Peter Murphy was born in Killarney where he spent his first three years before his family was deported to Dublin, the Strumpet City. Growing up in the verdant braes of Templeogue, Peter was schooled by the De La Salle brothers in Churchtown where he played rugby for ‘The Wine and Gold’. He also played football (soccer) in secret!
After that, he graduated and studied the Humanities in Grogan’s under the guidance of Scot’s corner and the bar staff; Paddy, Tommy and Sean.
Murphy financed his education by working summers on the buildings sites of London in such places as Cricklewood, Camden Town and Kilburn.
Murphy also tramped the roads of Europe playing music and living without a care in the world. But his move to Canada changed all of that. He only came over for awhile – thirty years ago.
He took a day job and played music in the bars at night until the demands of family life intervened.
Having raised his children and packed them off to University, Murphy answered the long ignored internal voice and began to write.
He has no plans to make plans for the future and is happy to let things unfold as they do anyway.
PDM: I grew up in Dublin and was greatly influenced by the history and tradition of the place. Dublin, as you know, was home to some of the greatest writers in the English language – as well as some of the greatest ‘Englishmen’ - like Nelson and the Duke of Wellington. But it was the writers, poets and musicians that caught my imagination. Kavanagh, who was an import from Monaghan, but who wrote his best in the city; Joyce who once lived not far from my flat in Rathmines, Austin Clarke who lived down the street by the banks of the Dodder and my hero – Luke Kelly whose version of Kavanagh’s Raglan Road had to be referenced in my novel, Lagan Love.
What is your fondest childhood memory?
PDM: I loved the impromptu music sessions that happened when my family got together but my fondest memory was listening to an RTE show called ‘Fleadh Cheoil.’ We would listen in anticipation as jigs and reels filled the room until it was time for the voice of the master – Eamonn Kelly – a story teller of the finest.
When did you begin writing?
PDM: I started writing bad poetry as an adolescent but as time passed I tried my hand at short stories and some of them were not bad. A few years back I decided it was time to try my hand at writing a novel. It was one of those things on my to-do list and, having packed my kids off to University I knew it was time. Do you write during the day, at night or whenever you can sneak a few moments?
PDM: I try to write everyday but . . . After all it is my job and I love it.
What is this book about?
PDM: Lagan Love is primarily a story about Love, Lust and Loss and the price we pay for our dreams. It is set in Dublin in the mid nineteen-eighties, just before the rise of the economic boom known as the Celtic Tiger. It was as I have often said: a time when a better future beckoned but the past lingered in the shadows preying on the unwary. It follows Aidan, Dublin’s rising poet as he seeks redemption in the love of Janice, a befuddled young Canadian who comes to Dublin to become a painter. But all does not go well for them as they dabble in things they do not understand and, in the end, must pay the terrible price that Fate extracts.
What inspired you to write it?
PDM: For many years I watched Ireland change and was afraid that the time I knew and cherished would be lost in the headlong flight to the future. I wanted to leave some record of the people and places that were kind to me when I was young and wandering in search of a way forward.
Who is your favorite author?
PDM: I don’t have one per se because at different times the works of others have had a great influence on me but right now I cannot read enough of Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I have also absorbed the writings of Boll, Hesse and Mann, Joyce, Flann O’Brien and Kurt Vonnegut.
Do you have an agent or are you looking for one?
PDM: I do not but I am interested in talking with one! Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?
What is one piece of advice you would like to share with aspiring authors everywhere?
PDM: If you really want to write then do not let anything stop you. What is up next for you?
PDM: I have two more novels in the pipe. I hope to have the next one ready by the spring of 2012 and the other one . . . well we’ll see. I intend to continue in the vein of examining human relationships with others as well as the influences of history and mythologies because when we forget the past all kinds of stupid things repeat themselves!
Is there anything you would like to add?
PDM: Yes, thanks for letting me drop by to have a chat with you and your readers.