Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Meet Spunky Senior Author, Skydiver and Urban Chicken Rancher, Michael Murphy

Four days after my 60th birthday, my employer of 17 years, laid me off. Unfortunately, my experience is hardly unique. Still, I struggled to make sense of it and like others in my situation, I went through a grieving process, shock, denial, anger, depression. A friend told me losing one’s employment unexpectedly is the second most stressful event a person can experience, next to losing a spouse.

Goodbye Emily by Michael Murphy
Eventually I used this experience in my writing. I wrote Goodbye Emily about a baby boomer college professor whose career ends unexpectedly, after he’s lost the love of his life, Emily.

In fiction, baby boomers are often portrayed in a less than flattering manner, caricatures of the “get off my lawn” grumpy old man. I was determined to portray boomers the way I see us, funny, sexually active and optimistic about the future.  The story deals with serious issues, but does so with humor and a glimpse of the fun side of life.

Writing is an important part of my life. I’ve been thrilled with the response to my boomer novel. Author Alisha Paige calls the book, “…a road trip full of adventure, love, laughter, fun, superstar appearances and heart-felt healing. Goodbye Emily will leave you cheering, laughing and crying until the very end.”

Find Michael Murphy's Book on 


Grandson, Brian, with Grandpa, Michael Murphy
However, like most boomers I know, there are so many other interests that keep me busy starting with my nine grandchildren. When I run out of things to do, there’s always the love of my life, my wife of 40 years, my “Emily.”

I credit her for so much in my life, talking me into joining her for skydiving, and getting me involved with urban chicken ranching in our backyard.
Michael Murphy with his Lap Chicken

 I’ve lived most of my life in Arizona. I love to write and encourage others to do so. I host novel writing workshops at libraries and bookstores throughout the state. But enough about me.

If you’re a boomer, you may not be a writer, but there are plenty of fulfilling activities that await the next portion of your life. Enjoy.

Please leave a comment to welcome Michael Murphy to Spunky Senior Authors and Talents.


  1. Hello Fellow Boomer,
    I too retired suddenly, but predictably, as illness took me out of my classroom a few years earlier than I'd planned. And I too dealt with my grief by writing, and self-published six books in the first six months of retirement.

    Welcome to Spunky Seniors!

  2. Hi Michael. I loved your post and can SO relate to you because I, too, am a Boomer. I started this writing thing in my late 50's and now, at 61, I finally have an agent. I swear, we're the new 40-year-olds of 2013~

  3. Great pictures and the book sounds great, too. I think the 60s ARE the new 40s if for no other reason than most of us didn't have time to be 40 when we actually were!

  4. Welcome to Spunky Senior Authors and Talents, Michael! I'm in awe of anyone who tries skydiving! And that chicken is so cute!

    Have a good time here!

  5. I think the grumpy old men yelling at kids to stay off the lawn belong more to the Greatest Generation rather than to Baby Boomers. The only Boomers I know who are inactive suffer from illness. The rest of us are out there still trying to change the world. I too recast my life as a writer. My first book, Mad Max Unintended Consequences, is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

  6. Like many of you, the unanticipated life changing event of losing my job, created life changing opportunities. I'm a full-time writer now and spend more time with my wife, family and yes, chickens. My sky-diving days are behind me.

  7. Good for you, Michael! I applaud you!


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