8 Questions with JR Murdock of V&A Shipping
Posted by rasplundjr
It’s another manic Monday so you know what that means right? …. No Not another Bangels reference… CRAP I just made one didn’t I… meh it happens it’s time for another round of everybody’s favorite 8 Questions… sure it’s their favorite they just don’t know it yet… hey it beats the hell out of gall stones.. trust me on that one…
Thanks for taking the time man I really appreciate this.
It’s my pleasure. Seriously, it is. I’d never thought I’d be in a position to answer questions from a fan of my show and to be in that position tickles me to no end.
1) Any plans on changing up the straight read format of your podcast fiction to a partial or even full cast model ala Morevi Remastered?
I have no plans to revisit my past recording. I plan on pressing forward as I feel that my fans are better serviced by new and fresh content versus a rehash of what I’ve already done. I’ve written a large number of books and short stories and this is but one. After I have a few released, I’ll entertain thoughts of re-recording some of the past episodes as I learned a lot about recording and can only make the earlier episodes better. For having a cast, That would require far more time than I can commit to a project and, again, I’d rather keep content coming out on a steady basis.
2) How did you get into Podcasting?
Wow! Actually I started listening to a few friends that appeared on the Dragon Page Cover 2 Cover BEFORE podcasting was even a word. I had to visit dragonpage.com and actually download the episodes. From there I discovered Dave Slusher’s Evil Genius Chronicles (also a pre-podcast show). Once podcasting started to take flight, I was a regular contributor to Dragon Page Wingin’ It! and was subscribed to all the early shows when they first started. From there I did a short-lived podcast “Confessions of a Struggling Writer” where I did updates to my writing, writing tips, and the occasional short story (some of which will be cleaned up and re-podcast in Murdockian Tales). I’ve always been in the community, but only recently decided to throw my hat into the arena of podcast fiction and once I made that commitment, I decided it was time to keep going.
3) Is there anything that you’ve learned that you never thought you would use in “Real Life” but end up using all the time?
Math. I learned so many formulas that I thought were useless, but it turns out that all those triangles, squares, and circles intrude in everyday life and need to be calculated.
4) When did you start writing and Why? Do you remember that “1st” story?
When I told my mom that I had no idea where those muddy footprints that just happened to be the same size as my feet came from. After telling her a great fabrication that consisted of someone stealing my shoes and hiding them under my bed after walking in the mud and then running away, I knew I was destined to tell stories. My first actual writing didn’t happen until far later in my life as I had many learning disabilities to overcome (not the least being severe dyslexia which still plagues my spelling to this day). I began writing in earnest in my tenth grade ‘Creative Writing’ class. My thought was, heck, I tell a good story. That’ll be an easy A. I did get an A in that class and produced a large quantity of writing in several forms including short stories, poetry, and haiku. I had seven pieces selected to be printing in the teacher’s annual collection (the most of any of her classes). Unfortunately that saw print and was burned because one of the students copies the lyrics of a song entitled ‘Wicked Bitch’ and it was printed in the collection. A few parents were enraged enough to burn the entire batch rather than see them in the students hands. That sucked.
My first actual novel I began writing when I was in the Navy and took me MANY years to write. It went through many forms and false starts before I decided to write it as a comic (I even had an artists and printer all lined up and ready to go before my artist got a job with Jim Lee of Image Comics [he now works with Marvel and DC]). That got me really primed and pumping out words at a blazing pace. I realized that my first draft didn’t need to be perfect and re-writing became my friend. That story is Of Gnomes and Dwarves and its main characters are based on D & D Characters that my friends and I played back in high school. It’s not your typical D & D Story though. At least I don’t think it is. Once that book was written, I never looked back. Nine novels and over one hundred short stories later, I made it to where you find me now. Answering 8 random questions 🙂
5) What’s the day gig and how does it effect your fiction?
My day gig is being a computer programmer and there are bleed effects from the day job and my hobby. Interestingly enough, programming is as much a creative/logic adventure as writing a novel is. You know where to go, how to get there, and there are many paths you can take to get to your goal. I’m lucky in the fact that my profession and hobby tie together so well and allow me so much flexibility. I find if I’m stuck in one I can flip to the other and allow my brain to work out the details when I’m not trying to think so hard about the solution to the problem.
6) Currently we’re getting the Murdockian Tales in the feed while we’re waiting for Billy Barbarian, what’s in store after that?
