Hello everyone, and welcome to the JUNE 2018 edition of #AuthorSpotlight! This month we have NYT & USAT bestselling author, Christopher D. Morgan!
ELLE: Who’s your favorite Fantasy/PNR/Dystopian, etc. heroine? Why do you love her so much?
CHRISTOPHER: Sarah, one of the protagonists in my Portallas series. She’s intelligent, ingenious, resourceful and strong – just like my daughter.
E: What does your typical writing day/schedule look like?
C: It depends on whether I’m ‘in the zone’ or not. My writing takes place in fits and spurts. When the creative juices are flowing, I might sit at the laptop two or three times throughout the course of the day to write anywhere from 500 to 2,000 words at a time. I tend to self-edit (to a degree) as I go, and I typically go over everything I write repeatedly, making tweaks and adjustments here and there.
E: If you could have ONE magical power… what would you choose, and why?
C: I’d choose the power of flight. As a fiction writer, one of the reasons I love the Fantasy genre so much is that there are no rules and you are bound by nothing. In my mind, it’s akin to soaring through the clouds like a bird, going in any direction you want. I think the power of flight will deliver that same sensation.
E: What is your strangest habit? (Doesn’t have to be writing related)
C: Hmmm. That’s a tough one – and by that, I mean it’s tough to choose which one. I’m sure my wife would tell you I have the habit of annoying her on occasion. Let me see. About fifteen years ago, my wife and I spent about eighteen months backpacking around the world. I was charged by an angry bull elephant in the Okavango Delta in Botswana. I fell off a quad bike in Namibia. We were caught up in a military coup in Quiot, Ecuador. I ran out of air on a SCUBA dive in the Anderman Sea off the coast of Thailand. We were in a high-rise building in Datong, China when there was an earthquake that sent the building shaking. We narrowly escaped a tornado that tore through the town we were staying at the night before in New Zealand. I decended into the waters off the Galapagos Islands and came face-to-face with a shark that appeared from nowhere out of the murky depths. I came perilously close to a seasnake that’s ten times more venemous than the most venomous land snake. And we escaped the Thailand tsunami by just a few days after we decided to leave the country just in time. These are just some of the near-death experiences I’ve had so I guess my most annoying habit, then, is nearly getting killed.
E: That’s hilarious! In like, a semi-morbid kind of way LOL! How many words-per-book (and words-per-day) do you aim to write? How long does it usually take you to complete a novel of that length?
C: It varies. I usually aim for around 60,000 words per book, although it’s typically off by quite some margin. Daily, I like to get at least a single chapter of anywhere from a thousand to three thousand words completed. I’ve written books in the space of four weeks in some instances and taken over a year in others. It all depends on whether I’m ‘in the zone’ or not and I seem to have no control over when that is.
E: What’s your favorite book-to-movie adaptation?
C: The Princess Bride – probably the bery movie of all time in my humble opinion 🙂
E: What’s the most effective marketing strategy you’ve tried? And how did you go about implementing it?
C: Writing more books. Like most indie authors, I’ve tried (repeatedly) numerous marketing approaches. It’s rare that any one single approach nails it, but I would say that Facebook & Amazon (AMS) advertising tend to be among the more successful approaches. However, writing more books and adding to my back catalogue seems to be the most productive approach, as my marketing success seems to increase with each book released.
E: You may choose 3 fictional characters to be on your team in the zombie apocalypse…
Who are they?
C: Wesley, from The Princess Bride, Dumbledore, from Harry Potter & MacGyver.
E: What’s the best writing tip you’ve received, or would give to a fellow author?
C: Wow, there are so many to choose from. The quality of my writing has improved in bursts. The first burst was when I psychologically learned to overcome negative criticism, such as feedback from BETA readers. Another big burst was when I started to use Grammarly & Pro Writing Aid as tools in my editing arsenal. Perhaps the most useful tip, however, was to ‘just write’ – get something down on paper – and to come back and make it better/cleaner/prettier after the fact. In other words, don’t struggle to make it perfect out of the gate. I still find it hard to live by that advice but when I do, it works better.
E: In my series, The Essential Elements, the characters have the ability to control 1 of the 4 Classical Elements (Earth, Fire, Water, and Wind).
If you could control ONE… which would you choose, and why?
C: Perhaps the wind since that might bring me that bit closer to realising my previously mentioned magical power of flight.
E: Please tell us a bit about your latest release!
C: Joshua and the Magical Temples is book three in the Portallas series and was released just a few weeks ago. It’s my favourite of the series to date and reviews reflect this. By book three, the main characters are all becoming more developed and their relationships are getting more interesting. There are also some fun plot twists and imaginative creatures that I really like. Best of all is the new world Joshua and his friends have landed in. The pseudo Egypt is repleat with temples, pyramids, tombs, obelisks, hieroglyphs and back-street markets. Anyone that knows anything at all about Egypt will be instantly familiar with this world. As with all my books, each one plays out in a completely new world, which is derived in large parts from my own personal experiences traveling to a particular part of the world.
Thanks so much, Christopher, for the awesome interview!
Until next month,
— Elle ♥