69 Facts About E.R. Murray

  1. I existed before the internet.
  2. I own a stuffed two-headed duckling.
  3. My name isn’t really Elizabeth Rose Murray. But it used to be.
  4. I have a dog called Franklyn, he is a rescue dog, and a cross between a Collie and a Newfoundland, so he’s big (but very gentle). He loves swimming and bones.
  5. My nickname at school was Planethead. When I was in my 20s, my friends started calling me Monster. This may or may not be because I am good at playing poker.
  6. If I got the offered a place in a rocket to the moon, I’d take it. No questions asked.
  7. I worked with rescued elephants in Thailand for a week. We had to scoop lots of poo and fast – otherwise the dogs ate it. We also got to bath them in the river, and wash their watermelons.
  8. I used to have dreadlocks down to my knees.
  9. I have a long, thin scar that runs the length of my forearm. It’s been there as long as I can remember, but no-one knows what caused it.
  10. On New Year’s Eve 2014, I flew to Cambodia to teach creative writing in a rural school. I spent the first day of 2015 on my own, in a strange country, learning some Khmer (pronounced Ker-my) words, and trying to figure out how to order some chicken that didn’t have the feet or beak still attached.
  11. I have eaten many weird things on my travels, including crickets, kangaroo, chicken feet (I failed on my mission mentioned above), water beetles, frog, ostrich, snake, and a duckling cooked in its own egg –  snake, frog, and kangaroo are really tasty.
  12. Rain always makes me want to go on a really long walk. Storms too.
  13. I’ve been waiting for hover boards since the Back to the Future films came out. I’m very disappointed they haven’t been invented yet. So if you’re good at building stuff or inventing stuff, you might want to get cracking.
  14. Some smells make me feel really sick. Like raw onion, and bananas.
  15. I love Westerns. They’re very underrated. But I’d be an Native American Indian, not a cowboy.
  16. My dad was a Romany gypsy. When he was a kid, he worked on the waltzers, but he ran away from the fair.
  17. I met my dad when I was 13, and he died when I was 16, but I have some very nice memories.
  18. I have a scar on my face where a dog bit me. I was five years old. I cried when the dog had to be put down.
  19. Space hoppers were all the rage when I was a kid, but I blame space hoppers for the dog biting me. I was bouncing around on one in the garden and it was making an annoying squeaky noise. That’s when the dog leaped over the fence and pulled me round the garden by my cheek. Bad space hopper.
  20. I’ve never seen a dead body.
  21. I don’t particularly believe in ghosts, but I have definitely seen one, and heard another. Both were in Ireland.
  22. I love travelling but I can’t go more than 10 minutes in a car without getting travelsick. Buses are even worse. Planes and trains, I love you!
  23. I saw real life pink dolphins in the sea in a place called Khanom, Thailand.
  24. I don’t drive.
  25. If I could have a superpower, it would be the power of flight. And then I’d see if I could make it all the way across the Atlantic like the swallows.
  26. I spent quite some time in foster care as a child.
  27. I love rainbows. The best rainbows are the ones my dog makes when he has a good shake after swimming.
  28. I love reading short stories but find them very hard to write.
  29. The two books I have read the most are Wuthering Heights and The Colour Purple.
  30. I taught myself how to ride a bike but never figured out how to ride standing up. It’s very hilly where I live and it’s not easy cycling sitting down – so feel free to give me any useful tips.
  31. Food foraging is the best! Picking winkles or cockles or mussels (& then cooking & eating them) is one of my favourite things to do during low tide.
  32. I still write and send postcards and letters, which means I still receive postcards and letters.
  33. In 2009, I swam with sharks in Australia – lemon tips, bull sharks, and tiger sharks are the ones I can remember.
  34. Baking is one of my favourite things to do – I love the smells, but don’t really like eating cakes or biscuits so I have to give them all away.
  35. The one food I haven’t tried (that I would like to) is crocodile – so if you have any going spare, let me know. I’ll swap you for some cake.
  36. Worzel Gummidge was my favourite show when I was a kid. I still watch it on box set.
  37. In 2008, I did a skydive in Spain – the worst bit was waiting in the door of the aeroplane for the right time to jump, and the best bit was when the parachute opened and we flew miles and miles back up in the air.
  38. I have asthma, but ‘accidentally on purpose’ forgot to mention this before I did my skydive, in case they wouldn’t let me jump out of the plane.
  39. I love instagram and twitter far too much. But they keep me sane on the long dark winter nights without streetlights.
  40. I live in rural Ireland and there are no streetlights so the winters are very dark!
  41. Australia is my favourite place for wildlife – especially the birds. Have you ever heard a whip bird or kookaburra?
  42. There were very few parks where I grew up, so we used to hang out in the cemetery because it has flowers and trees. I still like visiting any cemetery. I often find my character names in cemeteries.
  43. If you talk for me too long, you’ll probably end up in one of my books or stories.
  44. My favourite thing about winter is the real fire – there’s nothing better than cosying up in front of the flames with a good book.
  45. I like clothes from the 50s, music from the 60s, and I was born in the 70s.
  46. My first Christmas in Ireland, I got swarmed by a nest of bees in the snow, in Graiguenamanagh, Kilkenny.
  47. I love fishing in the sea in our small punt, and my favourite fish is freshly caught mackerel – perfect for breakfast!
  48. My favourite drink is root beer or Pepsi Max.
  49. I don’t have any children but I am a Gran Aunt! One of my gran nephew’s has a name that starts with the letter X.
  50. The longest I’ve ever lived in one place is four years. Four years feels like a very, very long time.
  51. I’m a morning person. I regularly get up at 6am and this is my best time for working on new writing projects.
  52. My first published piece was a poem called ‘Butcher’s Hook’ when I was 16, and it was an angry rant about how people try and make kids behave an act a certain way, instead of letting them develop their own personalities. Unfortunately, I don’t have a copy of it.
  53. When mobile phones first came out, and they were the size of bricks, I said I’d never get one. Now, I don’t think I could live without my iPhone.
  54. My favourite food in the whole world is chilli peppers. I eat raw chillis nearly every day.
  55. The closest place to a moonscape I’ve ever been is a place called El Torcal in Antequera, Spain. The rock formations are karst, and look like all sorts of things – witches, Mickey Mouse, giant snails. It’s amazing – and you can see giant vultures. There’s also a seashell fossil on the top of the mountain – proof that it used to be the seabed.
  56. I find it impossible to read books on an e-reader, because it feels like I’m working on my own books and I start editing instead of reading. But I love paper books, so that’s OK.
  57. Japan is my ultimate holiday destination. When I was little, I wanted to be Japanese and I cried when I realised it was impossible. I find the culture fascinating.
  58. I always feel really, really, weird if I don’t have a flight booked. I always have to have a flight to somewhere waiting for me to feel grounded. Maybe that’s the gypsy blood?
  59. Stingrays are so graceful, and I got to swim with them in the Bahamas in the sea. A beautiful experience.
  60. I have never broken a bone or been in hospital.
  61. I’m not scared of heights in my brain, but tell that to my legs – they turn to jelly without warning.
  62. Blue, red, and green are my favourite colours. I can’t pick between them – it depends on my mood.
  63. A whole ceiling fell on my head when I was a teenager and I don’t remember anything about it. In fact, I only found out a few years ago when my niece mentioned it and I thought she was playing a practical joke. Turns out it’s true – there were five other people there and the only person who doesn’t know anything about it, is me.
  64. I ran with bulls in Casares, Spain, as a birthday present to myself.
  65. I have a terrible memory. If I don’t write it down, I forget it right away. Maybe the ceiling falling on my head has something to do with it.
  66. Meditation is something I’m really bad at. Instead of relaxing me, it gets me completely stressed out.
  67. I grow my own vegetables. I find it very relaxing – and tasty. Let me know if you want me to bring you a turnip!
  68. I have a thing about people calling vacuum cleaners ‘Hoovers’. That’s like calling every car a Porsche.
  69. I can still do the ‘the caterpillar’, otherwise known as the worm. I’m putting this at the end in the hope that no one will notice. That way, no one will ask me to prove it.

