A.P. Murray stopped by to talk all about her debut novel Greedy Heart!
Greedy Heart has garnered a lot of early praise, from sites like The Hollywood Reporter, POPSUGAR, and more! See a list here.
Briefly tell us about your journey to publishing your book.
Greedy Heart faced an uphill battle in today’s publishing world because people are STILL not that accepting of a powerful female narrator. Put “powerful” and “female” together and somehow folks fear you end up with “unlikeable.”
I was like, really? Holden Caulfield is a little shit. And don’t even get me started on Alexander Portnoy or Humbert Humbert.
What was your biggest inspiration while writing your book?
I wanted to write about the importance of home. The financial crash of 2008 really bugged me in a profound way because it affected people’s homes. Home has meaning outside of what you can flip your house for. So I wanted to explore a situation (a rent-controlled lifetime apartment), where a character chooses the concept of home over profit.
Does your book deal with a current trending or controversial issue, and if so, why did you choose to write about that issue?
My book is about a financial collapse, a natural disaster, New York at the epicenter it, and the heroism average New Yorkers who come together in that moment.
With what’s going on today, I can hardly think of anything more topical than that.
What has made things worse: the corruption of the one percent, income inequality, the tenuous security of people and animals. All these issues are at the heart of my book. My main character, Delia, goes from complicity with these modern-day evils to redemption.
I’m the kind of writer who sort of HAS to tackle the issues of our time. It’s like I sit down to write and I can’t avoid them.
Which part of Greedy Heart was most challenging to write about?
Getting the structure of the plot was definitely the most difficult. This book has a lot of moving pieces—so getting them all to work together was like assembling a pocket watch.
From a personal level, writing about the different mother-daughter relationships was tough. That’s always hard when you’ve had your own difficult path(s) with your family.
Is there a character whose personality most matches yours? If so, which character and why?
The heroine, Delia, is like me in a lot of ways. People who know me will recognize my voice and sense of humor. But she is more bold and courageous than I am. Though I did start my own company—so I suppose that’s bold enough!
What is your writing process?
I do a ton of plotting up front. Just reams and reams of printer paper covered with .2mm lead pencil scratch. I’m working out character arcs and how they intersect, timelines, making lists of possibilities. Then I sort it all out into a rough timeline—which of course changes. But I must have the broad sweep. The first part of the timeline is pretty detailed—covering about 5 chapters. The later part of the timeline can be looser.
I am a morning writer. I get an hour or two done before I tackle my day-job. I’m pretty dedicated to this schedule, even though it’s tough sometimes.
About the Author
A.P. Murray’s sprawling Irish Catholic family has roots in New York City going back four generations. Her industrialist great grandfather, Thomas E. Murray, Sr., co-founded Consolidated Edison, was second only to Edison the number of patents attributed to him, and is credited with creating the mass distribution of electricity in New York City. Murray descends from this lace-curtain heritage and also from a working-class mother who rose to international fame as a fashion model.
A technology consultant by day, Murray began her career as a teacher and journalist before founding an early stage web company, which built many national brands’ first websites. The firm, tmg-emedia, later expanded into broad-ranging technology consulting. Murray has won multiple awards for her technology leadership and as a woman tech entrepreneur. She lives in New York with her husband and business partner, Christos Moschovitis, and her whippet, Orpheus. Her horse, Hershey, resides separately in Connecticut.
Greedy Heart is her debut novel.