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Today’s episode I welcome Ron Murphy – the Crypto-Guru. That’s crypto as in cryptozoologist. Ron actually helped mentor Colin from episode 02.
Ron has been giving lectures at various conventions and festivals and has written several books about various crypto and supernatural topics. He has been on tv (with Robert “Freddy Krueger” England) and he also co-hosts a weekly podcast that explores the strange.
Lately, Ron has written some poetry and fiction. And on top of all that – he just became a grandfather!
If you’d like to check out his work:
Inside the Goblin Universe podcast
and some of his books:
All right. little technical difficulties. Yeah, just a little technical difficulties. That’s right. It’s all good. All right. Well, Ron, thank you. I appreciate you taking the time coming on this to talk to me a little bit. It’s great to see you. We’ve been friends for a couple years now. So
Oh, yeah. We’ve been friends for probably. I bet you what’s going on about four years now? Yeah. I mean, Collin, is almost 20. So that’s That’s right. That’s right. So I think that Oh, yeah. He may have been 15 years old. So yeah, it’s probably been a little bit longer. Yeah. But I’ve been excited ever since you asked me to come on. I’ve been I actually was very flattered. And I’m sorry about those little monitor tech, I think will be it will be fine. Now. No big deal. All right.
Well, let’s just jump right into it. So I appreciate it. First of all, let tell us a little bit about you outside of writing who you are.
All right. Well, I mean, I think that’s the same way with you. I think the one of the reasons why we hit it off so well, is that we’re both dads who are basically with her families, right. I mean, that is the thing. I think the overall thing about who I am anymore as a father and now just a month ago today a grandfather so that’s packs and shapes you who you are, you know, but you know I’m I work with families have worked with families for most of my adult life. I’ve been working with young kids and I’ve also been working with the senior population as well. So I’ve always had a form of counseling in my background that I’ve been doing, like I said, for most of my adult life, I like the outdoors. I like to read I like to write I like, like Chinese food. I like Italian food. I like long strolls on the beach, you know, all that good stuff.
You like yogurt?
That’s right, that’s right. Yogurt with a little bit of granola and, and my daughters are the ones that got me onto that. Yeah, I
agree. That’s, that’s pretty good. Okay, so I know a little bit about your background and what you do, you’re an interesting writer in that you don’t focus on nonfiction or fiction, you kind of do both. And it kind of ties into a lot of your daytime work and some of your extracurricular work. So I know that’s kind of a whole big thing. Tell us a little bit about how you got into it. And what I’m talking about, because I’m kind of Being
Well, I’ll do um, whenever I wanted to, I went to the University of Pittsburgh, and I waited two years before I went into college. So it was like one of those things where I didn’t really know what I was going to do. My dad had his own construction business. I was able to work there I was making that make, you know, I you know, a comfortable living in western Pennsylvania. That’s usually what happens. I graduated from high school in 1987. Most RV buddy went on to some sort of higher education. But if you can believe it, people around here were like, getting degrees in mind safety maintenance, like it was, what he was going for any kind of Liberal Arts type of thing. So I really didn’t know what I was going to do. I’ve nobody in my college, my family had been to college before. So I really didn’t know what I was going to do. And I remember I got off of work with my dad one night, and over our movie theater. They were playing Kenneth Brenda’s Henry the fifth, I thought I heard some good things. I watch it. And I was really kind of amazed that there were things out there because I was living kind of like a hobby. You know, I didn’t know what horizon. So whenever I said I said, you know, I’m going to go to college. And I’m going to expand my horizons a little bit. So I went to the University of Pittsburgh, and I majored in English and I read all these great books. And I decided very early on that I wanted to write I wanted to leave some sort of impact on the world whenever I left it, you know, I had all these dreams. I was 21 years old, I had all these great notions and everything. So I thought I would get into poetry. So I took a lot of fiction writing, in order to improve my poetry because I wanted to be cinematic I wanted to be very visual whenever people read and I You know, went through school, I went to graduate school I majored in history. And then as life happens, I ended up meeting somebody, and very quickly she became pregnant. And then we had a family. So all of my hopes and dreams are now kind of put on the backburner a little bit. And I had to go out and get a real job. No time, I’m like, 30 years old, I was very kind of happy living with my mom, you know what I mean, I was going to school during the day, and I was having a part time job, and I was great. This was awesome. And then I had to become an adult. And it was years. I mean, it was probably about four or five years before I decided that, look, I have stories in me to tell. And I want to write something, you know. So I started off, I wrote a novel, you know, one of these kind of like, our novel type of thing, because I thought, you know, that would that’s going to get me some sort of recognition. And I went through, I guess it was CreateSpace. Back in the day. Yeah.
