Mary McDonagh Murphy: Interview with the author of Scout, Atticus and Boo

Mary McDonagh Murphy: Background

Tell us a little about yourself and your background.

Mary McDonagh Murphy
Mary McDonagh Murphy

[I was] born in Providence RI, the eldest of five, to an Irish-Catholic family and enjoyed a New England upbringing. I was an English major, a newspaper reporter out of college, and went on to TV and film from there.

What did you love/hate about growing up?

I liked responsibility. I baby-sat, and started working at a soda fountain at 13, and I kept on working from there!

What did you love/hate about school?

I loved reading, and did well in school. School gave me some self-confidence.

Mary McDonagh Murphy: Career

Scout, Atticus, and Boo by Mary McDonagh Murphy at Ol' Curiosities and Book Shoppe
Scout, Atticus, and Boo by Mary McDonagh Murphy at Ol’ Curiosities and Book Shoppe

Have you always wanted to be a writer and producer? 

Pretty much, except for the year I was sure I could be an Olympic downhill skier!

What are your ambitions for your writing career—or your ongoing career in production?

I have a couple of projects very dear to me that I want to write & direct—all about finding the money.

Have you authored books other than Scout, Atticus and Boo? If not, would you consider doing so and what topics might you pursue?
Scout, Atticus and Boo is my first—and I hope not my only—book. I have a comic novel I am always working on and a non-fiction one that I am researching.

Mary McDonagh Murphy: Inspiration

What’s your favorite genre to read? 

Novels, novels, novels!

What book/s are you reading at present? Currently, I’m reading the Book of Aaron by Jim Shepherd. It’s Excellent.

Which writers inspire you? Why?

Harper Lee, of course, because people talk so much about the themes and characters in To Kill a Mockingbird, and the writing is not discussed as much. It is lean, great stuff. Plus, it’s hilarious. I admire James McBride, Kate Atkinson, Charles Johnson, Tom MacNeal, & Bo Caldwell.

Where else do you find inspiration for your work?

Books, people and movies.

What advice can you offer aspiring authors and producers?

Stay at it. Don’t take short cuts. Finish. The rest will follow.



    • Ashley Burnette ·

      Thanks for the suggestion. We’ll try to touch base with Ms. Murphy and see if we can offer an update in the near future.


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