Monday, May 06, 2013

Murray Purra ~ Whispers Of A New Dawn

Murray Pura was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, just north of the Dakotas and Minnesota. His book The Wings of Morning has been nominated for several literary awards in the United States including Best Inspirational Romance and Best Historical Romance. Murray lives and writes in southwestern Alberta. His releases for 2013 include: Ashton Park, The Rose of Lancaster County, A Road Called Love, Seven Oaks, The Painted Sky, Whispers of a New Dawn, Beneath the Dover Sky, and An Amish Family Christmas.

Whispers Of A New Dawn. The year is 1941. Pilots Jude and Lyyndy Whetstone arrive with their adult daughter Becky back in their Amish community in Lancaster County. It’s time to consider giving up flying forever and finally settle down among their relatives. It seems God is leading that way, especially when Becky finds romance with young Moses Yoder and decides to abandon the skies for the life of an Amish wife. 

But a summons to exotic Honolulu changes everything. Jude has been asked to train fighter pilots for the new Army Air Forces. If the Whetstones leave the Amish community to work with the military, they will not be allowed to return. However the call to serve the country they love prevails, so the family departs amidst tears at what they’re leaving behind and fears at what awaits them. Once settled on the beautiful island of Oahu, Becky is hired on as a flight instructor at a civilian flying school and takes an immediate dislike to her newest student, the brash Christian Raven. Their turbulent road to love comes to a crashing halt with the horrific bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941. As Christian joins in the fight that will become World War 2, Becky wonders if God would be so cruel as to snatch love from her life a second time.

Welcome back to Ink Dots, Murray. This is your third visit. With the name Murray Pura and all it's associations with all things Aussie, it's no surprise. 

So what can we learn about you we didn't already know?

What poets have inspired your writing? Robert Frost, Carl Sandburg, Langston Hughes, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Dylan Thomas, W.B. Yeats, Tennyson, John Masefield, Shakespeare's sonnets, the Psalms, haiku. Poems like Langston Hughes'  Mother to Son, or Frost's Stopping by the Woods, or Sandburg's Fog, as well as Thomas' Fern Hill, Tennyson's Ulysses, Yeats' An Irish Airman Foresees his Death, and Masefield's Sea Fever have all had a significant impact on the way I use simile and metaphor and strive for a poetic vision in my novels, not simply straightforward narration. 

Do you have a manuscript in your drawer which never found a publishing home? You mean like John Grisham's A Time To Kill which no one wanted until he became famous? Well, I used to have more of them but now quite a few have been scooped up. I do have one though - leprosy was rampant in parts of the USA in the mid-1800s and the people who contracted the disease were severely persecuted and driven from their communities. My story is about a group of Christians who rescue a number of them, a young minister and a female nurse falling in love with one another during the rescue. I like the sound of that. Hope it finds a home soon. 

If your favourite character came to life, how would you interact with them? Take them for coffee. A hike in the mountains. Ask them to a service in my favourite church. Bring them home to a dinner in their honour. Chat all night. If I were single, and the character was one of my heroines, I'd so much want a dinner and dance date.

If you could write any book, assured of its publication, what would it be? Why, are you offering? No, but carry on. (shakes head) Well, considering you have the Murray River, a rail junction called Pura Pura, not to mention the Pura Cup and Pura milk (oops, there I go, I've mentioned them), (eye roll, small smile) and considering how much I liked the Sundowners and the Snowy River films, I wouldn't mind penning a romance-adventure about a Canadian immigrating to Australia, discovering it for himself, falling in love with it and a certain her, and building a sprawling epic about the land and its people. After all, I write quite a bit about American history with a healthy dash of love, why not an epic about Oz? Why not indeed. (shrug, wink) 

Would you ever write a screenplay? Yes. A good number of readers have said how visually oriented my novels are and how they wish they could be made into movies or mini-series. I have been invited to a screenwriting school in the USA and perhaps that is a place I will head to for a summer session in 2014.

What do you wish readers were more keen on? I don't want them stuck with formula writing anymore than I want publishers stuck there. I want them keen to read more complex plots and more poetic writing. No dumbing down - I want them to grow and develop their reading skills and be blessed by going into writing that is different than the same old-same old. I want them to embrace stories that engage their imagination in new ways and holy ways. I want them to seek deeper enrichment and hunt out the writers who will give them that, not necessarily writers who are well-known or high on the bestseller lists. In new ways and holy ways... I like that. 

Thanks for sharing your heart and vision, Murray. Wishing you all the best with the release of Whispers of A New Dawn. I'm most impressed you've taken an Amish family halfway across the Pacific. 


If you'd like to win a copy of Whispers Of A New Dawn, tells us which book you also enjoyed as a movie. For me, nothing beat watching To Kill A Mockingbird, after reading the classic novel by Harper Lee. I still get chills. 

How about you? Comment below for your chance to win. I'll announce the winner in the comment thread on Friday. 

Good luck and happy reading,