CreateSpace. And I remember, you know, it didn’t sell anything. And then but what am I interested in what comes into play with with you and I and Colin, is that, you know, I also had an interest in the paranormal as well, too. Because I grew up in Pennsylvania, there’s a lot of cases of UFOs and Bigfoot and things like this around my area. So I started to delve into a lot of the folklore. And I wrote a book called The unexplained world of the chestnut Ridge, it got some notoriety, it got me on coast to coast. And that really was kind of what drew me into the field. I do like to write the Reese reading research books is very cumbersome and tiresome, and you have to go through so much. I would much rather write fiction. And I write a lot of poetry as well, too. I probably by the end of July, I will have, I think my fifth collection of poetry out. So I’m very prolific whenever it comes to poetry. And at the end of the day, if I would be known for anything, it would, I would like to be known as a poet. But that doesn’t pay a lot of bills, you know, actually nowadays, as you probably know, as well. So with the idea of brick and mortar stores going under, and people turning to so much electronic media, it’s very difficult now to be an author. But it’s something that drives me. And it’s something that I still keep at it, you know, so I wanted to the world of paranormal writing, simply because it was well, of course, it was a passion for mine of mine, but it was also allowing me to have an income coming in as well. So, whereas the poetry side really would do that, but now that I’m getting a little bit more recognition, I can start putting my poetry out there more people are buying it because they bought my other books as well.
Wow, that’s, that’s actually great. I didn’t know about much of the poetry. Oh, yeah. Let me back up. Because I do know about the nonfiction. So that’s interesting, I think for most people, and I know, I’m going to lead some of these questions for you. So you’ve written several nonfiction books now on paranormal ghosts, those types of things, folklore, big on folklore, witches, and I know you don’t sell these at through normal channels, trying to get into bookstores, and you do some online, but that’s not where you always have you. You do a lot of talking and go to conventions and stuff, right?
Oh, absolutely. Now to my books, I will tell you went through traditional publishers, okay. I remember I was so excited when I got my first contract for the Mel. I mean, I was I was I was jumping up and down. This is like everybody’s goal, whatever you’re in college, you want to be a writer that somebody says, I’m going to accept your thing. The first contract that I got, they took 96%, royalties, nine. And you have to make a certain amount of money before you would get any of that money, you know what I mean? So I’ve seen zero revenue from any from that book whatsoever. And then the other book that I had written as well to the intellectual property now has been returned to me. So I am able to now publish it on my own. But whenever everybody’s goal was always going to traditional publishers, that was my holy grail, that’s something that I wanted. But unless you are one of these people, with, you know, the name recognition or unless you have a network, you’re not going to be getting an advancement, that’s not going to happen, you’re not going to be able to get that display at Barnes and Noble, you’re not going to be able to get that that that tour, as you know, a book tours, you know, talking about your book, that stuff’s not going to happen. So I always steer people in the direction of independent publishing, because that intellectual property is now yours. You have control that and you’re We’re going to see a lot more money, the traditional publisher that I went through, if I were going to buy a book off of them, they want to $12 per book. And they were expecting you to sell the book for $24. So you would make about a 50% profit. Now, if you go into the self publishing, you’re going to be able to buy a book for two or $3. You know, so that’s the way I always steer people, especially if they’re very unclear about what they want to do in their life, this is going to be their career, whatever. Because going through traditional publishers, you’re going to get your heart broken, you’re going to be put down a lot of times, sometimes it’s just personal taste, and sometimes you’re rejected, because they don’t know who you are. Some places want you to submit through an agent, you know. So I go through all these stumbling blocks to finally get to the point where I can control my own destiny, I can control about what I put out, when I put out, I have creative control over the the whatever appears in my book. And the another important thing, too, is if you ever get to the point where your books are being used for television, I’m not I’m talking about even though appear on there as a talking head. A lot of the times the publishers own the rights to you doing that as well, too. So it’s very, it’s very good. Whenever you’re starting out to keep all of your, all your eggs in one basket, so to speak, you control what you do. If it gets to the point, wherever you are, you know, you rise, you explode, whatever, then you can start thinking about this stuff. But to get to get started, look, I’m 51 years old, and I still would prefer to be independently published rather than a publishing house.
