Monday, September 1, 2014


Is mentoring a good idea?


Throughout my career, I have been fortunate to have competent and willing people who mentored me. In my marketing and sales positions, I worked my way up from the shipping department to riding in helicopters and private jets due to someone looking after me and having faith that I could do the job. Now that I am a writer, I still seek and get excellent mentors. I have 10 people that I trust and give them a copy of my manuscript to review and provide me with comments that always make improvements to my writing. So I have learned that mentors are important and they make a huge difference in your ability to reach and touch your dreams.

I am very lucky to have my wife as a live in mentor. Pat has contributed so much input to my writing. She has a knack of coming up with just the right suggestions to make the ending of my novels interesting and exciting making the reader wanting to come back for more.

But do you want or need a mentor? Here are my thoughts Mentors come in different forms – a friend, sibling, teacher, parent, clergy, drill instructor, boss, and so on… The mentor guides an inexperienced person by building confidence and molding positive performance. A successful mentor understands that his or her task is to be reliable, engaged, genuine, and aware of the needs of the person they mentor.

A bit of history of the word Mentor - The word mentor comes from the character "Mentor" in Homer's epic tale, The Odyssey. Mentor was a trusted friend of Odysseus, the king of Ithaca. When Odysseus fought in the Trojan War, Mentor served as friend and counsel to Odysseus' son Telemachus. Riverside Webster’s II New College Dictionary 1995 defines a mentor as “a wise and trusted teacher or counselor.” The act of mentoring is a series of ongoing and little successes. You will be able to make a real impact through consistent and ongoing relationship building.

First, you need to decide what you want help on. Review your writing critical eye, decide where you are deficient, define the areas where you need to sharpen your skills, and outline the specific writing goals you want to achieve.

Moreover, by specific I mean very specific.

Is your problem grammar, characters, plotting, sentence construction, or style? Maybe motivation or finding the time to write is an issue. A good mentor can help in many of these areas - as long as they know what you need.

A mentor must be self-assured they can aid you in achieving your writing goal. When you start seeking out mentors, ask questions. Not only is it important you know what you want, it is important you are confident the mentor can and will deliver for you.

All authors are different, so are mentors. Mentors may not be best selling authors or have a string of writing credits. Some mentors are simply good at what they do. What should you look for in a mentor - Intelligence, patience, professionalism - Yes, all of these things? Failing that, you could contact a famous - or favorite - author and ask if they ever mentor new authors. Most do not but a few will.

What is the cost? Again, it depends on what you want. Do you need an overall assessment and minor guidance – then you are looking at something in the range of $300 to $500 for a 100,000-word novel. I have read that the cost is this cost is quickly becoming an industry standard.

Want to give your book and attitude a thorough workout (editing, reworking etc?) Budget up to $1500 a novel. Pay less and you have to wonder what you are getting. (You get what you pay for etc.)

Need complete hand holding or lots of encouragement and blow-by-blow help. Most reputable mentors will charge from $500 to $1000 a month for that type of aid. They are usually open to negotiation depending on your circumstances. A few mentors will charge more - much more.

But, remember, mentoring is not always in relation to the writing style or technique. Sometimes it is about turning you into a writer. Gaining the right mentality and putting you on the road of self-discovery, with the confidence and skills to handle success in this industry.

Whatever you get from it - it should be rewarding and fun. Shop around to find a mentor that suits you, makes you feel good about yourself, and helps you grow - as a person and an author.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Travel and writing ... A good mix


St. Thomas
Scottish Highlands


Travel is an integral part of my writing routine. Being able to relate to physical locations I use in my writing adds a nice in-depth touch to my tales. My travel not only helps to flesh out settings and locales, it allows me to experience first hand many of the exciting scenes and action I write into my novels.

This spring I traveled to Ireland, and then in the summer to the Maryland coast. During my frequent treks, out and about, I take copious handwritten notes and spend time people watching. I enjoy writing the various descriptions’ I sketch out from the people I observe. It is fair to say that most of the character features I create in a story are likely to be fashioned after real people. The example below happened at a small outdoor cafĂ© on the Ocean City boardwalk.

Brief Example – Short cropped dull blonde hair framed a face that had no fear of repeated and long exposure to the sun. Her light blue eyes shined from within as they offered a stark contrast to her tan skin. The sun bleached blonde boy with her is her grandson. He was still wet from his morning spent in the ocean surf with his boogie board. They sat eating ice cream at a table with a red umbrella that struggled against the wind to stay put. She and the boy raced with the heat to eat it before it melted into a goopy sugary mess.

