Authors, Writers, Publishers, and Book Readers
Q1: Thanks for participating in our Authors.com Spotlight Interview series Rionna! Please introduce yourself and your book to help our readers get to know you.
A: Hello. My name is Rionna Morgan. I write romantic suspense. I have recently signed with Crimson Romance a newer imprint of Adams Media.
Q2: Please explain how you came to be a writer, what inspired you to write your book(s) and how long it took.
A: I have been a writer for as long as I can remember. I was forever entering writing contests when I was a kid. I'd be thrilled to earn a token for an ice cream at the local sweet shop. As to what inspired me to write books: I love a good story. I am an English major...I also have a masters in English. I love to write, to read and I love especially the power of a word, the tilt of a nuance. My first book: What the Heart Wants took me a long darn time to write. I wrote the first few chapters and then threw those out. They weren't necessary for the story, only necessary for me to get to know my characters, my story. I have completely re-written the book four times. I just needed to get it right.
Q3: What did you enjoy most about creating this book?
A. I most enjoyed letting myself be creative in the truest sense of the word. I have found that if I quite trying to tell my characters what to do, they will show me what to write. It is a very freeing feeling.
Q4: What facets of your life, both personal and professional, are woven into your book, if any?
A. Yes, great question because writers write what they know. In my youth I was a professional barrel racer. I competed in rodeos all over the West. My book, What the Heart Wants, is about a barrel racer who gets swept off her feet by a serial killer. So while the barrel racer part is similar, the serial killer is not.
Q5. How did you get published?
A. The long version is that I started trying to find an agent for this book years ago. I think I probably have 100 rejection letters...I did have a lot of success as far as rejection goes...requests for fulls and meeting with other editors, but no "Oh! I love that story." Recently, I decided I'd get it out again and give it another go. I read through it and updated the technology end of it, all the while realizing it really is a nice, gripping suspenseful romance. I even got chills a few times-and I knew what was coming on the next page. Funny. Anyhow, presently, I am an officer of Montana Romance Writers, and I received an invitation from Crimson Romance, a call for submission. I shared this link with other writers in my state and went back to editing. When I finished my own edits, I started making a list of publishers I wanted to start with. Crimson Romance was at the top of the list. I sent a query and within an hour I had a request for a full manuscript. Goodness! I was excited. But, not nearly as excited as I was when I signed my contract of Friday the 13th...good day as any for a suspense writer I'd say.
Q6: Did you have any surprises or hiccups along the way during the book writing and/or publishing process?
A. No hiccups...surprises yes! Writing the book is only half the work. Meeting deadlines and fulfilling requests, Facebooking and Twittering, and all the other social media verbs we all do now. The amount of time that takes, that was a surprise. I love it, but I was definitely not ready for it.
Q7: What one thing did you wish you'd known before you started this project?
A. Hmmm. Good question. Many people say that writing is a lonely business. I always felt like I had to be lonely to be a writer. That is not true. I think understanding human nature and having a group of fellow writers who can also understand that you do indeed listen to the voices in your head and that that is not weird at all! is important. Sometimes the quiet, sacred moments of alone time is extremely necessary to hear our muses, but I also think it's important to share ideas and thoughts with other writers. I know I definitely cherish the group of writers who are on my team! Thank you ladies of Montana Romance Writers, you are so awesome!
Q8: You're a fly on the wall when readers are discussing your book. What would you hope to hear them say about it?
A. I can't wait to turn the page. I really like Kate, she's strong and stubborn, even though she's a bit naive . I think Blake is beautiful and oh my good looking! Ooooh! Thank Luke guy, he's scary.
Q9: Tell us one thing about you that most people don't know or would surprise them.
A. I was born three months early and was supposed to never learn to walk and talk, much less learn to read or write.
Q10: What single piece of advice would you give new authors?
A. This is what you're meant to do. When you feel at peace when you write your stories, when you feel that all the tumbling puzzles of the universe come together when you sit with your pen and paper, when the other world you live in ceases for just a bit so you can visit the one in your imagination...this is what you're meant for. So don't give up. It is all a journey, the rejections, the criticisms are all part of the path, embrace them as you would a request for a partial manuscript, or for a full one...because those are road signs that you are traveling on this journey. You are making the trip. Not everyone is so lucky.
Q11: Share a short summary of a typical day in your life with us please.
A. I have four children ranging in ages from 19 years - 18 months. My day is filled with their giggles, their homework, their trips to ballet and tap. My nights are filled with writing. I am a true midnight writer.
Q12: Describe where you do most of your writing. What would I see if I was sitting beside you? A. When I am in the planning stages, I have a downstairs room where I like to set out all of my research, my papers, my sticky notes and my markers. It's sort of like a big chess set of who does what when and where. When I am in the thick of it, writing like mad, I take my alpha smart all over the place. I love that little machine. When I edit, I'm at my computer, pencils sticking out of my hair, cups of coffee growing cold, sandwiches forgotten.
Q13: What's your motto or favorite quote you like to live by?
A. I am a big Robert Herrick fan, "gather ye rosebuds while ye may". I am very keen on that one, but my favorite one that seems to be popping up is from Lewis Carroll. "Alice laughed: "There's no use trying," she said; "one can't believe impossible things." "I daresay you haven't had much practice," said the Queen. "When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast." Alice in Wonderland.
Q14: Is there anything else you'd like to share with us in closing such as your website, an imminent book launch or what you're working on presently?
A. I would love to share some of my social network links. Thank you so much. What fun! This has been just lovely. http://rionnamorgan.blogspot.com/
Authors.com profile: http://www.authors.com/profile/RionnaMorgan
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