IR Approved Author Joe Siple: “There’s enough bad news in the world today…this book is a chance to experience redemption, friendship, and affirmation of the beauty in life.” 

The Five Wishes of Mr. Murray McBride received a 4+ star review, making it an IndieReader Approved title.

Following find an interview with author Joe Siple.

What is the name of the book and when was it published?

The Five Wishes of Mr. Murray McBride, released on 5/10/2018.

What’s the book’s first line? 

“Any magician worth his salt will tell you—there’s fake magic, and then there’s the real thing.”

What’s the book about? Give us the “pitch”. 

A 100 year-old man looking for a reason to live meets a 10 year-old boy with a terminal heart condition and a list of five things he wants to do before he dies.

What inspired you to write the book? A particular person? An event? 

My dad, who I was very close to, died a few years ago. For a long time after, I couldn’t write. I tried and tried, but nothing would come. When I was finally able to write again, this is the story that came out. I think Jason’s questions to Murray about death—what happens after, whether it hurts at the moment of death—were actually me processing what happened to my dad. I only wish he’d had a chance to read it.

What’s the main reason someone should really read this book? 

There’s enough bad news in the world today, and plenty of darkness in literature. I think this book is a chance to experience redemption, friendship, and affirmation of the beauty in life.

What’s the most distinctive thing about the main character?  Who-real or fictional-would you say the character reminds you of? 

Murray (my main character) reminds me of Ove from Fredrik Backman’s A Man Called Ove. Outwardly, he’s a bit of a curmudgeon, but when you get to know him you see that he’s a salt-of-the-earth kind of guy. Imperfect and full of regret, but also overflowing with kindness and integrity.

If they made your book into a movie, who would you like to see play the main character(s)?

It’s tough to say since they’d need someone so old, and someone so young. But I’d love to see someone like Richard Harris (the first Dumbledore) as Murray and someone like Haley Joel Osment when he was the age he was in The Sixth Sense.

When did you first decide to become an author?

I started writing fiction in 2001 and have been determined to succeed ever since. This, seventeen years later, is my debut novel.

Is this the first book you’ve written?

I’ve written 8 complete manuscripts before this, and probably 30 unfinished manuscripts. Only the last two or three have been crafted at a high enough level to be “worthy” of publication.

What do you do for work when you’re not writing?

I’m a voice-over actor. Some TV and radio spots, but mostly corporate training videos and app release videos. I also spent several years as a stay-at-home dad, and I still make sure to clear my schedule enough to walk my kids to and from school, and be there whenever they need me. “Dad” will always be job number one for me.

How much time do you generally spend on your writing?

A normal day includes a couple hours of actual writing, but the rest of the day is still productive because I set my subconscious on the job. I consider that an important part of my writing routine.

What’s the best and the hardest part of being an indie?   

The best part is working with other authors who have similar experiences of coming very close to a “Big 5” book deal, but falling through the cracks for one reason or another. We’re kind of a tribe all our own. I also value having a publisher who understands that and relishes publishing high-quality stories from writers who otherwise might not have the opportunity.

What’s a great piece of advice that you can share with fellow indie authors?

The same I’d give to any writer—don’t write for the market, write what’s in your heart. Because then, at the end of the day, you can be proud of what you’ve done and it will be a true reflection of who you are.

Would you go traditional if a publisher came calling?  If so, why?  

It depends on the opportunity. I wouldn’t sign just for the sake of signing, but I don’t know many people who would pass up a nice advance and the promotions and distribution capabilities that come along with a “Big 5” company. At the very least, it’s a difficult decision I’d enjoy having to make.

Is there something in particular that motivates you (fame? fortune? more sex?)

I like the thought that someone might read one of my stories and experience an emotional response. Life can get mundane when we get to an age where our days are always the same. Same job. Same house. Same routine. To read something that makes you laugh and cry—preferably in the same sitting—is one of the things that makes life worth living. In my humble opinion.

Which writer, living or dead, do you most admire?

Mitch Albom. I love his stories. Every one of them.

Which book do you wish you could have written?

The Death and Life of Charlie St. Cloud, by Ben Sherwood. It was mandatory reading for a writer’s conference I attended several years ago. I didn’t even want to read it, but by the time I was done, it was my favorite book. That was over a decade ago, and nothing has been able to knock it off it’s throne. That’s saying something.

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