Interview with K C Murdarasi

What is your writing process?
Sit down at the computer to write.
Check emails.
Act on emails.
Think "I'd better not check social media".
Check social media.
Get hungry / thirsty - take a break.
Return to computer and repeat until blind panic at lack of progress sets in.
Write.
Get into the flow.
Be interrupted by phone call/husband.

In extremis I go out to coffee shops - I'm much more productive there!
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I wish I could say it was by sipping champagne in my mountaintop villa, but in fact I'm a bit of a jack of all trades, so I'm usually working. I babysit my gorgeous nieces, do Albanian to English interpreting, and work for online clients doing proofreading, editing, survey design and analysis.

I do find time for a lot of reading though, and I enjoy handicrafts like crochet. I also enjoy watching films, although actually getting out to the cinema requires a pretty rare alignment of circumstances where neither my husband nor I are busy, at least one of us has money, and there's something at the cinema that we both want to see.
Describe your desk
I have a sweet little writing bureau, with a pull-down writing surface, dookets for pens and notebooks, and drawers underneath where I can store my laptop.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
I think it was something about a teddy bear. It was up on the wall in my classroom when I was about six. My mother probably remembers!
What are your five favorite books, and why?
The answers to this question are not hard and fast, and obviously there may be a new favourite book that I haven't read yet, but here are a few of my current favourites:

* The Water Babies by Charles Kingsley. This is my absolute favourite book. The language is so playful, and the concept of children becoming "water babies" is unforgettable. It's a great read as a kid, but it just gets richer every time I return to it. I see so much more in it now. As a Christian, I find the Christian allegory that runs through it very powerful, with the 'trinity' of Mrs Bedonebyasyoudid, Mrs Doasyouwouldbedoneby and the Irish washerwoman. It ends: "But remember always, as I told you at first, that this is all a fairytale, and only fun and pretence: and, therefore, you are not to believe a word of it, even if it is true."

* The Dark Tower Series by Stephen King. Yes, this is a series, not a single book, but they need to be taken together - to the extent that I and the other "constant readers" were on tenterhooks waiting for new each book as it came out. It is the tale of a gunslinger called Roland (essentially a knight) making his way to the Dark Tower at the centre of existence, through a world that is crumbling around him, and that is mysteriously connected to ours. It starts, "The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed," a line that gives me shivers. The ending is both satisfying and aggravating, but I won't say any more because I don't want to spoil the journey.

* Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. See, I don't just read fantasy! This is the best novel, as a novel, that I have ever read. By that I mean that there are novels with more compelling characters, with more tension, with more gripping plots, but taken altogether this is the finest example of the novel form that I have yet come across. Scarlett O'Hara is not a good person, but she does her best with the hand that is dealt to her when her comfortable life comes crashing down thanks to the American Civil War. There's a lot of emotional truth in the novel, and it is truly heartbreaking. I read a library copy and added my tear stains to the ones that were already there!

* Persuasion by Jane Austen. This is my favourite of Austen's books. I've only read in once and I hesitate to return to it because it affected me so profoundly. I identified with the main character, Anne Elliot, more than with any other of her heroines. This is Austen's last completed novel, and the maturity shows. One day I'll return to it, and I hope it's as good as I remember!

* Palgrave's Golden Treasury. Not fiction this time, but an anthology of poetry. Poetry to me is like medicine - I can do without it for ages, but then there are times when I desperately need it. This is a collection of hundreds of years' worth of English language poetry, including every poet you have ever heard of, basically. It's possible to get an edition with a fifth book added, which includes modern (20th century) poetry like Philip Larkin and T S Elliot, and I would recommend that you do. I've been through numerous volumes because whenever I lend this to anyone, I never get it back! That is a strong recommendation in itself.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I use various reading apps on my smartphone. It means I don't have to take another device with me.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I'm currently working on a novel called The Gates of Janus, set during the Roman civil wars of the first century BC - Julius Caesar, Mark Antony, Cleopatra and all that. It follows the story of twins Paullus and Paulla growing up in these troubled times, not understanding much at first, but later coming to realise how their safety rests on a knife edge. Despite their father's best efforts to walk a prudent political line, the sister and brother eventually end up on opposite sides of the final conflict between Octavian and Mark Antony... But I won't tell you how it ends!

The Gates of Janus, by the way, refers to the gates of the temple of Janus in the Roman forum, which were closed whenever Rome was at peace, and opened during war. They were rarely closed.
Published 2016-07-01.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Leda
Price: $2.50 USD. Words: 29,900. Language: English. Published: February 1, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Religion, Fiction » Christian » Historical
When Albania plunges into the violent Chaos of 1997, Leda and her best friend Suela find themselves on the run together. In the wild mountains between Albania and Greece, Leda will be forced to rely on her faith alone. Will her God come through when it matters most?
A New Year's Trio
Price: $1.00 USD. Words: 7,660. Language: English. Published: December 20, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Short stories
A collection of three heart-warming stories about new beginnings, new romance, and New Year.
Running for Cover
Price: Free! Words: 3,380. Language: British English. Published: July 24, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Women's fiction » General
Isla Petrie just wants to avoid the Olympics, and she'll go anywhere - even sleepy Haddleford - but unexpected adventure awaits her in this Derbyshire village.
Office Life (and Death)
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 11,330. Language: English. Published: June 9, 2012. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » General
(4.33)
Have you ever wondered... If your boss disappeared, would anyone notice? How do you know your organisation really exists? What's the company policy on screaming? Office Life (and Death), a collection of sharp, funny short stories for anyone who has ever worked in an office.