’t have anything against Mac, but hubbie is a computer programmer and Windows is his platform, so it’s easier for us to just have PCs everywhere.
Morning person or night person?
Neither – I think I hit my straps somewhere around the middle of the day. If I had to choose – definitely more morning than night, but only after a good night’s sleep.
What’s the last paragraph you wrote from your work in progress? Hope you don’t mind me giving you more than one – the last thing I wrote was dialogue, so it’s lots of short paras.
“Mikhal doesn’t know every aspect of my life. I do have plans, and I’m going to be late, so excuse me.” She started past Paolo.
“It is with lover boy last night? Why would you want to see him again, when you tossed him out so quickly and then begged me to come fuck you?”
So here was her answer – having sex with Paolo last night had been a bad idea. “Everyone’s allowed an aberation.”
“Then have another one. Surprise picnic. Remember what used to happen most times after I brought you dinner?”
They would have sex. Sweet, hot, totally emotional, totally in love sex. The kind of sex they would never have again.
“It would seem you didn’t understand me today,” Plissa said.
“Actually, I understood perfectly. I think you’re the one who doesn’t understand, but I’m here to change that.”
Oh Peace, Plissa thought. This was going to be more difficult than she’d anticipated, and definitely not a conversation to be had in a hallway.
“All right. Come up.”
Thanks Nicole! I’m pretty tempted by Italy too.
You can find Nicole’s latest book writing as Elizabeth Dunk called Release at the links below.
Four stories of eroticism, strength, experimentation, and ultimate salvation.
Cursed after death to live in grey nothingness until they atone for their sins, four spirits have spent centuries doing good for others. Finally they stumble upon the true key to their salvation — because they hurt women in their lives, they’ll only find release by now helping women to become all they should be.
One by one, the spirits meet a woman and as each sexual delight unfurls, the grey nothingness disappears a little more. As the women find their happily ever after, they grant the spirits a chance at peace for eternity.
Follow the journey of four remarkable women — Luisa, Anna, Cara, and Jan — and the four spirits that set them on a new path to sexual freedom and boundless pleasure.
Buy at Kobo Kindle iTunes
Find Nicole/Elizabeth at her website