Book Titles

The thrill I get from beginning a new idea and finally wrapping it up is almost unexplainable. I frequently get asked how long it took to write such-and-such book. The answer I usually give is, "About a year." Truth be told, it takes two to three years at least. 

The process begins with a random thought that pops into my head, and taking that moment to write it down on a sticky note or scrap piece of paper and tossing it among all the crap on my desktop. It isn't necessarily a book title by any means, it is just a thought. Like, for instance, The Right to Kill was originally scribbled down as, Cleaning Up the Neighborhood. Because that's what the premise was; getting rid of pain in the ass neighbors. But as the writing sessions began, a couple of things became clear to me. Cleaning up the neighborhood could be misunderstood as a community project book about, what else? Cleaning up the damned neighborhood form trash and debris. The book is really about having the right to kill someone to protect your neighborhood from trashy neighbors and those who abuse the innocent. The book cover, designed by Albert Martinez, would get either point across, but the title, The Right to Kill, doesn't leave room for interpretation. The book outline was drafted in 2013. It was released in 2015.

It took three years to write My Life Before I Decided to Commit Suicide. Then there was a touch-up prior to the 2nd edition. All in all, it took five years I suppose. The title changed from the 1st edition to the 2nd. My Life Before I Decided to Commit Suicide, is the original title, but it was missing something. After all, it is a love story when all is said and done. So adding, A Love Story, provides a clearer definition and has increased sales. My Life Before I Decided to Commit Suicide: A Love Story.

The South Franklin Trinity concept came from a few thoughts I had along the way. The Digit was one of them. I am a one-finger typist, so my thought was, suppose I could erase everything I had ever typed. Would it take years off my life? So I kept that piece of paper around stuck to my desk for quite a while, dating back to 2013. And then Finding Mindy was the tittle for a long time. I wanted to write a book about my travels around the U.S. of A. when I first got out of high school and the eight years that followed. My girlfriend at the time, Mindy, has since disappeared. Nobody in her family knows where she is. I though I might try to find her. 

When I began the project and went through the character development process I realized it was about three totally different men in search of the same thing; enlightenment. And that the search was taking place right here in El Paso on South Franklin Mountain. Religious ideals got the best of me after fully developing the characters and The South Franklin Trinity title came to me one morning and it stuck. I am really happy with the characters, the real-life and creative licensed story placement. The ending is another great one. The book was not about finding Mindy at all, it was about finding me, but I was able to toss in a couple of good-time stories about my travels with Mindy.

My Guiding Partner

If I didn't have to work, of course things might be different, but maybe not. If I didn't have to edit the projects, things might be different, but I can't imagine anyone else doing the editing. 

I wish I had a guiding partner that knew my writing style, would read my proposed finished work and make the necessary critical suggestions without rewriting. My son Ian made some very good suggestions to The South Franklin Trinity. He was right about nearly everything. There are times I can ramble on and maybe be a bit prejudice and write text that is simply unnecessary. He had the cojones to point this out without being rude about it. I really appreciated that and I took his suggestions to heart. I am a prejudice old bastard from the golden age of prejudice and it is sometimes hard to stay focused. And he was right. My written word was a distraction from the actual storyline. Maybe Ian is my guiding partner in disguise.

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I occasionally will update you with progress on my many life-projects.

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James Robert Murphy

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