Yannick, do you ever share your work
with your husband?
No, for the following reasons:
1. When I received a review in Publishers
Weekly, he said, “Great, another review
in Publisher’s Clearing House!”
2. When I received a Pushcart Prize, he
said, “Hey kids, your mother’s won the
Shopping Cart Prize,” and then he
said, “No, wait, it’s the Wheelbarrow
3. I receive a literary organization
newsletter and when it arrives he says,
“There’s never a story about you in
here. I hate this thing.” And then he
throws it into the wood stove before I
even read it. He’s very supportive.
4. He never read my book The Call,
which is about a large animal veterinarian based on him. He only knows
what happens in the novel because when he visits his clients
they talk to him about it. With one hand on the underbelly
of a horse feeling for possible colic, he listens to his clients
tell him their favorite snippets from The Call.
Yannick, haven’t you at least once shown him your work?
Can you tell us about that time?
I wrote a novel about a female racehorse trainer. I asked him
to read it because he is a racehorse doctor.
Excuse me, Yannick. Don’t you think you should interject
here and let readers know that the novel was never published?
No, don’t interrupt. Anyway, I asked him to read it, because
who would know better than he about what really goes on at
the racetrack? He started rewriting it with things like, “...
she said with a smile,” “...she danced like a butterfly in
Wow, was it really that bad?
Wasn’t it nice of him to take the time
to read it?
That’s beside the point.
Would you like to share your writing
No, we already share socks. Isn’t that
enough? Plus, when it is his turn to do
the dishes, he leaves everything in the
sink, saying it all needs to soak.
Are there any benefits to not showing
him your writing?
Plenty! I write about him all the time,
and he has no idea. Sometimes I think
of him like a setting. I try to inhabit
him and then I rip the stuffing out of
him and jettison it out onto the page.
Does he appear in your latest book,
This Is the Water?
He does, but he’s in denial about it.
“You’re in this book, too,” the kids told him after they read
“It’s fiction. It’s made up. That’s not me!” he said. The book
is about Annie, the mother of two children on a swim team.
Annie is drawn into the lives of other families from the swim
team in a way she never imagined, which leads her to betray
her husband. But her involvement proves to be dangerous
when a girl on the swim team is murdered and the killer is
on the loose in the community.
Is this a plug for This Is the Water?
Yannick, is your husband really in your latest book?
Sort of. You know, parts of him. It’s a mix of him and somebody else. It’s fiction, for crying out loud!
Yannick, have you enjoyed this interview?
I have. I’d write more but I don’t have time. I’ve got to do
those dishes left soaking in the sink.
Yannick Murphy Talks with Yannick Murphy
Murphy’s newest novel is the obscenely suspenseful This Is the Water (Reviews, Mar. 10; pub month, July),
about a killer stalking a high school girls’ swimming team. Murphy caught up with herself at her home