Friday, April 12, 2013

Questions and Answers from Murray Pura and a Giveaway

Guess what Murray Pura has agreed to be a guest on my blog from tonight April 12  till Wednesday the 17th. And he is going to let you, the reader ask him questions. This is going to be fun!  I have read some of Murray's books and have enjoyed them. 
One lucky person will get to choose one of the following print books :  The Wings of Morning  or  The Face Of Heaven, or Whispers of a New Dawn, or Majestic and Wild :True Stories of Faith and Adventure In The Great Outdoors,or The Last Waltz in PDF. 
  I hope you all have fun and learn some interesting facts and trivia, so let the questions began

Here is some info on Murray Pura:
Murray Andrew Pura was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, and has traveled extensively throughout Canada, the United States, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Ordained as a Baptist minister in 1986, Pura has served five churches in Canada and headlined numerous speaking engagements in Canada and the United States. He has five books published, was a contributor to the Life With God Bible, has been a finalist for The Paraclete Fiction Award, The Dartmouth Book Award, and The John Spencer Hill Literary Award, and has been shortlisted for the prestigious 2010 Kobzar Literary Award of Canada.

66 comments:

  1. I will start by asking
    Do you have a special time and place where you write!

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    1. I write every day and use an antique oak table by the largest window in the house to park my laptop. Our pet cat Kokomo has a day bed at the other end of the table where she keeps an eye on me and the outside world. I try to write 10,000 words each week.

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  2. Murray, are you still an active Pastor? Also, when did you know you wanted to be an author? Do you feel it was a calling from God?

    Sorry! That is 3 questions! I was on a roll and couldn't stop!

    Blessings!
    Judy B

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    1. At this point I do not pastor a church since I am writing so much. However I often fill in for other pastors when they are away. For instance, in May I will be preaching at a Baptist church one Sunday and a Pentecostal church two other Sundays. I've wanted to be a writer from the time I was eight or nine and I started out with simple stories I gave to mom. Once I became a Christian at thirteen I turned it over to the Lord and he's been stoking the fires ever since. My first story was accepted by a publisher when I was fourteen and it was released when I was sixteen.

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    2. Thank you Murray for answering my questions. You are one interesting author!

      Blessings!
      Judy B

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  3. Hi Murray!
    My question is, as a Canadian what led you to write historical fiction primarily set in the U.S.? I love learning the history and inspiration behind the books I read :)
    Blessings!

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    1. Cheers Jasmine - I recognize your name. I like all kinds of history, including US history, and one of my Masters degrees is in history and theology. Harvest House approached me and asked if I would write stories centering around important events in American history. So that's how the Snapshots in History series got started. The Danforths of Lancashire series, on the other hand, is centered around British history. The American side of my family, by the way, lives in the suburbs of Chicago.

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  4. I love these questions and I can't wait to read the answers!

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  5. There you go Debbie! I look forward to many more!

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  6. Muray, Where do you get your inspiration
    for the books you write?

    CherylB1987@hotmail.com

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    1. Each book is different, Cheryl, and is inspired by different events or experiences. Everything I read and see and hear and feel and remember goes into the bubbling pot of my imagination. I can honestly say if you asked me to write a story on Israel today, I would think a few minutes and dish something savoury from the pot into your bowl - I'd have the outline of a story for you. If you said, "How about a western? Or a romance set in World War 2 in France? Or an Amish love story set in 1950s Indiana?" I'd have plot outlines for those stories in a few minutes. There is always something in my imagination because I am always feeding it with my experiences and readings and prayers.

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  7. Hi Murray,
    How did you go about your research into writing your Amish stories? Did you visit an Amish community?

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    1. Nice to see you here, Cindi. I grew up in southern Manitoba with Hutterites and Mennonites, some of whom had practices close to Amish ones. Now there are Amish all across Canada and the USA including groups close to me here in Alberta so those are the ones I see and watch and listen to. Of course I also read books by those who have been Amish or are still Amish. And I talk to some online, yes, a few are permitted to do this, I don't know why, but they are.

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    2. Thanks for the info, Murray. It's funny how different areas allow different things. The Amish near me are Old Order and VERY strict.

