Monday, May 31, 2010

Featured Author: Deana Murphy

You may know her as a featured design expert on HGTV, Fine Living, in O at Home Magazine, or as the finest designer of Greater Philadelphia, or maybe you've heard of her inclusion in New York Metropolitan’s Who’s Who, or have seen her work in several signature magazines, or know her as co-author of Victorious Living for Women, or as magna cum laude honoree in Interior Architecture and Design, or know she’s earning a doctorate in Theology.

What you may not know about Deana Murphy, however, several years ago God gave her a creative comparison of designing the places where we live to designing the places of our heart. She traced design back to the Bible and discovered the answers she was seeking.

Today, Deana has combined her passion for design and writing with her passion for the Bible. As a result, the Designing for the King book is now a reality. It was voted the 2010 best book of the year by Empowering Everyday Women Magazine’s team, the #1 on-line urban niche magazine.

In step with her mission to educate, elevate, and encourage, in 2009 she founded the Designing for Success Institute helping people to design their lives from the inside out. An inspirational speaker and lifestyle coach, her knowledge of her subject is thorough and her expression is passionate.

How did you start out your writing career?

As long as I can remember I’ve enjoyed expressing by writing, from poetry to short stories. It was just something inside of me urging me on. I’ve always been a note taker and writing everything down is very important. When the urge to write a book happened, I knew I had to do it.

What did you learn while writing this book?

I learned there was more inside of me than I ever dreamed. I realized when a dream is on the inside, you have to keep feeding it so it can remain alive. This book was one of my biggest life’s projects of 5 years to pen and research and revelation were the most important contributing factors.

Have you had a "Wow" moment since you have been an author? What made it a "Wow" moment for you?

Oh yes, I had a WOW moment. An unexpected one at that. When I received word from Dianna Hobbs, founder and publisher of Empowering Everyday Women magazine that, inspite of the hundreds of books that her committee had read, mine stood out on top. I was Wowed with the honor of 2010 best book of the year award! What made it a WOW for me is I didn’t know I was being considered, nor did I know such an award existed.

What did you hope to accomplish with this book?

I want people to know that the home is a sacred place. What we do there is important to God and is as much a part of its décor as the candlesticks and the wallpaper. I want people to know that home décor is not only the aesthetics that we can see. Home décor also includes our attitudes, character, lifestyle, thoughts etc., which blankets the environment with either a positive or negative atmosphere. Therefore, a SYSTEM must be in place to make the home a peaceful habitation.

What type of marketing has worked well for you?

Social media and word of mouth.
Public speaking has also been effective.

If you had the opportunity to talk with three writers, who would you choose and why?

1. My question to Mark Victor Hansen would be, “How I can create wealth through writing?”
2. My question to Joyce Meyer would be, “Where do you find your topics and how do you turn them into books so quickly?”
3. My question to Bishop T.D. Jakes would be, “How do you write from a Christian perspective and are able to cross over into other markets so well?”

What are three things you wish you’d known before you reached where you are now?

I wish I’d known about the budgeting, marketing and self-publishing process prior to this point. I was a novice at publishing. I didn’t know that how much money I invest in marketing the book tells me how much time I will need to invest. And how much of each I can invest controls how many books I sell. Although I had a publisher, I invested in them instead of them investing in me.

If you are a mother, what is your favorite Mother’s Day moment?

Yes I am a mother and I can remember when my daughter wrote to me a long letter one Mother’s Day sharing how she could still hear my voice directing her down life’s path. And though she didn’t follow some of those directions, she said that in the midst of her disobedience, I never once said to her, “I told you so.” Because that endearingly affected her life it sparked a sweet touched in my heart. It was like seeing the fruit of your labor.

If you could visit any place in the world where would you travel to?

Probably Cape Town, South Africa. This beautiful town has been labeled “heaven on earth” with small roads surrounded by huge mountains, showing how marvelous and dominating nature can actually be.

What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?

There is power in knowing, and writing is the prominent way to get your message to the masses. I believe writing is an outward extension of me, my creativity. We all have an inborn creative nature and a book is in each one of us.

What was the best advice you’d ever gotten about the publishing industry? The worst?

The best advice I’ve gotten is promoting the book at least six months prior to its release.

The worst advice I’ve gotten is gee your book is great and everyone will want a copy!

Can you give us one do and one don’t for those aspiring to be a writer?

Do write early in the morning when you are fresh. Don’t write for a perceived audience that may not be there when the book is published.

What is something readers would be surprised you do?

Find an author that I like and copy their format to tell my own story. I’ve learned to write, coordinate elements and design spaces by copying the masters.

Our theme for this month is BOOK READERS. Name your top five favorite books of all time.

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill; The Eye of the Needle by Ken Follet; Walk with God by Gloria Copeland; The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren and Reposition Yourself by T.D. Jakes.

Can you give us a sneak peek of your next book?

Yes. I’m reminded of how our lives sometimes can seem to slip into autopilot mode as the best within us are hidden from view while simply doing the routine things for the sake of just doing life…competing for attention, recognition or acceptance. My next book, Resurrect Your Life, will show readers how to take their destiny off autopilot and put it in good hands – their own.

How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)

Readers can get in touch with me via email at or

They can visit me at

Designing for the King: From Chaos to Order by Designing Within

This thought-provoking book delves into the heart and home of the Christian family. Chronicling the lives of the Brumfield and Taylors, Deana addresses their desperate need to work the Designing Within S.Y.S.T.E.M. Shaping Your Spirit to Eliminate the Mess to attack, eliminate, and avoid chaos through the process of biblical guidance making home-living peaceful and secure for everyone.

Designing for the King: From Chaos to Order by Designing Within outlines twelve attitudes necessary for being successful when using the S.Y.S.T.E.M on the journey from chaos to order. These include: be candid, be receptive, be diligent, be loving, be disciplined, be focused, be patient, be encouraged, be alert, be persistent, be humble and be thankful.

Can Christians integrate their faith into the elements of home design? How is the heart parallel to how we live at home? How can home design bring families closer together? Is your home environment chaotic and dysfunctional? Designing for the King brings insight and answers to questions like these.

Deana shows how readers can create beautiful, functional rooms that please every user, from spouses to children, getting rid of chaos and promoting peace using biblical principles. With design directions, solutions, and meditations, Deana’s book covers all design ground with this eye-opening process of Designing for the King.

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