A creative kid, who wrote screenplays in his teens, Joseph spent the year after university in Los Angeles, living in Beverley Hills and working as a media content specialist. Returning home, he moved to Drumcondra, and worked for a travel company selling JI’s and working holiday experiences.
“I loved it! The role combined my skills of marketing, film and writing,” he says, “but in the pandemic the company went under.”
He moved home in lockdown, and started writing his debut, from an idea that had been growing since 2014, when Ashley Madison got into trouble with their infidelity dating website.
“I’d had a lightbulb moment, and had since been getting ideas for scenes and one-liners.”
Writing from midnight until 4.0 am, he had a first draft in 30 days.
“I got a lot of feedback from my parents, and friends, then I wrote four more drafts, and the manuscript was ready to submit in nine months.”
Agent Marianne Gun O’Connor signed him up, and he got a six figure two-book deal.
“She loved the hook. It was a whirlwind.”
Who is Joseph Murray?
Date of birth: 1993 in Gibbstown, County Meath.
Education: O’Carolan College in Navan; Trinity College, Dublin. Film and Drama Studies. MA in marketing.
Home: The Docklands, Dublin.
Family: Parents, two sisters and 42 cousins. “We’re very close.”
The Day Job: Fulltime writer.
In Another Life: “I’d love to be a writer and director of films – but in film you have to start at the bottom. I’d love to snap my fingers and make it happen.”
Favourite Writers: “My biggest influences are Oscar Wilde and Nora Ephron.”
Second Book: “I wrote two books side by side in 2022 and finished them both in January. Hitch is coming out next year.”
Top Tip: “All your first draft has to do is exist. Don’t be too hard on it.”
The Debut: Fling. Macmillan: €14.99 Kindle: €1.09
Tara and Colin fell in love instantly. But three failed IVF attempts later, the marriage starts to unravel. Wanting spark, they both, secretly join a dating website for cheating marrieds. And find, to their surprise, that having an affair doesn’t always mean being unfaithful.
The Verdict: A fast, furious and funny romcom – with quite brilliant one-liners.
Published in the Irish Examiner on 11th February.
© Sue J Leonard. 2023.