Interview with Shauna C. Murphy, Author of Animalia

30 Nov 2023

What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write Animalia?

One night I dreamt of one of the opening scenes of the book, where Sunday sees Seraphim for the first time in the street. It was a vivid dream and I saw all the aspects of it, the colors, the sounds, and the perspectives of the characters. When I woke up, it was snowing, just like in my dream. I was delighted. All the roads were closed so I stayed in and wrote down my dream in this kind of whirl of inspiration. I felt I knew everything about the world of Animalia. I was so excited and could not stop, and the rest is history.

What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?

I’ll read anything with magical realism or fantasy. I also love alternate histories or retellings. I like to imagine how our world could be. My favorite stories connect lines between the miraculous and the mundane.

What scene in your book was your favorite to write?

I really like the scene where Ori confesses who she truly is to Sunday. It’s still one of my favorite moments in the story. I also loved writing the Sorority of Exceptional Women, as well as writing the backstories with Viktor, how he makes a snowman for Sunday outside her window when she’s sick and can’t go outside, or the music box he gives her. These little details are my absolute favorite. I enjoy discovering how my characters relate to each other. It’s one of my favorite aspects of writing.

Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)

My quirky creative habit is that I listen to a ton of instrumental and atmospheric music. It helps me stay present in the world I’ve created and especially during developmental editing or drafting, it falls into the background and helps me focus.

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

It’s important to stay true to yourself. I feel thankful that I’ve been true to myself in writing Animalia. It’s important to go through life actively, creating your own wonderful life, instead of being passive or reactive.

If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?

I hope they know they are loved, and that they have agency in their life to be the hero of their own life story. My wish for them is that they carry hope in their hearts and feel a sense of wonder, freedom, and possibility.


Shauna C. Murphy is the author of the new book Animalia

Connect with Shauna C. Murphy

Author Site


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