Wendy Murphy has been writing on medical topics for more than two decades, beginning with several books written under her name for Time, Inc. in their Library of Health series and later for Readers Digest Books as part of a collaborative team. Before that, Wendy wrote on gardening, archaeology, American history (39 short Presidential biographies), architecture, and the history of inventions. She is currently Executive Editor of Onward Publishing, a custom publishing house that specializes in medical topics. In this role she writes for a professional readership of physicians and other medical care givers on the latest innovations in treating everything from heart disease to neurological disorders, orthopedics, pediatrics, and immunological disorders. Wendy is also active in her local volunteer fire department as a certified Emergency Medical Technician, serving the local community when people need to be treated and taken by ambulance to the hospital. She lives in South Kent, Connecticut, except when she vacations for six weeks every summer with her family on our tiny one-family island off the coast of Maine where they have no electricity and their water supply is strictly rainwater. Wendy’s interests outside of work also include being on the board of directors for the Kent Land Trust, being a member of the Kent Conservation Commission, and the Kent Alternative Energy Task Force. Wendy and her husband, who is also a writer, have two grown sons and five grandchildren.
What was your favorite book when you were a child?
Treasure Island, Heidi, Tom Sawyer, Wind in the Willows, Winnie-the-Pooh, Gulliver’s Travels, and just about any book about heroic dogs
Who are your top three favorite authors or illustrators?
Mark Twain, A. A. Milne, Robert Louis Stevenson
Why did you want to become an author or illustrator?
Both of my parents were professional illustrators and my aunts and uncles were writers. I knew I had no talent to draw and the only other profession I was aware of in those early years was writing so the choice, in my mind, was obvious. Later, I thought about being a teacher or a doctor or an architect but writing had much the same appeal as teaching so that’s where I went.
Do you have any advice for future authors or illustrators?
Writers must be curious all the time. If you are curious, if you are never quite satisfied with what others tell you but must dig deeper, then everything becomes a kind of mystery story that you want to unravel and explain first to yourself and then to others. And I also love the exercise of interviewing experts to tell others what the experts know.