Wednesday, July 04, 2012
Author Elizabeth Morgan visits today!
I have the pleasure of welcoming the lovely Elizabeth Morgan to the blog today! An amazing lady with a wicked sense of humour and a heart of gold, Elizabeth is one of those authors who write riveting tales and make you go all "how on earth did she come up with this idea???"
Hopefully, she has the answer to that question for us today! Elizabeth is promoting her latest release with Noble Romance Publishing, Cranberry Blood. Isn't that cover pretty? I just love the kick-arse heroine on there. Oh, and did I mention there are vampires in the story...?
Here's Elizabeth for you, peeps!
Tell us a bit about you and something we don't know/wouldn't expect about you.
I was born and grew up in Manchester, England. I’m half northern Irish. From the age of four I wanted to be an actress. I went to drama clubs etc. and studied Musical Theatre in college – yep, I can sing, but I’m not a great dancer lol – and then during college I turned my attention to writing scripts, which always had way too much detail. So I started writing books.
I moved to a little English village two years ago. I have two cats called Phantom – after The Phantom of the Opera, which is my favourite musical – and MJ – I adore Michael Jackson’s music. I grew up listening to my mother’s records.
And I am a huge Sims fan. Yeah, I love computer games, especially the Sims. I’m super excited because I just found out the next expansion pack is “Supernatural” and you can create Werewolves. Oh yeah. Needless to say I will be buying it and possibly making Owen and Clare Sims. What? That’s not sad. O_o
Lol, it's not sad at all! Sounds like something I would do *says the one who's addicted to Angry Birds...* J
What’s your favorite moment of the day, and why?
I like early evenings. I just like being sat at my computer when the sun is a little lower and it’s warm. I find it’s easier for me to write in the evening and at night. Everyone is relaxing or heading off to bed which means I won’t get disturbed.
That's a huge thing, innit - not being disturbed.
You're a color – which one are you and why?
Black - which is a shade more than a colour, I know – because I am sophisticated yet casual. A sexy little number when I want to be, but an everyday comfortable type of gal. I can go with all occasions . . . . Yes I realize I am talking about myself and not clothing. :-P
What can I say? I prefer nights. I love gothic love stories – Dracula and The Phantom of the Opera as two examples – and I have a dark and somewhat dry sense of humor.
Black rocks! J
Why become a writer?
I wanted to be an actress for a long time. I loved performing, but my mind was so full of stories and random ideas that I wanted to give them the attention they deserved. When I decided to sit down and write a book and actually found I enjoyed it, I started worrying that I might run out of ideas, but that thankfully hasn’t happened. *knocks on wood* It’s better to spend your time doing what you enjoy than doing something you hate. And I love writing, a lot. I love the process, even the stressful parts, because the work is always worth it in the end. :-D
And you do get to 'act' all the parts when you write, innit? *wink* Best of both worlds, I'd say...
As writers, we are bombarded with ideas every minute of every day. How do you sort through these ideas, to stick to the 'viable' ones?
I have writing journals. If they are stray ideas or pieces of dreams, I make a note of them. If the ideas are meatier I create a new folder in my “slush pile” folder on my computer and whip up a story plan and some basic character profiles. I never push ideas. I try my best to let them simmer until they consume me. Sometimes the idea consumes me straight away, which I prefer. But yes, writing journal. It’s always good to carry one with you, because you really never know when something brilliant will hit you in the head.
Sounds like a good plan.
How do you develop an idea into a book?
This is actually a really hard question, because I don’t really have a process. I’m very naughty like that. I am a huge panster, possibly the worst kind.
If I have a story idea I usually know how I want it to begin, or I wait until I see the opening scene in my head; then I sit down and start writing, and it basically goes from there. I plan as I write, but I do always have an idea of how the story should go and what the outcome will be. I just don’t plan it. I let my characters take me on their journey.
You lucky git! I wish I could write like that!
If there's one book you wish you had written, which one is it and why that book in particular?
The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook. I read that book and I was just like, “wow, will I ever be able to write something so awesome?” The world of The Iron Seas is just so real, and so cool, and despite the Zombies etc. I would totally live there.
Which is easier for you – narrative, or dialogue?
I am going to go with dialogue. I have a constant argument with myself when it comes to the narrative. I never know if I’ve done too much or not enough and . . . eh. Dialogue, in a sense, is a lot easier.
POV of predilection? Which POV mixes with you like oil and water?
I love that first POV lets me and the readers get in the characters head, which is why I prefer to write it. As readers we want to connect to a character and I think first POV lets us do that, but I don’t dislike third.
And male and female POV is dependent upon the characters. Being a woman I naturally worry my heroes will sound feminine. And then at the same time, being a woman, I have to make sure my heroines all stand apart. So I honestly don’t dislike either of those POV’s either.
