In 1989 Sylvia Murphy and David Greenland set off to sail around the world on their 60 year old Maurice Griffiths' ketch, Nyala. While they were in Portugal they adopted one of the many lost, sickly kittens that haunt the harbours of Southern Europe. They called her Tyfoon, after the Belgian boat that first rescued her. This is the true story of how Tyfoon took over and re-organised the direction of their lives for the next eighteen years. It is a mixture of comedy and disaster, courage and love, that pulls at the heartstrings.
Sylvia Murphy (www.sylviamurphy.co.uk)
When people ask me why I wanted to be something as difficult as a writer, there is only one answer - it's what I always wanted to do and what else can possibly be so interesting ?
So how did I get started?
Early. I must have been three or four when my mother gave me a pencil and a blank exercise book to keep me occupied. I couldn't resist it. I filled those blank pages with poems, stories and illustrations and insisted that every one read them. It was great fun.
Of course it didn't end with the exercise book. At age 10 I won a competition in the Saturday Children's Express, and later had a long epic poem read on BBC Children's Hour Young Artists. And then followed first prize in a comic novel competition for Cosmopolitan Magazine, which led to my first published work.
That was over 50 years ago and I'm still doing it. There's just something irresistible about a good story. One of my favourite subjects is my family, though I don't think they are always pleased by what I write. Another favourite topic has been my ever-increasing tribe of cats. My love for these delicate creatures started early in my life, like the writing. One of the first stories was about a stray wartime cat that we adopted. This lucky creature eventually had an acting part in a James Mason film, but I only recently wrote the full story of the cat I knew as Shadow
Later stories were collected from my cats in Spain and Cornwall - if you can imagine them sitting around on summer evenings telling me furry tales, you have it about right.
By that time I reckoned I was a proper author - I didn't exactly give up writing but it became hard work, and those letters of criticism and rejection were often hard to take.
Did I give up?
I must have been doing something right because last time I looked at my blog page there were 11 novels, 3 non-fiction books, seven children's stories and innumerable magazine features and short stories. If you've missed any of them, better start reading.