Thursday, May 2, 2013

Featured Author: Robin Leigh Morgan

Robin Leigh Morgan is here today to talk about her book, I Kissed a Ghost, a MG/YA paranormal/time travel/first kiss romance.

About the book: 

Special day. Special time. Another kiss. It sounds as if these three things are all related to each other. But how are they related?

Interview with Robin Leigh Morgan

What do you like best about writing? What’s your least favorite thing?

Without any hesitation my favorite part of writing is typing that elusive final period of my manuscript and actually being able to get my book into the hands of people who I hope will enjoy reading.

Now on the other hand my least favorite part is the on-going, almost constant, editing, and re-reads I need to do.

How did you come up with the title of your book?

Selecting a title for a book had been a very challenging experience for me; but after racking my brain over it, I decided to merely summarize the premise for the entire story in as few words as possible until I had something which could be used as the title for my book. Hence, since the story is about a girl (Mary) and her kissing the ghost (George) she had living in her house; the story had to be called, I Kissed a Ghost.

Do you outline, write by the seat of your pants, or let your characters tell you what to write?

If you’re asking me whether I’m a plotter or a pantser; I’d probably say a little of both. I make a skeleton of an outline, writing down the basic plot points I’d like to hit as the story unfolded; and as a sculptor starting with a wire base of what they’d like to have, I add material, then take some away. I keep on repeating this process until I have the finished product I had in mind.

How did you come up with your cover art?

I used CreateSpace to design my cover. I told them what my book is about as well as the elements I’d like to see in my cover. The first go around for some reason they missed the age group my book is intended for, and on the second go around they gave me the cover I have now and a cover which would have been appropriate for a slightly older audience. All in all I feel did a superb job on the book’s cover.

What do you do to market your book?

I do what all authors do, whether they’re traditionally published or self-published. I use the same social media networks as everyone else. I tried to have reviews done by individuals who I feel will fair in what they have to say. And I do interviews so my potential readers will be able to learn more about me, my writing, and of course, my book.

Do you have imaginary friends? When do they talk to you?

I wouldn’t say I’ve got any imaginary friends that I interact with as I write. However, I do read my dialogue out loud so I can “hear” how it sounds. Reading out loud is also a great way to find errors in what you’ve written simply because you’re using a different way to find them. If you just read what you’ve written after a while you become too familiar with what come next that you’ll pass over the errors. (This is true even if you have put the manuscript aside for a few weeks.)
When you start a new book, do you know what the entire cast will be?

I believe I’d be like most authors. I knew who my main two or three characters would be, and depending on which way I decide to take the storyline will determine who my additional characters will be and how many I will have. When I typed that elusive final period for I Kissed a Ghost, I had eliminated about four characters; four nice characters who unfortunately didn’t do anything to help move the story along.

How do you name your characters?

I wanted my characters to have names which most readers would be able to relate to, which would mean the most popular names for people. Since the intended age group for my book is around 14 – 15, I’d need to know what these names were in the year they would have been born in; and the same would apply for all the other characters in the book.

Soon after I began writing this book I did a post on my web site where I discussed this matter. You can read it here.

How do you handle criticism of your work? 
When it comes from a fellow author/writer, I never take criticism as criticism. I take it as a form of guidance and support from one author to another. Otherwise, I listen and then take whatever has been said with a grain of salt.

Do you have a routine for writing?
Being retired has finally allowed me to really start a second career as an author. In addition to having published my first novel, market and promote it. I now have time to relax, socialize in the nearby community center at lunch, go shopping, etc. I’m set my own flexible schedule which includes time for writing my second novel, a yet untitled contemporary romance with a paranormal element running through the storyline. I don’t like having a rigid schedule now, I had enough of one for the 33+ years I worked nonstop; a schedule which did not really allow me time to pursue my writing career.

Where and when do you prefer to do your writing?

In the second bedroom we have in our apartment, while some soft easy listening type music is playing. I use AOL radio because of the limited interruptions I get. The music acts like a white noise, blocking out most of the additional noises I might have still hear.

Where’s home for you? 

NYC Metropolitan area.

Do you ever get writer’s block? What do you do when it happens?"

It used to be allowing my mind to clear itself of almost everything related to my writing. Right now I’ve found participating in the several Flash Fiction prompts helps me get the creative juices flowing in those little grey cells I’ve got inside my head. You can read my endeavors in any of my blogs sites.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

One of the things I really love doing is watching on NetFlix the TV shows I used to love growing up, and right now it’s the last four episodes of The Wild Wild West

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?


If you could take a trip anywhere in the world, where would you go?


What are you working on now?

As I’ve stated above, I had started to write a contemporary romance but never completed writing it. Now with my debut YA novel self-published, I’ve returned to writing the romance manuscript I had started many years ago and approaching it anew with the knowledge I’ve gained along the way in writing I Kissed a Ghost. The reason I’ve returned to writing it is relatively simple, I’ve always felt somewhat incomplete not having completed something I once had started out to do, and I now want to fill the void it has created in my life.

Do you have any advice to an aspiring author?
I’d tell them never give up living your dream of becoming a writer, as you can tell from reading about me, I never did. Before you start looking for a publisher, or even an agent, you MUST have your manuscript edited--granted the editor you select might miss a few minor points, but at least it’s now in a much more presentable condition. Publishers want manuscripts that can be easily edited by their own editing staff, without them having to correct countless misspellings and grammatical errors.

About the author:                                        

Robin Leigh Morgan is a retired NYC civil servant who’s been married for nineteen years but has no children. They have two cats. Her writing experience started with writing commentary type items for a community newspaper for almost eleven years.

If you would like to read several unedited snippets from the book, you can do so under the category of “GHOSTLY WHISPERS” on any of the author's blog sites:
My Pen Name OnlyRobin Leigh Morgan | Becoming An Author

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