And one of the things you do with that is I know you go to various conventions, fairs or festivals, you have a table and you sell right from there.
That’s right. That was the other part two of that. Yeah, absolutely. Right. So it requires it’s, it’s almost like politics, there’s a lot of, you know, shaking hands, and not so much baby kissing. But there’s a lot of there’s a lot of talking because you have to sell yourself. So whenever I go to a conference, sometimes you get paid very little for appearing. But most of the times, you’re paying to be there, you know, right? That you know, you’re paying for your own table, you’re paying for your place to say gas and everything. So wherever you go there, you’re already starting in the hole by several $100. Now what I do as an author is not all I have to get my point across, I have to basically sell myself. And then I hope to recoup any of the money that I lost on book sells. And that really is a big thing. And I’m talking about going into place like I read about the paranormal. So I’ll do a lot of paranormal festivals, I’ll do a lot of ghost shows, or UFO shows or cryptid cons and things like that. But it’s also going to art fairs, it’s also going to a little local community fairs, it’s going to any place that has a prospective audience that might buy my book.
So do you, do you think you would sell as many books if it was just traditional leaving it out to them and not doing the festivals? Or do you think you sell more? Because you you’re known you’re, you’re talking?
Yeah, see, yeah, if I sell without any kind of publicity or anything like that, if I would just allow the powers that be people search on, you know, Amazon, if I would sell five books per month, that will be a lot of books, in all honesty, I mean, because if you’re just allowing people to go to searches and look up Bigfoot or book look up, you know, like monsters or whatever, that’s usually what it comes out to be about five bucks a month, somewhere around there. So and that’s not going to even pay my electric bill, you know, so it really requires me to be out there among people. And also, the other thing is, we’ve talked about this on rare occasions, just because you’re an author, and people like you doesn’t necessarily mean people want to buy anything off of you. A lot of people don’t like to read nowadays. So people are going into different things like you know, not only the elect the electronic publishing, so you can get everything down on your phone or your iPhone or whatever, before going into a lot of audio things as well, too. So it’s and I’m very computer literate, as we can see at the start of the show. So at the end of the day, I’m relying on so many other people to get my product out there, that unless I relied on those people, it wouldn’t be out there. So I’m very good at communication, but I’m very poor at self promotion. That’s just something that I’ve never been trained on. I guess that was my you know, Irish Catholic background and you know, you have to have some sort of humility. So whenever I go out there, I am selling myself as a product. That look I am a fan as much as you are. I still watch the shows. Whenever I go to these programs, I see something that I see on TV, I’m still like a fanboy. I still want to get there. autograph and everything, but I want to make a product that they are going to enjoy as much as I enjoy. Because writing, you know, this very time consuming, especially if you write something that’s research based. You have to, you know, cite sources and you have to, you have to go deeper than if you’re just simply writing a fantasy off the top of your head. Um, there’s legal issues with that as well to to use other people’s, you know, quotes and everything. So it’s time consuming. And I am not going to write a book that I myself would not enjoy reading.
Well, that I think is important, because I think a lot of times we hear authors, oh, this is big and hot. I’m gonna write for that. And they do, but it’s nothing they write well, so that they’re not successful. That’s exactly right. Exactly. So. So a little something besides the writing, I know that you’ve gotten some acting jobs and personal little story last Christmas, I flipped on the travel channel, and I practically got whiplash. I said, I know that guy. That’s Ron Murphy. He’s on to Freddy Krueger. So tell us about that. Well, how’d that happen? Well,
I was doing a very little festival in Littleton, North Carolina, and I was there with Ken year hard. This was the first year for it ever. And it was like, you know, they had a good turnout, they probably have, you know, a little over 100 people. But the town was very, very small. We’re talking about town, several 1000 people. So we had like, 10% of the town there. So I didn’t think much of it. And then a couple of weeks later, I got a call. And I said, Would you be interested in auditioning for a show on the travel channel? Is that? Yeah, how did you find out about me, they said, We have people a little to saw you. So keep that in mind as well to even these little festivals can get you recognized. So um, I did have you?
