Anthony Murphy | Writer
It’s been said that I was born with a pen in my hand. My career has been spent as a journalist, writer and editor in the newspaper industry. However, long before I worked for a living, I was writing articles and attempting to write books. Even as a child I wrote, usually with pen or pencil, on any scrap or piece of paper that was near at hand. At the young age of 12, I had a monthly astronomy column in the Spectrum magazine of the local newspaper, the Drogheda Independent.
When I left school, I began an apprenticeship with the paper, having previously written occasional articles for them. I worked at the Drogheda Independent for 10 years, cutting my teeth as a journalist and developing my writing skills. I met Richard Moore in 1999, while I was working at the Drogheda Independent, and we began research which would lead to the publication of my first (and to date my most comprehensive) book, Island of the Setting Sun: In Search of Ireland’s Ancient Astronomers, which was released on sale at the end of 2006. After selling out within a year, the book was revised and expanded and republished in 2008. It has been reprinted again in 2020.
I moved to another newspaper in 2003, becoming Editor of the Drogheda Leader. From there, I moved to the Dundalk Democrat, again as editor. My second book, Newgrange: Monument to Immortality was published in 2012 by The Liffey Press. It was reprinted in 2016.
In 2012, I started working for the Irish Farmers Journal, a national newspaper, as a sub editor, and am still working there, where I also do some graphic design. In 2013, I published my first work of fiction, a novella called Land of the Ever-Living Ones. In 2015, I published a short novel on Amazon Kindle called The Cry of the Sebac. This novel was released in print format in December 2018.
My third work of non-fiction, Mythical Ireland: New Light on the Ancient Past (the title and subtitle of which are taken from my website), was published by The Liffey Press in November 2017. Mythical Ireland was reprinted in 2019 and republished in a revised and expanded version in 2021.
My fourth non-fiction book chronicled by discovery of 'Dronehenge', a giant late Neolithic enclosure close to Newgrange at the World Heritage Site of Brú na Bóinne. It is called Dronehenge: The Story Behind the Remarkable Discovery at Newgrange. Click here to purchase a signed copy.
My largest work, Island of the Setting Sun, was reprinted in 2020 by Liffey Press. I am delighted to see it back in print.
My seventh book, Return to Segais, cannot be easily classified as either fiction or non-fiction. Inspired by the journey of the salmon (ostensibly the Salmon of Knowledge of Boyne mythology). It is a spiritual, philosophical and mythological journey, and was entirely written by hand in a beautiful hardback notebook with creamy pages. I resolved to handwrite a book because I felt that it would slow down my writing process to enable me to think more clearly and to write more lucid prose, and of course there would be a tangible monument to that process, that effort, in the form of a handwritten book. When you compose literary work on a computer, you do not leave an "imprint" as such, a physical remnant of your creative process. Rather, you are merely engaging electronic circuitry to create a series of zeroes and ones in computer code, hidden beyond sight, which gets translated as readable language to be displayed on a monitor. You can print out what you have written, but that is only assembled onto paper AFTER the fact. The only way to leave a physical remnant of your creative work is to handwrite it.
A second way to leave something of an imprint or indentation of your physical act of literary invention or production is to use a typewriter. To this end, my eighth book is currently being composed on a 1952 Olympia SM4 typewriter. Tentatively titled If Betelguese Should Die, it is a book about my own exploration of astronomy and the heavens, an awe-filled study that began when I was a child.
Over the past number of years I have written several magazine and newspaper articles, in addition to features about Mythical Ireland for various websites. I have also published many posts and articles on the Mythical Ireland blog.