Both; I’m grinning as I type. I picked up my first romance novel in a gas station on my way to camping in the Rocky Mountains after a very stressful first year of Law School. We live in Wisconsin, so the ride to the Rockies is about 20 hours, more than enough time to read: DEFY NOT THE HEART by Johanna Lindsey. After that, I was hooked. I never looked back and can honestly say romance kept me sane through two more years of Law School and beyond. I chose that book, mostly because I’d already read all the thrillers, mysteries and woman’s fiction on the book stand. Romance chose me because that’s what I want to write. It’s a pretty good fit. The older I get the more I’m sure that deep love, even when platonic, is the single most important thing in life. Romance is the fun and the exhilarating expression of it.
2) Is there a romance author, living or dead, who inspires you particularly?
Inspiration is a funny thing. Sometimes it comes from a song (that’s what happened with my story: SECOND CHANCES) sometimes it comes from a friend’s fortune or misfortune. Sometimes it comes from opening one of my favorite books of poems and randomly picking a page. When I’m stymied that’s what I do. Usually I pick up Rumi, or Robert Burns. Rumi inspires me with his ability to strike at the core of feeling so quickly and colorfully. Robert Burns does as well, yet they aren’t romance authors or even particularly romantic poets, still the inspiration is there. For pure reading enjoyment in romance, and for authors I’d like to get lumped together with someday, I love Julie Garwood’s Scottish historicals and I wish she’d write more of them. They are funny, sweet and sensual. They touch my heart and that’s my goal as a romance author. I also enjoy Susan Elizabeth Phillips and when I’m feeling in a slightly darker mood, Anne Stuart. When I think of an author who is a master of craft (especially when I’m writing fight scenes) James Lee Burke is who I turn to. Not much romance, but wow, that man can paint a scene like no one else I’ve read. I’m not being coy with the inspiration thing, I truly believe inspiration comes where you find it.
3) Please, tell us about your last book and, if you can, about your future projects.
My latest book is: SECOND CHANCES. In it, Ramsey Macleod is a tarnished and somewhat disillusioned rock-star looking to change his life and his music. He’s looking for more meaning and less empty glitz so he disappears to his family home in Wales to work on a solo album and reconnect with his quirky family in Pontrhydyfen. Rhiannon Thorson is a recently divorced history professor on sabbatical for the summer while her college age daughter and almost adult son are with their father. She’s looking to explore her new sexual freedom and make a name for herself researching Celtic goddesses. At its core, SECOND CHANCES is a story about personal identity at different life and career stages for both Ram and Rhia. Can two seemingly disparate people come together, find love and make a life? After various bumps and bruises and family foibles the answer is a resounding, YES! It’s the journey that’s filled with laughter and tears that makes the trip worth taking. I loved writing this story and the characters still hold a place in my heart.
My current book, which should be available in May is: FIGHTING FATE: Book Two of the Dojo Chronicles. FIGHTING FATE is my second book in my dojo series. In it, my hero, Jesse Mohr, is on a quest to find the daughter of the woman who gave hive a home and a life after the death of his parents, to whom he owes everything. Jesse learns at the age of fourteen that his adoptive mother gave up her daughter for adoption at the age of sixteen and has been looking for her in vain ever since. Taryn Campbell is sure she doesn’t need to be ‘found’ and is equally certain she doesn’t want a relationship with her birth mother, she’s not so sure she doesn’t want one with Jesse. A contract, convenient for both of their purposes is struck, and mayhem ensues. Will love prevail? Yep! But it’s all about the journey, my friends, one I hope you’ll take with me.
4) How was your writing journey? Was it difficult to find an agent and get published?
My writing journey is probably different from most. Up until Jan. 4, 2012 I’ve been lawyering full time as well as writing. Now that I’m part time with the lawyering gig, we’ll see how much more productive I will be with my books. I’ve been active with RWA since 2005 and I’ve never tried to find an agent. That’s probably inexperience, arrogance, stupidity or a mixture of the three. I’ve been to numerous conferences where I’ve been told, “you NEED an agent”. The newest thing now seems to be, “you NEED an entertainment lawyer.” Well, I am a lawyer. I’m familiar with contract law. I’ll be three books in by spring, which makes me a novice. What I need is to write great books and get them read. That’s what I’m focusing on doing. That’s why I’m indie.
5) What’s your opinion about this Ebook revolution? Would you consider the indie route?
I published SPARRING PARTNERS and SECOND CHANCES and will publish FIGHTING FATE this spring. I guess that makes me indie. The reason is simple, I want control of my work and I want to get it read. E-Books are just the delivery mechanism, which is fast, inexpensive and convenient. I love it. It’s still about writing great stories and that’s where my interest lies. Who knows what the future will hold as far as finding some other entity with a mass delivery system to publish my books, but for now I’m happy doing it myself.
6) Nowadays many publishers expect their authors to use Social media a lot to promote their books. Many authors, on the other hand, would prefer to write only, without being distracted by digital trivialities: what are your thoughts?
Today is an exciting time for storytellers. There are so many new technologies available and so many outlets for distribution. Because the business has changed, I think authors need to change. I love hearing from readers. I have an active website, blog, and Facebook page, as well as an author page on Amazon and on Barnes & Noble. I do have a Twitter account, but I’m still learning how to Tweet <grin>. I have no problem putting myself out there and I think as storytellers we need to. This is the era of having to do it all, I’m not afraid of that and I’m learning how, but at the end of the day it’s still about pleasing readers and writing great stories. Here’s hoping I will continue to do both. As a new author today, I think you have to.
Info about the author:
A native mid-westerner from South Eastern Wisconsin, USA, Morganne, a member of RWA and WisRWA since 2005, has been writing since pre-school (with crayons) and is still in training (although she now uses a netbook).
A graduate of The University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee, Morganne’s studies included: History, Philosophy, and Comparative Mythology. Morganne graduated from Marquette University Law School in 1991.
Morganne has practiced nearly all areas of law, and now focuses on Child Advocacy and Elder Law with a primary focus on family mediation, putting children’s needs first.
Morganne is a fourth degree black belt in Okinawan Shorin Ryu karate. She has continuously trained over a twenty year period, actively training with Master Daniel Schroeder. She also holds a third degree black belt in Matayoshi Okinawan Kobudo; weapons training. Morganne has taught self-defense for women and practical defense sequences for writers. Morganne is currently working on a series of stand alone contemporary romance novels, each with a tie to the martial arts: The Dojo Chronicles.
Morganne is also an avid motorcycle enthusiast. (There’s nothing like a TRIUMPH!) Most summers (when she’s not out riding) you can most likely find her in Highland Gear walking her Scottish Deerhounds at local Scottish Games and Festivals.Don’t forget to visit her website: http://www.bardintraining.com/
To buy her most recent book, please click on the cover below: