Q & A with
Hilda Chaulk Murray
What is your favourite movie(s)?
canít say I have a favourite movie. I donít think of myself as a movie fan.
I quite enjoy the old movies shown on TCN when thereís absolutely nothing
else to do. Dr. Zhivago, On Golden Pond, most of those
starring Elizabeth Taylor . . . Murdo and I went to the premiere of
Greyfriars Bobby in Edinburgh in August 1961, a Disney childrenís movie
which I really enjoyed. I have no desire at all to watch a horror movie.
What is your favourite food?
just about everything. But I think Iíd say toasted whole-grain bread is my
What do you like to do in your free time?
first reaction to that question is What free time? I like reading, walking,
berry picking, gardening, bowling, and playing spider solitaire (difficult
level) on the computer.
If you could live during any time period and in any place, when and where
would you choose?
think I was born in the best place and time for me. I donít think Iíd want
to change anything about my life to date. But then my sign is Aquarius, and
now and then my horoscope says weíre all born fifty years ahead of our time!
What other jobs have you had besides being a writer?
a high school teacher of English and Math in various places in Newfoundland.
My last stint in high school was at Bishops College, St. Johnís. I resigned
from there and went to MUN to do a masterís in folklore under Dr. H. Halpert.
When I graduated I was hired as an instructor in English at the College of
Trades & Technology. I saw two other names for the institution before I
retired. Sometime after that it became College of the North Atlantic. I
loved teaching but once I left, I left. No regrets. It was my work in
folklore studies that led to my being a writer. My thesis became More
Than 50 %: Womanís Life in a Newfoundland Outport, 1900Ė1950. I guess my
teaching career has influenced my choice of topics for my books so far. Iím
still explaining things to people!
When do you like to write (time of day, day of week)? Where do you do your
not a disciplined writer. I can start in the morning and work through to the
wee small hours of the next day if necessary. If I have all my research
done, interviews, etc., I try to work fairly normal hours during the day. I
do my writing directly on the computer. I love being able to delete and cut
and paste. One exception: any poetry Iíve done has been on
the spur of the moment and often when Iím out walking by myself. I need to
be alone to be able to write anything.
What was your first piece in print (book, review, or article, etc)?
first piece published was More Than 50%. That was brought out by
Breakwater Books in December 1979.
What is your favourite book(s)?
couldnít begin to tell you. Iíve enjoyed so many, many books in my lifetime.
My brothers and I always got books in our stockings at Christmas. My
favourite book one year was Treasure Islandómy brotherís book. For
light reading, I enjoy murder mysteries and historical fiction and
autobiographies of famous people.
What are you reading now?
always have several books on the go, especially this fall with the
proliferation of top notch books by local authors. Iíve been having a feast.
However, I recently decided to read The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown. I
found it an interesting piece of fiction but I knew the identity of the
Teacher as soon as the character was introduced. P.D. James and Elizabeth
George have kept me guessing a lot longer!
Make a question of your own and then answer it.
would you like to have lunch with?
I enjoy meeting for lunch with several friends from my early days at
university: Hannah English Smith, Hope Starkes Squires, and Olga
Broomfield-Richards. The food is always good and the conversation