Tuesday 1 December 2015

Blog Tour Interview & Giveaway - Deadly Shot: Dan's Diary by Patricia Murphy

Deadly Shot: Dan's Diary
Author: Patricia Murphy
Genre: Children's Historical Fiction / Middle Grade

Book Description:
Football mad, twelve- year- old Dan is a trusted messenger for Ireland’s rebel leader, Michael Collins. He promises his cousin Molly to never fire a gun, but after the dramatic events of “Bloody Sunday” in Croke Park, he is pulled deeper into the struggle. Hunted by a vengeful Intelligence Officer, Molly and Dan are forced to flee Dublin. But unknown to Dan, he holds the key to a deadly plot. And his enemy will stop at nothing to track him down. On the run, they meet Flying Columns and narrowly escape death But as Cork burns can Dan continue to outrun his enemy?

Buy Link:
Amazon UK ¦ US ¦ Pool Beg


1. What inspired you to want to become a writer?
I always loved storytelling. I’m the eldest of six, and I used to keep my brothers and sisters awake at night spinning tales. I started writing stories as soon as I learned to write. I was also a bookworm. The idea of joining books I loved on the shelf was a massive motivation. I also had several teachers who encouraged me. My English and History teacher Miss Cronin was a particular influence.

2. Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
The best thing is when kids tell you they’ve enjoyed the books. Or they’re parents tell you that their son or daughter who normally is a reluctant reader couldn’t put the book down. A friend told me he went to visit his niece one weekend and she had her nose stuck in a book the whole time. When he checked the front cover, she was reading my Celtic trilogy The Chingles one book after the other.

Another parent told me her son has become a history fanatic after reading Molly’s Diary. I get great feedback from kids when I visit schools.

3. If you could have a signed copy of any novel what would it be and why?
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.  I studied it in school and know it inside out. It’s like an old friend.

4. If you could have any superpower what would you choose?
Thing-finder skills! I spend half my life hunting down my daughter’s shoe or my husband’s mobile.

5. Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.
Deadly Shot is a gripping historical thriller for children with a compelling narrator who journeys into the heart of the Irish guerrilla War or Independence but also deals with the moral dilemmas of conflict.

6. Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects?
I’m working on the third book in the trilogy about the Irish Civil War in 1922. This is told from the viewpoint of a contemporary Irish-American girl who returns to live in Dublin after her mother’s messy divorce. She finds a cache of letters and the sliver of a diamond in their boarding house and is plunged into a mystery that takes her into Ireland’s civil war, the Russian revolution and lost millions in an American bank account.

I’m interested in expanding into other genres, but I just go forward one page at a time.

7. Do you write as you go or do you have the book planned before you start the first draft?
I have a rough idea. Then I write to find the voice. Somewhere along the lines I start to sketch out the plot. I enjoy plotting, the craft element of it. But the map is not the territory, and often something pops out that you weren't expecting, so I try not to be too prescriptive.

8. What movie and/or book are you looking forward to this year?
It’s just in the cinemas now, but I’d really like to see Macbeth with Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard. They are two of my favorite actors. Also Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel by Carl Safina – about the emotional life of animals. It’s a scientific book about how animals such as wolves and dolphins have a rich inner life and sophisticated communication. It's what we all intuit, but I look forward to reading what a brilliant scientist has to say on the subject.

I'm also dying to see Goodnight Like This by Mary Murphy

It’s a bedtime story book of creatures settling down for the night. Mary (no relation!) is a really gifted illustrator and writer, and her books have a humane and warm glow that really appeals to children and their carers. They are like a hug in a book!

9. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
I like where I live – Oxford UK. But if I could move around I would spend part of the year in Kerry in Ireland, then summers in Aix-en-Provence. We lived there for most of this year and it’s marvelous!

10. Can you see yourself in any of your characters?
They all have elements of me. In some ways, Molly, Dan’s cousin, who is also the narrator of The Easter Rising 1916 – Molly’s Diary represents what I would like my better self to be. Brave, independent, thinks for herself. But maybe I’m more like Cassie in The Chingles – cranky with her siblings, larky but loyal when it counts. What I might share with my protagonists is persistence in the face of the odds. I’m often afraid but I admire risk taking and like a challenge!

About the Author
Patricia Murphy is an award-winning children’s author and Producer/Director of documentaries. Her most recent novel is Deadly Shot – Dan’s Diary - the War of Independence 1920-22. Previous works include the critically acclaimed Easter Week 1916 – Molly’s Diary, described as “brilliantly imagined”, “beautifully written and compelling” and “ fantastic at bringing history alive for children”. She is also the author of The Chingles Celtic Fantasy trilogy. She was the winner of the Poolbeg “Write a Bestseller for Children” Competition 2004.

She is also an award-winning Producer/Director of primetime documentaries for BBC and Channel 4. These include Children of Helen House on the Oxford children’s hospice for BBC. She created and filmed the launch programmes of Born to Be Different the Channel 4 flagship series following six children with disabilities through the 21st century. Other films include Behind the Crime about criminals and Raised by the State on growing up in care. She has also made Worst Jobs in History with Tony Robinson for Channel 4.

Author Links:


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  1. Alecia - thanks so much for hosting me! I see from your page we have certain things in common. Like a love of film - Bicycle Thieves is one of my favourite films too and Pride and Prejudice. I've had a long career in television so visual storytelling is very important to me.I've previously written a Celtic Fantasy trilogy -The Chingles. I will be checking out your novel! I admire you for both writing and hosting a blog. It must be time consuming but its great that you encourage and promote reading.

  2. What’s the best book you’ve read so far this year? Ever?

    1. No question - the Neapolitan Quartet by Elena Ferrante - 4 books in all beginning with The Brilliant Friend.
      They are masterpieces. The story told over several decades of the uneasy friendship between two girls born in the slums of Naples.
      Best book ever? Tough one. Probably Ulysses by James Joyce. If I could only have one book to read for the rest of my life, that would be it. It's not an easy read. But as a Dubliner it hold the city, the voices, sounds and smells between its covers.

  3. Enjoyed the interview, sounds like a great read, thanks for sharing!

  4. I really enjoyed your comments. I loved Jane Austen's books too.

  5. It is a truth universally acknowledged!

  6. Enjoyed the interview. Thanks for the chance.

  7. I enjoyed reading the interview.

  8. I'm going to show my daughter this book. I think she'll love it.

  9. Great interview, I always enjoy reading about authors :)..thanks for sharing!

  10. Deadly shot sounds like a good historical Fiction book ♡ Thank you

  11. Would love to live where you live too (Oxford, UK); this sounds like a really good book that I would enjoy!

  12. Bailey dexter Looking forward to a great read!