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  8. Hi Murray~~What do you do when you are not writing?? Do you have any other hobbies besides writing?? (such as reading??? LOL cooking?? )
    You certainly have a wonderful gift and I hope and pray that you will continue to write for a long time to come;-)

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    1. I forgot to leave my e-mail address~~keithkrisjager(at)aol(dot)com.

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    2. Thank you, Jager - there's a good German name! Yes, I read; I go on long, fast walks along the creek bed and into the hills; I have a home gym because writing is so sedentary you really must exercise vigorously; I do like to cook, esp. one pot cookery; I like honing my marksmanship skills; love listening to all kinds of music including classical and soft jazz; I do have belts in Tae Kwon Do and Shotokan Karate.

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  9. Hi Murray,I just wanted to ask you ,which do you prefer to write Amish stories or Historical romance,actually romance on both.How long does it take to write a book?

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    1. Hi, Linda. I actually like romances of all kinds, Amish or otherwise, because I like to write about men and women falling in love with each other and with God. I try to write 8000-10,000 words a week, so at that pace an 80,000 word novel would take 8-10 weeks; a 100,000 word novel three months; a big 120,000 word one like Ashton Park (which is 125,000 words) about four months. Of course sometimes you might write more than 10,000 in a good week (about 2000 words a day) and sometimes circumstances might dictate you write less.

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    2. Thanks Murray,you must have a great imagination.I love romance books. I only like christian romances.I like to play match maker with everyone.Of course ,it doesn't always work out.I tell people,friends of mine that before my youngest daughter met her husband ,I was about ready to put an ad in the paper to get her married off.I felt like i had been raising kids my entire life.I was only teasing ,I would have never done anything like that.My teenage grandchildren,her children says,Nanny,I can't believe you wanted to do that to our mom,lol.Thanks,Linda.

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  10. Murray..With all your book covers and the very pretty girls, have you thought about putting your wife on a book cover?

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    1. lol Kathy - I get to do that with the publishers who give their authors the freedom to do so - if you go on Amazon and find my novel ZO that's Linda on the cover - and the cover of A Road Called Love has both my wife and daughter on the cover - thank you!

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    2. Murray, This is Judy B. My stars! I didn't realize you have written so many books. By the way, I checked out ZO and A Road Called Love. Your wife and daughter are very pretty!

      Blessings!
      Judy B

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  11. Hi Murray. How much time do you spend in traveling and research for a book? Does your wife ever travel with you? Will your daughter get to be model in more of your books? She is a very pretty Model. Glad to hear you are still preaching part time.
    Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

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    1. hi Maxie - a lot of times I must travel alone because my wife is a practising RN, BN - but sometimes we are able to go together - hundreds of hours go into the research, including travel, meeting people, phone calls, online work, and book reading - my wife and daughter were the Amish models on the cover of A Road Called Love - my wife models on the cover of ZO as well - and my daughter on the cover of The White Birds of Morning - blessings!

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    2. That is interesting to know, I will have to look up those books and see them. I knew you had said your daughter was a model on one. I don't have any of the ones you named. I was thinking Wings of Morning" and do have that one. I now have 4 of your books. Maxie

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  12. Hi Murray,Do you have an author that inspired you to write?And which author is your favorite.Do you have a special place you like to write at?Love your books.Thanks....jackie_tessnair@yahoo.com

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    1. thank you so much Jackie - I have many favorite poets and novelists who have influenced me - for example, Carl Sandburg, Robert Frost, Ernest Hemingway, Madeleine L'Engle, John Masefield, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Chaim Potok, Tennyson, Longfellow, on and on it goes - I sit at an antique oak table used by pioneers who brought it in a wagon because the legs all come off and all the leaves come out to make it compact - so I am in the dining room which has the largest window in the house - the stream runs by not far from the window - and there are plenty of trees and birds and deer

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  13. I have another question for you! Have you ever though about writing a children's book, I bet if you did children would love it!

