Wrentham Resident Pens Third NovelMar 01, 2021 02:19PM ● By Grace Allen
John Murzycki always wanted to write a book and in 2017 that dream came true with his novel “Elthea’s Realm.” The book was the start of a series and the launch of a new career as a fiction writer.
Now, just four years later, Murzycki has released “Elthea’s Paradox,” the third book in his fantasy series about computer viruses coming to life. It follows the 2018 book “Elthea’s Gambit.”
As a former marketing executive for area technology companies, the Wrentham resident has drawn upon his own background, coupled with a healthy dose of imagination, for the plots and themes in his books.
“I start with the question, What if? What if something technology-based evolved into something very different than what we expected it to be?” he said.
The novels depict five former college friends as they confront the forces of evil embodied in creatures called Bots, malware and virus software come to life. The friends were once enrolled in a college course called The Utopia Project, and it was that projectthat caused the Bots to hate them and attack them. The reunited friends are plunged into a mythical world where they battle the creatures and try to save civilization from destruction.
Murzycki says there are multiple challenges when writing fantasy and science fiction stories.
“How do you create a world that’s exciting and interesting, yet different from our own but that readers can still relate to?” he said. “And the characters are as important as world-building. I want readers to feel for these characters and care about them.”
His characters, especially the protagonist, Philip Matherson, have human frailties, imperfections, and internal struggles readers can identify with. This is important because believable characters help us connect to the fantasy world they inhabit.
Murzycki has a graduate degree in public communications from Boston University, and he wrote extensively—news articles, blogs, brochures--in his various corporate roles. There wasn’t a lot of room for creativity in that type of writing, so Murzycki practiced his fiction writing at home. The pull to put pen to paper and write a novel had never left him.
“I would come home after a full day of work, read my daughter a bedtime story when she was young, and write for an hour every night,” he said. “I did this for many, many years and it was a learning experience and very different from the writing I did during the day.”
A few years ago, Murzycki decided it was time to write full-time and finally produce that novel. Those nightly writing sessions after work became the seeds of his first book.
Along with the craft of fiction writing, Murzycki had to learn the business side of the book business. His books are independently published but he notes there is a whole industry providing support to self-published authors. He taught himself the technology and applications to format the novels, but others have provided the editing and cover designs.
Murzycki has lived in Wrentham with his family for close to forty years. He has started writing the fourth book in the series. He does not yet know how it will end.
“Some authors like to have a very tight plot in place before they start writing. I tried that but then completely abandoned it,” he explained. “Part of the joy of writing for me is discovering what might happen along with the reader.”
Characters in fantasy and science fiction novels often face insurmountable odds and challenges through no fault of their own. While Murzycki could not have anticipated the pandemic when he started his series, could the books offer a blueprint for the rest of us as a real-life virus takes over the world? His themes of people banding together fit.
“I’ve tried to concentrate on the characters overcoming the obstacles that have been thrown at them,” he said. “They dig down deep inside to face those odds. Certainly that is relevant to what is happening today.”
To learn more about Murzycki, visit johnmurzycki.com. His books are available in hardcover, paperback, and ebook wherever books are sold.