By doing on site research for my novels, I have had a chance to do things that I never considered doing. For my first novel “Cure Complex,” I toured the space shuttle simulator in Houston, TX along with a mockup of the space station. In addition to reviewing hardware, I had the opportunity to view and handle moon rocks in a lunar receiving lab. In California, I went aboard a U.S. Sub and a Russian Sub and an Underwater Explorer Sub. In Florida, I toured launch pad 39A that had the Saturn rocket on the pad prepped the launch of the Apollo Soyuz mission. Pursuing my quest to be authentic, I had the honor of attending a garden party at the White House, took part in placing a patch on the AID’s quilt display at the National Mall, toured Air Force One, and worked the controls of a DC-10 refueling tanker.

My travels have included the following areas - Every State in the USA, Canada, Mexico, Central America, Puerto Rico, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Iceland, Ireland, England, and Scotland. Activities I have done along the way… Touring castles, riding trains, touring natural hot springs, having a Guinness in Dublin to seeing a glacier calving in the Yukon, sailing on Loch Ness looking for the monster I hope my readers enjoy the effort I put into my novels in order to give them an impression of being there in each scene.

My new novel – “Flesh, Bone, Clone,” will be available by the end of 2014.

I hope that my writing blog posts will give my readers creative ideas on how to develop strategies for writing great books. Let me know what you do to create stories and scenes from your travel experiences.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Important words...

The editors of the American Heritage® dictionaries have compiled a list of 100 words they recommend every high school graduate should know.

"The words we suggest," says senior editor Steven Kleinedler, "are not meant to be exhaustive but are a benchmark against which graduates and their parents can measure themselves. If you are able to use these words correctly, you are likely to have a superior command of the language."

The following is the entire list of 100 words:

laissez faire


Friday, March 7, 2014

CURE COMPLEX News and Reviews

The following is a really nice review comment on "Cure Complex" from a reader on As a writer it's always refreshing to see a good review comment. Makes the effort of writing a book worth it. So far "Cure Complex" has earned very positive reviews from the people who have bought and read the book. I will post some more reviews as I get them (good or bad). 

If you haven't already got a copy please check out or just Google "Cure Complex by Ed Murphy." Thanks, and I hope you enjoy the book and look for my new novel "Flesh, Bone, Clone" set for release in 2014.

A READERS REVIEW of Cure Complex

Rick Noerr's Activity:  

Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Cure Complex (Paperback)

Reviewed Cure Complex by Ed Murphy

Really cool concept!!!!!!!!!!!! I really liked the idea that something off planet could cause a benefit that is its downfall.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Ed Murphy's BIO


Ed Murphy managed the marketing and sales for a Fortune 500 Company in the Untied States. He helped develop and implement online systems before becoming a writer. His award-winning novel CURE COMPLEX has received five star reviews. His new novel FLESH, BONE, CLONE continues his action/adventure thriller writing. He lives in Pennsylvania

Saturday, January 25, 2014

"Demystify Writing Misconceptions"

"Demystify Writing Misconceptions" was written by Joseph Moxley, University of South Florida
To become a competent, confident writer, you may find it useful to analyze your attitudes about writing. After all, your assumptions about how writers work can limit your imagination and the quality of your finished product. You can debunk a truckload of myths about writing by analyzing how you write, how your peers write, and how professional writers write.

Writer are Born Rather Than Nurtured

Reality: Perhaps a few people are born with a special ability to express themselves through language, yet ability without desire or experience nets an empty page
Researchers have been unable to prove that writers are uniquely intelligent or original. What is unique, however, is that writers discipline themselves to write and revise. When their thoughts are muddy, successful writers persist until they achieve clarity.

Writers Always Enjoy Writing

Reality: Professionals agonize about their writing from time to time.
For example, Sue Lorch, an accomplished writing teacher and author, writes: I do not like to write. Most people to whom I reveal this small, personal truth find it exceedingly odd, suggesting by their expressions that I ought either to repair my attitude or develop the discretion necessary not to go around telling people about it. Apparently these people hear my confession as an admission of fraud. Because my professional life centers on the written word—on producing it, interpreting it, teaching it, and teaching others to teach it—people assume that I should enjoy writing. Not at all. I inevitably view the prospect of writing with a mental set more commonly reserved for root canals and amputations: If it must be done, it must be done, but for God's sake, let us put it off as long as possible. [Sue Lorch, "Confessions of a Former Sailor." In Writers on Writing. Ed. Tom Waldrep, New York: Random House, 1985. 165-172.]
Although experienced writers may dislike the act of writing, they know that if they are to develop ideas, they need to put their pen to the page or their fingers to the keyboard. Like the forty-niners prospecting for gold in the Sierras, many of us write with the hope of eventually experiencing the "Eureka Phenomenon"—the inspirational moment when our passion finds form and we discover what we want to say by writing.

Gifted Writers Are Overflowing with Ideas

Reality: Experienced writers do not have a monopoly on good ideas.
Like most other people, they suffer through long, weary days when good ideas seem as rare as a lunar eclipse. Even on the worst days, however, they have faith in the creative process; their experience tells them that the chaos and frustration of early drafting will subside once a few drafts are written. Also, they look outside of themselves for ideas by reading extensively, observing their world, and building relationships with people.