Ha. I’ve gone round the houses with this answer, haven’t I? Basically, there are no POV that I feel I have a huge problem with.
I think it's a very well-rounded answer (wish I could be so eloquent...)
Preferred genre to write?
Most of the stories I have written so far have been Paranormal and it would be because I love this particular genre. The reason being that there is just so much room for interpretation; it’s limitless. Most people love the supernatural and can’t get enough of Vamps or Shifters despite how many stories and films have been made. I think it’s just because a person can mold such beings and stories any way they want to because everyone views them differently. And no matter what those beings will still be interesting, because there is a fresh take on them despite the fact we know how they work.
True - it always amazes me how paranormal authors are able to bring a fresh spin on the genre each and every time!
How do you get into your characters' heads and shoes?
*Holds a gun to their head and demands they remove their shoes.*
That pretty much covers it. Ha. Erm, some characters have strong voices, distinct voices that I can grab straight away. The ones who are a little harder I just have to sit and think about them for a little while or read over scenes with them in, just to refresh myself.
I find that you will always get some characters that are louder than others. I suggest sweet talking the quite ones and gagging the rest.
Gagging the rest... Good idea. Or else, I'm gonna have to go buy that gun. J
Drafts, edits, polishing – love or loathe? Can you please explain?
I am a mixture of excitement and loathing during the process. I love the task once I am doing it, but the thought of having to do it just makes me cringe. Ha. I think it might be that once I have written a story – and naturally read it – I get slightly nervous reading my work again, because I tend to pick it to pieces. I know you have to be critical of your work, but I go to the extreme of picking it apart. Luckily, I have great Beta Readers. :-D
What unique factor do you think you bring to the book/story market?
Great question and I wish I had an answer. Ironic humour? Or at least, more Ironic humour? Hopefully I will/am bring(ing) something interesting to the market. Or at least I am writing stories that people are enjoying in some way. I’d be very cool with laughter in any form.
Best advice you've received, and that you'd want others to know?
Excuse the way this will sound, but the best advice comes from my great-grandmother. In response to any worry that a person could have, be it relationships, work, money problems, anything. She would say . . .
“Balls to them/it.”
Haha. Basically, to hell with people putting you down and telling you your work is no good. Or you’re no good. If you are happy with what you are doing and who you are then that is what really matters. And if what you do makes other people happy, then what else could you ask for?
We can’t make everyone happy. It’s hard enough making ourselves happy. And I think we sometimes forget that we are constantly learning as we go along in life. We can’t be perfect, we weren’t made that way.
So to hell with everything and just live and follow your dreams and your heart.
I totally agree with your great-gran! J
Tell us about your latest release.
Cranberry Blood is the first book in The Blood Series – and the sequel to She-Wolf (The Blood Series Prequel.)
I wrote the first draft of this book in 2009. My beta readers read it and with their helpful suggestions I mentally ripped that version to shreds, and wrote this version. I like this one a lot more than the original, but I am still very nervous about the release since this book is very close to me.
She-Wolf was mainly a love story that contained mostly Pack politics, and, well, it gave readers an introduction to one side of the world of The Blood Series. In She-Wolf,we see that the Pack are having trouble with “Rogue” Werewolves who are leaving mutilated bodies all over the alpha’s land. But there was something very off about these “Rogues.” Not the usual types.
Cranberry Blood is set six weeks after the end of She-Wolf – and yes, I am so mean for the mini cliffhanger at the end of the Prequel, but hopefully you will forgive me? – and it is the first installment of Heather’s story. She is a Vampire Slayer, but oy, the girl does not have it easy. Some readers may recognize the leading male, Brendan, the gorgeous – and somewhat moody – copper blond, emerald-eyed Werewolf. *Melts* I can only hope you have room in your heart for both Owen and him. ;-P
So Cranberry Blood is basically opening the world a little wider as we venture into Vampire territory, so to speak.
Cranberry Blood Blurb:
Killing Vampires? Easy. Tracking someone? Simple. Helping, and protecting a Vampire slayer... Bloody hard work!
Thirteen years ago, Brendan Daniels made a deal with a psychic. In exchange for information on the whereabouts of a Rogue Werewolf, he promised to help and protect Sofia's granddaughter. Unfortunately, he had no idea what he was getting himself, or his Pack, into.
Nothing about Heather is simple, from her weird dietary needs to her life’s mission. The girl can handle herself, but the promise to protect her soon becomes a need, and one that he can't fully understand.
Vampire Slayer. Born Infected. Blood addict... but not by choice.
Heather Ryan is the most recent slayer in a long family line. Like all before her, she has spent her life searching for her ancestor, Marko Pavel, the Vampire her family has sworn to kill. If that isn't complicated enough, Heather is also a born "Infected", and to keep her from becoming insane or giving in to her darker side, she is on a very strict diet.
