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Meet 2018 Golden Heart Finalist Anna Murray!

Today we’re welcoming our final Persister guest (before we get to meet most of them in person at Nationals next week!!), 2018 Golden Heart Finalist Anna Murray, whose manuscript BIRDS OF A FEATHER is nominated for Best Mainstream Fiction with a Central Romance.

Anna Murray’s creative essays have appeared in Vox, The Reject Pile, Role Reboot, The Satirist, Daily Mail, Soundings Review, Adanna Literary Journal, Piker Press, and the Guardian Witness. Her recently completed novel is represented by David Black Agency. The Complete Software Project Manager (John Wiley & Sons, 2016), her business title, is a top seller in the Amazon business category and has enjoyed great reviews: “This is a technical book that reads like a novel.”

Anna is also CEO of emedia, llc., a technology consulting company, and holds B.A. in English from Yale and a M.S. in Journalism from Columbia. 

Here’s a blurb for BIRDS OF A FEATHER:

Delia McDonnell has one goal, and it’s money.

Once an heiress living on Fifth Avenue, Delia lost her fortune twenty years ago in the Great Family Financial Disaster of 1986. The betrayal and abandonment surrounding that event soured her on trust, relationships, and love. Now, in 2006, the object of her affection is money, a concrete and reliable companion, one with an exchange rate.

Every bit as brainy as she’s beautiful, Delia assumed a PhD in computers and math would be her ticket to ride. But so far, her best offer is programming software for an automated call center.

Suddenly, Delia finds herself courted by two rival hedge-funds, each owned by a young billionaire. The reason: Her obscure PhD thesis reveals a way to make billions in a coming market crash. 

Delia accepts one of the job offers and begins her life as a “quant.” This includes eighty-hour weeks, six-figure show horses and handbags with price tags like cars. Her multi-million-dollar apartment couldn’t be better. It looks out over her former mansion, today an embassy. 

Delia’s new hedge-fund boss has ties to her past. Big city. Small world.

There’s one thing jeopardizing Delia’s goal. Something may matter to her as much as money—and that’s solving the unexplained death her of beloved aunt and surrogate mother.

Pursuing this decades-old mystery could risk her fortune. Worse: She could spark the ire of her boss. Who knows the lengths to which he might go—or has gone in the past—to deal with those who stand in his way?

In Delia’s quest to reclaim her fortune, she will brave the winning and losing of millions; face the estranged mother she has not seen in years; save a horse; protect an improbable parakeet residing in her window box; grapple with the affections of two hedge-fund titans; and challenge her own conviction of the value of money over love.

That sounds like a terrific read! I’m so delighted the “Mainstream Fiction with a Central Romance” is back in the Golden Heart (under its new name). So many interesting stories in that category, and this is no exception!

Folks, Anna’s here today to share a story from her own writing journey, and it involves…well, just read the title and you’ll know you’re in for a wild ride.

Take it away, Anna!

*********************************

The Paris Review, CIA Buddhists, Critique Groups, Kristan Higgins, and Finding Your Tribe

Puffed up with confidence, I ascended a spiral staircase to an oak-carved room at the top of a campus tower. I had qualified for Advanced Fiction, which, that spring, was being taught by a world-renowned Illustrious Author.

Huffing from the climb, I glanced around at my seminar-mates, the 10 applicants with writing samples deemed worthy by the Illustrious Author. The first thing I realized was I was the only one wearing an actual color. The rest of the students’ camouflage green, gray, and black garb seemed to have all been procured at an army-navy surplus store. There was also a very high ratio of Doc Martens to feet.

Worse: The color I happened to be wearing that day was pink.

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