Authors Rating Their Own Books Five Stars? How Tacky!
August 27, 2016

I read with great interest what was essentially a note to all authors who self-rate their books five stars.

That’s just so … just so … *tacky*.

Further, star-abuse is hands-down attributable to the fact that we authors as a lot must be inappropriate, ego-puffed cheaters with an aim to game the system.

(As if one review can even make a dent, for argument’s sake?)

Hello, my name is Emily Murdoch and I’m a self-rated five-star giver.
And I’m downright incorrigible.

Because, truth is, if we couldn’t rate our own book five stars, you’d be the ones we’d be cheating.

Chances are, those self-rated five-star books exist due to great and tedious artistic commitment and sacrifice; of time, money, fun, weekends, holidays, time with loved ones, friends and family, for salaries mostly impossible to live on, so most authors have more than one job.

Because writing is a job. We may love it; it may be a blessing and a gift, a way to share ideas to touch or entertain or enlighten or better the world, better ourselves, and for the sheer joy of it, yes.

But it’s work. Much work. Even if it’s work we love.

And so I give my own books five stars in celebration, in excitement to share the words, to help bring light or a lean or some kindness, goodness, compassion and understanding back into this tough world.

That there are readers or reviewers with the sole intent of one-starring self-rated five-star authors due to a personal hypothesis, without facts, is actually sad.

Sad to see the world of writing that way.

I woke up this morning slumped over in the faux-suede recliner with my laptop open on my lap, having fallen asleep over my current manuscript.

The writing time I could take was late night, so I took it.

Just as I will again, tonight.

My name is Emily Murdoch, and I am a self-rated five star author.

May everything you love and create be worthy of your own five stars.

#amwriting #amrevising #sleepingcountswinks #YAsaves

A Lovely VOYA Review for IF YOU FIND ME!
January 28, 2013

Voya Magazine

Feb issue

 4Q 5P A/YA

Murdoch, Emily. If You Find Me. St. Martin’s, 2013. 256p. $17.99. 978-1-250-02152-6.

Come into the Hundred Acre Wood. Discover how the woods can hide you and protect you, but can also hurt you. Fifteen-year-old Carey finds herself alone with her five-year-old sister, Jennesa. Her mother has deserted them, again, only this time their long-lost father discovers them. All Carey remembers is the smell of his aftershave and the evil words her mother has often told her about him. Follow Carey on her journey of self-discovery, from the end to the beginning.

Fans of Stolen by Lucy Christopher (Chicken House, 2010/VOYA June 2010) will love this suspenseful, mysterious novel. With a twist on the Stockholm syndrome, characters are easy to identify with. Carey faces school, mean girls, bullying, and sibling rivalry. There are minor sexual descriptions. The book is a page-turner. There are references to Shakespeare, King Arthur, and Winnie the Pooh. Music fans will appreciate Carey’s devotion to her violin and will relate to the importance of music in her life. Murdoch has created a moving, riveting read that will have teens staying up late to finish the novel.

—E. Frank.

~*~*~

Such a lovely review!

For other writers: as you can see, the rankings, numbers, ratings never stop.

What matters most is how YOU feel about your book. If YOU don’t love it, it won’t matter what the trades say.

Wishing you words that sparkle, shimmy and dance!

A Kirkus Starred Review For IF YOU FIND ME!
January 24, 2013

KIRKUS

IF YOU FIND ME (star)
Author: Emily Murdoch

Review Issue Date: February 15, 2013
Online Publish Date: January 28, 2013
Publisher: St. Martin’s
Pages: 256
Price ( Hardcover ): $17.99
Price ( e-book ): $9.99
Publication Date: March 26, 2013

ISBN ( Hardcover ): 978-1-250-02152-6

ISBN ( e-book ): 978-1-250-02153-3
Category: Fiction

Ten years after her abduction, 15-year-old Carey is returned to her father and must face harsh realities about her mother, her little sister and their life in the Tennessee woods.

Carey and her younger sister live in a camper deep in a forest, away from anyone who might see and report two girls surviving with their drug-abusing, at-times absent mother, Joelle. It’s during one of her longer absences that the girls are found by a social worker and Carey’s father. Joelle reared Carey on stories of her abusive father, and the teen fears separation from her sister, Jenessa, who rarely speaks and is totally dependent on Carey. Now she finds herself snatched from a life of bare-bones survival to one of physical comfort with her father and his new family. Despite all she has done to raise and educate Jenessa and herself, Carey is hiding things about their life in the woods and the cause of her sister’s silence. This deeply affecting story is made all the more so by Carey’s haunting first-person narration. The portrait of a teen attempting to navigate a previously unknown world of family and school is well-drawn, especially the tension between Carey and her new stepsister, Delaney, and Carey’s budding relationship with a boy she knew before she disappeared.

A compelling narrative that is both unflinching about life’s pain and hopeful about its possibilities. (Fiction 14 & up)

~*~*~*

I’m speechless. Truly.

Mail Bag: Readers’ Qs4mE
January 1, 2013

A (lovely) reader of If You Find Me’s ARC, who happens to be a writer herself, asked me, “How did you have the courage to go after your dream of writing and publishing?”

I immediately thought of a Ralph Waldo Emerson quote, “Hitch your wagon to a star”, and how much wisdom is packed into those six artful words.

So, I say to her and to all of you, hitch your wagon to a star! To TWO stars, even.

What could it hurt? Even the journey itself is golden, and that holds true regardless of the exactitudes of the eventual destination.

Why?

Because you learn amazing things about yourself. You grow in sacred ways. There is no book in the world that feels as good as those moments in life where you feel the fear, but do it anyway, and EXPERIENCE your own evolution.

As the main character in my second book says, “Be the star of your own life”.

The destination is one time, one place.

But the journey is every sun, every moon, every breath, every dream, every second of every day.

So dream. Dream HUGE. Dreams need belief like a child needs love to grow.

Believe in yourself. Believe in your writing. Believe in your dreams.

Risk it.

Hitch it!

Happy 2013, everyone. May this be the year your dearest dreams come true.

What Do You Call Your “Writing Place”?
March 2, 2012

Falling down the rabbit hole: that period of time during which writers are swallowed up into the writing, the revisions, the first draft, the tenth draft, while the world outside the imagination switches places, and it’s *that* world which is fiction, and the fiction, the whole world.

I’m presently in revision mode on a new novel I hope to have on sub by the end of April. I’m hunkered down in the proverbial “revision cave”, although the image hasn’t ever quite fit, for me; I find the act of writing, and the writing itself, too uplifting and full of light and emotion and meaning, for the cave analogy to work.

I need a place conducive to mental fireflies, those little sparks of light flitting through the imagination and connecting the dots.

But, what to call it? After some thinking, and a favorite quote thrown in, (if you know me, you know I’m a quote-fiend), I’ve come up with this:

Walden Pond, near Henry David Thoreau’s cabin.

So, if you’re looking for me, you know where to find me. I’m Walden Pond-ing it, quite happily. : )

Waves from my woods, to yours!