Interview with Mat Murphy

What's the story behind your latest book?
My first novel will be available soon. It is titled 'The Necessary Techniques of Obsession'.
The story is a warning shot against living in the past and holding onto fruitless dreams. It is a story that digs under the happy family façade and uses an array of authentic and quirky characters to uncover the moments of influence that can shape a person’s life.
It follows an awkward kid and his socialite family with a particular focus on the kid's devotion to a girl he met at junior high school but has since lost track of. He expends a lot of time and energy on his attempts to find her again, following his maturation through school, university and his successful work life.
Get a copy! My Dad loved it...hopefully you will too.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
When I was about 10 years old I read a couple of books by an Aussie author named Max Fatchen, who was also a journalist. I wrote him a letter and he replied which was just amazing to me. I thought because he was an author he was this amazing individual and naturally must have been wealthy and debonair. It was kind of magical for me to get that contact with an author. I don't really remember how many books he sold or how famous he was, but to me he was a real legend. A literary star!
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
A full-time job in finance and a house full of kids pretty much keeps me busy. I am sport mad and keep as fit as I can so between my wife's sport, my own soccer games and the kids there is always a sport event to attend.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Books, hmmm? How about authors? In no particular order - Sebastian Faulks, Bryce Courtenay, Kate Grenville, Jeffrey Archer, Tim Winton, Roald Dahl and John Irving.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
When all the words flow and you have no distractions, when you have the story clear in your mind and you can have a really positive prolific session at the keyboard. Then to read it back and to tighten it up, and be really proud of what you've produced. That will do it for me! It just feels nice to let it flow...
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I live in the city now, but I grew up in what was a seaside village called Hervey Bay. It is now quite heavily populated and touristy but when I was growing up, it was small-town, and most people knew each other. Also growing up I witnessed some real characters around the town, absolute larrikins with interesting turns of phrase. I think this has influenced my use of words, for certain.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I thought "screw being at the mercy of a publishing agent" to decide if people get to read my work. I know there is a thing called 'vanity publishing' that I want to avoid but I think I have great things to say and people deserve to hear my voice. I may never be Grisham or Rowling, but I am determined to build a body of work to be proud of.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Working in financial advice, I am lucky enough to be able to make a big difference to the retirement plans of people who might not otherwise get advice. Being able to guide these people on how to maximise their circumstances to get a better retirement outcome is pretty satisfying. I am always learning as well, so I always have lots of little projects on the go - study, research, writing projects etc. To be honest, there's never enough time available!
Describe your desk
Actually pretty tidy when I am sitting at it, but because the home computer is shared with the rest of the family, there tends to be a bit of scattered paper build-up. I keep my ideas in scribble format in a little notebook which I refer to while I write...for example, a scene outline, some grabs of dialogue or something significant I want to remember to include in the piece I'm writing on.
What are you working on next?
There'll be another novel over the next 12-18 months, one which I started years ago but had put aside for other things. I aim to produce a bunch of short stories as well and hopefully bundle up the best of them for a collection to promote my work. Other than that, I am trying to get my head around the marketing side of it all.
Published 2015-01-19.
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Books by This Author

The Necessary Techniques of Obsession
Price: $6.99 USD. Words: 118,200. Language: English. Published: February 14, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » General, Fiction » Romance » General
A writer discovers that the girl of his dreams from his primary school days is dating his cousin. Filled with memorable characters and spanning two decades, The Necessary Techniques of Obsession will take you on a journey from Expo 88 in Brisbane to Barcelona, Italy and London while it disinters your very own first love memories, demanding you turn the page.
Lucky 13 - Thirteen Foundation Stones for Building Wealth
Price: $12.99 USD. Words: 23,840. Language: Australian English. Published: August 18, 2014. Categories: Nonfiction » Business & Economics » Personal finance
LUCKY 13 details thirteen important building blocks in your wealth creation plan - your 13 Foundation Stones. Building on basics such as the recommendations in 'The Richest Man In Babylon' about saving, budgeting and getting out of debt, LUCKY 13 then explores more sophisticated concepts such as investing, asset ownership, self-education, income and tax strategies.