Hello readers and fellow writers, today I have the pleasure of speaking with my special guest Mur Lafferty, who is an author, podcaster and editor. Before I begin my interview with her, let me give you a little introduction.
Mur Lafferty is an award-winning author (Shambling Guide to New York City, Ghost Train to New Orleans) of urban fantasy, science fiction thrillers, and nonfiction. Her latest book, Six Wakes, has been nominated for the Hugo and Nebula Awards for Best Novel and the Philip K. Dick and Manly Wade Wellman Awards. She has written for Star Wars (short fiction and the upcoming Solo novelization). Her nonfiction book I Should Be Writing is based off her award-winning podcast of the same name. Her other podcast, Ditch Diggers (with cohost Matt Wallace) is a two-time nominee for the Hugo Award for Best Fancast. In 2015 she was inducted into the Podcast Academy Hall of Fame.
Ann: Please tell us a little about yourself.
Mur: I’m a writer, podcaster, and editor. I’m always doing a number of projects. I live in Durham, NC with my family, two dogs and a bunch of board games. I enjoy running but only when zombies are behind me.
Ann: When did you decide that you wanted to become a writer, and what was your source of inspiration?
Mur: I always enjoyed writing, but it wasn’t until reading Anne McCaffrey’s Pern novels and Madeline L’Engle’s Wrinkle in Time series did I think it was a job I could have. But they were women writing about women and girls having SF/fantasy adventures, and I wanted to do that.
Ann: What tips and tricks did you learn throughout your writing journey? How have these little gems of advice helped you improve your writing or enhance your writing career?
Mur: I took some time off where I wasn’t sure I could ever improve, which was naïve and wasteful. I’ve discovered almost every cliché is true (for me, anyway.) Writing frequently is better than intermittently. Don’t edit until you’re done with the story. Writing terrible stories will still teach you things. And wisdom from the first ghostbusters movie: When someone asks you if you’re a god, you say yes. (Which is what I tell myself when someone has asked me if I can handle an exciting project that I doubt myself over).
Ann: Tell us a little about your most recently published book(s).
Mur: Last year I published Six Wakes, a science fiction murder mystery about clones. It’s been nominated for the Hugo and Nebula awards, among others. I also published a nonfic book about writing based on my podcast, I Should Be Writing.
Ann: Which is harder, writing or editing? Why?
Mur: Editing, totally. I feel like I enter a sort of zone while writing and can stream story, and editing requires slowing down, focusing, and looking for problems and pondering solutions. Writing is fun. Editing is work.
Ann: Do you have any current or upcoming projects you’d like to share with us?
Mur: The novelization for the movie Solo: A Star Wars story comes out September 4!
Ann: What advice do you have for inspiring authors and new writers?
Mur: Keep writing and don’t quit. Every crappy story you write is like a step up the staircase toward being a better writer. Hard work beats talent, because talent will often quit once things stop being easy.
Ann: What are your reading habits and how have they influenced your writing career today?
Mur: I listen to audiobooks mostly, ever since I started listening to audio fiction via podcasts in 2005. I’m not sure how they directly influence my writing, except that I know that stopping reading will make my writing worse. You always need to “fill the well,” as it were.
Ann: If my readers are meeting you for the first time and want to follow you and learn about your work, where can they find you online?
Mur: People can find me via my website at
and they can follow me on twitter at
Thanks for stopping by my blog for a brief Chat, Mur. I know you are a very busy woman, and I wish you much success.
As for you readers out there, all I can say is check out I should be writing and Ditch Diggers, I love these podcasts myself. If you’d like to be a guest on my blog, simply fill out the contact form, which is the third page you’ll see when you hop onto my site. Send me your name, email address, a link to your website if you have one, and let me know what type of writing you love to do, and I will send you the same interview questions, so you and I can have a virtual cup of coffee while we chat.
Happy writing, and God bless.
Photo: curtesy of JR Blackwell