Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-12-11
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Gay writer Chris Murphy fuses family and fiction
BOOKS
by Alex Lubischer
2012-06-05

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


In the newly released second edition of his fictional family memoir, A Sea of White Impatiens, writer Chris Murphy chronicles the dysfunctional Gallagher clan's bizarrely comic lives. The Orlando, Fla.-based novelist recently took time off from an animal rights picketing of a puppy store to discuss his unique authorial exploits.

Windy City Times: A Sea of White Impatiens is billed as a fictional family memoir. How much is fact and how much is fiction?

Chris Murphy: I would say about 50/50. For example, in one chapter, William Jr. gets hit by the Rowaneck florist's van. That actually happened to me in ninth grade, but it just worked better in William's chapter. So I took the experience that I had and assigned it to him. Also, my parents had 11 children. There [are] only nine Gallaghers. And I modeled the character of Thomas on my gay brothers, Mark and Rick.

WCT: So there's a fusing together of real-life events and characters, and compressing them to create a fictional product?

CM: Uh-huh. And some of the stuff is exaggerated. Like, I was never as wicked of a child as Christian is. But when a friend of mine read "Impatiens" years ago, I said the same thing to her and she said, "Yeah, you might not have done all that stuff but you've thought about it." [Laughs]

WCT: How has your identity as a gay man influenced you as an author, and shaped the kinds of stories that you want to tell?

CM: First of all, it's real hard to get published and … there's not a great market, even today, for gay-themed literature. It's not on the best-seller list, with the exception of David Sedaris. He's had tremendous success, and I've been inspired by him because he is such a riot. I don't think my being gay necessarily inspired me to write, but it sure made it a bit more difficult to find a market.

WCT: Do you have any advice for aspiring writers out there?

CM: Write what you know and do it because you love it. And if you sit down and have writer's block, get up and do something else. I have to get excited about every single thing I write. So in order for me to be my best—if I find myself writing exposition and it's boring and I'm like, "Ugh, I can't wait to get this over with," then I should dismiss it. I should eliminate that chapter and focus on something else.

I've started books by writing the last chapter first, because I think, "Oh, this is going to make a great third act climax." So strike while the iron is hot and you'll do your best stuff. And then go back and do the other chapters when you're really moved to do the other chapters.

WCT: What initially sparked your interest and inspired you to write "Impatiens?"

CM: I took a creative writing class my senior year [at Boston University]and we were tasked to write about a family event. So I wrote about stealing my late brother-in-law's motorcycle back.

WCT: I loved that passage.

CM: Yeah, that's actually all true. I read it to the class and they all got a kick out of it. Then, just on my own, I started writing additional family anecdotes and I shared them with people at work and they enjoyed them. And then I wound up, at some point years later, just putting them all together.

WCT: Which wild "Impatiens" anecdote is your personal favorite?

CM: It's actually the one where Christian is in seventh grade art class, and Mrs. Hunt, his very tragic, sad art teacher winds up telling him that she's going to get a facelift. Then she puts up a paper landscape on one of the walls and invites students to decorate it with buildings and people and activities. And Christian—and this really happened and what a mess I must have been at that time—draws an insane asylum and a witches' coven and some other awful things.

She [Mrs. Hunt] gets her facelift and is out for a couple of days and then she comes back and thinks it's an awful, awful thing that I've done to this landscape. She just tears it down, and I think that's a terrible thing to do, so I wind up telling the entire class that she's gotten a facelift. I laugh about it now but, you know, part of me feels very, very bad for this woman.

WCT: With so many bizarre and comic tales woven into this narrative, was it hard to nail down a title? How did you arrive at A Sea of White Impatiens?

CM: My mother had a garden, but it was all white impatiens. And she planted them every year and they were lovely. Then one year she found that there was a lilac impatiens. This is after having planted white impatiens for years and she thought, "Well, that's kind of pretty." Thereafter she bought a whole bunch of colors [of flowers]. One year the garden just became all colorful—and, for me, it was a metaphor for 11 children in a big Irish-Catholic family. I know she wanted everyone to get along and be nice, and be normal, good Catholics, and, to me, her white impatiens vision wound up being a little bit more colorful.

A Sea of White Impatiens is available online at www.robertsonpublishing.com, www.Amazon.com and www.barnesandnoble.com .

Its first sequel, Superior Bodies, is available at www.barnesandnoble.com .


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

MOMBIAN Holiday gift guide for LGBTQ children's books 2019-12-11 - It's time for my annual gift guide to some of the year's best LGBTQ-inclusive children's picture books! There were happily more books published ...


Gay News

W&CF hosts 'Honeypot' book launch party, author discussion 2019-12-06 - One month after the release of Honeypot: Black Southern Women Who Love Women, Andersonville bookstore Women & Children First hosted a launch party ...


Gay News

December at Women & Children First to include Drag Queen Story Hour 2019-12-04 - CHICAGO, IL ( December 3, 2019 ) - As 2019 comes to a close, Women & Children First is proud to announce our ...


Gay News

Season's readings: Books to choose 2019-12-02 - So, it's a wrap. Everything's under paper and under the tree. You're done with all your shopping, except for one person. Or two. ...


Gay News

Pioneering gay cartoonist Cruse dies at 75 2019-12-01 - ( WILLIAMSTOWN, MASSACHUSETTS, Nov. 26 )—Howard Cruse—a pioneer in the LGBTQ cartooning movement and the author of Stuck Rubber Baby, a 1995 award-winning ...


Gay News

WINDY CITY TIMES 2019 Holiday Gift Guide Part One of Two 2019-11-27 - Feel the heat We all know the polar vortex may be revisiting sooner rather than letter, so be ready with Heat Holders ...


Gay News

NU professor talks about delving into the heart of 'Infectious Blackness' 2019-11-27 - The tale of Michael Johnson took a turn this past July—when he was released from a Missouri jail 25 years early. In 2013, ...


Gay News

BOOK REVIEW A Song for You: My Life with Whitney Houston 2019-11-26 - Author: Robyn Crawford. $28; Dutton; 319 pages You saw that coming. It was easy to anticipate because the signs were there. ...


Gay News

Historians seek LGBTQ responses for next work 2019-11-15 - Writers/historians St Sukie de la Croix and Owen Keehnen are again seeking responses—this time for a third volume of the Tell Me About ...


Gay News

Local podcast looks at horror from LGBT perspective 2019-11-12 - On their podcast FriGay the 13th, co-hosts Matty Zaradich and Andrew Huff use an LGBT perspective to discuss horror in entertainment, horror in ...


 



Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.