- Guest Author -
Welcome to an interview I conducted with a young author from Missouri, USA - Morgan Straughan Comnick.
Welcome, Morgan ...
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF.
I think a good place to start is with my name. My name is Morgan Straughan Comnick. I was born, raised, and still live in a medium sized town in Missouri. I grew up with my parents, my brothers, my dogs and cats, and my grandmother next door. I have a degree in Early Childhood education, although I currently work as a paraprofessional (a teacher’s aide) at my local middle school in the special education department. I am married to my high school sweetheart.
My birthday is November 1st and I love that I am a dragon and Scorpio. I am a shy person often, but I am not scared to be silly. I am organized, try to be kind to everyone, and am a nerd through and through. That’s me in a nutshell.
WHEN AND HOW DID YOU BECOME A WRITER?
I have been writing since I was small, but I did not feel like a writer until I was getting Spirit Vision finished. When I was 19 and learning how to write a query letter while I was a freshman in college, I was thinking, “Oh my gosh! This is really happening! I finished a book! My dream may come true.” It took me a while to find a publishing company, but I think that is when I felt like I was a writer.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT BEING A WRITER?
I love how I have this power, this magic if you will, to create amazing worlds that I can share with the Earth. Or, sometimes I feel like a medium for my characters, them guiding me to write their tale. That is also a grand feeling too! I am still awestruck by what words can do!
WHAT IS THE HARDEST THING ABOUT BEING A WRITER?
The two hardest things for me are when you are in love with a part or a sentence and it has to be cut. It feels like a piece of your soul is being ripped away! Another hard part for me personally is transition paragraphs. AH! I am a writer who has to type in order. I remember one time I had two major scenes I had to write together, but they needed a simple transition paragraph and no matter how hard I tried, I could not do it! It took me over a year and a half and a several months break until I could!
WHAT WERE YOU IN A PAST LIFE, BEFORE YOU BECAME A WRITER?
Before I dreamed of being a writer, I wanted to be a palaeontologist, but I hated hot weather, so that was out! Oh well…that meant 5 year old Morgan had to have a new dream! I then wanted to design teddy bears for a living and then an actress, but, although I would love to do anime voices or be in the movie version of one of my books still, I realized I was too shy for this. In fifth grade, I was told I would be a great teacher, so that is the path I took. Teaching and writing are now the two paths I follow. Sometimes they do not agree, but sometimes they join and make a beautiful meadow of harmony.
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON AT THE MOMENT?
Right now I am very busy getting my first book ready and advertising. I am working on something for Paper Crane Books, but I sadly cannot reveal it yet.
WHAT INSPIRES YOU?
The world itself does. Inspiration hits me so randomly! My imagination is always running wild, so it comes up with the bulk of my ideas. I have vivid dreams as well, so more inspiration. I enjoy history too and history is a grand muse! The final place would be the people around me. The world is full of characters! You just have to have an eye to find them.
WHAT GENRE DO YOU WRITE?
Spirit Vision is a paranormal romance, but I do not want to limit myself. I have so many ideas all over the genre spectrum. However, I will write mostly for young adults. I someday hope to write a children’s book or two, a book of short stories, essays, and poems, and maybe some juvenile fiction.
DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR NEW WRITERS?
I say this to my students all the time and I want to say it to new authors, “Hold on to what if.” This quote kept me going so many times! Hold on to your dreams and always do your best to reach them. You’ll never fail if you do!
DO YOU HAVE A PREFERRED WRITING SCHEDULE?
This may sound like a diva, but I cannot write according to a schedule! I am blessed to have a company who understands that. Now, edits, I HAVE to have a schedule since I am so organized. This helps the company too.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE WRITING PLACE?
I actually compose and write on my computer in my office. I have never known another place. However, to write poems, I have this small waterfall at my college that infuses me with energy and power that allows my pencil to flow with words. It has also been my friend when I am upset.
WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE AUTHOR AND WHY?
Favourite? I do not think I could choose! Most inspirational would probably be Lurlene McDaniel. She writes about teenagers who have terminal illnesses, such as cancer, and their struggle, they will to live, and their dreams. Her books are always heart wrenching and inspirational.
WRITERS ARE SOMETIMES INFLUENCED BY THINGS THAT HAPPEN IN THEIR OWN LIVES. ARE YOU?
Oh yes! Spirit Vision has events based on things that happened in my life my freshmen year in high school. In fact, the high school itself, and all the teachers, along with several of the characters, are all based on people and places I know. Like I said, the world is full of great characters!
OTHER THAN WRITING, WHAT ELSE DO YOU LOVE?
