John Harvey Murray - Author

john@johnharveymurray.co.uk

 

 

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Who am I?

They say every author’s first novel is autobiographical. Does that apply to me?

No. Of course, I have drawn on many of my experiences in life.

 

 

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Am I one of my characters?

No. I do, however, usually give my central character certain of my characteristics, but there are always some important differences too. It is important to be able to identify with your hero to a certain extent.

 

Is John Harvey Murray my real name?

Yes, but nobody calls me by my full name. I include Harvey only because it makes me easier to find online.

 

What aspects of me are reflected in my books?

Certain themes will often occur in my writing because they are things I am interested in and care about:

 

  • Crime-fighting
  • Business and Money
  • Wales
  • God
  • Animals and Nature

 

If you share my loves and interests, I hope you will enjoy my writing.

 

I say more about each aspect of my life and my writing in the following sections.

 

 

Writing

When Did I Start?

I began to write at the age of four. I began with my name. Since then the scope and, I hope, the quality of my writing has developed.

 

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I am fascinated by words. I have studied some foreign languages and find that illuminates my knowledge of English, not least because English has been enriched so much by other languages over the centuries.

 

In my career I have had to write reports, memos, letters and procedures. I almost always found that to be one of the more interesting aspects of my job. It taught me some useful lessons. I have written some non-fiction books aimed at helping people manage the risks in their businesses and in life. For details, go to my book pages here

 

 

What do I read?

I read all kinds of books, magazines, papers, adverts, blogs and e-mails. In fact just about anything. I think whatever you read influences your style, even the things you dislike. I enjoy historical fiction, historical fact, humour, crime mysteries and articles on management and current affairs.

 

I also like reading the Bible and books about the Christian faith.

Business and Money

Why Write about them?

They say you should write about things you know about. My background is in Public Sector Finance, but in recent years I have been involved in the Private Sector, dealing mainly with small businesses. I have done a lot of investigating: audit investigations, insurance claims and assessing Risk.

 

Since money is often a motive for crime, a knowledge of how it works is useful in writing crime fiction.

 

Many of my stories are set against a background of the world of small businesses.

 

For more on this aspect of my life go to www.jhmriskmanagementservices.co.uk

 

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Why crime fiction?

I enjoy crime fiction in print and on TV. I enjoy solving puzzles and mysteries. I find that a mystery gives a story a bit of purpose or direction, although some writers manage to do pretty well without including a mystery.?

 

Have I any experience of police work?

I have never been a police officer but I have investigated financial irregularities including fraud. I found my questioning mind was put to good use. I am now putting it to use in creating fictional crime stories.

 

Why an amateur detective?

I enjoy a lot of modern police fiction, but I think the use of forensic science, databases and profiling, which things I applaud in real life, can push out the old-fashioned low-tech methods of investigating crime, whereas an amateur detective has to get back to basics. Thinking about amateur detectives also reminds us that fighting wrong cannot be left entirely up to the Police. We can all play our part to some extent.

 

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Publications

I write blogs, articles, newsletters, and books on various subjects, notably risk and management. I also write about matters relating to faith. I am currently in the process of writing a work of fiction.

 

 

My publications can be found by clicking on the relevant word below:

 

Wales

Am I Welsh?

I was born in England of Scottish and Irish descent, as well as English, but I have spent many years living, working and travelling in Wales. I have a great love for the Principality and its people. I am aware that most Britons contain a lot of Celtic DNA. So Welsh history is relevant to most of us on this island ?

 

 

Where is my loyalty?

I remember the old county of Monmouthshire. Its motto was “utrique fidelis” meaning “loyal to both” which sums me up.

 

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Do I speak Welsh?

 

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No. However, I know enough to understand a lot of place names and people’s names, as well as a few common expressions. Being not truly Welsh, I am bound to make mistakes when I bring Welsh expressions into my writing, but I hope the generosity of the Welsh character will mean I can be forgiven. Likewise, mistakes regarding the history and geography of Wales. .

 

What other places are important to me?

I was born and brought up in Lancashire and have spent most of my life in the North West of England. I have never lived in Scotland, but have had family connections with that

country and have enjoyed many holidays north of the border, except the ones taken in the wet season! My characters and locations will reflect my experiences.

 

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Religion

Why is it important in crime fiction?

 

Every hero, indeed every person, needs a moral compass. For many this comes from their faith. For others there must be a different source. My heroes experience inner conflict when they drift away from their moral upbringing, and in any case find life’s complexity challenges religious certainty. They are in good company.

 

 

Doubt

 

 

Am I writing about my own religious convictions?

 

Soap Box

 

I am a Christian and am trying to be true to myself. My characters express thoughts I can identify with, including their doubts and conflicts. I also hope they are authentic representatives of their time.

 

Religious conviction and conflict often exist side by side with immorality and materialism. People have to find ways of living in the real world without abandoning their ideals.

Animals

Why are they important in my books?

I have always loved animals and nature. I especially love horses. I hate crimes against animals whether or not linked to other crimes, although they often are. I hope to give some bad publicity to such things through my writing. I am a longstanding supporter of the Worldwide Fund for Wildlife. Noah has always been one of my favourite Bible characters.

 

I have done, on and off, most of my life. The pun is intended. I have competed, unsuccessfully, in various equestrian disciplines. I think riding out over the countryside is a great way to see it and share the enjoyment with your horse.

 

I am always happy to hear from you

Yes, please