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Ethan Murphy and the Quest for the Minal by Anita Mishra

Updated: Feb 4, 2021

Hello! Today’s interview is with middle grade author, Anita Mishra. She is here to talk about her book Ethan Murphy and the Quest for the Minal. Thanks for joining us today, Anita. To start out, can you tell us about yourself?

Hi Kai, I’m Anita Mishra, a middle-grade adventure writer.

By profession, I’m a software engineer and worked in the IT industry for a couple of years, but my love for children pulled me out of there and took me to a school where I worked as a middle-grade computer science teacher.

Currently, I’m living in El Paso, Texas, with my husband and two amazing children. I’m a homeschooling mom in the day and an author in the evening.

I love when authors combine their different experiences to tell a story. I’m guessing some of the skills you needed for software engineering shows up in your book. Tell us about more.

Thirteen-year-old Ethan Murphy lives with his mother and has little to do with the outside world. He possesses unique puzzle-solving abilities. When he receives his grandfather's letter, which says, "Your aunt has been abducted just like your father," everything changes for Ethan. He sets out to rescue his aunt, only to learn about his father's secret life and the ROM Agency. Ethan's team has to solve the most complicated riddles written by his father and find the centuries'-old buried treasure to rescue his aunt from a dangerous gang. But wait, riddles are not the only thing that blocks their way. Can Ethan survive outside his comfort zone and rescue his aunt before it's too late? Can he confront external challenges while still facing his inner demons? Join Ethan Murphy and his team to solve the codes, unravel the mysteries, and earn a chance to be an agent of the ROM Agency.

What inspired you to write Ethan’s story?

My children are my greatest inspiration. They wanted me to write a story that involved mysteries, riddles, and codes, so I wrote Ethan Murphy and the Quest for the Minal. They loved it and wanted more, so I went ahead and wrote the next and the next. Currently, I’m editing the second book of the series, which is scheduled to release in the summer of 2021, and at the same time, I’m writing the third. Ethan Murphy is a trilogy, and my children will let me relax only after reading the entire series. 😊

Okay, now it’s time to get to know the author behind the book a little better. Share with us your top three answers to the following:

3 pieces of advice for new writers

I’m new to the publishing industry but not to writing, and the best advice I can give to any writer is to write, write, write, and for a change, write some more. Writing a lot will help you develop your narrative skills and make you a better storyteller.

Hire a good copyeditor to edit your book; there is no exception to this. A grammatically error-free book gives the reader an enjoyable time, and they will definitely return to read your next book.

Get a genre-specific cover for your book. It makes it easier for the reader to pick your book. Trust me: people do judge a book by its cover.

Top 3 things you do to bust through writer’s block

As per me, writer’s block is when our characters are not talking to us for whatever reason. Or, as a writer, we have not planned the entire book, and we don’t know where to go next.

In the first case, you need to take a short break away from your computer and think about what your characters need and how they react to a particular situation, which will most likely help you understand the characters and write better.

And I think the second situation should never arise because whether your characters know it or not, as a writer, you should know where the story is going. That will help you avoid any kind of block.

Thirdly, read a lot; reading keeps your mind fresh and helps you develop new ideas to write.

Top 3 moments in your writer life

The best moment in my life as a writer was to see my first book published and LIVE on Amazon. I could hardly believe my eyes, but it was an extremely satisfying feeling after the tremendous work that went into the book.

Also, I can’t tell you how I felt when I received my first fan mail from an eleven-year-old girl. She wrote that she loved the book very much and couldn’t put it down until she finished reading it. That’s not the end of it; every time I receive a letter from my readers, I experience the same thrill and excitement as the first one.

Last but not least, an equally amazing moment was when one of my favorite middle-grade authors, Jessica Renwick, wrote an author blurb for my book. I can’t express the joy in words.

How amazing! Thanks for sharing you experiences with us. Finally, where can readers connect with you?

I’m so happy to connect with my readers; I would be so glad to connect with them on these platforms:

Thanks for visiting today, Anita, and for sharing Ethan Murphy and the Quest for the Minal with us.

103 views4 comments


Anita Mishra
Anita Mishra
Feb 06, 2021

Thank you, Barbara. :-)

Also, writing for my children helps me stay motivated.


Kai Strand
Kai Strand
Feb 04, 2021

Thanks for stopping in Barbara! And thank you for being on my blog, Ani.


Anita Mishra
Anita Mishra
Feb 03, 2021

Hello, Kai.

Thanks for hosting the interview! :-)

BTW, you have a beautiful website.

Good luck!



Hi Kai, Thanks for interviewing Anita. Her book sounds very interesting. I agree, one's own children are great inspirations.

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