1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?
I have enjoyed writing from a very young age, I won a fictional short story contest when I was very young and had a press release at the time in a local newspaper, I have also had some of my poetry published in anthologies. My first love is art however, I graduated from university with a Degree in Fine Art, and even while still studying I was running lino cutting workshops from my studio for people of all ages. I have produced a large body of artwork to date, in particular lino cutting, which I really enjoy.
2) What inspired you to write your book?
I always aspired to see more of the world and began solo travelling in 2015 with a trip to Athens, Greece. Since then I have travelled in Europe, North Africa, spent two months in India, explored much of south-east Asia and lived in Vietnam for over 4 years, teaching English as a foreign language. This love for travel has really helped me rediscover my passion for writing and inspired my new book.
I also recently started doing a travel blog, packed full of travel itineraries, guides and useful tips. It’s an extension of my book. This is the link:
3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?
I really hope that by reading my new book, readers will be encouraged to confront any fears or hang ups they may have, that may be preventing them from travelling and realizing their dreams. Being from a very working class background myself, I always thought maybe I would never get to break out into the big, wide world and go to all of these amazing places. But I was brave enough to throw caution to the wind and take my chances working in a foreign country and it was the best decision of my life so far. I want to inspire readers to follow their heart and live life to the fullest, not accepting less.
4) What drew you into this particular genre?
I was drawn into the genre of travel, simply because its the area where I feel I have a lot of experience and expertise to offer and share. I am a very creative person and writing is a great outlet for this, so I like to think not only is my book an informative non-fiction travel guide, it is also a rich, narrative. It’s pretty poetic at times when I am describing my own memoirs.
5) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?
Facebook has been particularly useful in growing readership and driving traffic to my website. I have a Facebook Page which shares the same name as my book ‘Travel For As Long As You Wish’, here I share original photos, reels and blog posts I’ve wrote, all inspired by my travels around the world.
This is the link to my travel facebook page:
This is the link to my art facebook page:
6) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?
My advice to new or aspiring authors would be to really be prepared to put in the work on marketing your books, remember your job has just begun once your book is out there. It’s a highly competitive market but don’t forget why you started writing in the first place, because it’s what you love and it’s important to let this passion be your main driving force. Let the passion and shine through and do it with a flourish.
7) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?
In regard to the future, I am hoping to eventually release a paperback and audiobook version of my current book and hopefully increase the popularity of both my book and my travel blog. I feel my content is very useful to anyone wishing to travel more. I will also be returning to teaching English in Vietnam later this year, as well as continuing my practice as an artist! So lots to keep busy with.
You can visit my website here: https://markjamesmurphybooks.com/
My ebook ‘Travel For As Long As You Wish: The Blueprint For Budget Travel, Backpacking And Escaping The Rat Race’ is available here:
About the Author
Mark James Murphy is an artist, teacher, adventurer, and writer. He was born in Sunderland, North-East England in the early 1980s. He has solo traveled extensively throughout the world and in 2017 decided to leave behind his job and apartment in the UK to teach English in Vietnam, South East Asia, for almost five years, describing it as the best moment of his life so far. There he also continued developing his practice as an artist and printmaker, documenting his travels through the medium of linocut. In 2019 he fulfilled a childhood dream when he backpacked for two months throughout the whole of India, ending up in a remote village in the Himalayan foothills. He has played football with local kids in the Sahara desert, lived with Hmong people high in the mountains of North Vietnam, and worked as a farmhand in Southern Spain. Mark is currently based just outside of London.