They said it, not me: Best quotes from writers

In this age of increasing technology and constant access to various media channels, it seems there is never a shortage of information at our fingertips. This leads to people being more "social" online (a theory about which I am still skeptical, but that's for another day). And then, inevitably, the quotes start flowing. They are…Read more They said it, not me: Best quotes from writers

3 simple tips for writing around a busy schedule

Forget about writing a novel---sometimes it's difficult finding the time just to scratch out a blog post. Years ago, when I first started taking this whole "writing" thing seriously, I read online that only five percent of novelists earn a living from their work---and that was before the self-publishing explosion. That's right: at least 95…Read more 3 simple tips for writing around a busy schedule

How long should it take to write a novel?

Writing a novel is a very personal process---and one that, for the bravest aspiring novelists among us, becomes very public when the decision is made to publish. It cannot be rushed. But there has to be a middleground between cranking it out too quickly and sitting on it for years without doing anything, right? The ultimate…Read more How long should it take to write a novel?

A day to remember the fallen

When I was a student at the University of Michigan, I was walking across campus and a young woman stopped me. "Please take this," she said, and then handed me a small slip of paper. "It's Veterans Day. We want all of our fallen to be remembered." I looked at the slip. It read: Christopher…Read more A day to remember the fallen

Five recent movies all writers should watch

As a writer, you should focus on reading books. Right, I get it. Reading well helps you to become a better writer. But sometimes we need to change up the medium. And what better way to recharge from the page than with a great movie. I've spent a lot of time watching films, having worked…Read more Five recent movies all writers should watch

How many unfinished manuscripts do you have?

It has almost become routine. Get a great idea---this is the one! Jot it down. Make notes. Wait until you're at your computer, and then type away, cranking out as many details as you can remember from the initial burst of inspiration. This is the one that will make my writing known. And then, about…Read more How many unfinished manuscripts do you have?

From page to screen: Philipp Meyer’s “The Son”

Remember that book I proclaimed should be considered a Great American Novel? Philipp Meyer's The Son? Well, it is now a TV show---premiering this Saturday night on AMC. When it was first announced that they were making the book into a TV show, I was a little hesitant. Firstly, everyone knows the book is always…Read more From page to screen: Philipp Meyer’s “The Son”

Where I find my inspiration to write

You could ask any writer. I'm sure they could tell you how they begin their writing process. Maybe inspiration strikes like lightning---the entire story, right there in their mind, neatly wrapped with a bow. Maybe they have a nugget of an idea and begin to expand from there. Maybe they have a notion of an…Read more Where I find my inspiration to write

The place that inspires me

Once again, Jim was right. But for me, northern Michigan creates much more than an itch to move. It's an endless inspiration. "Your kids inevitably want to move where they had their vacations when they were younger." -Jim Harrison        

More like “One of the Best”

There is a certain degree of mystery in every novel. What's most impressive is when the plot surfaces, the reader gets a sense of the direction of the story, yet every page is as important as the next and you cannot seem to stop turning them. That's what it's like reading Daniel Magariel's One of…Read more More like “One of the Best”

The quest to write the Great American Novel

The elusive Great American Novel. You've heard the term. What does it mean to you? A masterful book by an American author? A story that tells a relatable tale to any American? A few months ago I read an article in the New York Times called "Why There's No 'Millennial' Novel." The main argument, it…Read more The quest to write the Great American Novel

Simple advice for aspiring writers

My advice for aspiring writers is simple: Keep at it. That old cliché rings true---practice makes perfect, like with anything in life. Well, maybe not perfect, but the best way to become a better writer is to continue writing. Seems straightforward, right? You'd be surprised how difficult this notion can be for some writers. I…Read more Simple advice for aspiring writers

Those Irish have a way with words

It's not all whiskey and beer. The history of Ireland is both beautiful and heartbreaking. It makes you wish you lived there, yet it also makes you count your blessings. Being of Irish descent, this history has always fascinated me. I've found that in order to understand something, you need the full picture. You need to…Read more Those Irish have a way with words

The significance of word count

Is it too long? Too short? Just right? Who's to say? Maybe it's the analytical side of me that takes over when the creative side has had its run of the place for a while. Eventually, while I am writing, I begin to worry about that little thing that's surely crossed all writers' minds at…Read more The significance of word count

Merely an Illusion

MERELY AN ILLUSION is a short story from the collection IN A NORTHERN TOWN.   On a summer night during peak season it would be impossible to land a table at The Foggy Pub, but on an early April evening when a late-season snowfall slowly drifts to the ground, casting a stark contrast toward the…Read more Merely an Illusion

It’s Time to Thank Coach John Beilein

Thank goodness for John Beilein. The Michigan basketball team was rolling. They had their ups and downs throughout the season, but something finally clicked. They finished strong. They looked determined to make a run in the postseason. And then you hear there’s been an accident with the team’s plane. Your stomach sinks. You say a…Read more It’s Time to Thank Coach John Beilein

An argument for the Great Lakes

Stay away from religion and politics, right? I try, especially for the heavy issues. But here's a case that seems pretty one-sided to me. Last week, it was announced that the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funding would lose $290 million under the newly proposed national budget. That's almost a 97% cut, down to just $10 million per…Read more An argument for the Great Lakes

The craft of the short story

This past Tuesday I released my third book, a collection of short stories called In a Northern Town. It seems my writing is getting shorter and shorter. Maybe it has gone with the attention spans of our youth. First came the novel. Then came a novella, which I followed up with a second novella. Being connected,…Read more The craft of the short story

Do big words yield big emotions?

Even the biggest personalities in the world sometimes find themselves in the middle of a feud. Alexander Hamilton vs. Aaron Burr. Biggie vs. Tupac. Hatfields vs. McCoys. Hemingway vs. Faulkner? Rarely do literary names get tossed around when speaking of such rivalries, but in the 1950's arguably the two biggest names in the industry took a shot at…Read more Do big words yield big emotions?

NOW AVAILABLE: In a Northern Town

Ed A. Murray's original collection of short stories, all of which are centered around the rugged yet beautiful landscape of northern Michigan, is now available in paperback and on Kindle. Pick up your copy of IN A NORTHERN TOWN today on Kindle or in paperback! "From the author of Between Two Slopes and Somewhere More Than Free comes a collection…Read more NOW AVAILABLE: In a Northern Town