Saturday, November 9, 2019

You Should Read Me Near the Sea by Chelsea J. Murphy



If you have been following my blog for awhile, you know that there are two places in the entire world where I feel the freest and comfortable -- at the beach or on a cruise ship. There is something about the fresh air purified by the ocean. It doesn't get any better for me then looking at the ocean. That is why when I discovered today's author, Chelsea J. Murphy, and her book, "You Should Read Me Near the Sea," I got chills all over my body and couldn't wait to learn more and read the book. But wait! The book isn't available yet, but soon will be. That doesn't keep me for posting. Why? I am scheduled for another cruise in December with my mom and two sisters and I plan on taking this book with me. I hope you enjoy reading about Chelsea and her book. While you're at it, take a deep breath and relax and imagine that you're sitting on a beach somewhere.


ABOUT THE BOOK


"You should read me Near the Sea" is a poetry experience that tells the story of a young girl dying to get out of her small town and explore the world. She falls madly in love and then falls madly apart. It is a coming of age story including themes of hero's, cities, heartbreak and most importantly discovering universal-love. The voyage is told through ocean imagery and metaphors, in five chapters. Each chapter is divided by the five stages of the development of a hurricane: Tropical disturbance, tropical depression, tropical storm, tropical cyclone, and hurricane.






CHELSEA J. MURPHY





Tell your readers a little about yourself, where you grew up, where you live now, where you went to school etc. Let them get to know the personal you.

I grew up in small-town Wisconsin and like the young heroine of my book wanted nothing more than to get out. Ever-loving storytelling in any form and coastline cities-- I embarked to the east for film school in New York before switching coasts to Los Angeles where I’ve been mostly writing screen and stage plays. I am quite simply overjoyed to debut my first ever published anthology.

What inspired you to author this book?

Oh easy, reading Julia Cameron’s "The artist's way” workbook. She has an exercise there called “morning pages” where you free-write three pages every morning, and once I started, I couldn't stop. The book practically wrote itself. It is jaw-dropping astonishing what you can do once you step out of your own way and trust your art.

With age 30 fast approaching I began to feel an extreme sense of fleeting time. That, coinciding with unexpectedly almost losing someone extremely close to me became blindingly aware of my own immortality. The days of forever young are still here but I feel them slipping, you know? There is so much of the world I want to see and so many things I want to be. For starters, I’ve always wanted to publish a book, especially poetry. It’s been on every bucket list I’ve written since I was 10. There is absolutely no reason to not do the things you want to do.


Where did you get the inspiration for your book’s cover?

This is a great question. The long answer is: I wanted a minimalist cover to bring to the beach that would not compete with, but instead harmonize with the ocean. I wanted a cover that I could imagine lying in the sun, hearing the crashing of the waves while getting lost in the words on the page. For me reading a poetry book is a complete experience and I wanted a cover that would enhance and complement that experience. There is something magical about settling into your favorite place and reading a book. I wanted a cover that would inspire readers to read it in their very favorite place, wherever that may be--for me it is anywhere near the sea.

The short answer: Mykonos, Greece is the inspiration for my cover.


Who has been the most significant influence on you personally and as a writer?

Writing this book was very healing, and it is largely in part a gift to myself. It’s for the little girl who felt so insignificant and worthless and feared she’d never amount to anything. It’s everything she needed to hear when she was drowning in the undertow, so technically 16-year-old Chelsea should get the influence credit. I’m caring for her now in a way I should have back then.

What were your struggles or obstacles you had to overcome to get this book written?