After that I’ll do some more short stories (I’ve got a LOT of them) and after I do set 2 of Murdockian Tales I’m thinking about doing either Paradise Palms or Of Gnomes and Dwarves. I think I’ll leave that up to my listeners. Paradise Palms is a lot more serious than V & A Shipping or Billy Barbarian. It’s darker and a lot more intense where as Of Gnomes and Dwarves is along the lines V & A and Billy where it’s fast-pace and light-hearted with deeper undertones for those who are looking for them. Of Gnomes and Dwarves, of course, it Fantasy, but not Epic Fantasy. I love to read Epic Fantasy but I don’t have the attention span to write doorstop epics that span generations. I really prefer to keep my fiction in the heat of the moment and pushing forward with action rather than all the in-depth thought provoking melodrama . My fiction falls into the escapism category rather than the soul-searching type.
If life continues to cooperate, I’ll keep pumping out fiction as fast as I can write it! I’ve got a back log of work to get through and I’m currently working on three new novels with ideas in my head for three more novels plus all the sequels for anything I’ve written. Yes, I have a habit of leaving my stories ripe for a sequel.
I almost forgot to mention, I’ll be blogging one of my novels while I podcast Billy. I’ll be blogging Astel, a YA Fantasy novel about a girl and her dragon. Well, it’s deeper than that, but it’s also a fun and fast story where a girl must make a choice of being taught science by the castle wizard of magic by a dragon. I also plan on releasing this one as POD, Kindle, and ebook version. If I get enough interesting, I’ll do the same with V & A Shipping and Billy Barbarian. We’ll have to see how all that goes. I’d love to one day see all these works in print. Time will tell.
7) Any Guilty Childish pleasures that you still indulge in Footie PJs or a big bowl of sugary cereal to get your day started?
Is there anything better than a big bowl of Fruity Pebbles? Well, actually Fruit Loops are better because they don’t get as soggy as quickly. With Fruity Pebbles you need to have a small bowl and keep refilling. Other than that, I still like the feel of mud between my toes. I still hate wearing shoes as I was a barefoot child nearly everywhere I went. I like the way things feel under my feet, not ON my feet.
8) In the Podoshphere and in general who are your greatest influences?
No list of influences is complete with Tee Morris, Scott Sigler, and the entire Dragon Page crew. They were the ones that started it all for me and I’ll always listen to anything they put out with rabid fascination. Tee had me hooked from the onset. Sigler took a bit to grow on me as I wasn’t a huge fan of the story behind Earthcore (just not my cup of tea) but I love WHAT he was doing and his stories have gotten so much better as the years have gone by. The Dragon Page always had an open door policy with regards to submissions and with names like Jack Mangan and Mur Lafferty getting their start there, what better sandbox to play in?
For more current people who keep me motivated I’d have to make a list. Nathan Lowell, Christiana Ellis, Mark Jeffries, J.C. Hutchins, Coach Ian Scott, Michell Plested, Pip Ballentine, Evo Terra, P.G. Holyfield, Christ Lester, the list can go on and on, but suffice to say that there are so many great podcasters out there that I couldn’t possibly name them all or give reasons for why they continue to inspire and motive me. I used to look at some of their work and think “I could NEVER do that. I’m just not good enough.” Now I look at what they do and think, I may not be as good as they are in my mind, but if I put my work out there and try, I have a far better chance of finding an audience than if I leave all these stories in my drawer (or on my hard drive). The fact that I was asked to participate in answering 8 random questions on Random Pimpage shows that I made the correct choice.
**Okay since some of the questions have more than one part technically this is more than 8 questions but meh…..
More is always better, right? WOO WOO!
Bonus Questions – You don’t have to answer these but you can if you want.
b1) What is the air speed velocity of an unladen swallow?
What do you mean? An African or European Swallow?
b2) 42 is the answer but what is the question?
Six by Nine. Forty two. That’s it. That’s all there is. I always thought something was fundamentally wrong with the universe.
b3) If at first you don’t succeed /Call it version 1.0/. (fill in the Blank)
JR Murdock is the Author, Voice Talent, and production for V&A Shipping and Murdockian Tales which can be found on Itunes or Direct from his website http://ofgnomesanddwarves.com/
He’s also on Podiobooks http://www.podiobooks.com/podiobooks/search.php?keyword=J.R.+Murdock
You can also reach Jay on Twitter @JRMurdock He’s a great guy to chat with. In Short he’s good people.