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    1. i did write a number of stories for my kids as they were growing up - one story was The Wild Geese of Bethlehem which Whoopie Pie Pam published in her Christmas book- I shall have to look into getting the others out there and maybe writing something new for kids - thanks, Deb

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  14. Hi Murray!! Hope Spring is on the way up there. Did you watch the tv series about the Hutterites and if you did, what did you think of it? I'm thinking it fake because I could not believe how the young people acted especially around the elders.
    Karen G.
    kmgervais(at)nycap(dot)rr(dot)com

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    1. hi Karen - I missed that one - I know there have been Amish shows but I didn't know about the Hutterite one - now that they've admitted Breaking Amish was faked you may be right about the Hutterite show

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  15. Me, again! Just remember another question. Do you know any Hutterites and have you thought of writing a novel about Hutterites in it?
    Karen G.
    kmgervais(at)nycap(dot)rr(dot)com

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    1. there are a lot of Hutterite colonies in Alberta where I live and a lot where I grew up in Manitoba - so I know a number of Hutterite folk - just the other week I was on Suzanne Woods Fisher's show with two Hutterites - enjoyable people - now that you've put the bug in my ear I will have to think about it! (((smile)))

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  16. Very interesting blog. I have enjoyed reading all the questions and answers.

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  17. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  18. Hi Murray Have you thought about having one of your Snapshot books into a movie ?

    Kim
    JKTerrazas09@aol.com

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    1. there you are Kim! others have mentioned this and also about the Ashton Park books too - perhaps because I "see" and write my books so visually - of course making books isn't my call - ppl would have to approach my agent - however i have been invited to a screenwriting school with connections to the big H - the school is in NC each summer - perhaps that is the next step - thanks Kim

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    2. I could visualize The Face of Heaven as a movie. It seems so real that the reader feels like their right there amongst the action.

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  19. Howdy Murray!!! Is there a favorite author you like to read? When your not writing what favorite thing do you like to do? Thanks for your devotion to God!
    Blessings
    joeym11@frontier.com

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    1. hi cowgirl! i read writers of all genres, old classics and new novels too - I used to read everything Chaim Potok put out - and a Mennonite writer named Rudy Wiebe - now I read lots of different authors - I look for elegant uncluttered prose with crisp dialogue and good metaphor and simile - if metaphor and simile are lacking it's hard to get excited

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  20. I have come on here twice but can't find what I SAID so here goes again love your books want to also win so here goes again Karen S. at khsmith97217@yahoo.com

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    1. we here you loud and clear this time, Karen - God bless!

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  21. Hello Murray :) How old were you when you "found your calling" to become an author? Did you enjoy writing as a child? I imagine it was very difficult to find the time to write when you were a full-time minister.

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    1. hi Mary Ellen - I wanted to write since I was very young, producing my first stories for mom when I was eight or nine - of course I always loved reading - in my last church, from 98-2010, writing time was part of my pastoral duties at the insistence of the elders - I acknowledge this in my books Rooted and Streams - at other churches I used my free time but my output was naturally limited

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  22. Hi Murray,

    Most of my questions have already been asked, so I will go in another direction!
    When you first got out of high school, what did you think would be the way that you would make a living? Have you found that life had other ideas and taken you down different roads?

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    1. hey Loretta - I knew I wanted to be a writer but I was also aware I wasn't going to be able to make a living at it right off the bat - so I traveled a lot, did a lot of missions, started out training in Honors Psych and switched to BA High Honors in Bible and Biblical languages - went on to a Masters of Divinity and a ThM or Masters of Theology - I was already pastoring when I was doing my MDiv on the east coast - but I was always writing - first story published at 15, 16 - first novel in 89, 90 just before my third church

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  23. Hi Murray,
    Have you ever thought of doing a One Pot Cook Book? That's my type of cooking
    also!

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    1. golly, a whole book? that might be harder than writing a love story lol - well maybe I'll start by putting a recipe or two in a Whoopie Pam book and go from there (((smile)))

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  24. I came to say Hi to my younger brother in the Lord and I guess I have to say that I learn something new about you each time someone interviews you. What could I ask you that no one else has...think think think....

    When will you be getting a new dog ?
    What kind of wildlife is arround your home ?
    When does spring come in Alberta ?

    I am glad your actively supporting the fight against Domestic violence and I am so glad that you are not just my friend but my brother. You are so encouraging to me and to so many !

