Hey! It’s a pleasure to welcome Rachel Morgan to my blog today!
Rachel Morgan spent a good deal of her childhood living in a fantasy land of her own making, crafting endless stories of make-believe and occasionally writing some of them down. After completing a degree in genetics and discovering she still wasn’t grown-up enough for a ‘real’ job, she decided to return to those story worlds still spinning around her imagination. These days she spends much of her time immersed in fantasy land once more, writing fiction for young adults and those young at heart.
Rachel lives in Cape Town with her husband and three miniature dachshunds. She is the author of the bestselling Creepy Hollow series and the sweet contemporary romance Trouble series, which is published under the name Rochelle Morgan.
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing little bits and pieces since early high school. You know, jotting down ideas and never finishing anything. But I finally began writing a full-length novel (with the intent to actually finish it and get it published) in 2009.
What inspired you to write the Creepy Hollow Series?
I had finally finished writing my first novel (a fantasy story that is still to this day unpublished) and I wanted to write something different before going back to that first novel and editing it. I had a few vague ideas in my mind about a magical world parallel to our own, protector beings of some sort, and ongoing investigations or assignments involving dangerous magical creatures. Then the words Creepy Hollow popped into my head one day and I knew that’s what this magical place would be called. All the other details filled themselves in over the next few months as I began working on the first part of The Faerie Guardian. (And in case you were wondering, I haven’t yet been back to that first novel!)
What’s the best thing about the series you wrote? If you could change one thing about it, what would that be?
Now that’s a tough question! It’s probably easier to ask my readers what the best thing might be 😉 Honestly, though, I think it’s probably the characters. I love the world, of course, and I’ve had lots of fun coming up with different kinds of magic and putting a magical spin on modern faerie “technology,” but I think it’s the characters and their decisions and interactions that drive the story forward, and without this particular set of characters, the series (obviously) wouldn’t be the same! If I could change one thing … hmm. I would probably NOT have begun releasing the series in the form of short parts. (For those who don’t know, The Faerie Guardian was originally published as four separate parts over a period of a number of months.) Instead, I would have waited and released it as a complete novel to begin with.
Which is your favorite genre to write? Which genre do you like reading most?
Fantasy and fantasy 😉 (For reading, I like all kinds of fantasy. For writing, I’ve only tried contemporary fantasy, but I hope to try some epic fantasy at some point as well.)
What’s your favorite thing about being a writer? What’s your least favorite thing?
Favorite: having a super flexible job that allows me to make up stories while working pretty much anywhere and pretty much at any time. Least favorite: the admin that takes time away from the fun things. (Fun things include writing, creating book covers, and chatting with readers on social media.)
What’s a good writing day like? What helps you get over writer’s block?
A good writing day is when I begin writing early, keep going throughout the entire day (minus eating meals and showering), keep going throughout the evening, and finish late when my brain can’t keep going anymore. (A good writing day does NOT equal a good health day! Ha ha! And this kind of writing day doesn’t happen that often.)
I don’t think I’ve ever experienced true writer’s block. More like I reach a point where I have several vague ideas of how to get my story where it needs to go, but nothing clear. After mentally beating myself up for being unable to figure things out (which isn’t helpful!), I take a break and read something totally different from what I’m working on, or watch a TV series or a movie, or go for a walk. My story problems generally figure themselves out in the background.
What’s the one thing about writing that you feel has changed your life in some way?
The thing about being a writer and having books available out there in the world for anyone to read is that I’ve somehow “touched” the lives of thousands of people. An unseen connection exists between me and every reader who’s ever picked up and started reading one of my books. It’s as if they get a glimpse inside my mind. It’s a strange and intangible thing, these thousands of invisible connections with people I’ve never met, but it’s kind of amazing too.
What interests you, other than reading and writing?
Playing around on Photoshop, baking, playing musical instruments, watching really great TV series (more so than movies), going for walks/hikes.
Could you describe one person you admire, and why?
Oh, gosh, there are so many, in all spheres of life … But since we’re talking about writing here, I’ll go with a writer (one of many) that I really admire: Susan Kaye Quinn. The first indie book I read was hers, and it was so great that I realized indie (i.e. self published) books could be just as good as traditionally published books. It showed me that going indie could be an entirely viable publishing path. I’ve watched her growing author career (and followed plenty of her advice) since then. She understands the creative spirit, the artist’s soul, while also taking a scientific and analytical approach to publishing. She experiments, records data, shares her findings, and never stops reaching out and helping other authors. She’s a fantastic storyteller, an excellent businesswoman, and just an all-around great example of an author-preneur 🙂
Any advice for aspiring authors/writers?
Read a lot and write a lot. Reading a lot of good writing and good storytelling shows you how the masters do it, and writing a lot helps you to practice what you’ve learned from those masters. (And you aren’t going to finish that book unless you just. keep. writing!)
Visit Rachel’s website and Goodreads.