BISAC: Fiction / Action & Adventure
BISAC: Fiction / Action & Adventure
Sailors believe it is unlucky to change the name of a boat. Placebo was the fourth name. The sailboat Placebo was a 47-year old derelict when Michael Collins discovered her and brought her back to life. In many ways, Placebo would repay the favor in similar fashion.
The Baltimore Catechism offers that the sacrament of Extreme Unction more commonly referred to as the Last Rites (the Placebian rites) are given to someone in immediate danger of death. It adds the remark, “…Giving comfort and solace to the soul and sometimes to the body.” The medical use of the definition, Placebo, is derived from the healing effects of personal solace. The sugar pill is a venue to seduce the body into relief. The healing comes from within.
Nothing in Michael Collin’s experience had prepared him for what his life became after September 11, 2001. His wife, Linda and daughter, Beth were visiting
Michael’s world is rearranged and disorienting. His sense of loss immediately flowers to guilt. The pain of his loss and guilt encapsulates him. The primal survival defense mechanism of flight eventually takes over. He runs away. The Placebo becomes both his escape capsule and lifeboat. It becomes his sugar pill.
Michael attempts his escape into the backwater, off the beaten path, outposts in the
A late season hurricane rolls off the African desert and careens toward a rendezvous with the Placebo. The ultimate challenge to any single-handed sailor- an open ocean confrontation with one of nature’s most formidable creations is a nightmare from which few of the dreamers survive. His suspense filled struggle and ultimate survival leaves him with closure to his personal tragedy.
Fashioned in the shadow of Pat Conroy, in the settings of Clive Cussler’s Dirk Pitt stories and in a tone of Stuart Woods, Placebo transports Michael through his own tragedy, the acceptance of his own humanity, and finally the rebirth of love.
Placebo is not just a 911 story. It is a story of the human condition - love, loss, repair and growth.
Welcome Padraig! Thanks for this opportunity to find out more about you and your book. Use no more than two sentences. Why should we read your book?
Placebo takes us on a journey through the human condition. It guides the reader along with Michael, on a
Caribbean journey through love, loss and recovery.
How did you start your writing career?
The usual ways, I suppose. High school paper, then I took one of those standardized “Interest Test” in high school. Out of nowhere, it told me I had a 90% interest in writing. I knew immediately that it was spot on and never looked back. Within three years, I was a radio announcer and a reporter for WKUL in
. Later, I worked all over the world in radio and TV news and wrote for both magazines and newspapers. Cullman, Alabama
Are the names of the characters in your novels important? How and why?
I struggle with the character’s names. I envy writers who approach names like naming babies. I suppose I have always tried to make the charterers names give some additional facet to the character. To give depth and extra nuance. For instance, Placebo’s main character is Michael Collins. Michael Collins was a very popular Irish patriot. After reading the biography of Michael Collins, I was fixed to an impression of both his personality and what he did – in some respects, the Michael of Placebo has some of the same attributes – I helped him through his dilemma with the name, not unlike why some parents give the name of some great person to a child. Other characters in my books are named vaguely after real people who have things I want the character to have in a million different ways.
Have any of your characters been modeled after yourself?
I am asked that all the time. I suppose all writers’ do. I can recognize things Michael feels or thinks as things I might. Hemingway said “..You write truly what you know.” I did not write an autobiography but I don’t think you can write without exposing yourself in your characters. I suppose you might say Michael is somebody I wish I was. I admire him, but don’t envy him. There are many characters in Placebo that are equally a mirror to my internal vapors.
Do you use a pen name? If so, how did you come up with it?
(Laughing) Yes. When I was at the National University of Ireland in
Galway, a number of years ago, one of my son's friends called me Padraig which is Irish for Patrick. I decided to use it as a pen name because it was my childhood name as well.
Does travel play in the writing of your books?
Yes, very definitely. I have been incredibly fortunate to have traveled all over the world for both business and pleasure. My parents gave me wings. I don’t think there is anything so expanding than travel. Placebo is a veritable travel guide for the off the beaten track
Caribbean – not the cruse ship islands here. Just over the horizon from most cruise ship destinations are incredible “Real” places with beauty, serenity and genuine folks, worth knowing.
How do you react to a bad review of your book?
That is a good question. I suppose writers have to develop a thick hide. It is an almost continuous process of dealing with negative input with a very few rare pats on the back. I don’t have much tolerance to poorly conceived or shallow criticism – which does exist. Don’t get me wrong, I understand I’m probably not the best one to separate good criticism from bad – the natural tendency would be to dismiss all the bad criticism as weak critics. You can’t listen to your friends and family at very best their criticism is suspicious. If you are the type person who cannot take rejection, I would suggest something else for you. I honestly welcome criticism that is presented to make me a better writer and to improve my work. Sally Koslow, editor of Placebo told me “..you never stop rewriting…ever.” I pay attention.
Tell us about your next release.
My next book is in edit with Irish best selling writer Karina Colgan right now. Seanchai - The Storyteller. Seanchai is Irish for storyteller. It’s about a classic Irish storyteller who tells nightly stories in his west Kerry home to an eclectic ensemble of characters. Great Irish places and with traditional and historical Irish stories.
Say your publisher has offered to fly you anywhere in the world to do research on an upcoming book, where would you most likely want to go?
The list of places may be too long for this interview. Right this moment, I’d like to be where the action is internationally – The Middle East.
Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, Turkey, Afghanistan and . All else failing I spend some of each year back in Iran . Ireland
Pat Murphy recently completed post Graduate Studies from the National University of Ireland,
Galway in Irish Studies with emphasis on Irish Literature and Archeology.
Pat lives in
. Pat operates Centerpoint Marketing a successful marketing company concentrating on the Marine Industry in the Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida Southeast United States.
He graduated from St. Bernard College with a BA in Journalism after which he worked with WKUL, WMBR, WTVT as well as CBS TV/ radio, UPI and the Associated Press. Pat has taught English and Communications at both the high school (
) and college level. Duval County FL.
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