Monday, August 15, 2022

THE STORY BEHIND THE STORY - Murphy's Choice by Becke Turner


Murphy's Choice


Get a behind-the-scenes all-access pass to Becke Turner's Murphy's Choice, book six of A Clocktower Romance Series!


The series is set in smalltown Sunberry, NC and features romances from the Murphy Family and their friends.

Murphy’s Choice follows Nate Murphy, the youngest Murphy brother’s, romance with Chaz Gaetti.

On the day Nate plans to make his big break away from Sunberry to follow his plan, disaster strikes.

Chaz Gaetti never had a chance. Her dreamer mother moved her from place to place searching for an unrealistic dream. In role reversal, Chaz cared for her mother. By her sixteenth birthday Chaz was on her own. When she’s handed an opportunity to make her dreams come true, she jumps on it. No one or thing will stop her from seizing her inheritance—except for two pesky details. Her uncle isn’t dead yet and her sexy new dishwasher.


What is the sub-genre and trope?  Did your characters lead you to this genre or was that decided before the story began?

A southern small town, workplace, enemies to lovers, opposites attract PG-13 romance. And if you can say that ten times without faltering, you win a prize!

I wish I could claim it was all ‘My Big Plan.’ But no, first the characters and then the story took over and led me screaming and kicking to short contemporary romances.

For Murphy’s Choice I continued to believe I was in control. Nope, so didn’t happen. Nate led the way. 

As the youngest of the Murphy male siblings, he’s followed his older brothers. He’s the best friend archetype and has sacrificed personal wants to make life better for first his mother and then his neighbors. 

I imagined a George Bailey from It’s a Wonderful Life. On the day Nate decides to follow his ambitions, he collides with Chaz Gaetti. She’s his mentor’s estranged niece and she’s planning to sell Sunberry’s favorite diner before his friend has died. No way, can he let her get away with her goal.


With many main and secondary characters, how do you keep them separated in your mind?  Do you have a story/vision board above your workspace?

I can’t leave the data analyst part of me behind. Of course I have a spreadsheet and that’s only because I wrestled the Access database to the ground! 

Anyway, the spreadsheet has multiple tabs with characters names and where they appear. 

I also created a Character Map so my readers can track favorite characters. The Character Map in addition to behind-the-scenes book information is available on my website.


I know from previous interviews that characters take on a life of their own.  Were any of the characters in this series determined to take their own direction instead of where you initially wanted them to go?

Only all of them!


Are any of the male POVs based on anyone you know?

The original story idea stemmed from my grandchildren. 

I’m amazed how five children from the same parents could be so incredibly different. I started making up stories about how they would mature. 

Of course the stories are nothing like the children, but it was a fun exercise.


Are any of the female POVs based on anyone you know?

Chaz was loosely based on Beth Dutton from Yellowstone. 

I couldn’t understand why people liked Beth. She was so mean with rough language and no morals. However, she was loyal to her father and to the land. 

The challenge in my story was to create a tough gal who the readers wouldn’t hate! 

My beta readers sent it back three times telling me to dial Chaz down another notch.


Was there any one character/scene that was harder to write about than the other?

The opening scene for any story is always the hardest for me because I have to dribble the backstory and jump right to the action. 

Getting that balance is a tightrope dance. The reader must understand the character to know the stakes. But if the author gives them a deep dive into the past, it’s boring.


What is your favorite book in the series?

That’s like asking me which grandchild I like best.  All have characteristics that make them special for different reasons. 

Home to Stay was my award-winner, so yeah, that’s cool. 

Carolina Cowboy had scenes from my life on the ranch. 

Although published third, Murphy’s Secret was the first in the series. 

The Puppy Barter was written after I volunteered for an organization that trains service dogs. 

Murphy’s Cinderella had scenes I experienced as a nurse. 

Bottom line: they all are.


I know that we aren’t supposed to have “favorites” as far as our children, but seriously, who’s your favorite character and why?

My favorite character was Whit Murphy because he was forced to overcome a learning challenge out of his control. 

Many characters have issues caused by their behavior or their reaction to life events.


Series question - Who is your favorite couple and why did you decide on their dynamics?

