Interview with Emily Murdoch – Author of If You Find Me

I am so excited to welcome Emily Murdoch to Bookbabblers today. Emily’s debut novel ‘If You Find Me’ is one of my favourite books of the year so far.

Please tell us a little about yourself

I’m a writer; a poet; a thinker; a person who feels things deeply. I was born a writer. I’ve known all my life that I’d be here eventually, writing books, and I plan to write until my last breath.
I’m also a person who doesn’t take life for granted, therefore I take my writing very seriously. Each morning brings a whole new chance to write again, and in my mind there’s nothing luckier than to be here, alive and possessing a brain that’s up for the task.
We’re all human (one can only hope!) and share common feelings and experiences. The writer’s job is one of interpreter, entrusted with decoding what others may not be able to capture in words for themselves.
So I see writing as a sacred act, and a gift for the giving.

Please tell us about ‘If You Find Me’ and your inspiration for the book.

I’m learning as I go along that there are so many answers to this question; some I didn’t even know of consciously at the time of writing If You Find Me.
Such as how easy it was to write a portrait of an abused child, having been one, myself. The psychology of fooling myself in order to write dark and deep, and, as I’m seeing, something so necessary to the world as it stands today …
I’m honored if my darkness can shed some light for others. Isn’t that what the darkness is about? Finding the words, and in that, flipping on the light of understanding. As people have been quoting from the novel, “words are weapons”. They can also be weapons of profound and lasting change.

What are you working on now?

Oh, the loaded author question! I’m working on everything! A memoir-ish sort of behind-the-scenes of IF YOU FIND ME tangled with my life and the writerly life; a few YA contemporaries; I have an idea for mainstream fiction, and there’s always a poem or two in there, being written or revised at any given time.

What was your journey to publication like?

Great question. Looking at it one way, it was probably easier than many. It didn’t feel easier to me, though, nor was it easy. It took approximately three years from query to agent offer to publisher’s offer.
I’m the worrying type, so, having such great agents has been a godsend.
Looking at it another way, I’ve been writing for decades; a lifetime. A lifetime of developing the skills of writing, story, voice. Even though my talent was noticed by others when I was young, it wasn’t enough without the practice and the time needed for life’s seasoning.
My advice to aspiring authors (you’re already a writer, you need no one’s permission!) is to keep writing. When the time is right, when the manuscript is right, when the conditions are right and the stars align, when you’ve put in the practice, the heart, the time, you’ll break through if you’re traveling in that direction.
But for that to happen, you need to write. You’ll get better and better, as you do.

What do you like to do outside of writing?

Live life! Sun and wind, flowers and dogs and horses. Riding. Reading. Movies that tug on my heartstrings.
Lending a hand or a shoulder or an ear where I can.
But I’d have to admit that the writing is my centering, my forever north. Whenever I need to seek out the calm in life’s storms, I always return to the page.

Thank you so much for having me today. I’ve truly enjoyed your company!

You can read my review of If You Find Me here: