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JK Rowling’s favorite bookstore

You may not know this about me, but my MA thesis was about esoteric symbolism in Harry Potter. So I’m thrilled to be travelling through Portugal this month, seeking out JK Rowling’s favorite writing spots for inspiration. Rowling started planning Harry Potter in Porto, and it’s easy to see the connection. The university students wear black capes, and Porto is home to the “most beautiful bookstore in the world” – Livraria Lello.


I haven’t been writing as much as I’d like, but I have been reading a lot. Here’s a short list of the books I’ve read and loved recently:

  • Secondborn, Amy Bartol
  • Qualify, Vera Nazarian
  • The Girl Who Dared to Think, Bella Forrest
  • A Court of Wings and Ruin, Sarah J. Mass

Each has similarities to some of the projects I’m working on, so if you enjoyed those I hope you’ll like my books too. My background is in ancient mythology (I hope to visit the ruins of Delphi this year), but I love dystopian stories of futuristic societies and revolution.Next month we’re moving into a 12th century fortress in northern Spain… and after that we’re renting an even bigger castle in Austria for Nanowrimo. I still hope to get several more books finished this year, but I’m not entirely sure which books it will be (The Scarlet Thread just got invited to Amazon’s prime reading program, so it would make sense to finish that series this year).

PS – we have at least one extra bed in the castle and I’m thinking of sponsoring a writer to join us, if you can make it to Austria in November and want to join us for Nanowrimo, hit reply to this email and let me know why you want to come.So many books giveaways!I’m getting close to finishing Orpheum, so I set up a quick giveaway for music-themed books. You can win these three and $50 in Amazon credit… click here to enter.

I’ve also been sharing a lot of book giveaways on my Facebook page, so make sure you checkout the UrbanEpics group and scroll down to see all the prizes and books you can enter to win. I also have some BIG events and giveaways planned for later this year, so make sure to follow the Facebook page to stay in the loop.

Derek Murphy


PS… we got to visit some amazing libraries and bookstores in Portugal, I’m attaching a few more pics below. If you’re interested in what a life of full-time travel and writing looks like, you can follow me on Instagram.