I would like to introduce "The Radiant Rachel Morgan" as our "Author of the Month" for the month of August. Here is the personal interview that we were blessed with.
Rachel Morgan: I've always known that I would write a book one day. I DIDN'T know that I'd do it so early on and that I'd make a career of it. My lightbulb moment came while I was working on my Biochemistry masters degree. I read the Twilight books and came to the realization that THIS was what I wanted to do. Fantasy. Young adult. And I didn't want to wait until I had spare time one day. I wanted to make it happen NOW.
Candie and Michelle: We are so glad that you did that. How has life changed since your career has taken off?
Rachel Morgan: Almost every part of my "job" is something that I WANT to do. There were many parts of scientific research that I didn't enjoy. There were many parts of teaching that I didn't enjoy. But THIS makes me really happy! There are stressful times (like when I'm trying to get a book finished and edited and polished and the publication date is looming fast and I'm working ALL. THE. TIME) but it's the kind of stress that motivates me rather than paralyzes me.
Candie and Michelle: Being a new author, myself, I can understand that. Is it hard to juggle having a family and being a writer at the same time? How do you do it?
Rachel Morgan: I don't have children yet, so it isn't as hard as it could be! But it is a challenge to separate work time and family time when you work at home and your job never really ends. I have to be disciplined about closing my study door and switching off for a while. I don't always get it right ... (My husband often has to tell me to stop working!)
Candie and Michelle: I have been trying to find a happy balance too so I can relate. : Who has been your biggest supporter in your career so far?
Rachel Morgan: Both my husband and my parents. When I quit my masters so I could "become a writer," I was expecting my parents to be rather unimpressed that I'd "wasted" several years of studying. But they were very supportive. Then, in the same year that my husband and I got married, I also stopped teaching and started writing full time. It was a major financial risk for us, but he believed as much as I did that I could make it work. And I did!
Candie and Michelle: We are so glad you have such a wonderful support system. What was the hardest part in getting your writing career started?
Rachel Morgan: Taking the plunge from part-time writing (where I had a secure income from a teaching job) to full-time writing (no secure income at all!).
Candie and Michelle: Kuddos on taking that plunge. All your fans are grateful that you did. For those who haven’t read your books yet how would you describe your writing style?
Rachel Morgan: I write entertaining character-driven fantasy stories that don't take themselves too seriously, yet also manage to have a certain depth or "message" if you look for it. You can expect inventive magical elements, compelling main characters, snappy dialogue, always another level of backstory that's yet to be revealed, and, of course, the plot twists I just can't help throwing in there. (I also write romance stories. Of the lighthearted kind.)
Candie and Michelle: That makes a fantastic book. :) Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Rachel Morgan: I find action scenes quite challenging. They always take me a while to write because I want to visualize every movement as it's happening and then describe it all in such a way that the reader can easily visualize it too.
Candie and Michelle: I can see how that can be difficult. What is something you do to overcome writer’s block?
Rachel Morgan: I read other books or watch a movie or TV series. It doesn't help at all to sit and stare at my own blank page, so I distract myself with someone else's stories and hope that my imagination begins working again in the background.
Candie and Michelle: Great advice. If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Rachel Morgan: Susan Kaye Quinn. She's one of the earliest self-published authors I began following, and I admire not only her excellent writing skill and story content, but the business decisions she's made in order to craft a successful career from her writing. And she loves to share what she's learned! There are many indie authors who have done the same thing very well, but she's usually the one I ask for help if I need it!
Candie and Michelle: We will have to check her and her books out. If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?
Rachel Morgan: I had to think about that for a while, and then it suddenly came to me! The Demon Trapper's Daughter, by Jana Oliver. I read it a little while after writing The Faerie Guardian, and I was amazed at the similarities! I thought, this could have been my book! On the one side, you've got a girl learning to kill demons in order to keep people safe, and on the other side you've got a girl learning to fight fae creatures in order to keep people safe. They're very similar to one another in terms of personality and family situation, they both belong to a Guild where others like them are trained to fight, and they both have an I-really-don't-like-you relationship with a hot guy ;-)
Candie and Michelle: Putting it on be TBR list. :) Out of all the books you have written so far which has been your favorite one to write?
Rachel Morgan: The second novel in the Creepy Hollow series, The Faerie Prince. There was a lot of character development and interaction in that book that I really enjoyed writing.
Candie and Michelle: We can't wait to read it. :) As a whole which character has been your favorite “good guy” to write about? Who has been your favorite villain?
Rachel Morgan: Ryn is my favorite (occasional pain-in-the-ass) good guy, and Draven (who goes by other names I won't mention for spoilers' sake) is my favorite villain.
Candie and Michelle: :) Out of all your books do you feel like there is a particular character you relate to the most?
Rachel Morgan: In my romance books, the Trouble series, the main character of The Trouble with Flying is more like me than any other character I've written. Her story is very similar to mine, as is her personality.
Candie and Michelle: We can't wait to read that series as well. Is there anywhere that you have traveled to that has inspired you to use it in one of your upcoming books?
Rachel Morgan: My Trouble series is set in South Africa, so there are a number places in those books that I've been to. Otherwise, the only international setting I've been in that I've since used in a book is Dubai airport!
Candie and Michelle: Neat. :) What book are you reading now?
Rachel Morgan: I'm currently reading the second novel in the Throne of Glass series, Crown of Midnight.
Candie and Michelle: Adding that to my list on goodreads too. Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Rachel Morgan: I think I'm too busy catching up on all the authors whose books are already on my Kindle!
Candie and Michelle: I understand. What advice would you give to your younger self?
Rachel Morgan: Wait longer and write more before starting to publish. It's easier to build momentum and increase discoverability if you're able to release several books close together rather than waiting a year or more in between releases
Candie and Michelle: Wonderful advice. What advice do you give to other aspiring authors?
Rachel Morgan: Write a lot and read a lot. The reading is just as important as the writing!
Candie and Michelle: Totally agree. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Rachel Morgan: Um, other than thank you?! Seriously, though, THANK YOU for loving my characters as much as I do and wanting more and more and more of them!
Candie and Michelle: How can readers discover more about you and you work?
Rachel Morgan: I always put important updates on my website, but I'm most active firstly on Facebook and secondly on Instagram.
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Rachel-Morgan/e/B007G2WX8M
-Candie and Michelle