Grandmother Sofia has passed, so now it is up to Heather to take the family legacy into her own hands, all alone: or at least, it would have been, if her Grandmother hadn't sent a Werewolf to help her.
What is the irritating Brendan supposed to help Heather with? Sofia never told either one of them. But it doesn't take long for Heather and Brendan to find out that the Vampires have big plans, and that the fiends have waited a long time for them both.
Buy Link: https://www.nobleromance.com/
OMG - you've got me literally salivating to read this one! I love Clan and Pack politics in PNR books - sounds like you've got a full range of that in there!
In 5 words:
Your book: Irony, with blood and fangs
Your heroine: Issues with blood, and Vampires
Your hero: Deliciously moody and badly scarred
You as an author: Extremely twisted with dry humor
Let's say your book is a movie – which one does it most closely resemble?
Oh gosh, I don’t know. I don’t want to say and end up offending loads of people. Erm, I wouldn’t say it’s one particular movie, more like the possible off-spring of a ton of them.
Shaun of the dead in the sense that it is set in London and the story is dark/dry humour.
Underworld 1 and/or 2 – which are brilliant movies – for one particular side of Cranberry Blood, but I can’t tell you without spoiling the story. So, if you read it you will get why I have added these films to the list.
Cursed, mainly because of the Werewolf in that. She is a perfect example of how my Wolves look – though they have longer muzzles – and how they move like humans.
Salems Lot, my vampires aren’t pretty when they transform. They look like the blue vampire master in Salems Lot (and I mean the old movie, because I believe a TV show was recently done?)
American Werewolf in London, it is set on the moors at the beginning, and there are moors up near the Pack keep in Scotland. Plus it is set in London. But the Werewolf is too small and too much like a Wolf. My guys look like the Werewolf from Cursed and/Underworld or Van Helsing.
Being Human, which is a British paranormal show – brilliant – because it’s English and funny and can be a little cheesy and unbelievable, but in the best possible ways. It’s awesome!
You had me at Shaun of the Dead - I just love that kind of British humour! J
What real-life actors are playing the roles?
The lovely Lucy Felthouse recently asked me this and I honestly don’t know. I didn’t use actors or actress as inspiration while I wrote it; I just have a particular idea of how all my characters look.
So, I think I will leave this questions for readers who have read She-Wolf – and who may read Cranberry Blood – because I would honestly be interested in hearing which actors and actress’ they imagine when they read these stories. J
It always amazes me how readers see our characters - everyone projects something different.
Now this movie needs a soundtrack – what songs/tracks best fit your book?
I have playlists for all my projects and there were a few for this book, but the top four tracks are:
Hands down The Hoosiers – The Trick to Life. Mainly because the tagline of that song is, “The trick to life is not to get to attached to it.” And it really sums up what Heather has to deal with and understands.
30 Seconds to Mars – Beautiful Lie. Brendan and Heather haven’t lead great lives and have/had crazy things to deal with; especially Heather who has her own way of dealing with the cards life has dealt her.
Black-Eyed Peas – Pump it. I know, this sounds totally random, but I was on the bus going to work one day and it came on my mp3 player and I just saw Heather fighting a load of Vampires in a nightclub while this track played. It cracked me up and I loved the idea, so I added to the book. So when you get to that particular scene you have to imagine that song is playing in the background. :-P
And last, but not least, Nickleback – Burn it to the ground. Naturally there would be a Nickleback song in this playlist. There is also a fire in this book, big and devastating, but this song isn’t some sick sadistic background music for that chapter. I’m not that evil. This song is on the playlist because it simply reminds me of The Pack. I have crazy movie montage moment of them all kicking the shit out of their enemies when I hear this and I just think it suits them lol Plus, it’s an amazing song.
I can totally imagine Pump It as the background song to a kick-arse fight! Sounds like a great soundtrack!
Your characters end up in a world where everyone's a fashionista – how do they dress and what are they wearing?
Ha. Honestly they would still be in their casual gear and if anyone said anything they would rip their throat out, claw them to death, drink their blood, or possibly ram a sword in their gut.
Yeah, it would be best not to insult their clothing lol
LOL, indeed! J
Where can we find you and your books?
Joint Blog: www.notjustastiffupperlip.blogspot.co.uk
Facebook: Elizabeth Morgan
The Blood Series Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/TheBloodSeries
Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/Elizabeth-Morgan/e/B006WR1WLQ/ref=sr_tc_2_rm?qid=1339876094&sr=1-2-ent
Thanks for the answers, and for coming over! I'm totally stoked to have you visiting J XOXO
Thank you for having me, Zee. I’ve loved hanging out with you and your readers! J
I cannot wait to check out Cranberry Blood - this one's going on my TBR very soon! How about you?
From Mauritius with love,