Welcome to the Winner’s Circle where we celebrate the success of our ICL students. Today we are celebrating published author Dorothy B. Murray!
What is the name of your book? Who is the publisher?
The Home You Left Behind
Publisher: Dorrance Publishing Co
Tell us a bit about your path to publishing, from idea to submission to published book.
Since the age of nine I began to be fascinated by the stories I read and therefore commenced writing short ones and then abandoning them to write another.
At the time I left my childhood home, my heart was touched by my separation from home and from my loved ones. At that time I began to think that I’m not the only one who bears the grief of leaving home and not able to go back with a sense of belonging. I therefore started to write, The Home You Left Behind. The early manuscript was one of my course assignments. It was only four or five pages then. By completing the course with Long Ridge Writers Group [now known as Institute for Writers], I had a passion to see the book published and distributed to those who’ve been touched by memories of a home they left somewhere, but realize that the home they left behind exists only as a memory.
Thanks to The Long Ridge Writers Group [now Institute for Writers] for its inspiration and for offering an excellent writing course that helped me to write and finally complete my book.
How long have you been writing?
Since the age of nine.
What’s your favorite genre to write and why?
Fiction novels. I have an interest in people in general and always feel that I have thoughts to share with them.
What ICL courses have your taken?
Writing for Children and Teenagers
How has taking our course helped your writing and/or career?
As previously stated, the writing course kept me writing and prompted me to look forward and not give up on my endeavor to see my book published. The course also offered many valuable subject materials and books that teach the concepts of writing.
Do you have a favorite writing tip you’d like to share?
To those who think they want to write but don’t know how: Have a clear mind, take up your pen and paper and begin to write. Don’t forget to read, read, and read.
If you could travel back in time and give yourself one piece of writing advice, how far back would you go, and what would you tell yourself?
I would go back to age nine when I started to write about everything. The advice I would give myself is don’t discard anything you write. Keep your writing materials for continual reference. Had I done this, I could have published other books based on the short stories I had written.
Tell us about your favorite place to write and what time of day you are most productive in your writing.
During my working years, I did most of my writing at home. I tried to write in the late evenings; a bad idea. In the early morning while my mind was actively watching the clock so I could leave for work on time, that wasn’t a good time to write.
My most productive time was on Friday nights and on Saturdays and Sundays when I sat at my desk at home. With no work to think about during those times, I was able to concentrate. I couldn’t choose a library as a good place to write. There are too many distractions to interrupt a writer’s thoughts.
Please tell us the best or most valuable thing you learned from your experience with ICL.
I learned good discipline. My assignments forced me to sit and write. In order to prepare my assignments I was forced to read my course materials and other books expeditiously. With this discipline, I continued to write to complete my own novel.
How do you balance your time between promoting your published book and working on new projects?
With the good discipline I learned from the Writers’ Group [Institute for Writers], I’m able to schedule my time to alternate between dealing with the book that has been published and keeping my schedule to complete the new novel.
As a first time published author and a continuing writer of fiction novels, Dorothy B. Murray has an interest in people. It’s her wish that she will kindle the thoughts of readers who’ve left their childhood home behind, but must accept the fact that they can’t go back to the place of their beginning with the sense of belonging. Their childhood home exists as a memory. Dorothy is a retired Canadian federal government employee. She lives in Ontario, Canada which has been her home for more than forty-nine years. She devotes her spare time to babysitting her grandson in the United States.