21 thoughts on “69 Facts About E.R. Murray

  1. SJ O'Hart says:

    Fabulous facts! I really enjoyed reading these, though the ‘ceiling falling on the head’ thing is a bit worrying… 🙂 (And next time I see you, you’re doing the caterpillar!)

  2. angelatcarr says:

    Love these facts, Elizabeth — I’m nodding along to many of them. I didn’t have a ceiling fall on top of me but I did fall through one once (actually twice, but that’s another story) — my mother walked into the living room of the new house (we’d just moved in that day) to discover one pyjamaed leg dangling from the ceiling and the muffled sound of whimpering from the attic!

  3. Niamh Garvey says:

    Are you sure you never spent a night in hospital? Even when a ceiling fell on your head? I reckon the docs just wiped your memory afterwards.
    I agree, short stories are easier to read than write. 60,000 word novels are easier. ha!
    I would like to know about the ghost. Perhaps you can bake a cake, and I can eat it, by a roaring fire, and you can tell me the story. You can eat chilli.
    I don’t know what the worm or the caterpillar is. I’m intrigued.

    • E.R. Murray says:

      Ha! No one took me to hospital, Niamh, or even the doctors. Everyone just laughed and thought it was funny (I found out later)! Let’s do the fireside chat with cake for you & chillies for me! I might even demonstrate the caterpillar 😉

  4. Chez Shea says:

    What a brilliant list! What is ‘the caterpillar’?? How do you do it?? I am intrigued.
    PS- my prefered mode of transport as a child was space hopper ( a big orange funny faced thing)

  5. alexpolistigers says:

    What a lovely get-to-know-you post. You have a couple of things in common with me – the early foray into writing and the not driving. And I also live in a rural place – but not in Ireland!

    Looking forward to reading more of your blog, and eventually your books, when they arrive for my children.

  6. Tadhg says:

    Hi there!
    You probably don’t remember me but as of writing this I met you today at a workshop in Bandon Library. I was the dark haired boy who asked about coming up with character names.
    I just want to say thanks for the workshop, it was brilliant and that I can relate with the fact about e-readers or kindles. They can’t replicate the feel of paper in your hand advice you turn the page. Thanks again. Tadhg ( don’t try to pronounce it 🙂 )

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