Alexis Morgan Interview

Today I'd like to welcome author Alexis Morgan to Fallen Angel Reviews. Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions for us today Alexis.

To start, please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I grew up near St. Louis, Mo, and graduated from the University of Missouri-St. Louis, with a degree in English. My husband and I moved to the Pacific Northwest and have made our home there for the past thirty plus years. I met my very first published author, Janice Kay Johnson, not long afterward and became fascinated by what she was doing. She encouraged me to try my own hand at writing a book, and then helped me do exactly that. We still brainstorm ideas together on a regular basis. I think the greatest gift I've received through my writing is getting to connect with other writers and readers who love books as much as I do.

Please tell readers a little bit about your current release, My Lady Mage.
This is my first fantasy romance, and the first book in my Warriors of the Mist series. It's about five warriors who failed in their duty centuries ago and have been given a second chance to redeem their honor by serving as the avatars of the their gods, the Lord and Lady of the River. The warriors sleep beneath the river until a worthy supplicant calls on the gods for aid in defeating an enemy. The story begins when Lady Merewen makes the hazardous journey to the river's edge to call on the warriors to help defeat the enemy who is spreading evil in the land of Agathia.

What was the most challenging part of writing My Lady Mage? The most rewarding?
I definitely had to stretch a few new writing muscles in crafting this story, especially in word usage and description, to make sure the language fit the feel of the fantasy world I was envisioning. It has been fun "seeing" the world through the eyes of my characters as well as meeting a few characters along the way who showed up unexpectedly to play important roles in the story.

My Lady Mage is the first release in your new fantasy romance series The Warriors of the Mist. Since you wrote this book envisioning a series, did you do anything special to set up the future books?
I planned the first three books from the beginning to focus on the five Warriors. But as often happens, however, characters don't always behave the way I expect them to. There is always one (or more) I intended to play a minor role who ends up demanding their own story to be told. There's a warrior in My Lady Mage who unexpectedly ends up playing a major role across the arc of the three books. I'd love to find out what happens to him next. There are also lands beyond the borders of Agathia that would make interesting settings for future tales.

What inspired you to write in your genre? Is this the genre you started writing in or have you morphed to this one?
The very first manuscript I ever completed was a fantasy set on another world. That book never sold, but I've definitely always wanted to write fantasy romance. I think the consistent factor in my writing, not matter what the genre, is that I like to write band-of-brothers stories with strong romances. That was true when I wrote my westerns, my paranormal romances, and now with this series. I recently sold a new contemporary romance series, and the heroes are modern day warriors.

How important is research in your writing?
I love doing research, and it's always interesting to see what subjects I've had to read up on to bring my stories to life. Over the years, I've read a lot of books on the military, books on tea, books on Vikings, and books on volcanoes and earthquakes. The more realistic and believable I can make the details, the easier it is to make my worlds real to my readers.

Where would you say that you get your most creative ideas?
I get my most creative ideas from I read something in a book or see something in the news that sparks my curiosity and makes me think, "Hey, what if . . ?" For example, I was reading a book on warrior women from the past. The anthropologists were talking about what they thought they knew about one of the women from the items that had been buried with her. In my mind, though, I realized that they were making educated guesses about how she lived and what her life was like, but they would really know her. How she laughed, what she liked, who loved her. And it was that last one that really got me to thinking. How would the man feel about his wife's grave being studied for science? And if he were around to know, he'd have to be 1000 years old. What would he do about it? That's how I "met" Ranulf, a thousand year old Viking living modern day Seattle in my first Talion book.

If you could change one thing about the way you write, what would it be?
I sometimes think I'd feel more in control if I could plot things out in more detail before I start a book. Instead, I write about 6-8 page summary of the overall story arc, so much of the actual story comes as a surprise to me as I write. That holds it's own special fun, though, and I've learned to trust my process.

Who's been the toughest character for you to perfect so far?
I think that would be Barak, one of the alien warriors in my Paladin series. I had envisioned all of his people being bloodthirsty, crazy killers. I expected him to die in the first book in the series, but he refused to go quietly. Instead, I realized the human villain was the true monster. Once Barak made it clear that he was an honorable warrior, I had to rethink his role in the book and my vision of his entire world.

What was the hardest book for you to write and why?
In a lot of ways, My Lady Mage was a difficult book for me to craft. I've never written a story that has such a strong medieval feel to it, so learning the right vocabulary was a challenge. And when you're dealing with magic, you have to set the rules and live by them. Not everyone in the world will have the same feelings about magic-some will think it evil, others consider it a part of their everyday lives, and yet others might abuse its power.

Is it hard for you to balance your life as a writer? How do you manage it?
I try to make sure that I don't stay holed up in my office for too long of a stretch without getting out to spend time with my family and friends. I think that's important.

If you could ask readers any one question, what would it be?
I always like to know what book their reading that they're really excited about and why they like it so much.

Could you tell us what you're currently working on and what readers can expect from you in the next six months?
I just finished revisions on the second Warriors of the Mist book, Her Knight's Quest, which will be out next March. I also have a Harlequin Nocturne entitled Savage Redemption coming out this September.

What is the wackiest job you can think of that you would like to do?
I'd love to be a drummer in a rock band, not that I can play the drums or even have a sense of rhythm. The woman drummer in Kid Rock's band is my hero. Love to watch her perform because she looks as if she's having such fun!

If you could be a superhero, what would you want your super powers to be?
I'd love to be able to teleport to wherever I need to want to be. Think how much time it would save if you didn't have to drive/fly to get places!

Other than a money tree, what kind of tree would you like to have growing in your yard?
A book tree? One that always has something new and exciting for me to read whenever I need a book to enjoy. Can you imagine going to the nursery to pick out a new mystery tree or one that grows romances? I don't know about you, but I'd have an entire orchard in the backyard!

Is there anything else you would like to add today or any links where readers can find you?
I want to thank everyone at Fallen Angels for all of their support of my books over the years! Readers can find me at these locations: my website, my email, Twitter @Alexis_Morgan and Facebook.

Thank you so much, Alexis, for spending time with us today!

Alexis will be giving away an autographed copy of My Lady Mage. To enter please send an email with your name and shipping address to interviews @ fallenangelreviews . com with Alexis Morgan Contest Entry in the subject line. You can enter through Friday July 27, 2012 (One entry per person please). One winner will be chosen by random draw on Saturday July 28, 2012 and the winner will be contacted. This contest is available to International residents.

Interviewed by: Tammy