Q&A with Chas Murrell

Today I’m pleased to be taking part in the blog tour for Yearn To Fear. My post is written with thanks to Emma Welton of damppebbles Blog Tours for inviting me on the tour and to Chas Murrell for answering my questions!

Have you always wanted to write?

I have not had a burning (no fireman pun intended lol), ambition to write a novel, but there’s always been something there. I’ve had a detailed outline of another book in the filing cabinet for years. Gabbi (my wonderful wife), and I have written short romance stories just for our own pleasure over the years. I love the way my wife writes.

 

What were your previous jobs? Have they helped you with your writing process?

That is a very long list! When I was at school I worked in a general grocers called “Freds” in Innisfail north Queensland. I can remember the cash register (pre-computer days), had manual buttons which you pressed and when you wanted to add that number into the progressive total, you pulled the big lever set into the side of the machine.  Very modern for its’ day hahaha. I’ve been a river guide, (Competitive canoe polo was my sport of choice at school); John Deere Mechanic working on tractors and heavy industrial equipment, Limo driver; Aviation Fire Fighter which over 20 years progressed into me being the Fire Chief at Cairns Airport; Policeman, Movie Extra, EMT (Emergency Medical Technician), Volunteer State Firefighter (still am), Coastwatch (Customs Coastal Aerial Surveillance), in fixed and rotary wing;  Electronic crewman / Mission Co-ordinator; Trainer for various things like Dangerous Goods, Aeromedical, Aviation crew Emergency Procedures; Local and District Counter Disaster Committee (LCD / DDC) Representative, Manager of an Event Company and Strandatory (Natural Dry Hair Shampoo). Apart from that, life’s been pretty quiet…. Lol.  All these occupations have helped make me the person I am and helped enormously with my writing. For instance, the prologue is based on an incident when I was a 19 year old Policeman. I find Arson easy to write about lol, investigative procedures, weapons, tech and all those things, pretty much came straight out of my head in the first book.

What was your inspiration for Yearn to Fear? 

Yearn to Fear evolved from an idea I had at random in the shower. Yep… no great process there!

How do you construct your characters? Do they have traits of people you know?

Peter, the main bad guy, is a total construct and I just kept adding layers to him until he turned out to be a total dirtbag lol. I’ve had more than one reader who knows me well, say the book is “very you”.  For example, Marcus one of the main characters has a trait of being well intentioned, but despite this, it doesn’t always work out well. Something I’m ‘guilty’ of, if there’s any guilt to be attached to such a trait.  😊 Other characters in the book are, or have, similarly straight-out traits as described in the book. I am absolutely fortunate to know some wonderfully intelligent and beautiful people, it seemed a shame to waste!

What does your writing process look like? Are you a plotter or a pantser?

My writing process looks a bit like this.  I plan out the broad plot, (as I have for the next two books), order in the chapter content and when I get to a point where I need to create some chaos out of order lol or vice versa, depending on where the story is going at the time. I’ll grab some A3 sheets, spread them out and mind map the story to stay on track. 

How did you research Yearn to Fear? Did you enjoy it?

I didn’t do a lot of research for Yearn to Fear, probably 3 days in total over the 2 ½ months for the first draft completion. It was more fact checking to make sure I hadn’t remembered something properly. I love revisiting old stuff and it’s surprising how much comes back to you. 

Who are your favourite writers? Are you influenced by them?

Pre-covid I would listen to a wide variety of genres. From fact (like the history of measurement) to fictional submarine warfare books, time travel, or even, yes you guessed it, thrillers.  Looking through my audible library, based on what’s in there I listen to a whole heap of different authors.

If you could invite three people, living or dead, to dinner, who would they be and why?

The choice of 3 people is a bit of a toughy, could we make it 30 perhaps and make an event of it??  I’d love to meet at least one very distant relative… So, Robert The Bruce for one. William Wallace (since they know each other), and I’m sure they could kick start the conversation if there were any awkward silences… and Queen Elizabeth 1st (a couple of hundred years later).  It would be fascinating now matter what you talked about.

Who would you least like to be stuck in a lift with and why?

Someone with very short term memory loss…

Who would you like play the main character of Yearn to Fear in a film or TV series? 

I have a choice? If it wasn’t Henry Cavill, my wife Gabbi and our best friend Melinda would both murder me. Probably slowly lol.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

The trouble with not having much spare time, is that when you eventually get to have some, you feel like you should be doing something else! If it’s just a quiet night, there is nothing better than curling up on the couch with my wonderful wife Gabbi. 

What is next for you?

Next for me is massaging my life to get enough time to write and make a living out of it!

Favourites:

Book?    Since I’ve read all the books and am still hanging our for more (Go Diana!)

Film?    Terminator was my original favourite, until Top Gun came along, and the next one is nearly out!!!

Band/Singer?    Too many!

TV show?    Outlander

Colour?        Probably blue since I’ve spent more than half my life wearing blue uniforms lol

Place        Tasmania, but I do love Scotland.

Biscuit?        I know it’s a stretch of the question, but have you ever tried walnut Croissants??

***
Yearn To Fear is available from Amazon.

You can follow the rest of the blog tour here:

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