Writing is a Lonely Craft Conducted Best By Introverts

Reality: Contrary to the myth of the lonely writer in the garret, you do not need to chain yourself to a desk in order to create.
Writing need not be a solitary, lonely act. In fact, writers who do not enjoy working in isolation either coauthor essays or they make arrangements with friends to meet together and write on their separate subjects. Others find it useful to write in noisy college cafeterias. And even if you do your best writing in a quiet room away from other people, you can probably do your best revising by observing how your words influence actual readers. When you can no longer find fault with your manuscript, there's nothing more invigorating than sharing it with trusted peers.
In business settings, people often coauthor corporate reports and interoffice memos. Even the stereotypical author in the garret is responding line by line to how his or her words are likely to be received by the intended reader. Most writers routinely seek advice from colleagues and editors.

Writers Work Best at Their Desks

Reality: Thoughts about what you are going to write about do not only occur when you are sitting at your desk. If you are receptive to sudden insights, you will find that some of your best ideas originate when you are puttering about in the world, playing golf or driving in busy traffic. Studies of the creative processes of scientists and artists suggest that our most innovative breakthroughs occur in the slack moments between work and play, so keep a notepad or tape recorder handy to record promising thoughts.

Writers Are Most Critical When They are Planning and Drafting

Reality: When they are just beginning a writing project, experienced writers ignore doubts about the quality of their ideas.
They often set aside questions of how best to organize their ideas or whether their rough drafts contain grammatical and mechanical errors. Experienced writers understand that evaluating the originality of all ideas based on a first or second draft is impossible.

Truly Skilled Writers Rarely Revise

Or, quality writing always develops spontaneously; revision is a form of punishment inflicted by nit-picking teachers
Reality: Professional writers do not perceive revision as merely a process of correcting errors; instead, they value revision as a method for developing and discovering their ideas.

Once Written, the Word is Final

Reality: Sure, when you submit your finished essays to your teachers, you should believe in what you have said. Ideally, your essays represent your best thinking on your subject. However, you should feel free to change your mind when reviewing your work at a later date. In fact, your teachers want to help you recognize that thinking is an ongoing process. Rigid thinkers, like rigid writers, are characterized by bitterness and sarcasm rather than invigorated by the challenges of an ever-changing world.

It is  Inappropriate to Use "I" in Writing

Reality: Use the first person when you are discussing personal experiences and when you want your readers to understand that the ideas in the text are your ideas or your opinions.

Because the "I" voice is so integrated with the insightful, energetic inner voice that helps us create, you might find it useful to write all your first drafts in the first person. Later on, if required by your communication situation, you can remove or rework the first person references.

The First Paragraph of Every Essay Should Define Your Thesis

Reality: Although it is true that many readers appreciate a writer's work when he or she summarizes the purpose of the document, explains the significance of the topic, and foregrounds how the document is organized, this does not mean that you always need to follow this sort of deductive organization structure.

Rigid rules about structuring ideas need to be shattered when serious thinking is going on. No single structure or format can satisfy diverse audiences and purposes. When you are revising your work, you will want to respond to the conventions for structuring ideas that exist for your specific communication situation.

Instructors Care Primarily about Grammar, Punctuation, and Spelling

Reality: More than anything else, your instructors care that you have thought deeply about a subject and written about it in such a way that they can understand your thinking.

Your instructors are much more concerned with the quality and depth of your ideas than with spelling, grammatical, or punctuation errors. However, because stylistic errors can intrude on your reader's understanding of your subject, be sure to correct any such errors

Monday, January 6, 2014

How Do You Use To, Too, and Two?

These three words cause some of the most common grammar problems as they are commonly misspelled or used wrong. Their usage can be difficult to understand. Welcome to the easiest way to learn how to use to, too, and two! See the grammar rules below, then test yourself with the quiz at the bottom of the page. You should also master the use of there, they're, and their!

If you want to learn how to tell the difference between to, too, and two, then look at the definitions and examples below. The differences between To vs. Too, To vs. Two, and Two vs. Too can completely change the meaning of a sentence. Or worse, it can make a sentence completely meaningless due to not following english grammar rules. This website aims to provide a simple, clear explanation on how to properly use to, too, and two.

To, Too, Two Rules


Use to as a preposition before a noun or as an infinitive before a verb. To and Too can be tricky!


"Please take me to the dance"
"We don't need to buy that right now."


Use too as a synonym for also or to indicate excessiveness before a verb. Usually, if you can replace too with alsoin the same sentence, and it still makes sense, then you are using it correctly.


"I am going to the mall, too."
"I had too many tacos for lunch."


Use two to spell out the number 2. If you can replace two with 2 in the same sentence, and it still makes sense, then you are using it correctly. This should be the easiest one!


"I have two hands and two feet."
"Can you give me two dollars?"