Authors, teachers, business-women, and so much more…
Our own Joan O’Callaghan presents a series of interviews with each of our Mesdames.
Lynne Murphy read her first mystery when she was about eight. It was “The Secret in the Old Well” by Carolyn Keene and she has been addicted ever since.
She studied journalism at Carleton University and worked as a reporter on the now defunct “Ottawa Journal” and then as an editor for CBC Radio News. (It was in the sixties and Lynne was the first woman editor they ever hired.) It was there she learned to “write tight”.
Joan: What have you written?
Lynne: A number of prepublished novels and several short stories. I am a journalist by profession so I’ve had newspaper stories and magazine articles published.
Joan: When did you start writing?
Lynne: Long, long, long ago.(Longer even than Cathy Dunphy.) I won a prize in a poetry contest in The Western Producer ( a prairie weekly) when I was about 7. It was called “Peaceful Thoughts Disturbed”. Do you want to hear the ending? “How lovely it is, here to sit, watching the beautiful butterflies flit. And oh, the green hills, they call and beck. Yeeeow! There’s a bug down the back of my neck.” So I was writing comedy even then.
Joan: Why write mysteries?
Lynne: I love reading them. I like the idea of there being rules to follow although my lawbreakers don’t always get punished.
Joan: Why do you think people like to read mysteries?
Lynne: Probably for the same reason I like to write them.
Joan: Is there a favourite place you like to write or ritual you go through when writing?
Lynne: The ritual is trying to force myself to sit at the computer.
Joan: How do you balance writing with the demands of a day job and/or family?
Lynne: I am happily retired and a grandmother so no problem.
Joan: What awards or other forms of recognition have you received for your writing?
Lynne: See the aforementioned poetry prize. I think it was an embroidery set. I was not thrilled because I was not the sort of little girl who did embroidery.
Joan: What are you working on now?
Lynne: A short story for the next Mesdames anthology, about warfare among seniors, living in a condo.
Write what you know!
Joan: As a writer, what is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Lynne: From Howard Engel, in a writing class at Humber College. “Sometimes it doesn’t help to move things around. Sometimes you just have to start over.”
Joan: What do you like about being one of the Mesdames ?
Lynne: The support and encouragement.
Joan: Is there anything you’d like to add?
Lynne: I have never much liked reading short stories so I’m rather surprised that I am having some success with them.
Her story Saving Bessie’s Worms brought a sparkle of humor to the Mesdames’ Crime anthology, THIRTEEN. (Carrick Publishing, 2013)
In 1992 Lynne helped found the Toronto Chapter of Sisters in Crime and is proud that it continues to thrive.
Joan O’Callaghan is the author of educational books and short stories, including Sugar ‘N’ Spice in the anthology THIRTEEN (Carrick Publishing, 2013). Her short story George is available for e-readers everywhere, including Amazon Kindle.