Please welcome J.J. Murphy, author of the Algonquin Round Table mysteries.
[J.J. has graciously offered to give a copy of A Friendly Game of Murder to one lucky reader (paperback or digital format–winner’s choice). Just leave a comment below today to enter the giveaway! Winner will be selected at random and notified directly via email.]
What’s your idea of a perfect day?
My perfect day is a day when the sun is shining, the birds are singing and, in the library, the detectives are finding clues, digging up bodies and catching criminals.
Do you have a signature accessory, color, fragrance, phrase, or meal?
I have only a written signature. I use it to sign IOUs, bank loans and bar tabs.
Excluding family, name three people who either inspired you or influenced your creativity.
Outside of my dog, my creative inspirations are Dorothy Parker, Arthur Conan Doyle and David Letterman. Inside of my dog, it’s too dark and cramped to be creative.
Do you listen to music when you write?
When I write, the only music I hear is the symphony of my fingers clicking on the keyboard and the gentle screams of my characters as I put them into yet another tight corner.
If your latest book were chocolate, what kind would it be and why?
If books were chocolate, I would never leave the bookstore. I wouldn’t be able to fit through the door!
What made you interested in writing this particular story?
Okay, let’s be serious now… I love historical mysteries. I also love funny, faced-paced stories. I love witty dialogue. And I love Dorothy Parker and the Algonquin Round Table. Mix those up in a blender, and you have my particular story.
What themes do you regularly (re)visit in your writing?
Dorothy Parker once said (and I repeat this in my books) that she uses humor not as a weapon but as a shield. The first book in the Algonquin Round Table Mysteries, Murder Your Darlings, is really about using humor as a means of self-defense, and to some extent my other books are about that too.
Tell us about your main character’s psyche or personality. What led her (or him) to be the person s/he is today?
Whoops. I kind of gave it away in the previous answer. Dorothy is witty, as I’ve explained. But what leads her to solving a mystery is finding a dead body beneath the Algonquin Round Table. Hilarity, shenanigans and car chases ensue.
Describe your protagonist as a mash-up of three famous people or characters.
I don’t need to do that at all! Dorothy Parker was a famous character in her own right. But if you don’t know who Mrs. Parker was, she had the sharp wit of Oscar Wilde, the heart of Lord Byron, and the va-va-voom body of Scarlett Johansson.
If you could host a mystery-author dinner party, who are the six writers (living or otherwise) you’d include?
1. Dorothy Parker (to make the jokes).
2. Ernest Hemingway (to mix the drinks).
3. Julia Child (to cook the dinner).
4. Dan Brown (to be the victim).
5. Arthur Conan Doyle (to solve the crime).
6. James Patterson (to pay the bill!).
What’s next for you?
Glad you asked! At the moment, I’m working on a brand new historical mystery thriller (no details to announce yet), and looking forward to getting back to Dorothy Parker and the Algonquin Round Table as soon as I can.
When not writing the Algonquin Round Table Mysteries, J.J. Murphy is an award-winning health care writer and very busy parent of twin daughters in suburban Philadelphia.