Sparked by Words

This is the cover of To Hunt a Sub, the newly released thriller by J. Murray.



I’m excited by the drama of the clouds and the sight of the submarine as it powers across the ocean. Even more, I’m intrigued by the synopsis of the book:


A brilliant Ph.D. candidate, a cynical ex-SEAL, and a quirky experimental robot team up against terrorists intent on stealing America’s most powerful nuclear weapon, the Trident submarine. By all measures, they are an unlikely trio–one believes in brawn, another brains, and the third is all geek–but they’re all America has to stop this enemy who would destroy everything they believe in. But this trio has a secret weapon: the wisdom of a formidable female who died two million years ago. 


An unlikely team is America’s only chance.


It’s a book I won’t be able to put down.  Current, well researched, edge-of-your-seat exciting, the kind of book to keep me up all night.


I had the opportunity to interview J. Murray to ask about the process of writing the book, a topic that always fascinates me.


Me:  How do you blend a 1.8 million-year-old character into a modern thriller?


Murray:  That’s a fair question. To Hunt a Sub is the story of 21st-century terrorists who threaten to destroy America’s subs by infecting them with a revolutionary virus. The nation’s best experts are stumped and call on an unusual team for help–a washed-up SEAL-turned-professor, a feisty grad student, and an artificial intelligence named Otto.


First, let me say it wasn’t my original plan to include Lucy, a long-dead 1.8 million-year-old hominid female. Her story (Lucy: Story of Man) won’t be out for a few years. But Lucy kept popping into To Hunt a Sub‘s plot until I could no longer ignore her: This ancient female faced down a world of volcanic eruptions, Sabertooth tigers, and bull-sized proto-wolves, her only weapons being dull teeth, flimsy claws, and thin hairless skin. How she did this was the answer to my modern-day characters’ problems as they struggled to defeat a well-equipped, militarized, and fervent terrorist.


Me: That’s an amazing concept – the solution to one of your books was found in the premise of another – serendipity at its most creative. I don’t think I’ve ever heard anything similar from another author.


Thank you for taking the time for this interview.


Murray: Thanks for the chance to talk about my book.


Me: The pleasure is mine. I wish you the best in all your writing pursuits.


You can purchase J. Murray’s new book at Amazon:


Below is the link to Jacqui’s blog. Pop on over and say hello to her.




Cover image courtesy: J. Murray


Comments on: "Interview with Author J. Murray" (29)

  1. Thanks so much for hosting me, Shari. And, I’m excited to chat with your community!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Not sure how Jacqui could weave Lucy into this story. That makes me so curious.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Which is why you have to read the book – it’s a brilliant concept! Jacqui has a unique perspective of many things that we ordinary people (me, not you, Andrew) would never think up.

      Liked by 1 person

      • LOL I am a fanatic about sub stories. Read so many of them. I got hooked on the genre by The Hunt For Red October.

        As soon as the vision thing is rectified I will be purhcaing this one. I have read about Lucy and have thought about tying her into a book one day, and bam here she is.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Then you are really going to love this book – it’s exciting, intriguing, and current. I also loved Red October, and kept asking people if it had been a real event.
        I hope your eyes heal soon – do you mind if I ask if it’s cataracts bothering you? I’m not trying to pry, just curious. No need to answer is it’s too personal.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Well, the doctors think I detached the retina again or I may be bleeding behind the eye. But they can’t confirm it cause I have developed cataracts in that eye from all of the trauma. So it may be two surgeries. We don’t know yet.

        I am relaxing and reading at a slower pace. Making the fonts on my laptop as large as possible. lol

        I will read this book. Right down my alley. (Are you her agent? lol I need one like you.)

        Liked by 2 people

      • So sorry, Andrew. I dislike surgery – I’m a wimp of the first order, though I know how fabulous cataract surgery is, from my mother’s experience. (I’ll probably need it in about 5 years.) But two surgeries, yikes!

        No, I’m no one’s agent (wish I were, maybe I could get some traction on my own books!) but I’m familiar with Jacqui’s books and love what I’ve read so far – totally hooked.

        Liked by 1 person

      • LOL You should be an agent. It would save us all so much trouble.

        I will read her book. Love the genre. Surgeries aren’t so bad. This will be numbers 6 and maybe 7.

        Liked by 2 people

    • To me, it’s quite realistic. You’ll have to tell me if you agree. Thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jacqui, do you mean the ability to conceive of relating a two-million-year-old person with a terrifying contemporary situation? I wouldn’t have looked there but I know why you did. I find it brilliant strategy.
        (I think you’re responding to Andrew’s comment. 🙂 )

        Liked by 1 person

      • Anthropologists struggle to find that unique characteristic that makes us human and chimps apes. This book dabbles with that as Lucy displays human traits that allow her to survive when mammoth and sabertooth didn’t. I have my modern characters draw on those to do their own surviving.

        I know for many that’s confusing. So much so I drop that plot strand in the sequel–as you know.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. J Murray’s creative process is absolutely fascinating – A Lucy spin-off from a thriller! It is mind-blowing how prolific a writer she is. I so admire her ability to write and publish . . . daunting.
    Thanks Sharee for shareeing.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I’ll admit the topic is way out of my comfort zone, but I have an interest in how you have come to this point in your writing journey and I won’t leave now. So happy for you, J. Murray. Does there happen to be a love struck poet on board? In all seriousness, your post today about one liners bringing the reader into the story will show itself in your novel. I have no doubt. Looking forward to reading!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. lindarkirsch said:

    Sounds like an interesting and unusual concept once Lucy is involved! Should be a good read!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Awesome interview, both Sharon and Jacqui! May the book exceed your wildest expectations. 🙂


  7. Sounds like such a fun book! I’ll have to order it for myself. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

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