Monday, October 6, 2014

Interview with Cerece Rennie Murphy, author of Order of the Seers Trilogy (SciFi)

Cerece Rennie Murphy fell in love with science fiction at the age of seven, watching “Empire Strikes Back” at the Uptown Theater in Washington, D.C., with her sister and mom. It’s a love affair that has grown ever since. As an ardent fan of John Donne, Alice Walker, Kurt Vonnegut and Alexander Pope from an early age, Cerece began exploring her own creative writing through poetry. She earned her master’s degrees in social work and international relations at Boston College and Johns Hopkins School for Advance International Studies, respectively, and built a rewarding 15-year career in program development, management and fundraising in the community and international development arenas – all while appreciating the stories of human connection told in science fiction through works like Octavia Butler’s “Wild Seed,” Frank Herbert’s “Dune” and “The X-Files.” In 2011, Cerece experienced her own supernatural event - a vision of her first science fiction story. Shortly after, she began developing and writing what would become the “Order of the Seers” trilogy. Cerece lives just outside of her hometown of Washington, D.C., with her husband, two children and the family dog, Yoda.

For more information, follow Cerece at

Connect with Cerece:

About The Book

What would you do if you held infinite power in the palm of your hand?

The Order of the Seers trilogy poses this question within a story that fuses action, mystery, and romance within a science fiction adventure that keeps you at the edge of your seat.

Captured and enslaved for their extraordinary gift, a group of individuals, known as Seers, are forced to serve a ruthless world organization that uses the power of the Seers to exploit the ultimate advantage: knowing the future. While a brother and his Seer sister fight to evade the group that hunts them, an unlikely captured Seer plots his escape from within the organization and sets off a chain of events that will change the world.

The journey begins with Order of the Seers (Book I) and continues with The Red Order (Book II).  The final chapter in the Order of the Seers trilogy, titled The Last Seer (Book III), will be released on September 30, 2014.

Book Trailers:
Link to trailer for Book I:
Link to trailer for Book II:
Link to trailer for Book III:

For More Information:

Can you tell us what your book is about?

Sure. The Order of the Seers Trilogy is about a group of people who can see the future and are enslaved for that ability. The story takes you on a journey as the Seers escape the group that seeks to exploit their gift, reclaim their power and start fighting back. There is lots of action and suspense, throughout the stories and even a little romance. With each book, the Seers and their mission expands and evolves from a personal battle for freedom to a quest to ensure the freedom of others. At it's center, Order of the Seers is about discovering and reclaiming your own potential so that you can be a force for good in the world.

Why did you write your book?

Honestly, I wrote the story because I loved it and felt honored that it was given to me to tell. Four years ago, when I first got the idea for Order of the Seers, I didn't even know if I could write it. I had never written a full length story before or tackled developing a story line of my own creation. But I knew one thing, I was sure as hell going to try. I have been a sci-fi fan since I watched Empire Strikes Back in the movie theater when I was 7 years old. To have a science fiction story idea of my own was just something I thought would NEVER happen for me and I wash't about to waste the blessing.

Can you tell us a little about your main and supporting characters?

Sure, the story begins with Lilith (Lilli) and Liam Knight, a brother and sister who are forced to leave the only family they have to escape an organization that will stop at nothing to possess and control Lilli's power to see the future. Their life on the run changes them both and prepares them for the many challenges they face throughout the books. You also meet Alessandra Pino and Marcus Akida, two enslaved Seers with unique abilities that set them apart from any other Seer ever captured. Though they have lost a great deal, they have a strength that is deeper than those around them suspect and that strength is what enable them to overcome the impossible. Sacrifice and hardship is a common theme among many of the characters you will meet in Order of the Seers, but what bonds them together and makes them powerful, is their ability to use their suffering as a catalyst to push them towards the extraordinary.

Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?

For the most part, my characters aren't based on anyone I know. However, with Order of the Seers, I can't honestly say that I "came up" with the characters. They found me and revealed themselves to me. My only job was really to listen and watch them well enough to convey them truthfully on the page.

Are you consciously aware of the plot before you begin a novel or do you discover it as you write?

For Order of the Seers, I did a detailed story and chapter outline before I began writing the 1st chapter. In the pre-writing stages of a book, it's all discovery for me. I try to stay still enough to let the action and the plot come to me. I ask questions and literally wait for the answer to reveal itself, as if the story already exists in its entirety and my job as a writer is just to uncover it. Stephen King in his book, On Writing, describes this process really well. For me, this first phase of discovery defines the structure of the story, from the overall plot to the actual sequence of events in each chapter. But then the discovery starts all over again once I begin actually writing the chapters because although I'm always clear on what will happen within a chapter, exactly how it will unfold, in terms of dialogue and character, is still a surprise. The "how" is the most exciting part of writing for me.

Does the setting play a major part in the development of your story?

Not necessarily in the development of the story, but in the revealing of a story. In my books, setting, like everything else, serves the story. A significant portion of Book I takes place on a commune in Iowa. That commune with its beautiful plains and simpler lifestyle represents a kind of Eden for these characters, a place where they can redefine themselves and start again. In that case, the setting is very symbolic of what the characters need at that point in the story, but the setting was really dictated by the needs of the character. I have yet to write a story where the setting drives what happens.

Have you suffered from writer’s block and what do you do to get back on track?

I don't know if I've ever suffered from writer's block, but I do know how crippling the fear of inadequacy can be to your writing rhythm. When it becomes overwhelming, I try to trick myself. I'll say, "Ok, Cerece, you only have to write a page, then you can quit for the day." But the thing is, it usually takes me less than a page to lose myself and get into the story. By the time I'm finished a page, I'm not thinking about me anymore, I'm trying to hear the characters, see the story and at the end of the day, that's what it's about. When I take myself out of the equation, I can usually get back into the story pretty easily.

What do you like the most about being an author?

The best part of being an author is playing a part in bringing a story you love to life. The second best thing about being an author is being able to touch someone with your words. It's a humbling and truly magical thing to have the privilege of doing.

What is the most pivotal point of a writer’s life?

Deciding that you will answer the call to tell the story you have been given and keep answering that call until the story is told.

What kind of advice would you give other fiction authors?

The best piece of advice I've been given about writing is to believe in your story. The second piece of advice I would give comes from my own experience. Don't give up, no matter what.

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