Well-travelled Cabbagetown author turns experience to tales

Eric Morse

For Cabbagetown fiction author Eric Murphy, who launched his second juvenile work Dead Man’s Boot at Ben McNally books on Nov. 18, fiction writing came later in life. Life began with a double major in political science and French literature. When Murphy found himself in Paris writing a Master’s in French foreign policy toward Israel and trying to subsist, he got a job in modelling, was then hired as North American commercial rep for a French designer, and transitioned into commercial acting, which is still what keeps the roof on his house on Spruce St.

“Being a commercial rep in North America and the Middle East was a great experience,” he says. “There’s nothing as educational as travel. When you’re bereft of family and friends you find out what you’re made of.”

Murphy has been a lifelong sailor and the books incorporate his knowledge and the friendships he has made in Nova Scotia. All his writings have strong historical links; The Bermuda Shipwreck will explore the links between Bermuda and Halifax during the American Civil War. Lunenberg and Halifax, where the main action will be based, were hotbeds of Confederate espionage. The three young-adult works also contain strong elements of the supernatural.

Murphy believes in giving back, and in the course of his 31 years in Cabbagetown with wife Clorinda Leach and (now grown) kids Liliana and Julian, he has twice been recognized by the BIA as volunteer of the year.

“I think to understand humanity you have to have a wider perspective,” Murphy told The Bulletin. “It’s one of the reasons we need to persevere with the humanities at every stage of education. We all need engineers, lawyers, we need doctors, but there’s a reason why they encourage doctors to pursue some courses in the humanities, because you’re not just a meat doctor, you’re a human being trying to help another human being.”

Murphy volunteers at the Regent Park Reads literacy program, and is a strong advocate against bullying. Dead Man’s Boot is dedicated to Nova Scotia bullying victim Raeteh Parsons.

For more information (and to buy a book) visit dancingcatbppks.com.