Interview with Author D.M. Murphy

D.M. Murphy

I am thrilled to have interviewed author D.M. Murphy, who shared with us details of her writing life, her book ‘Down Down Down‘, which was released on 13th September 2023, and answered a few fun questions. This post contains affiliate links.

D.M. Murphy

The first three years of my writing career I spent interviewing infantrymen and Rangers at Ft. Stewart, Ga. —a bit different from my suburban upbringing outside of Cleveland, Ohio. After discharge I moved to Arizona, and, in order, picked up a husband, a BA in Journalism, two kids, a Masters in Education, and a dog named Zeke, while living in L.A., San Jose, Houston, Tucson, Pocatello, and Youngstown.

As a feature writer and columnist for the Youngstown daily, The Vindicator, I interviewed and wrote about the people I grew up with. At the same time, I taught composition at Youngstown State University for 15 years or taught kids with emotional problems and special needs for two in public schools after studying special education. All the while, I wrote.

It took retirement to finally publish a book.

interview picture 2023


1) Where did the inspiration for your book come from?

When I was 18, I became an Army Journalist stationed in the swamp lands of Fort Stewart, Georgia. While trudging through mud, following the elite Airborne Rangers to write about them, I thought, “What wouldn’t these guys do?” And, of course, being a writer, the idea took flight. I wondered, “Would they go into hell on a mission?” That became the basis for my book Down Down Down. Later, the idea morphed into a detective doing the rescuing.

2) How did you plan out the plot?

By the seat of my pants! Before I found Scrivener, I just started writing and didn’t plot anything in advance. This meant I had rewrite and rewrite. Though I enjoy that, I eventually had to create outlines, timelines, and index cards which I had strewn across my office floor. It was a literal mess, pun intended. For Book 2 of The Beckler Trilogy, I’m doing most of the plotting in advance using the Scrivener app. Night and day!

3) When did you choose the title for your book?

The title of the book has changed four times! When I first started writing, it was called The Contract because the gorgeous Rita Blair claims her fiancé made a contract with the Devil. It then became The Harrowing which is the idea of journeying to hell. And then, in doing research, I encountered this beautiful Biblical scripture from Ezekiel about how even the trees of Eden would be cast into hell. It had the words, All the Trees of Eden. I fell in love with it instantly but grudgingly moved on because it made the book sound like a drama. Finally, the title found its perfect harmony with an old miners song, Down Down Down. A weasly little character sings the song as he guides Beckler. This title resonated with the narrative’s essence and felt like the perfect fit.

4) How did you come up with the names for your characters?

From the beginning, I wanted two major characters to have names that reflected their roles in the fantasy: Michael (as in the archangel) and Thomas (as in Doubting Thomas). Otherwise, the names of the characters began as nothing more than placeholders. I went back later and made them work according to the person’s personality and ethnicity, age, etc. I actually got the last name of my main character because I was driving down the road and saw Beckler Street. I instantly loved the name and changed my protagonist’s name to that. Sometimes I pay homage to old friends by using their surnames. And, once in a while, I snag an actual person from history.

5) How did you go about researching the content for your book?

The first thing I did was read the book The History of Hell which is an incredible, illustrated book about how the concept of hell came about. Then I did a deep dive on the internet for information about magic, Irish history, mythology, and hell. These provided the realism I needed to sell the fantasy.

6) What made you choose this genre?

It’s funny because I don’t think I chose the genre. Science fiction/fantasy chose me. I think in a very realistic way, and so it’s strange that almost all of my short stories, and this book, and my next one, are going to be fantasies. As you get older, I think you end up with more questions and fewer answers. That’s pretty ironic, but it does make for a gateway into fantasy where you can search for answers through fiction.

7) How long did it take you to complete your book?

Since I do much of my writing in my head before I ever sit down to write, you could say each of my books takes a lifetime. Down Down Down benefited from my accumulated life experiences.

8) Can you describe your book in three words?

Epic fantasy quest

9) What’s the hardest part of being a writer?

I think the hardest part about being a writer is not becoming disillusioned. I just saw a Facebook post by a woman who had returned to writing in her older years, much as I had. And she felt nervous that she wouldn’t be able to write again. It’s often a very solitary world that non-writers can’t appreciate. So I think keeping confidence in yourself when you’re getting rejection slips or no one seems to be paying attention is the hardest part. Since I’ve started to promote my book, I also think it’s very difficult to realize that there are many people out there who just want to profit from your insecurity and sell you things. That also is disillusioning.

10) Why should our readers pick your book up?

Readers have told me that the book takes you into another world on an epic hero’s journey. They said the prose makes the unbelievable seem real. I appreciate those comments. Another reader, who didn’t typically read fantasy, said she couldn’t put it down.

Down Down Down by D.M. Murphy

Down Down Down

Author – D.M. Murphy
Pages – 436
Release Date – 13th September 2023
ISBN 13 – 979-8988888208
Format – ebook, paperback, hardcover, audio


Until today, Mike Beckler had every reason to keep a bottle of scotch on his desk. As a private eye, he was one breath short of drowning in a bucket of slimy divorce cases.

But then an old friend drops by with a mysterious missing person case and suddenly Beckler is knee-deep in murder, mystery, and magic. Soon he’ll embark on a supernatural quest that will rewrite his broken destiny.

Down Down Down is the first adult novel in The Beckler Trilogy — an Everyman’s journey into a hell of one’s own making, a world of fantasy, magic, and mythology.

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Fun Questions

Talking Owl Interview Pic 2023

1) Do you have a writing buddy?

I would have to say my writing buddy is my son, Josh, not because he’s literally by my side, but because he holds my feet to the fire on finishing. And he never hesitates to give of his time, the most valuable commodity of all.

2) Do you have any writing quirks?

I guess my writing quirk is that I made three hang tags for my office door to inform my husband. One says, “Be careful, I’m exercising.” Another says, “Please come in.” And the last one is for when I’m writing. It says, “Please don’t knock, call, tap or enter.”

3) Where do you write?

Various places. Right now I have a corner of our second guest bedroom turned into my office. But I’ve also gone to coffee shops or the park to write, carting my laptop along. My dog Zeke and I used to go to the Gazebo in the park and spend a few hours writing. It was lovely. I once saw a woman writer using the table in a craft brewery, and that’s one I’d love to try in the future.

4) Your book has been made into a movie, you’ve been offered a cameo role, what will you be doing?

If my book were made into a movie, I’d long to be sitting next to the director, not in front of the camera!

5) A talking owl has just finished reading your book, what’s the first thing he says to you?

If a talking owl just finished reading my book, I think she’d say, “Those fantastical daeva creatures were raptors, weren’t they?”

Author links


A big thank you to D.M. Murphy for sharing her writing life with us and for a wonderful interview.

The above links are affiliate links. I receive a very small percentage from each item you purchase via these link, which is at no extra cost to you. If you are thinking about purchasing the book, please think about using one of the links above. Thank you.

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