I had the profound opportunity to sit down with debut Author and dear friend, Mary Morgan. Mary's book, Dragon Knight's Sword will officially be released Wednesday, June 4, 2014.
I was so excited to be able to spend nearly two hours with Mary and to discover so many wonderful things about her, the characters in her book and the some very exciting news for the future of Order of the Dragon Knights.
I have to say that I have known Mary, I worked with her at Borders Books and I always knew she was going to succeed with her writing! Some of the answers will be paraphrased in the interest of time and space within this article.
So the interview proceeded as follows:
Q) "When did you know you first wanted to be a writer?"
A) I have written all my life. I have kept journals and always wrote down ideas, sayings and would rip out pictures from calendars and put them in the journal and went back to them. It really sunk in when I was sitting on a boulder in the Highlands of Scotland in 2000. But to be a writer it was when my husband gave me my laptop for our anniversary in 2006. The stories just started coming to me and they kept building but I wasn't sure I was confident enough to write them. Then I used to drive the I-5 corridor and the stories just took on so much more energy. My husband thought that the laptop was the most unromantic thing he had ever given me. But it was the most romantic thing to me, because he believed in me and told me to start writing the stories down. But to know I would become a published author was a work in progress and it changed my life. As a creative artist it was fearful to put it out to the world because they would rip it apart, but it isn't historical, it's has time travel, it has dragon's, the characters have elemental powers, it is based on they mythology of Ireland and Scotland and it was the biggest achievement I have ever done.
Q) Dragon Knight's Sword is book number one and you already have book two done, is book two and ongoing saga of book one?
A) Yes, there are five in the series. Book two is done and already has a cover, there are 4 brothers and 1 sister and even though the sister gets killed in book one, she still has a story to tell. I believe in redemption, I believe in happy endings. It's truly a journey with all the brother's. The oldest brother was supposed to be book one, but he came to and said something I can't repeat, so then the second oldest, Duncan came and said "I will tell my story". Each story is unique and different.
Q) Do you know or want to tell me the titles of the rest of the books?
A) Dragon Knight's Medallion, Dragon Knight's Axe, Dragon Knight's Shield and I'm not sure of the 5th book's title yet. Each of the brother's has a relic and special powers as they are part Fae.
Mary: What's amazing to me is the growth, the learning that has occurred. I worked for 8 months with Wild Rose Press before I got my contract. They kept telling me to do revisions, especially on POV, (point of view). I was giving everyone a point of view even the horse! So I pulled out the MLA books and studied for an hour a day. One of my daughters has a background in English and she would help me, the other is very strong with grammar and was critical of the story. I had a great editor and she was amazing. I just remember she would always start her emails with something very positive, and then she would rip things apart. She was just this gentle person teaching me patience and perseverance. I am not going to give up and I have always been that type of person.
Q) There are a lot of people that think it's easy to write a book and I know it's not. So this has been a 14 year process for you, has it been easy?
A) It's not easy, but the minute I put pen to paper, the flood gates started. Thank god for my husband, he never said a word when I would get up in the middle of the night and write in the dark on a post it. You just have to do it then and there.
Q) So there are five books in the series, do you think that when this series is done will there will be more characters coming to you.
A) Yes, I am already working on a spin off book. It's a spinoff of the Fae, the Fenian warriors; they are the keepers between this realm and the Fae realm. There are four warriors that need their stories told. You think you have control over the story as a writer, but you really don't. I had the ending of book one mapped out for so long and I kept tweaking it, but then the hero came and took me another direction. The characters really do, they will lead you where you need to go.
Q) Did you have any formal training with writing?
A) No, but I've been writing since I was seven or eight. I wrote poems and plays for the family.
Q) Is anyone else in your family a writer?
A) Yes, my brother Randy Ray, is the Contributing Editor on every issue of Relix Magazine. He is also a published author, he writes mostly non-fiction but he has written fiction before. It's completely different. My Mom is a writer too!
Q) Do you ever get writer's block?
A) I do, but not for long. When it happens I take my journal and go sit in the garden or put on some Celtic music. I do write every day! If I can give a word of advice, "Write every day. I don't care if you write 100 or 1000 words, just write. It keeps the well of inspiration flowing."
Q) From when you started the story to the very end, meaning when you submitted it, how long did it take you?
A) Four years. I started writing in the beginning of 2007, started submitting in 2011. I would go to work for borders, then go home and take my laptop into my writing cave which faces my garden and I would just sit and write. The other books were much shorter because it just flowed after the foundation of the first book was there.
Q) Do you have any kind of motto or saying you tell yourself when you are feeling down?
A) I always look in the mirror and say "I am a published author, I am a successful published author, people will love my work, and you are a great writer. Nothing is impossible, because I am possible." If you have a passion, do it. If it doesn't work out for you in the end then find something else! Don't give up.
Q) So did you base any of your characters based on your children or family?
A) Nope, they all came to me, but when I tried to cut out one it just wouldn't work so I took a chance and did 5 books, most series are only 3 books but I was different and I had to tell all their stores. They are all different in their looks, they are all big because they are part Fae and they have all very unique personalities.
Q) When you need to have a talk with your characters do you go into a meditative state or do anything special?
A) No, sometimes I go for a walk in the morning or put on a special piece of music and it just starts happening once I open that door. Sometimes toward the end of a story my characters are with me 24/7, it's very intense.
Q) So many people don't believe in Dragons but there is so much proof in history & pictures. The legends and myths about dragon's span many cultures, how can they not have been real? So what about your dragon?
A) This Dragon is an ancient, she came from the stars and she is very wise and benevolent. What she says is very full of love and logic.
Q) Any thoughts about doing a book based just on the Dragon?
A) No, she is too ancient. I couldn't go that far back in her head. She came to help the people of Ireland and Scotland. So, no she will remain an ancient. She has a name but she isn't sharing it yet. She will remain a beautiful loving creature.
Q) If they were to make a movie from your books, what would the Dragon look like?
A) She is shrouded in the mists of Loch Ness but they are colorful and warm mists. She can shimmer and talk to you in your mind or choose to speak the words out loud; she is like a rainbow of colors, lights, sounds and bells. It's where you feel such utter joy that you call her friend. That kind of a feel. That's her presence coming to me. She is very real.
Q) So why did you choose the romance genre?
A) Because I believe in the happily ever after. I have my fairytale; my soul collided and burst when I met my husband. I have been married to my husband for 31 years, with him for 34 years. When we met he literally slipped and fell in front of me. He then got up, straightened his suit and said to me "it's about time they waxed the damn floors around here." I believe in past lives and our souls have known each other a very long time. He was the roman warrior and I was a druid priestess. I believe so much in happily ever after that I had to write it. There will be struggles for the characters in my book but in the end they get their happily ever after. In the end, it's all about love.
Mary: When I started submitting, I submitted to agents for months. Then I happened to see something by another published author who had just received a contract with Harlequin and she did it without an agent. So I wrote her for some advice and within an hour she responded and told me what worked for her. So I took her kind words and support. That's how I want to be, I want to be able to pay it forward and help other writers.
Mary said a great quote, "you come into this world with love and you should leave with love."
It was such a pleasure talking with Mary and learning more about her and her characters. I can't wait to get my book and start reading it and then to be able to read the rest of the books in the series. She said that they are a little spicy too! :) As I am proof reading this, my book just arrived! I am so excited to start my journey tonight!
Mary's book can be found on Amazon.com, here is the link: http://www.amazon.com/Dragon-Knights-Sword-Mary-Morgan/dp/1628303972/ref...
This is truly a MUST purchase and read book! Get hour’s now!
Till next time,