Alana Munro, The Author Who Supports Authors, recently interviewed me for my recently published book, Dark Fey The Reviled. I had a great deal of fun doing my first ever interview and found it quite thought-provoking and interesting. I hope you will enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed doing it.
Please welcome to the blog, Cynthia Morgan.
Tell us about your book? Dark Fey The Reviled is book one in a trilogy that is still in progress. It is a Fantasy genre story set in the primordial forests of mystical time in a land peopled by both Light Loving and Darkness Revering Faeriekind, or Fey, where a relationship between two unsuspecting, kindred souls, separated by far more than social stigma, blossoms in secrecy that could shatter both their worlds. Ayla, a Light loving, Guardian of Childfey hides more than a few secrets; secrets that isolate her and set her apart. Secrets that bring her to the attention of one who comes in shadow and silence; one who watches, waiting for the ideal moment to step from the darkness, reveal the truth about himself and alter the course of her life forever.
It is a tale of Light and Darkness, of Joy and Sorrow, and the Trials and Triumph of Courage and Perseverance.
What/who inspired you to write this book? The idea for Dark Fey actually came from a dream I had about 5-6 years ago. I remember it vividly, even today. The images, sounds and emotions in the dream were so alive, so vibrant, I couldn’t put them aside. Finally, I decided to write it down so I would not lose it; so I sat down and wrote in one sitting what is now chapter six in the book. Of course, it is my favourite chapter because it was the beginning of the story, even though it now sits in the middle of the book. I wanted to write something positive, yet equally dark and mysterious; something that would capture the imagination as well as present the opportunity to write several volumes of the story, rather than just a single book.
Describe the route to your first book being published? All of my adult life I’ve wanted to publish my writing, but I’ve never quite known where to start or how to accomplish such a herculean task. When I started talking about Dark Fey with a friend and my desire to eventually figure out how to publish it, she said she would help me if she was able. The very next day she came into work with a magazine she had gotten in the mail the same day, in which an article was written about Kindle Direct Publishing and how user-friendly it is for first time authors. It seemed a miraculous omen, so I read it, did some research online about the pros and cons of using it for publishing, then went to the site and created an account. KDP may be just the first rung on the ladder, so to speak, but one must begin climbing somewhere.
Did you enjoy the writing process? I have always enjoyed writing, ever since I was old enough to hold a crayon. I love sitting down at my laptop, turning on my writing music, which is a collection of new age, classical and Hans Zimmer soundtracks, blocking out the rest of the world and surrounding myself with words, phrases, textures, colours, sounds, conversations, romance, action, magic, and whatever else I may choose to create. For me, there are very few pastimes I find more enjoyable.
What’s the hardest part of writing a book? For me it was figuring out how to get it published and how to promote / market it, which I am still learning how to do; however, just finishing it was equally as complicated. I write things all the time. I get an idea, write a few chapters, and then get distracted by another idea. So staying focused on the direction I want to go, the ultimate story I want to tell and the goals I want my characters to achieve has been challenging and rewarding, all at once.
What advice would you give to people trying to write a book? Have Faith and Work Hard. Do something every day in order to walk along the path you are lead to; trust yourself and the inner voice that leads you (even if that inner voice advises you to double back, make corrections, try again); and, if you are doing these, even if it take longer than you want it to take, Never Give Up. Also, possibly most importantly of all, Enjoy and Learn from the Journey.
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? We all do occasionally, but for myself, it never really lasts long. If the words don’t choose to come, I tend to sit quietly, wait and listen. Inspiration has a way of speaking through the hush that falls when the words stop flowing, IF we allow ourselves to hear it.
With regards to writer’s block, can you offer some methods you have used to get back to writing? I like to listen to music, often music I’ve not listened to for a while or something new; opening the portal to inspiration. I do the same visually. I frequently peruse Pinterest or do image searches on the internet. Also, many times while commenting with fellow bloggers I will find myself saying something, or discover something they have said that makes me stop and say “Hey!”, finding in it something that sparks the creative fire again. Listening for that small voice of insight is so important, I think, and not allowing frustration, anger or other forms of negativity to crash down on you and drag you into their darkness because it is difficult to regain your creativity from those places.
What one book has changed your mind or your life, or simply amazed you? I am a reader of classical literature, mostly, so my answer would have to be Bleak House by Charles Dickens. I undertook reading the unabridged version and, although it took me nearly a year to read it ( I do tend to read quite slowly, and when reading Dickens, you usually have to), but I found the dozens of characters, settings, minor plots, major story lines, under-tones and rhetoric he incorporated entirely beguiling AND bewildering. It was a read I had to work for; it required reading and re-reading passages, doubling back to remember who that person was and where this place is; it was exhausting and entirely rewarding.
