Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Virtual Book Tour: Bob at the Lake by R. Murphy

Please welcome R. Murphy to this stop on her blog tour!

  Before we get started, go here to
enter to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card

On to Bob At The Lake!

Take a crabby woman of a certain age, move her to the wintry shores of a New York lake, and then throw in a martini-loving ghost from 1920s Manhattan. Last, stir in the good-looking grape grower who lives up the hill. Now there’s a recipe for a potent screwball cocktail!


Bob, [my new ghost], looked around at my quiet, carton-filled house. “But don’t you think you’ll ever get lonely way out here? You might miss having a man around.”

“Well,” I responded, “I’m human, so of course I’d like to have a guy around on a regular basis. But by the time you get to be my age most of the good guys are taken. My grandmother used to say, ‘It takes a very good man to be better than none.’ She was right. If I can’t find a good guy, I’m not going to waste my time and energy on a fixer-upper. You know what they say about teaching a pig to sing.”

“Huh?” he replied, bewildered.

“You know, ‘You can’t teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time, and it annoys the pig.’ I feel the same way about spending my time with an inappropriate man. I’m sure they’re all fine, they just don’t have what’s right for me. I’m tired of pretending that underneath all the nuttiness, I’m not smart and competent. I just don’t feel like putting on the ‘Love me, oh, please, love me’ song and dance routine anymore.”

“Good one about the pig. I should jot that down.”

“Feel free.”

Thus began months of the strangest dinner conversations I could ever imagine. Topics ranged from the sex life of newts to the menace of buttered toast. We spent several days talking about Bob’s bone dust theory (he believed the kind of person you were was determined by the amount of bone dust in your body). I started buying my semi-dry riesling by the case and developed a taste for very dry martinis. Half of our dinners wound up with me yelling, throwing my hands in the air, and storming out of the kitchen. The other half ended with us laughing so hard tears streamed out of my eyes. What a blast.

Author Interview

Linda, thanks so much for inviting me to join you today. I’ve been having so much fun meeting readers on my blog tour. It’s been a delight!

1.    Tell us a little about yourself: Your hometown, your age, anything cool! Brooklyn-born and Jersey-bred. Does it get any better than that?

2.      How did you know you wanted to write? I come from a long line of readers. In fact, in my family, we call reading ‘The Murphy Curse.’ Dishes and laundry go unwashed, homework goes undone, bills go unpaid, all as we breathlessly try to cram in ‘just to the end of this chapter.‘  Although I made my living as a business writer for decades, I would never have aspired to being a novelist; I don’t have the chutzpah. To me, being a novelist is just one small step down from being Ruler of the Universe. I hold good writers in that much esteem.

3.      What inspires you on those inevitable rough days? After years of writing to business deadlines, I still try to keep time-frames in my mind when writing fiction. So many words by such and such a date. I’ve found, though, that the worst thing you can do when you’re imagining your way through your first draft is to criticize your creation and your writing. That stops me cold every time. So I try to kill my internal editor while I’m drafting, and then bring her back to life when the rewrites start. 

4.      Tell me some of your current projects - your works in progress, ideas, or any crazy off the wall things. I’m almost finished with rewrites of the second Bob book, Bob at The Plaza, where Roz finds herself going toe-to-toe both with a flooded lake and with the ghosts of The Algonquin Round Table. It’s been quite the roller-coaster ride! As far as ‘crazy off the wall’? Right now, I’m mapping out how to rebuild my stone lake wall that was demolished by ice this spring. There’s nothing quite like standing calf-deep in frigid water to get your mind churning with writing ideas!
5.      What are the aspects of your writing that people don't see? What would you like people to know about your work? I loved doing the research that underpins the Bob books, especially reading about members of The Algonquin Round Table. The letters of Alexander Woollcott, Edna Ferber’s novels, Benchley’s essays, Harpo Marx’s hysterical autobiography--it’s been so much fun learning more about these people. As to my hands-on research on the panic of living through a spring flood? Not so much fun...

6.     This question is a chance to meander or talk in greater depth if you'd like. Here you can talk about what hobbies you pursue, how you refresh your well of ideas, what you would recommend to other writers. My hobbies--like my reading choices--are all over the map. I love grand opera; I also sort of love pushing large rocks into a lake wall under the broiling summer sun. I strive for a frugal life, but somehow there’s always money in the budget for blue pearls.

Usually unwittingly, I manage to interject lots of drama into my life. For instance, even though I’m kind of tired of cooking, I signed up for a farm share this summer, so I predict lots of sturm und drang as I try to figure out what to do with my newly-picked peck of peppers. Pickle them? (you did say I could ‘meander’…)

I guess I refresh my well of ideas through variety and pushing myself into slightly uncomfortable situations. It’s a great way to keep growing and to keep my writing fresh. (Even though I still have no clue how I will deal with all those peppers…)

Great questions, Linda! Thanks so much for inviting me today!  Roz

Roz Murphy is the pseudonym of a shy, retiring writer who doesn’t want her neighbors to know how nutty she really is. Brooklyn-born and Jersey-bred, Roz now lives on the misty shore of one of New York’s beautiful Finger Lakes. Prior to that, her business writing career took her to many locations, including Manhattan, where she worked for a number of years. As a freelance and corporate writer, Roz won several national and international writing and communications awards.

Now Roz is pursuing her first love—fiction. She’s writing the ‘Bob’ books, the humorous chronicle of a crabby ‘woman of a certain age’ who moves to the wintry shores of a New York lake—and gets a ghost. And not just any ghost, mind you. Bob’s a plump, middle-aged ghost from 1920s Manhattan who swans around in a silk smoking jacket and drinks far too many martinis. Stir the good-looking grape grower who lives up the hill into this mix and you get a pretty potent screwball cocktail!

When she’s not reading, writing, hill-walking, staring mindlessly out the window at the lake or piling rocks onto her ever-diminishing lakefront, you can usually find Roz hanging out with her family, travelling, or exploring the amazing wines and wineries of the Finger Lakes.

‘Bob at the Lake’ is exclusively available as a Kindle download from Amazon. Please join Roz Murphy Author on FaceBook for updates on the many adventures of Roz, David—and Bob.


  1. Linda, thanks so much for hosting me today. I'm so excited to be here. And if anyone has any ideas for what to do with all those farm share veggies, please, please, PLEASE share your suggestions! (Is my veggie worry starting to show through???)

    1. It's my pleasure to have you, Roz! As for extra veggies, ratatouille!

    2. Ooooohhhhhh, love ratatouille. Great suggestion--many thanks!

  2. Great excerpt, thank you.


  3. Thanks so much for stopping by, Rita, and for those kind words!

  4. Amazon GC if i win

  5. Linda, thanks so much for hosting me today--I've had a great time. And the best of luck with your Amtrak internship application; it sounds like an amazing experience.

    1. Thank you, Roz. Best of luck to you, too. :)