Did you ask them if they bought one of your books While they were there? No, I did not. You know what
I assumed that they did, but they didn’t realize them. So I’m sorry. So I tried out flow. And they let me sit down my my table. And then I had to wear like a leather jacket. And I had to wear my hat. Because I had to look the part mind you. So I audition for that. And then the response came back. But the Travel Channel likes you. You have to keep the hat. You have to keep the jacket, all that stuff. They flew me out to California, I think it was in July, it was about 105 degrees. And I had to wear the hat and I had to work. And we did the entire season, flew back. And about a week later I get a call. And they said the powers that be at the Travel Channel changed over. They think you look too much like Josh gates, we have to bring you back in filming everything over again. So yeah, I had to fly back out there working 12 hour days. You know, I that’s the other thing do. I’ve been out to California twice. I’ve seen nothing. I’ve seen the Hollywood sign from the distance. I saw the ocean from the distance. They didn’t supply us with a car. They didn’t supply us with anything. So like I really don’t know what’s going on behind beside the heat and what a studio looks like. But it was it was a great it was a great show. But it’s interesting because you said it was over Christmas. It was on Christmas Day, they gave a little sneak peek of this right? And then they added the air of the day before my birthday March 19 was going to be the error date. What do you know what that is the same week of a pandemic. Right? watching CNN to find out how many people were dying. And the show was canceled. Yeah, it was canceled. So now, I’m you know, still in talks with other people. But in the meantime, to anybody that’s listening from Canada, you have a great show in Canada out of Vancouver called rare earth uncovered. It’s very difficult to get the United States there are segments of the United States geographically that you can get this because it’s put out by the Native American, or the First Nations network is one of the best shows on the paranormal that I’ve ever been involved with. It’s only a half an hour show. They do great work. But it’s one of these shows where I think it really should be more I’m going to try to sell it to the United States. But I did two years for that I’m appearing in this year. And then I’ll impure in next year as well too. But that’s what Earth uncovered on the AP tn network. But yeah, so those are my two little things. And that’s what got that’s what got me through, you know, writing and doing conferences. People just burned me and they said, Hey, we’d
like to give this guy a shot. That’s, that’s pretty cool. Or, you know, for a while you step back from doing the talks, and you were just writing. And I think in that time you’ve come out with a fiction story and some more poetry. Is that correct? Yeah, absolutely. Yeah.
Well, it’s kind of cool. Because I started out fiction writing, I started out writing the novel The pack, I started out writing a collection of short stories that I had previously published called the format of 10 Tales of Terror. And then, really the poetry I mean, because, you know, in college, that’s what I wanted to be. So, I had this wealth of poetry that I decided I will put together, and my first collection came out called Gypsy hearts. So that was my first collection. And then, as I was going through my divorce, I came out with a collection called Northern Star. And then my, my, my fiance now and I, we put out a collection called melancholia together, and we’re we’re just finishing up with another collection called breaking through. But I have artists erotica coming out, well, it’s already out as a matter of fact, and a lot of people kind of AR is erotica, what is it? Some sort of No, it just goes to the name, its take on Aristotle’s Ars poetica. So it’s called RS erotica, looking for love and things like that. And then I will have another book coming out to called russon das, and that should be released probably in the next month as well, too. So these are all poetry collections that I’m putting out. And now in the United States, on vampires, thanks to your help, will be now available very soon. And then my other book on witches, which will be my other paranormal book. So our two new books on the paranormal coming out. And so next time I see everybody, about two new books on the paranormal, and probably about four or five new books of poetry collections will be coming out.