Would you recommend indie book publishing and why do you believe the traditional route is still preferred by many? Since Indie is the route I chose, I would certainly recommend it, IF what it offers satisfies the goals you hope to achieve with your book. There are pros and cons to each side of the coin, however, Indie or Traditional; for me it was the place where I could start without having to mortgage anything. However, I also hope to publish my book(s) in the traditional manner as well, when that becomes possible. I believe with all the opportunities around us, that perhaps did not exist even 10 years ago, a writer must be somewhat “street savvy” in their approach and take advantage of every open window.
How did you feel when you published your first book? And, how did you celebrate your achievement? I was a bundle of nerves and excitement the entire week before and particularly that day. A close friend had organized a Book Launch Party for me, where close family and friends gathered to celebrate the big moment when I clicked PUBLISH. Cheers, high pitched squeals of glee, a lot of laughter and great food accompanied the momentous occasion and, even the day after, I was entirely a-flutter with pure delight. It was and still is a Dream Come True and that sensation is rather difficult to put into words.
Digging deeper, getting to know the author…
Describe yourself in five words? Creative, Joyful, Romantic, Diligent, Empathetic.
Describe your perfect day? Sitting at a little table for two on a quiet, yet interesting little corner in a quaint, tucked away village set among the rolling hills of Tuscany, or along the seaside in Spain overlooking the crystalline blue waters, or perhaps, and probably best of all somewhere in Great Britain in the quiet countryside or along the sparkling shores of Cornwall, or amidst the majesty of the Lake District, enjoying a cup of Gingerbread Mocha Chai Latte and having an engaging chat, sharing an infectious giggle and creating memories that last a lifetime with someone special. To me, that would be heaven; particularly if the conversation touched on writing or words of any kind, or acting, or art. Then, when afternoon tea is over and the sun is beginning to slip towards the horizon, we would decide to have a leisurely stroll around the village to inspect and appreciate every garden, every stone fence, every gate and cottage, the clouds in the sky, and the colours of the closing day, talking of nothing important and everything that matters.
If you could invite five people to dinner who would they be? Past or present, here or gone? This is an entirely beguiling question, really, because there are so many people with whom I would love to speak to discover more about them. Of course, William Shakespeare. Jane Austin. Carl Sagan. The Dalai Lama, and just to keep things fun, Tom Hanks. Yes, I think that would be an amazing table to sit at and an incredibly interesting conversation to join.
And what would you serve at the meal? Something light and delectable. Maybe a Caprese salad of fresh tomatoes, basil, fresh mozzarella, a few green onions and bright, crisp romaine. Then seafood of all sorts with an assortment of fresh and grilled vegetables, along with a scrumptious Long Life Salad for the vegans. (which is a blend of kale, lentils, quinoa, dried and fresh fruits and nuts in a lemony vinaigrette). And of course, something fruity and sweet for dessert; perhaps a cheesecake with fresh fruit.
What are your favourite topics of conversation with your friends? Anything involving writing, acting, music, or nature, animals, or cooking, recipes or traveling, places to visit. Yes, I talk a lot and I enjoy talking about just about anything.
How do you like to relax after a busy day? I write. I put on my headphones, listen to music (mainly the aforementioned variety or Depeche Mode), and surround myself with comforting, soothing words. Either this or I watch a good movie.
What were you like as a child? I was actually much the same as I am now: Chatty, giggly, creative, fun to be around, playful, inquisitive and, generally, pleasant. (although I do have my moments!)
What’s your mantra in life? To remember that ALL creation made up of Living, Breathing, Thinking, Feeling Beings. That we live on a Remarkably Fragile planet and that we must ask ourselves every day if We are Compassionate enough to Generate Changes that Convey a Message, Instigate Innovative Attitudes and Evoke HARMONY.
Your favourite quote ever? All Beings tremble before violence. All Fear Death. All Love Life. See yourself in Others, Then Who can you hurt? What Harm can you do?- Budda.
What drives you crazy about modern life? The Rush of it all. The need for instantaneous. The Oblivious manner in which many rush about, self-centered and unconcerned about the small things they could do each day that would change the world.
If you had the power to change anything in this world what would you change? I would stop the exploitation and unthinkable cruelty we inflict upon those around us, human and animal. I would Evoke Harmonious Living.
If you had a super power what would it be? I would love to be able to fly. Nothing miraculous maybe, but it would sure be amazing!
What three dreams are on your bucket list – and have you achieved any yet? I should love to be able to make a comfortable living as an author, without the need for another, day-to-day job. I do long to go to England/Great Britain, to visit my home country of Wales, and perhaps, to live there permanently. And I wait with Hopeful Anticipation for my Soul Mate; he who is and he who was, ever and always, to Love with the fullness of my being. At this point in my life, I have taken the first steps towards achieving all of these dreams and fully anticipate that I shall enjoy the Blessings of all of them, when the time is Right.
Read more from ~Morgan~ on her Blog: http://booknvolume.com
Thanks so much for sharing your book today. I wish you every success and happiness with your writing career.