Author’s Roundtable: Murasaki Hideki


How long have you been writing? 

I have been writing since I was nine. I wrote my first novel at 13, though.

Has writing always been something you wanted to do? 

Yes. I’ve always known I wanted to write. I love it with a passion.

What books or stories have you written? Published?

I have written about 20 books. I have only published two of them. The first one is called “The Extralife Chronicles: The Slayer and the Ruiner.” The second one is called “When Darkness Falls: A Drake A. Halifax Chronicle.”

Can you tell us a little about your books? What are they about?

The first book I published is about two enemies who were once friends and how they reunite in order to fight a common evil. The second book is a little more complicated. It’s about a man who leads a rebellion to save his homeland from oppression, but there are many little interactions and smaller themes besides that of tyranny and its effects. My books all have a center theme from which smaller themes spawn off of. I like to take a current issue and then pad it with smaller issues like jealousy, revenge, regret, etc. I like including the age-old tenets of friendship and loyalty in my stories.

How did you get inspiration for the characters?

My inspirations for characters are everyday people. It could be someone I meet in the street that I may never see again. It could be a family member, a friend, a relative, anyone. I might be inspired by the way the cashier at Wal-Mart smiles at me and asks if I found everything I needed. Or I might be inspired by a friend’s character noble traits. Or it could be something crazy like seeing a complete and total stranger, and the way they count money and finding inspiration there.

Are the books based on personal experiences?

Some of them are. Some of them aren’t. Some of them are a mixture of personal experiences and my imagination. I haven’t published any of my books that are based solely on personal experiences. But all of my books contain aspects of my life in them.

Is there any advice you have been given that you could give to a young up-and-coming writer?

Never give up and don’t stop writing! Yes, that’s all I can say for young up-and-coming authors. Many people tell me that, and I gain much encouragement hearing it.

Can you talk a little about the benefits of getting your work professionally edited?

Wow! Getting your work professionally edited is a must, especially for young authors. You want your work to look as professional as possible. I worked really hard on the second book, because it was much longer than the first one. And I thought, “Oh, it looks great.” But then my editor gave it a once over and said, “Hey, Murasaki, this is a very good story, but it needs lots of work.” Imagine my shock! Your work can enter the world a polished jewel instead of a rough manuscript and still retain your “voice” if you have a good editor who works professionally.

What are some of the hardest things you’ve had to overcome as a writer, in order to be published?

One of the most difficult things is seeing errors in my writing. Being able to admit that I wrote a sentence wrong or that a character sounds too stilted is hard for me. Over the years, I been able to spot things quickly and prevent it from occurring while still in the “manuscript” phase. Another thing would be that I don’t enjoy reading. An author who doesn’t enjoy reading is an irony, but it’s true. However, I find that reading, especially reading classics, has helped me to form my own style and craft my skill as an author better than if I didn’t read at all.

How did you find time to write your books?

I write whenever. I might run upstairs to get something and write a sentence or two. Mostly, I write in the evenings, even into the night. I write best just before midnight.

Do you think writing has any benefits, and if so what would they be?

Being a writer has opened my mind to a lot of things. When you are always studying people and writing about them, developing their finer character nuances, you become more aware. I love people, and I enjoy watching a person and being able to sense or notice things most people miss. It’s what makes us more human. Many times we watch a movie and think “Wow, those people are so silly.” But many of us have forgotten what it’s like to be on the outside, watching. I study people a lot, and it is from those I study that I gain a deeper understanding of those around me. Being an author has given me the ability to perceive people differently, in a deeper way than before, because I needed to in order to create more human, more believable, more relatable characters.

Several of my guests have often said writing is therapeutic and relaxes them. Can you talk a little about how writing relaxes you? Any specific examples you can share?

I write well when I’m really keyed up. Writing has given me an avenue to vent my emotions in a way that I can share them with the world. There’s no better way to write the dialogue for an angry interaction than to be angry for real. It makes it that much more intense, that much more authentic.

Has writing made you a better person?

Writing has made me a lot of things. I leave it to my family and friends to decide whether I am a better person or not! Haha!

Do you like to read? If so, what are your favorite genres and why?

I don’t like reading in general. However, there are a few books that I really enjoyed. If I find a book I like, I will like reading it, but give me any random book, and I’ll drag through it. My favorite genres are mostly romance, I’ll be honest. I’ve read “Rebecca,” by Daphne du Maurier, “The Black Moth” by Georgette Heyer and “Venetia,” also by Georgette Heyer. I like romance, old classic romance because it’s satisfying. I love the heroines and the heroes, and I always feel good and a bit jealous when he finally gets her.

Can you talk about how important reviews are to writers?

Reviews give people a sense of how good or bad your book is. If you receive honest reviews and people read them and like what they see, you gain a good reputation as an author. Other authors may promote you if you promote them. You will gain a foothold in your field. All because of good writing and positive reviews. If people don’t like what they see, you will merely sink to the bottom of the ladder unless you improve.

Have you ever received a bad review? If so how did it make you feel?

I have never received a bad review. So far, I have one review for my first book on Amazon and another review for the same book on bestchicklit.com. They are both very positive reviews. However, if I did receive a bad review, I would see if there was any merit. If there was, I’d try to do something about it. If not, I’d move on with my day! 😀

About Murasaki Hideki

When she was nine years old, Murasaki Hideki found her true passion — writing. She wrote her first book then, followed by another, inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings,” when she was 13 and has been writing ever since.

Murasaki became the youngest published author in her family at the age of 18. She has written more than 10 books, which she hopes to publish in the future. Currently, her book, “The Extralife Chronicles: The Slayer and the Ruiner (Volume 1),” is for sale on Amazon. The young novelist maintains a blog and has a profile on Authonomy, by Harper Collins.

Murasaki was born in 1994 in Boston, Massachusetts, and now lives with her family in Maine. In addition to writing, she loves swimming, networking, traveling and reading.

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