Wow, that’s great. And it switched over from someone else controlling it to you’re controlling to end it sounds like you’re going in multiple directions. I know you’re leading a ghost hunt in July. Maybe it’s riding on a hill
view Manor. Yeah. Well, you know, that’s the other thing too. It was it was supposed to be 100 people. Now, we can’t have any more than 25 people. It’s gonna be an intimate setting. But you know, that’s the thing. I mean, everything is changing. I have lost 1000s of dollars already this year, because all these festivals are being canceled. I don’t know if you’d heard but Mark ban was just cancelled. Did you hear the LA? Oh, yeah, the Mothman festivals canceled. So locally, like the kecksburg Festival, which is about eight miles away from my door, that was cancelled not as part of revenue that I that I was drawing from, and the arts and Heritage Festival over here was one county in Pennsylvania, that gets about about half a million people a year and that was cancelled as well. So all these outlets are now no longer open to us. And that’s a lot of people have to understand as well, too. I mean, we have the what we’re dependent upon, you know, going out there and meeting people, and doing presentations, all that kind of stuff is now gone. So we’re, we’re kind of recollecting ourselves. Thank the good Lord, that I have a job I work with, with the school district. So I’m off paid from the first week of June to the first week of August. So I have time and everything. And all that time that I will be able to help with my kids because of course, being hours Catholic, I’ve got five kids in the grant. And so we’ll do plus I have two stepkids as well in the house. So yeah, it’s it’s it’s it’s it’s one of those things where the idea of publish or perish kind of takes a whole new meaning, whenever, you know, if you’re not making money off this stuff. So
yeah, I was supposed to have an author table at the local Harry Potter wizard World Festival, but that’s canceled. And I suppose Yeah, I’m an author Roundtable. And that was cancelled. So yes,
yes. In the thing is even see that that is the thing that really gets your name out there. Look, you appear at these little things like I did, you appeared these little places. And they say, Hey, I know that guy, or you know, I read his stuff. Or even better, you should read his stuff, because I read that stuff. Okay. It’s all going to be this local stuff. And then it starts building up because people will tell people you know, but unless we have these functions to attend, we’re never going to be get our getting our name out. I mean, these things, help these podcasts, help, radio shows and all that kind of stuff. But unless you can really meet somebody, and talk to them and question them and see where they’re coming from. It’s really difficult as an author in America today.
And that’s one of the reasons I’m doing this podcast. Instead of interviewing people who have quote, unquote, made it big, have 100 books out make 200,000 a year or whatever. I want to talk to other authors that are working on still struggling trying to make it as more of an inspiration Look, I’ve done a little bit. So those of us that are still working on it can say look, I can get that far. I can Do a little bit they’ve done it and help each other, you know, these things?
it well, it all comes out in networking. And the points that you’re making are very pertinent. So I don’t care if you’re in high school listening to this, or you think you’re a seasoned author, you know, and you know, you’re in your 60s, or what have you. But these are all very pertinent points. The only way to make it an any entertainment industry is through network. And that’s the only way to do it. Okay, I can have the best idea in the world. But unless I know somebody to take that idea to, nobody gives a damn about what I have, you know, I there’s a local person in our town, who, I don’t know, but her book made it on The Oprah Winfrey Book of the Month Club, okay. It’s a very good book. It’s not like she’s not talented or anything. But you know, she made a pretty big, and I was asking, you know, one of my friends, I said, How does this happened, you know, and he said, Oh, my dear boy, her, her father is the president of local savings and Trust Bank, see, these kinds of things help. So if you are not coming from some sort of royalty, or if you’re not having these particular connections, in the world of commerce, like me, you know, I, my dad’s a construction worker, I have nobody that he’s consult, we really have to sell ourselves, and it’s hard, it’s a hard thing to do. And that is one of our talent kind of rises to the surface. That is whatever you have to say, I have to make an impact over somebody that they know, you know, I have to prove myself this because other people out there doing the same thing that you’re doing, and people know those names, but you have to do something a little bit better a little bit differently than those persons. I’m very proud about how I was able to achieve where I’m at today, you know, I don’t have a mansion. I don’t drive a Bugatti I haven’t done that kind of stuff. But at least, you know, to say that you make over what, you know, the column person, they said, the average author makes less than $500 a year. So let’s make over 500 bucks a year, I’m better than the average author, you know, or at least more successful not. So I mean, that’s the kind of little goals I have that I set for myself little baby steps and things that make me happy at the end of the day. And these are the things that keep me going. If nobody read my books, I would not I would stop writing, you know, as much as I would like to tell a story. At the end of the day, I would tell them to my kids whenever they’re I’m putting them to sleep at night instead of writing them out. So it really comes down to wanting to talk to people and wanting to have something to say and say look, I have a story, I have to tell you Come on over here and listen, and really telling it to someone that you’ve never met before to have some of that you’ve never met before. Listen to your words, and open up a broader view on their life. That means that means everything to me.
