I am very excited about this month's writer interview. She has published material in various genres, and has contributed to several different anthologies (see images below for a few examples). So it is my great pleasure to introduce you, the versatile writer, catt dahman.
Like some of my previous writer showcases, I was lucky to meet Ms. Morgan via the Facebook page called The Better Writer’s Group, and was kind enough to volunteer for my writer interviews.
(w/ Roy C. Booth)
Altered States: a cyberpunk sci-fi anthology
‘The Walk’ – Druscilla Morgan
A FOREST OF DREAMS fantasy anthology edited by Roy C Booth
“The Last Unicorn” – Druscilla Morgan
Short Bio: I am a Sydney born writer and artist who loves cats, horses and vampires. I write short stories and novels in the horror, fantasy and science fiction genres. I enjoy weaving a narrative that both entertains and challenges my readers.
My short stories have been published in several anthologies and magazines. My debut novel, BLOOD OF NYX, co-authored with Roy C Booth, was published in 2016 by Indie Authors Press.
- Blood of Nyx (Horror novel, 2016)
- The Dragon Whisperer (Into the Mist anthology, 2016)
- Blood Bond (Corpus Deluxe, Tales of the Undead anthology, 2015)
- The Flower Seller (Like a Girl Anthology for PLAN, 2015)
- The Walk (Altered States: A Cyberpunk Sci-fi Anthology, 2014
- Bella Vista (Tied in Pink: A Romance Anthology Supporting Breast Cancer Research)
- Raising Rudi (In Shambles: A Scarlett Nightmare II horror anthology, 2014)
- The Last Unicorn (A Forest of Dreams fantasy anthology, 2014)
Current Projects: I am currently working on a stand-alone horror novel, along with the sequel to BLOOD OF NYX.
- Amazon: https://goo.gl/6lrT5J
- Facebook: https://goo.gl/b02DRn
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/DruscillaMorgan
- Wordpress: https://druscillamorganwriter.wordpress.com/
When did you begin writing?
My love for writing began in my early school years. I eagerly devoured as many books as I could, immersing myself into worlds that inspired and fed my passion for the written word. However, I did not seriously start writing until four years ago, when I began working on the vampire novel which was to become Blood of Nyx.
Did you receive any special training or attend a school?
No, not particularly, although I did complete an online writing course which was very helpful.
Most of my skills have been gathered through writing websites and groups, along with invaluable input and insight from other writers and mentors, including my co-author Roy C Booth. I cut my writer’s teeth on several short stories which I submitted to anthologies. I can highly recommend this as a pathway into publishing, as there is a steady stream of independent publishers seeking submissions for anthologies and magazines.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I find inspiration in many, different ways. Often, reading beautifully written prose by other authors can inspire me creatively. I find much of my inspiration for storylines comes from real life. For example, I wrote Raising Rudi after watching a documentary on women who visit Rudolph Valentino’s grave with unswerving love and dedication, year after year.
Human nature is also a source of fascination for me. I studied psychology whilst gaining my qualifications in welfare work, and that interest has always stayed with me, manifesting in my characters as they emerge and claim their place in my imagination.
What is (in your opinion) the most important thing to remember when writing, and why is it so important?
It’s difficult for me to nail down one important thing, but if I were to choose, it would be to learn the craft of writing and keep learning! Learn by reading books you love by authors you admire. Learn by taking a writing course, or participating in a writers’ group or workshop. Writing is so much more than throwing a few words onto paper and, while talent is important, it is rarely enough in itself to produce a skilfully written story.
What is (in your opinion) the most challenging part of writing, and how do you overcome it?
For me, the discipline involved in writing regularly and prolifically is the greatest challenge. I’m a bit of a free spirit when it comes to most things, including sitting my butt down in a chair and writing a story. Writing with another, more experienced writer helped when working on Blood of Nyx. In the end, however, there’s no other way to overcome procrastination than to just sit down and write!
Did you use an agent? (why or why not?)
No, I approached publishers myself, submitting to anthologies initially. Roy saw some of my early writing and asked if I’d be interested in collaborating. I was thrilled and found the experience rewarding. Our publisher, Jorge Salgado-Reyes at Indie Authors Press, is great to work with. I find most independent publishers are happy to give new authors a go if they can see merit in their work. I did try to pitch to agents at one point, but it is a competitive process and not for the faint-hearted.
Did you use an Editor? If not, what process did you use to edit your work?
I usually go through around five edits before I think a story is ready to submit. From that point onwards, I work with the publisher and their editor to tweak and polish the finished manuscript.
How did you get your book published? (self-published, Vanity publishing, Mainstream publisher).
All my work has been published through independent publishers and magazines. I have never used Vanity Press.
Do you handle your own marketing?
I do take on much of my own marketing, but it is a shared task with my publisher and my co-author. Most publishers today, including the Big Guys, expect authors to pull their weight with marketing.
What is your best marketing tip?
Build a marketing platform, including a webpage, Facebook page, Twitter account and blog. Network on social sites and most importantly, get reviews for your book. Seriously. Reviews raise your rankings and reviews sell books!
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Again, learn the craft! Accept critiques gracefully and recognize them as an opportunity to further develop your writing skills. Develop a thick skin, you’re going to need it.
If you are planning to self-publish, please, PLEASE get a professional editor before you hit the publish button. No writer has such an unbiased eye that they can pick up every plot-hole, unnecessary adverb or poorly constructed sentence.
Along similar lines, unless you are a graphic artist and know your way around Photoshop, please entrust your cover to a professional cover artist. An amateur cover will not do your novel justice.
Last but certainly not least, admire and be inspired by other authors but find your own, distinctive writing voice.
Some good points have been brought up in this interview, and hopefully everyone found it as helpful and informative as I did. It made me realise just how important it is to get yourself out there, and start networking early.
I would like to give a heartfelt thanks to Druscilla Morgan for taking the time to take this interview. Her participation and insight was truly appreciated.
Until Next time.