Michael Murray

Biography

Actor, writer and teacher, Michael Murray was born in Stepney, East London. He trained for the stage at The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. After graduating from R.A.D.A. he appeared in a number of stage productions and then trained to be a teacher of Drama and English. Michael is a Drama in Education specialist and holds an advanced qualification in the teaching of drama, the A.D.B. (Ed) and has an M.A. in Education. In a long career, under his Equity name, Michael has acted on stage, in film and television, made many corporate videos and recorded numerous voiceovers. He has directed and written a number of plays which have been performed in small scale venues. He now lives with his wife in rural Yorkshire.

Smashwords Interview

Why did you write Magnificent Britain?
"Magnificent Britain" has had a number of incarnations. In the 1990s I became interested in the educational benefits of Art Therapy and began blocking out a novel about a group of art therapists and their clients. This early draft metamorphosed, by what alchemy I know not, into a completely different novel set in an English village that was participating in the Magnificent Britain gardening competition and focussed on the conflicts that arose between the villagers and the art therapists.

Over time I became more and more fascinated with the back story to the inauguration of the Magnificent Britain competition and particularly with the characters of Sir Maurice Brearley and his biographer Nigel Lush.

By 2010 the novel had reached 1200 pages and I realised that it could not contain all these story lines. I therefore focussed on the character of Nigel Lush and the consequences of him unearthing Sir Maurice's secrets.

By now the central themes of the novel were: hypocrisy; secrecy; the relationship between biography, fiction and the truth; changing attitudes in society towards sexuality; and the difficulties involved in creating an accurate understanding of the past. I have retained the theme of the cathartic and therapeutic power of art but back grounded it so that it has only a tangential role in the story. The novel has moved a long way from where I started but I am pleased with the result.
What kind of reader would enjoy Magnificent Britain?
I don't write with any category of reader consciously in mind. If I did, I don't think that what I produced would be authentic. I can't write with an imaginary, amorphous set of readers looking over my shoulder.

I believe that if you are committed to the plot, structure and characters and write as truthfully as you can, that is all you can do. If you have done your job properly as a writer then all kinds of readers will be taken with your work.

Obviously, if you are writing in a particular genre e.g. crime, romance or zombies you have to adhere to the constraints of that genre but that is a different matter entirely.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Michael Murray online


Books

Learning Lines? A Practical Guide for Drama Students and Aspiring Actors
By
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 83,850. Language: English. Published: October 24, 2013. Category: Nonfiction » Art, Architecture, Photography » Performing arts
If you've ever thought there must be a more stimulating and effective way of learning lines than simply rote-learning, then this is the book for you. If you're an aspiring actor or drama student the book will be particularly useful but it should also interest those who intend to write and direct and readers who are interested in literature and the drama.
Magnificent Britain
By
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 183,520. Language: English. Published: March 8, 2013. Category: Fiction » Historical » United Kingdom
Writer Nigel Lush is commissioned to write the official biography of World War One hero Sir Maurice Brearley. Nigel interviews another veteran, Leonard Stidges, who claims to have known Sir Maurice in the trenches. "The man's a fraud; a liar and a fraud," Leonard tells Nigel. Shocked by Leonard's revelations, Nigel embarks on an investigation that has devastating consequences.
Julia's Room
By
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 36,730. Language: English. Published: March 6, 2013. Category: Fiction » Literature » Literary
It's another difficult Monday for Alan, a young reporter working in Fleet Street. By the end of the day he will have been humiliated by a colleague; stunned by the revelations of a stranger in a pub; and had his illusions about Julia destroyed forever.

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