That’s something we should all keep in mind. It’s stories that keep us going. But we need people to read them. And like you said, if we get out there and show ourselves get ourselves known. That’s how people get to know us. They got it all together. Yeah, you can’t put out one book in the end say, hey, and everybody comes flocking to it. There’s just too much out there. So your books on Amazon? Where else? Can we see your books? And are you doing any appearances this year?
I’m scheduled to have appearances. I’m scheduled to be in Littleton on the next last weekend of October. I’m scheduled to be there. I’m also scheduled to be in Chicago in October. And but the thing is, we don’t know, you know, that’s right. And I would hate just somebody to put this out there. And they, they make the book and they can’t be there you know. So the best thing to do is if you go to social media, or Facebook, where you can go to Waldo Murphy Jr. and you can like my author page or you can just friend me as Ronald Murphy, you know on there as well, too. I’ll keep you updated about where I’m going to be and I will not make any kind of posts until I know that the event is definitely on. But yeah, you can go to amazon.com and find myself Ronald L. Murphy email@example.com that’s my personal email address. Give me Give me a buzz. You don’t have to buy anything. I mean, we can talk about something if you want to. I have no problem with that. But yeah, I’d like to I’d actually like to talk to people I’m one of those quintessential people pick up the way and pick my brain or or even better I can pick your brain as well.
Like even touch with me. That sounds good. And that’s very generous. When are you going to be in Chicago in October
I let me see here. Let me go to my little thing to jayegi Let me see. I will tell you I will be in urbania or bit a bit verbania I think that’s it. Let me just get the calendar out here. Um, I will be there asked Homer 10th in the oven, the horror and crime on a conference out there. Gonna be kind of cool. Well, that that sound cool. I’ll be a little on the 17th. Yeah, yeah, we’re, that’s what’s on the agenda.
We were supposed to go to New Orleans for a writers get together conference over Halloween. But now that that’s not happening, there’s a convention thing I go to Chicago usually. So we might go to that instead, I was just thinking that’d be cool to meet up but different times.
I don’t know, it would be cool and interesting that you should say that too. I was scheduled to be in New Orleans as well. So, but I did not post anything. Because the last time I talked to the organizer, there was a lot of cancellations going on. And the idea of social distancing sometimes makes conferences. You know, really, there’s no purpose. Yeah, I can’t be there talking to somebody things are canceling. Libya not and New Orleans is here as well. So the biggest one was supposed to be in London. I was supposed to be in London in April.
And that, Oh, well, you know, maybe things will pick up and they’ll look for all new things. You know, maybe you can get a show back again.
I’m hoping so. Well, the thing is, I think a lot of us might be able to have some sort of influx into the industry at this point. Because so many things are on hold, nothing’s being done. And whenever the gates open up, and they’re gonna need a lot of creativity out there. So
yeah, actually calling was in talks for a bit with the producers of the Jeff Goldblum show on Disney. And that’s on hold. So who knows? I don’t even come back.
Very, very cool. Very cool. All the good people out there. It’s just really having to get our name out there, who we are, where we’re at, and what we have to give. But um, yeah, so I think whenever Hollywood opens up, there’s going to be such a need for ideas because no movies are being made. There’s nothing for television or anything. There’s going to be and for authors. That’s one of the first place people come looking as these stories that are already pre written.
Right. Yep. So here’s hoping all of us will benefit from that. keep our fingers crossed. Right. That’s right. All right, Ron. Well, I appreciate the time. And yeah, little hiccups aside. Oh, yeah. Very well. I thank you.
I appreciate it. My van Hey, I again. I was flattered to be on the air. I think this is essential for anybody that’s that’s in the industry or wants to get into the industry. But yeah, I hope we can not work out that we can sell anybody wants to get a hold of me. Ronald l Murphy. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Perfect. Great. I appreciate it. No worries, buddy. No worries. Thank you so much. Tell everybody we said I will do that. Bye. Bye.