With the launch of Winchman
only a few weeks away, we managed to have a catch up with Chris Murray. Armed with the usual bunch of questions, here’s what was said.
What is the book’s genre/category?
Please describe what the book is about
There are two main parts to Winchman. The first is my life up until the mid-1980s. That includes being born in London, growing up in Dornoch, Sutherland, becoming a tradesman and then going off to join the Royal Navy as an explosives clearance diver. After that I worked as a jobbing diver and in the North Sea. Then, part two is all about the time from 1987 when I joined the Stornoway coastguard rescue helicopter as a winchman operating around the Western Isles and sometimes the entire north of Scotland.
Where do you do your writing?
My writing is always done at home with the aid of a journalist friend who is my editorial adviser.
What led you to write this book?
I think it was the realisation that I had a story to tell – or rather a few stories to tell. Many of these stories were ones that I would recount with friends over a dram and it was not unusual to hear them say that I ought to get them all written down.
How long did it take you to write this book?
The project took more than two years from start to finish although the actual writing took six weeks. The transcription, editing and search for a publisher took quite a while.
How did you find/choose your publisher?
Persistence. We were keen to find a Scottish publisher so we compiled a list and worked our way through until we found one who could see the potential of what I was trying to do.
What did you learn/surprised you most about the publishing process?
It was quite an education. I didn’t realise how far ahead you have to work and I didn’t think a publisher would be quite so meticulous in checking what we thought was the completely finished manuscript we handed them. However, myself and my co-writer are very grateful that Fledgling Press did go through it all checking every detail to make sure it read better and made sense to readers who knew nothing about diving or search and rescue.
What would you have done differently given the chance?
I would have made better notes after every incident that happened to me since the day I started school.
Do you have a writer platform setup? Eg: Facebook, twitter, blog etc
I am a regular user of Facebook
What do you like to share on this platform?
Being a keen photographer, I use Facebook to share all kinds of photos that I take as well as the large archive I built up since I began taking photos on board the helicopter from the mid-1980s and before that in the navy. I also use it to publicise the launch of Winchman.
What’s your best piece of advice for authors trying to break through?
If at first you don’t succeed, then keep trying and persevere until someone takes notice as nearly all first-time authors will have some problems along the way .
Something personal about you that people may be surprised to know?
I have lead shot embedded in my backside and a bullet lodged in my leg after I got shot by the jealous partner of a girl I got to know in France. There’s a book coming out soon called Winchman by Chris Murray which has more details.
Movies, actually. I love all the Ealing classics.
www.chrismurrayimages.co.uk (under construction)
Winchman is will be available to buy in printed and eBook format on 31 May from Fledgling Press and all good bookshops.