Whit and Talley are my favorite because I knew them as teenagers. It was fun to write the teens and then their lives as adults because I knew them. Knew what didn’t work for them, knew what they had to overcome to obtain a HEA.


How do you get inside these character’s heads to find their perfect HEA?

I develop an extensive character profile to keep me on track. That said, characters can be stinkers and go off-script. I think they do that to annoy me.


What scene in this book/series sticks out the most for you?  Why?

The scene with the rocker in Murphy’s Choice stands out because it was an emotional double-edged sword for Chaz. 

The moment held the best of her past and yet it became her painful awakening. And that’s all I’ll say on that scene because I don’t want to spoil the plot.


Series - Were any of the books harder to write than others?

It’s a tie between Murphy’s Secret and Murphy’s Choice. Both required many returns to the proverbial drawing board. 

When I complete a project, I get a huge surge of endorphins. Imagine the high and low every time the Beta readers say, “Nope, doesn’t work for me!” Just stick me in the eye with a sharp stick!


This question is if you write in MULTIPLE POVs not just the hero and heroine - I love the multiple POVs in a book.  It’s not just the hero and heroine, but we get inside the heads of multiple characters throughout this series.  I feel that it gives the story further depth.  Do you think you will write another book or series following this multiple POV outline?

I’ve added a third viewpoint when writing a villain. However, that book is not complete. Since my Clocktower Romance stories are limited to 65-70k words, I don’t feel I have the page count to delve into multiple POVs.


How long did it take you to write this book/series?

Which version? LOL. Three years.


How did you come up with the title for your book and series?

If the title includes the Murphy name, the reader knows a key character is from the Murphy family. 

I often hold contests and let my readers help me title a book. It’s fun for them and I NEED ALL THE HELP I CAN GET!!!


If you met these characters in real life would you get along?

Chaz and I would bump heads. 

Hope Murphy was a challenging spoiled teen. Her story is up next. That one may take a while. She will require multiple contests for reader feedback.


Series question – Did you know in advance that you were going to write this as a series or did one of the characters in book one demand their own story?

I planned to write the Murphy family as the series but decided to expand it to the community to give me additional latitude. 

I love medicine. My son’s in the Navy. I was once a cattle rancher and horse trainer. I loved training dogs. 

My varied experiences create multiple rabbit holes for stories. Put me in a box and I’m going to break something. The community allowed freedom to write anything.


If your book/series were made into a movie, which actors do you see as playing your characters?

If I answer the question, it limits the reader. I think it’s best to let each reader apply the movie/TV character they envision. 

I remember how heartbroken I was when Lonesome Dove came out.


Can you give us a hint as to what we can expect next?  Whether a new book and series or a sequel to an existing series?  Can you share a small tease?

My husband and I travel to a dude ranch on the Montana/Wyoming border every year. I love horses. I’ve raised, trained, and showed for years.

Just saying…



Check out all my interviews/reviews for Becke Turner!


Becke Turner retired her healthcare data analyst hat to write contemporary romance full time. Her stories reflect her varied interests of anything medicine, animals, adventure, and family. To lend authenticity to her military characters/settings, Becke quizzes her son, a U.S. Navy pilot, and her son-in-law, a retired Marine Major. 

Although she spent a lifetime training, showing, and breeding horses, her four-year sabbatical to operate the family cattle ranch in Southern Missouri evolved into her cowboy stories. And yes, every state has its share of guys in boots and hats.

She writes contemporary romance revolving around her love of medicine, animals, adventure, and family. Her stories have finaled and won multiple contests including the national Golden Heart, and regional Maggie. She is a member of Forever Golden and Georgia Romance Writers.

She loves to hear from readers. Click HERE to be included in Turner Town News, learn more about Becke and her books, sign up for her Book Mates, or contact her by email.




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When a restaurant heiress can't trust her memories, she refuses to trust her sexy new dishwasher with his Sunberry connections and ties to her estranged uncle.

All he wants is a send-off breakfast before following his dream job. Instead, he's forced to choose between a dying friend, a pledge to his family, and the complex woman twisting his heart in knots.

It's going to take a Sunberry community of friends, family, and a surprise canine family to find a happily-ever-after for the youngest Murphy son.

As with all Clocktower Romances, each is a complete story with its own happily-ever-after.

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