Friday, September 5, 2014

'I Love You More' author Jennifer Murphy says 'dreams do come true'

Former Charlottean Jennifer Murphy has concocted a doozy of a plot in her debut novel, "I Love You More" (Doubleday, $24.95). Lawyer Oliver Lane is shot to death in his Outer Banks rental cottage, and the prime suspects are his three wives, who are each unaware of the other but all sport the same haircut.
The star of the book is 12-year-old Picasso, Oliver's precocious and dictionary-reading daughter, who tries to make sense of what she knows and doesn't know.
Kirkus Review calls this "a thoughtfully written, original and entertaining exploration of events ignited by love and lies."
Murphy, who now lives in Seattle, emailed me that her biggest dream was always to write and publish a novel. But as a former single working mom, a writing schedule was a luxury. She got serious after she went to the Wild Acres Writers Conference in Little Switzerland, N.C., and studied with novelist Ann Hood, who encouraged her.
At Bread Loaf Writers Conference in Vermont, she met an agent, who offered to represent her. In 2011, Hood invited her to a conference in Tuscany, Italy. Murphy took 50 pages of her novel-in-progress, "I Love You More." Hood liked it so much, she advised her to dump the novel she'd been working on and stick with this one.
Nine months later, she completed "I Love You," and in a few more months, her agent sold it to Doubleday.
"It took awhile," she writes, "and there were a lot of rejections along the way. But ultimately I believe it was the stick-with-it-ness that made it happen."

Murphy, who served as executive director of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public Art Commission, will read from  "I Love You More" at 2 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 7, at Park Road Books in Charlotte.