I enjoy singing, doodling, walking, listening to music, acting, playing video games, being with loved ones, collecting keychains, stuffed animals, and Elvis items, shopping for cute dresses, necklaces, and graphic tees, Japanese culture, nerdy culture, and of course, teaching, reading and writing.
DESCRIBE YOUR PERFECT DAY.
Wake up around 8:30. Take a walk. Shower. Watch anime. Read manga. Play on the computer. Write a little. Hang out with my friends and family. Have a nice dinner with my husband. Play Pokemon cards with him. Read a book. Play a video game. Go and have a restful night sleep. Christmas is perfect too! Or winning a trip to Japan would be perfect too! J
IF YOU WERE STUCK ON A DESERT ISLAND WITH ONE PERSON, WHO WOULD IT BE? WHY?
My husband because I love him, we can have a good time, and he is a man, so he can do the heavy lifting and gross work! ;)
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IF YOU HAD THE CHANCE TO SPEAK TO WORLD LEADERS?
“Okay, people! I know you disagree with each other, but can we not all agree that you want to take care of your people? So, let’s focus on that! If you get mad at each other, talk it out or fist fight over it like men do and then get over it. Now that we understand each other, because you know I’m right, who would like some homemade chocolate chip cookies and watch anime?”
WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE FUTURE?
I hope to one day get an early childhood education teaching position, continue to write until my heart’s content, still be happily married to my love, still have great relationships with my family, my friends, and co-workers, and be a mother.
WHAT FIVE BOOK SERIES WOULD YOU TAKE TO HEAVEN?
Twilight saga, The Vampire Academy/The Bloodline books, my CLAMP mangas, my books of course, and Lurlene McDaniel’s works, although there are TONS more I would take with me! I assume there would be a Bible in Heaven too.
DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN ANY OF YOUR CHARACTERS?
Stary Moon, the main character of Spirit Vision, is actually based on myself. She is braver, prettier, and a little more outgoing than I was back then too, but I made her that way because I like who I am, but, like most people, there are still qualities I wish I had. I gave those to Stary.
HOW WOULD YOU DEFINE ‘SUCCESS’ AS A WRITER.
When I am happy with a work and others are happy as well with it, that is when I feel successful.
HOW MUCH THOUGHT GOES INTO DESIGNING A BOOK COVER?
I drew the cover not long after I started writing the book. Now, I am not an artist. I met my artist years ago when we both had fan websites for a mutual anime we love. We are good friends. She dreams of being a professional manga artist and she is such a talent! I asked her to draw my cover idea and what she created is lovely! Make sure to check her other drawings too.
WRITING IS ONE THING. WHAT ABOUT MARKETING YOU, YOUR BOOKS AND YOUR BRAND? ANY THOUGHTS?
Marketing has been a whirlwind for me! I am still a babe in it! With the power of the Internet, joining book bloggers and author or book groups is a great place to start. Have social medias such as Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Youtube. A website it very personal to readers and they like that connection. Also, get support from your town. Radio, newspaper, TV, and such. They have been a blessing to me and they will spread the word to others. Your publisher or agent would be great to ask where to start too.
ARE YOUR BOOKS SELF-PUBLISHED?
No. My publishing company is called Paper Crane Books and they are amazing! I have looked in to self-publishing and I highly respect authors who do that, but Paper Crane just felt like my home and I was right.
WHAT UPSETS YOU MOST?
Violence, rudeness, disrespect, hatefulness, and bad attitudes. I cannot STAND these things!
WHAT IS THE TITLE OF THE LAST BOOK YOU READ? GOOD ONE?
I’m currently reading “The Two Girls of Gettysburg” and it is a good, eye opening work to how this awful battle destroyed the town and affected its citizens, not just the poor soldiers.
WHAT WOULD MAKE YOU HAPPIER THAN YOU ARE NOW? CARE TO SHARE?
I want the world to be peaceful and happy, our economy to become more stable, and for my future dreams to come true.
ANYTHING YOU’D LIKE TO ADD?
I want to thank you Mr. Tucker for allowing me to be a guest and for everyone reading this blog post! Thank you so much! I hope you’ll consider getting a copy of Spirit Vision!
Websites to check out for Morgan Straughan Comnick and Spirit Vision:
http://morganscomnick.com (Morgan’s author website and blog)
http://papercranebooks.com (Paper Crane Books Publishing Company)
http://papercranebooks.com/spirit-vision (Where to pre-order Spirit Vision)
http://youtu.be/6HhjeGzsetA (Morgan’s Author Introduction Video)
http://www.youtube.com/user/sakurastar07 (Morgan’s Youtube Channel)