Friday, May 4, 2018

Interview with YA fantasy-adventure author Mark J. Morrison

Author Mark J Morrison joins me today and we’re chatting about this new YA fantasy adventure, TwoSpells.

Mark was born number seven of eight children in a small town in Ohio. His family moved to Florida where he grew up, met an incredible women, got married and raised four fantastic children, three boys and a girl.

Many years later an empty nest left him to his true calling, storytelling. His first remarkable story is about a heroin whose courage and unrestrained personality, like his daughters, breathes passion and fervor into this adrenaline packed fantastical story.

Welcome, Mark. Please tell us about your current release.
TwoSpells is a magical tale about a set of teenage twins, Sarah and Jon, who find out that they're heirs to an ancient, magical realm containing an enchanted library that can transport a reader to anywhere or anytime the author has written into the story.

They're soon caught up in an inter-dimensional war between good and evil, both sides looking to claim the library's unique magical enchantment. Along the way, the twins meet astonishing and fascinating characters who can do amazing things, but not all are good. Some are of unspeakably horrific creation and are bent on one thing: destroying the two strange intruders who have entered and disrupted their sacred two-dimensional domain.

Sarah and Jon must leave behind their much simpler life as Regulars and embrace their new positions as successors to a very special kingdom designed for their kind only, the Irregulars.

What inspired you to write this book?
One daughter-in-law is a librarian and I love her like my own daughter. So I thought I’d just create a fantastical story about a library. It actually started out as a mid-grade fantasy adventure story about the internal battle between the electronic word of books pushing the written word out of existence. Within a week or so it morphed into a completely polar opposite story that it is today. She loves it so much knowing she inspired its writing. She only asked one favor; more faeries in book two. And I’ve obliged. I’ve started a month ago fleshing out book two of the series and I’ve created a whole new way of looking at the heritage and development of the faeries world. She positively loves the new approach to their existence.

What exciting story are you working on next?
Well, I’m finishing one that I’ve been writing at the same time as TwoSpells, titled Corky.

It’s about a young pig named Corky witnesses his mother’s abduction, leaving he and his father alone and frightened, both now forced to fend for themselves.

His father enrolled him an obedience school for dogs where he doesn't fit in because of his very unique physical differences.

He must overcome adversity and discrimination at every turn which he manages to defeat valiantly. He eventually becomes overwhelmed and runs away from home, only to face a wild series of twisted mishaps, strange characters, brazen heroes and wicked villains.

His remarkable adventure will ultimately mold him into the most interesting pig in the world.

Then of course the second of the TwoSpells series already partially fleshed out and outlined.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Since I wrote a horrific essay that was five pages long and basically a run-on sentence. I still have to temper my way of speaking without pause away from my fingers during my writing sessions or between gasp of oxygen. My mom says I have the gift, or the curse, of gab. I thought that it was pretty darn good at the time.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I do have a 40-hour work week as a counselor, but the industry I worked prior to this one worked me most weeks 80 hours. So consequently, I have another full week to write for pure joy. I start writing at about 3:00 am every morning until I leave for my day job at 7:30 am. When I get home around 3:00 each weekday I start up again until about 6:00 pm. But on weekends I take it up a few notches with all the free time. Realistically I work on my writing projects for about 25 -30 hours a week. I am a husband of 35 years, a father of four and a grandfather of two as well.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I came from a huge family. And as most folks with large families know, board games are an inexpensive way to entertain ourselves. We'd always get a batch of new games at Christmas along with a new pair of socks and underwear. On one particular low budget Christmas, my father introduced us to a game he claimed he'd invented called, “Uh!”

We'd all gather in the living room and one of us was elected to start. That person would have to create a totally fictitious story out of thin air. They'd pause mid-sentence and let the next player take over from there. This continued around the room until someone hesitated or said “uh”. That player was out and the game continued until only one person was left. The stories were creative and often incredibly strange, each of us attempting to make the next in line chuckle and fumble. It was an awesome game of improvisation and I credit my love of storytelling to that silly game.

So to answer that question; I can make up a story about most anything you throw at me instantly. Improvisation was a trained game from childhood.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
An adult. Wait that’s too vague, isn’t it? I really think I wanted to do something in the sales field like my father. He used to take me on sales calls with him as a boy all the time. He’d be talking and me listening and reading comic books. I loved the way he interacted with folks. My father was an uneducated genius. Everyone I knew loved him, I miss him every day.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I hope they enjoy reading my stories as much as I enjoyed writing them. They’ll see I write in a conversational style and refuse to talk down to either children or young adults. The reason for that is simple, I truly feel more like I’m talking up or on an even playing field with them. My body aged but my mind found the fountain of youth.

I write everything directly from my mind’s eye. Some of my friends and family say my stories read like movies. My response is always the same, they were movies first in my mind, I only wrote them down on paper.

Thanks for being here today, Mark! Happy writing!

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