Murphy, C.E. 1973- (Cate Dermody, Catherine E. Murphy)

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Murphy, C.E. 1973- (Cate Dermody, Catherine E. Murphy)


Born June 1, 1973, in Kenai, AK; married. Education: University of Alaska at Fairbanks, B.A., 1996. Hobbies and other interests: Traveling, walking, drawing, swimming.


Home—Cobh, Cork, Ireland.


Author. During early career, worked in a cannery, in a fast food restaurant, and as a Web site designer.



Urban Shaman, Luna (New York, NY), 2005.

Thunderbird Falls, Luna Books (New York, NY), 2006.

Coyote Dreams, Luna Books (New York, NY), 2007.


The Cardinal Rule, Silhouette (New York, NY), 2005.

The Firebird Deception, Silhouette Books (New York, NY), 2006.

The Phoenix Law, Silhouette Books (New York, NY), 2006.


(With Mercedes Lackey and Tanith Lee) Winter Moon, Luna (New York, NY), 2005.


C.E. Murphy began writing full-time in 2005, after leaving a job as a Web site designer and moving with her husband from her native Alaska to Ireland. Also writing under the pen name Cate Dermody, she has written novels for two series: the "Walker Papers," and the "Strongbox Chronicles," a series of spy thrillers.

The "Walker Papers" series follows a Seattle police officer of part-American Indian, part-Irish descent, who is bestowed with the magical powers of a shaman after she witnesses a paranormal crime. Writing about Urban Shaman, the first in the series, Ashok K. Banker commented in Blogcritics that "Murphy's greatest gift is the ability to keep the action coming fast and furious, with something happening on almost every single page. Her sincerity in describing esoteric events and encounters with mythic beings and demi-gods in mundane everyday settings like an airport cafe or an expressway at night makes every unlikely scene totally believable." Infinity Plus contributor Elizabeth Barrette described Urban Shaman as a "fascinating book," adding: "C.E. Murphy creates a charming balance between the past and the present, between Europe and America, between wilderness and civilization." Renowned fiction writer Charles de Lint wrote in a Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction review that Murphy "has a good sense of how to blend humor and action with a healthy dollop of mysticism and folklore." De Lint reviewed the second novel in the series, ThunderbirdFalls, writing: "Walker's first-person voice is charming, with just the right touch of self-deprecating humor, and immediately draws the reader in."

Murphy told CA: "I'm one of those people who has always written. I was writing poetry for a school publication by the time I was six, and by age eight I'd started my first novel. It took eleven years to get around to ‘finishing’ one, but I knew where I was going from a very young age.

"I read a lot of fantasy growing up (after I'd finished all the kids mystery novels and horse books in the library). The first fantasy novel I specifically remember reading was Susan Cooper's Greenwitch, when I was about eight. That series, Lloyd Alexander's Prydain Chronicles, and C.S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia are probably the greatest influences, overall, on my writing. They are all stories in which the magic, ultimately, goes away. I write stories in which the magic comes back, and I really think a lot of that is a response to those books I read when I was a child."

When asked which of her books is her favorite, she said: "My favorite book, a YA in the vein of the above-mentioned authors, hasn't yet been published. Sniff!"

When asked to describe her writing process, she said: "‘Open up a vein … ’ Generally, I write like a mad thing for the first third of a book, hit a wall, go back, fix mistakes, continue writing like a mad thing for the second third, hit a wall … The best thing about this particular and sometimes frustrating process is that by the time I reach the end I've usually got a pretty solid draft in hand and don't have to go back and do ‘too’ much more to it. Usually."

When asked the most surprising thing she has learned as a writer, she laughed and said: "Probably that writers are generally just like me: perfectly ordinary people whose ability to tell stories does not give them some kind of stand-out-from-the-crowd aura.

"I write to entertain. If I can take a reader out of the world for a few enjoyable hours, I'm a very happy writer indeed."



Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, October 1, 2005, Charles de Lint, review of Urban Shaman, p. 49; February 1, 2007, Charles de Lint, review of Thunderbird Falls, p. 34.


Blogcritics, (October 4, 2005), Ashok K. Banker, review of Urban Shaman.

C.E. Murphy Home Page, (May 3, 2007).

Infinity Plus, (October 15, 2005), Elizabeth Barrette, review of Urban Shaman.

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Murphy, C.E. 1973- (Cate Dermody, Catherine E. Murphy)

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