Q&A with Zoe Murdock author of “Torn by God”

After working as a tech writer for several years, Zoe Murdock turned to fiction, specifically to her Mormon roots. The result is her indie-press-published semi-autobiographical novel Torn by God: A Family’s Struggle with Polygamy.

Zoe has been very patient as I’ve taken several months to put this interview together and then publish it (the novel came out in January) so I hope AMV readers will take the time to read the full thing  — it’s very interesting. And, although I’ve only read the first 10 pages or so of the novel, I can say that it’s well-written. This is a quality self-published work. I don’t believe the novel has received much attention in the world of Mormon letters so far, but if any readers have heard of it or have links to mentions it that aren’t up on Zoe’s website so far, toss us a link or a reference in the comments. I’m very interested in hearing about the reception of this work in the Mormon community (Zoe talks a bit about what she has experienced so far below).

For more about Zoe and to purchase the novel, visit her website: zoemurdock.com

What was the genesis of “Torn by God” and for those who haven’t heard about it yet, what is the novel about? Why is it of interest to the Mormon letters community?

I’ve been writing about my life for years, frequently slipping back through time to my childhood and that small Mormon town in Utah where I grew up with my parents and ten siblings. Even when I’d attempt to write about the present, something would pull me back to a particularly troubling time when my parents were going through a crisis, a time when there was always sadness in my mother’s eyes. My mother died young, and I always blamed my father for her death without really knowing why. After exploring that period in my writing, I came to realize my mother’s sadness went back to when my father got involved with polygamy. I remembered her saying, “If there’s polygamy in heaven, I don’t want to go there.” I’d often find her crying in the bathroom with a towel over her head. Continue reading “Q&A with Zoe Murdock author of “Torn by God””

Why can’t Evangelicals and Mormons Share Books & Culture?

An author asked me to review a contract recently, and I was surprised at something the author said. The contract was with one of the larger Mormon publishers, and the author hoped that the book would become a big success in the Christian market in the US through that publisher.

I don’t know where the idea that this was possible came from. I hope that the publisher didn’t tell the author that it could.

I told the author that there was no chance, and it doesn’t look like there will be in the future. In fact, the fact that the author is LDS means the publisher is irrelevant. A Mormon author can’t succeed in the Christian market.

Continue reading “Why can’t Evangelicals and Mormons Share Books & Culture?”