We had the good fortune of connecting with AmyLea Murphy and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi AmyLea, how do you define success?
Success, for me, is living a meaningful life. To me, that means living my life in the most authentic way and purposefully contributing to the world in a positive manner. Whether that’s through my writing, my parenting, or my efforts to be a good human on this planet, I want to be sure my life tips the balance in favor of the notion that people are basically good. If I can do that, I will consider myself a success. Everything else is icing on the cake.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.

I started out as an attorney, but I’ve always had a passion for creative writing and couldn’t stop myself from writing stories on the side.It’s how I process the world. When I finally decided to give publishing it a shot, it was an uphill climb. I had to educate myself about the craft of writing and the business of publication. I first pursued representation and waited for a publisher to pick me up, I thought that was the only way to get my work out into the world. In hindsight, I think I was waiting for someone to give me a stamp of approval.

Then I was diagnosed with cancer and that healing journey transformed me in countless ways. I found myself writing incessantly as I recovered, and that’s when it became clear. I didn’t need anyone’s approval. Cancer showed me that I only get one life and I don’t have time to waste waiting for others to believe in me or my stories. I had to believe first. So I pursued self-publishing and released my debut novel, Fine, in November of 2020. I learned a lot along the way and found the most difficult part was getting my book in the hands of readers. Marketing during a pandemic was a challenge, but somehow Fine has found its way. I’m glad to have experienced the process of taking my novel from the first draft to its final form because it gave me creative control and a newfound mastery of the steps involved.

This process taught me a lot about having the courage to pursue dreams. I believe that if you’re called to do something, there’s at least one person in the world who is waiting on you to do your part, so you have to overcome the challenges (there are many) and make it happen. Whenever I’m discouraged, I read one of the positive reviews and remind myself that at least one person was impacted by what I wrote, which makes it all worthwhile. Everything else is a bonus.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?

First, I would drag my friend out of bed early and grab a cup of coffee at RVRNT. They have an amazing pour over that is life-changing. If they aren’t into coffee, I’d pick up burritos at Brother’s Burritos in Hermosa Beach or maybe grab some pancakes at Good Stuff. They have some delicious omelettes there, too.

After breakfast, I would take them hiking on one of the many trails in Palos Verdes, showing them the beautiful ocean vistas. There’s something magical about the way the rugged cliffs drop off into the sea, and the natural beauty of the peninsula is pretty special. Depending on the time of year, we might even spot a few whales.

If they’re not into hiking, I’d take them paddle boarding in Redondo Beach or maybe take a bike ride down the strand. That stretch of beach is always filled with people walking, skating, and having a good time outside. We’d watch the volley ball payers and surfers, and maybe even take a walk down the pier.

After a long day in the sun, we’d be ready to unwind. So I’d bring a bottle of wine and a picnic dinner to the beach. After strolling along the water’s edge in search of sand dollars, we’d spread out a blanket on the sand and relax. There’s nothing better than taking in the gorgeous colors of the sunset after a long day.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There have been so many wonderful people who have crossed my path on this journey, offering encouragement and support along the way. I am so grateful to my friends who have offered to read early drafts, spread the word about my books, and celebrated the smallest of victories with me. I’m also thankful for the first readers who responded with such positive feedback, giving me the courage to keep going. Most of all, I’m forever indebted to my husband and kids. Without their love and encouragement, I would never have gotten this far.

Website: www.amyleamurphy.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/amyleamurphy/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/amyleawrites/

Image Credits
Dave Napox

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