Morgan invites you to spend some time on her web site/blog, getting to know her a bit better. There's lots to explore, and of course she'd love you to buy her book. Read on for more!
Morgan L. Busse writes speculative fiction for the adult market. She is the author of Daughter of Light, the first in a series from Marcher Lord Press. Morgan lives in the Midwest with her husband and four children. You can find about more about Morgan at www.morganlbusse.com
When I first had the idea for Daughter of Light, it was a standalone. But as the cast of characters grew, so did the story. Especially when the assassin Caleb Tala showed up. I began to realize there was more to him than I realized. And so what was going to be one book became three. As you pointed out, Son of Truth releases in a month and I hope to conclude the series 2014.
You write for a small independent publisher (as do I), only it’s probably the biggest fish in a small pond. How does it feel to be a rock star within one circle, and an unknown in the broader world?
I don’t really feel like a rock star (or an author). I had one person come up to me who was excited to meet a real life author. All I could think about was how I had spent that morning cleaning up after my sick dog. That did not feel like the glamorous author’s life I had envisioned. I still smile about that morning; it keeps my feet on the ground.
I love working with Marcher Lord Press. There are some amazing people who are part of MLP and I feel honored to be included among them. As far as being unknown in the greater circles of publishing, that’s fine by me. I am a pastor’s wife, and as such, I sometimes struggle with the recognition that comes with that role. I would rather be a flower on the wall. I enjoy anonymity. But sometimes God brings recognition, and I hope to be an encouragement to the people I meet when He does.
When I first started writing, it was during my children’s naps or nights when my husband was gone. I never tried to keep a schedule when my children were young. They needed me, and I wanted to be there for them. I also put off publishing at that time, choosing to focus on learning the craft and writing.
Now that my kids are in school, I put in 2 hours of writing each day. Then I spend probably another hour on marketing, answering emails, etc… I am still a mom and wife, which means time with my family. I also serve in my church: I work in the youth ministry and help teach a beginners class for people to explore who God is.
What drew you to speculative fiction? Did you grow up on it, or was it something you came to as an adult? What do you feel is the difference between fantasy/sci-fi and say, historical fiction? Both require imagining a world other than our own.
Funny enough, I did not necessarily grow up on fantasy/sci-fi. My mom was very strict about what I read, and most of what was out there in those genres were on her no-no list. However, my dad was a big sci-fi guy, so when I went to stay with him, I was exposed to the speculative world.
It wasn’t until I was an adult that I became a speculative lover. I started with the Star Wars series and made my way through the speculative section in my local library. I was in love!
The difference between the speculative genre and any other is there is either a supernatural, magical, or science fiction element. Something that you won’t find in the real world (at least at this point in history).
I have been blessed over the years to be mentored by some great people, and so it seems only right to help others on their journey. For a time, I contributed to a blog about writing. Now I write different articles and answer any questions that come my way.
I also help MLP out with some of their social networking. As you know, with a small publishing company people need to pitch in and help each other because we don’t have a marketing department. Some of us load the ebooks, someone creates the newsletter, others help maintain our facebook site and twitter. And we all bounce ideas off each other, whether that is promotional ideas, novel ideas, etc…
How many people read Daughter of Light before you decided it was ready for submissions? Do you participate in a writing or critique group, or do you fly strictly solo?
My husband was the first one to read Daughter of Light. He is my best critiquer because he is not afraid to tell me the truth. He told me afterward that it was a great story, but needed more work. Ouch. But he said it in such a nice way and helped me smooth out the rough parts. I am very blessed to have a spouse that understands my stories and completely supports me.
Other than my husband, I usually have one or two readers. Because I have moved many times over the years, I have not been able to participate in a local critique group. I have found a couple people who “get” my work and provide honest and helpful feedback. Priceless.
I am also blessed to have a great editor who I trust. When I was looking for an editor, it was important to me to find someone who I could trust and build a long-term relationship with. I went to conferences to meet editors and see what they were like in person. I knew Jeff long before he offered me a contract. I was able to see what kind of man and editor he was, and if he was someone I wanted to work with, and trust my writing with.
Besides your Follower of the Word series, have you been mulling other ideas? Have you ever thought of dabbling in other genres?
I have an entire folder full of ideas, but most of them will probably stay just that: ideas. However, I have a potential dystopian steampunk that I might work on after this series. I have both of the characters figured out, and the most of the plot. And a couple weeks ago, I realized the ending (characters, beginnings, endings, and important plots points are essential for me before I begin writing… I am definitely a plotter lol).
I also have another series that takes place in my current storyworld 400 years earlier that I might write if Follower of the Word proves popular.
So between those two ideas, I have another 5-6 years of writing (I can usually write a book a year).
What’s the single best piece of advice you’ve ever been given as a writer?
Don’t let writing come before family or God. I will always have writing, but I will never have this time back with my kids. And, God willing, I will have many years with my wonderful husband, but if I am not cultivating and feeding our relationship now, there will be no relationship later.
And nothing in this world is worthwhile if God isn’t a part of it. Writing will not satisfy me like He does.
What else would you like to tell us about your books, yourself, or anything else?
Actually, I would love to turn this around and ask if anyone has any questions about my book or me? Serious or silly, I take them all!