Growing up with dyslexia in the 90s left me with a large lack of confidence and a little to show for it when it, especially when it came to writing. It is challenging for a child to imagine a career controlling words when those very words keep moving around on the page. Dyslexic research has taken huge strides in recent years and, I think is much better handled as teachers have a better understanding of what it is and how to help students that have it. I thought it meant I was dumb and could never be a writer so I cast that idea away early on, writing only secretly in my room at night. What's wonderful and therapeutic for me about this book is some of those words that were strung together in shame at age 15 actually made it into "You Should Read me Near the Sea". When I decided to write this one of the first things I did was dig up old notebooks and see if there was anything salvageable from those early vulnerable years. Those notebooks were filled up with truthful organic vulnerability and beautiful naivety. I remembered being that 15-year-old who was so unafraid to dive headfirst into love because she had yet to be hurt. It’s nearly impossible to love like that as an adult with battle wounds. Those writings, which I thought were terrible because "a dyslexic can’t write\sx" turned out to be the foundation of the first chapter that launched the very arch of the book. All I had to do were fix a few spelling mistakes and switch b's around to d's. That being said, the biggest obstacle to overcome was those moments when I'd get that old wispier in my head telling me "who do you think you are? You can hardly spell why do you think you can write a book". That's the funny thing about healing; it an ongoing process. Old shipwrecked whispers from the past jump out when you begin to push your boundaries. Luckily I now have the tools to realize those words have no meaning and actually take them as a sign I’m headed in the right direction. Shipwrecks don’t want you to grow, and the whispers get louder when you’re close.

Tell your readers about your book.

"You should read me Near the Sea" is a poetry experience that tells the story of a young girl dying to get out of her small town and explore the world. She falls madly in love and then falls madly apart. It is a coming of age story including themes of hero's, cities, heartbreak and, most importantly, discovering universal-love. The voyage is told through ocean imagery and metaphors, in five chapters. Each chapter is divided by the five stages of the development of a hurricane: Tropical disturbance, tropical depression, tropical storm, tropical cyclone, and hurricane.

Who is your target audience, and why?

Readers from all walks of life can get joy and evoke emotions from this book, but my target audience is teens and young adults--specifically those battling codependency. I know firsthand how hard it is to not only become self-aware of codependent behaviors but even more so finding the strength to break through them and discover how powerful it is to be with yourself and not settle for someone just because you can’t be alone. Codependency really is an addiction that isn't spoken about enough, especially in today's instant gratification social media age. I wish I were better informed of what codependency was earlier on. The more I talk about it, the more people tell me they, too struggle with not feeling enough in their own skin and so this book is for everyone whose ever felt that way, for everyone whose ever been afraid of the storm inside them, so they settled for the familiar and the comfortable. That is my target audience, that’s who the book is for--that and of course, for the ocean lovers.


What do you consider your greatest success in life?

Still being here, pushing through depression, pushing my comfort zone. Hey maybe even publishing this book. I am most proud of using my voice authentically, unapologetically, and with vulnerable truth. I used to quiet my voice and diminish any strength and power I felt building up as a storm inside me because I didn’t want to offend anyone. Now I see it’s the people that embrace their storm that inspire me to embrace mine as well. That is the main factor I want this book to leave readers with. As Marianne Williamson so perfectly put it “as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same”. Hurricanes are a brilliant force, once they learn to control the wind. Make waves.

What one unique thing sets you apart from other writers in your genre?

As this being my first compete published poetry works, I went back and forth with finding my voice as a poet. I fell madly in love with poetry through acting school by reading Shakespeare and sonnets, and a lot of my earlier writing has the spirit of that rhythm and structure. With the new poetry boom that has exploded in the last few years that is mostly thanks to the "insta and tumbler poets” a great deal of the general public now wants to read poetry! It’s a modern poetry renaissance movement, and I'm overjoyed to add my voice to it. That is why I decided to represent my generation by using the lack of capital letters but with a twist. I decided to capitalize on cities and oceans. So that is different, but I think the biggest thing that sets me apart from other writers in my genera is I use real photographs instead of the highly popular sketch artwork, which makes my book somewhat anthropology coffee table book hybrid. My color photographs enhance my poetry to fully immerse readers in the sea-inspired ride.




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