    Blessings and Much Love
    Linda
    aka Lindy Lou

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    1. thank you Linda - well I would like a new dog but my wife doesn't so that's where we are with that - we have a lot of whitetail and mule deer here - now and then a cougar follows the creek out of the mountains and hunts deer here - we have eagles and hawks and kingfishers - spring came early but now we have had a snow squall instead of a rainfall and the land is white again for a few days even though it is not cold - Christ be with you :o)

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  25. Murray, do you know if any Amish men or women actually did fight or help as nurses in the Civil War or any wars? was curious? I am really enjoying reading The FACE OF Heaven!

    Debbie, great idea to allow readers to ask questions! Love it!
    Rhonda
    rhonda_nash_hall@comcast.net

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    1. hi Rhonda! yes, we wanted to be sure the story line one was plausible even if it is fiction - i have a book right by me here called "Mennonites, Amish and the American Civil War" by Lehman and Nolt - on the cover is a photo of a Mennonite youth (related to Sarah Price, btw) who is in full Union uniform - Gideon Nice fought at Gettysburg - the book is full of incidents where Amish and Mennonite youth broke with the non-violence stance of their churches to fight IN THE WAR, drive ambulances, and provide medical care on and off the battlefield - I sure hope you continue to enjoy the story - we have entered it in the ACFW AWARDS

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    2. thanks Rhonda i think the question idea is great too but we have to say Thanks to Murray as he had to allow it!

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  26. Hello Murray,
    I haven't read all your books yet except The Wings of Morning that I borrowed from my SIL. She told me about your books. Was wondering where in Canada are you located? I only know Montreal, Quebec. My brother used to go caribou hunting way up in Hudson Bay that is rented from the Indians. Do you have Indians in your area? Hope to read more of your books, The Wings of Morning was really a great book.
    Kay from NY
    msbookwormlady(at)aol(dot)com

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    1. thank you Kay ((smile)) i live by the Rocky Mountains in southwestern Alberta - it is an oil and cattle province not unlike Texas - Montana and Idaho are very close to us as are the mountains - the tribe that lives in this region is the Blackfoot & they are on both sides of the border - many US films have been made here because of the scenery: Open Range, Legends of the Fall, Unforgiven, the Edge, etc.

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    2. Thank you, Murray for answering my question. I am a big fan of Native American Indians. I didn't know that they also lived in Canada until several years ago. I guess they must have escaped across the border many, many moons ago when the white man (United States) was causing problems for them.

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  27. Did you ever think about writing Amish Historical fiction before being approached by the publisher?

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    1. cheers Debbie - well I wasn't sure if I could tackle some of the hard questions in Amish fiction but it turned out I could esp. if I made it an Amish/historical fiction mix - actually The Wings of Morning was no one's idea but my own and God's - I wasn't even under contract when I wrote it and i had no publisher - but I wrote it anyways because it really burned in me to tell the story of Amish persecution in 1917 and 18 - when I finished it Harvest House snapped it up!

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  28. How much time do you spend researching before you begin to write on one of your historical novels?

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    1. I do a lot of initial research, say 30-40 hours, make a plot outline and start - however I am always prepared to do more research as I write because often questions come up as the story develops, questions I didn't foresee - so then I do more digging - I actually do quite a bit of extra research in the middle of writing a novel or story - I always leave time in my schedule for that

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  29. How do you come up with such beautiful pictures for the cover of your books? I love them.

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    1. cheers Carolyn - with publishers like Harvest House, Baker, Barbour, Zondervan, they generally ask me for ideas based on my story - what would the manor look like, the ladies, the men, the farm, etc. & then they come up with images - some of the work is outsourced to modelling agencies - then we discuss the finished project and tweak it - with publishers like Helping Hands in Philadelphia authors can create their own covers and either select images from online agencies or take their own high def photos - so A Road Called Love is a photo of my wife & daughter taken with a pro lens & a Canon DSLR camera - 7 Oaks is the daughter of a friend - The Painted Sky is an image from an online agency - and so on

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  30. Carolyn you are the winner but you didn't leave an email to get in touch with you!

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