Good evening, Morgan!
Thanks for sitting with us and sharing your experiences as a writer. Here at Write Like a Wizard, we love whenever you contribute to the site. Your participation in the Castle of Despair writing prompt is one of my favorites. Today we’re here to talk about your new novel, Sanguis City! I really enjoyed your prequel novella, The Education of Lilanoir Rue! Let’s get started, shall we?
Where are you from?
I was born in Columbus, Ohio but grew up in the hills of Eastern Kentucky in a small town called Inez. Small means population 600! My Father, Grandmother and other relatives all had businesses in town, and I feel like I was raised by a community of wonderful people. Now I reside in Central Kentucky near Lexington and miss knowing everyone around me.
What inspired you to write your first book?
My love of urban fantasy books led me into writing fan fiction for four years. I just couldn’t get enough and wanted to create my own continuation of certain series. I never dreamed of publishing my own work even though fans would tell me to all the time. It wasn’t until someone I know personally read my fan fiction and some of my original work told me about self-publishing that I decided to finish Sanguis City.
Do you write full-time or part-time? How do you balance your writing life with your family/work life?
I would love to write full time but having three children and a very full life doesn’t allow for it, at least during the summer months. I am hoping with my kids back in school I can devote eight hours a day to actually writing. I need long spans of time to write that it is useless for me to think I can accomplish what I need to in a couple hours. As a self-published author, I do it all, writing, editing, cover design, formatting, promotion, marketing, and the list just gets longer. Networking on social media alone seems to take up most of my day. Then I find myself trying to write when my husband and children go to sleep. I stay up all night writing and am worthless the next day. Needless to say, I am still searching for that balance as this turns into an all-day adventure at times.
What jobs have you held that influence your stories?
Blogging since Blogger was invented and being a freelance writer, I had to keep up with the times. Meaning, I had to know a little bit about everything, but that was no big change for me. I have always had a natural curiosity and a wide range of interests. Also, my love of reading and art influences my stories. I have always been surrounded by creative independent thinkers. My husband and I used to publish a paper poetry magazine and post people’s short stories and art online. Write Like A Wizard reminds me of the Psychoponic Press, our old website. Now that I am writing again, I want to start it up again.
How did you come up with the title for Sanguis City?
Drinking wine by the fire, I explained my story idea to my husband. He is well read but not in the genre books I love, so I was explaining that I wanted to write a story within a world. My story wasn’t going to be about the world I have created but rather set in it. Long story short, he is in love with the world and thought my city needed a great name. Having both studied Latin we were in love with the word for Blood, Sanguis. I was writing a book about a city made by vampires, it just seemed to fit.
Wow. Great job with the name. I love it!
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I didn’t intend to write anything but fantastic fun but social commentary might shine through in my writing. There isn’t anything I want the reader to do but enjoy the ride.
What books have most influenced your life most?
I have read all the classics and gone over them in great detail in many classes LOL. I have studied the Bible as literature, Greek plays, poetry, philosophy, and so on. Literature as a whole has been important to me, but Alice Walker’s books really struck me when I was young. Possessing the Secret of Joy was such a compelling read and set me on a path of political awareness, even though the book is more about women. But alas, I have given up activism for Vampire books. A girl needs her fun in life!
What book are you reading now?
I am reading a new author, Skye Turner’s Alluring Turmoil. It’s steamy, and I am starting it tonight!
I'll certainly have to check that out!
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I have met so many new and indie authors since publishing Sanguis City. I am just getting a chance to read all their books because I cannot read while writing. I wrote fan fiction and can pick up another’s voice easily. I have to try to stay true to my own voice. There is an author, K.N. Lee, I have read three of her books now and believe she is a talented storyteller. LOL, and I am not just saying that because you are interviewing me. Paranormal and fantasy are my favorite genres, and The Chronicles of Koa blended them perfectly.
Thank you so much! I am so glad that you enjoyed The Chronicles of Koa.
What are your current projects?
Currently, I am working on Sanguis City Carpe Noctem, a stand-alone erotica, a standalone romance and two ghost stories for contests. And I admit I am writing some fan fiction on the side for fun.
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Book blogs and other indie authors have been wonderful. I feel blessed to work in such a supportive community.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I reread Sanguis City so many times and included everything that I wanted to add. I guess with a series, I have a chance to add so much more that I wouldn’t change a thing about this book.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Sanguis City: Carpe Noctem is my main priority and no, no spoilers! I love that readers are dying to know what happens next even though Sanguis City isn’t a true cliffhanger. Many things are resolved, but the story has a clear path forward. One reviewer even said she wanted to chain me to the computer until I finish. What I can say is that all the players are back.
That is too funny! Well, now you have us all really intrigued, and excited!
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I write what I enjoy to write, so very little is challenging. Personal stories have been challenging before, but I prefer to write fiction now. My first short story of the series was difficult. It was a different style than the other works and it took a lot of effort because of the change.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Charlaine Harris is my current favorite. I could read all her series over and over. She writes mysteries that are funny, scary and completely engrossing. I would give anything to write like her.
Who designed the covers?
My husband W. Solomon Mitchell envisioned and painted the Sanguis City Art on canvas for me after I told him about the book. He also designed all the covers except Sanguis City’s final. I put together that one myself.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Rewriting the story after writing the two prequels was the hardest part. I had to scrap around 20,000 words that were no longer true.
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
That I can do anything I set my mind to.
What do you think about e-publishing versus technical publishing?
Having e-published art and stories on a very small scale before ebooks were widespread, I love the digital format. I know that I am reading more with the ease of my kindle, and it hasn’t stopped me from purchasing actual books. I think paper books will survive.
Do you have an agent or publisher? How did you go about finding one?
No, it’s just me. I want to see what I can do without restrictions of any kind before looking for a publisher. I am still growing as a writer, and self-publishing gives me the freedom to do what I most enjoy.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
I have been giving my stories away for free for years. I just now started publishing my work. My advice would be to let people read your work and if they enjoy it, go for it – self publish.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thanks for your support, feedback and reviews. More lemons to come, and I do write H.E.A. don’t worry.
If you could live anywhere, where would it be?
Coming back from NYC a few months ago, I want to say I would like to live there… but nah, it’s a place to visit. I used to say Egypt or on an island, but now that I know myself better, I realize I want to live right here in Central Ky. People are friendly, the air is clean and it’s beautiful. I get hot winters and freezing winters and my favorite seasons in between.
If you could have any super power, what would it be?
Teleportation, but I could teleport others when they touch me. Then I could travel cheaper and quicker.
Thank you for joining us today, Morgan!
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