Friday, June 17, 2011

Dishing it up with Morgan Gallagher

Hi folks, today we’re dishing it up with Changeling author, Morgan Gallagher! Morgan is in her late 40s, and should know better about spending her writing life with vampires. However, she has no choice, as they refuse to go away and leave her alone. She lives in the Scottish Borders, with her husband and their six-year-old son. A full time career for her husband who is severely disabled, Morgan also works as a volunteer for several charities and is passionate about the rights of babies, children and mothers. She has campaigned vigorously against child detention during immigration procedures. She and her husband home educate their son and attempt to keep a never-ending stream of cats under control. The North Sea pounds their fishing village every winter, and every major storm, the entire family are to be found in the car parked on the headland admiring the view. Apart from the cats, that is, who are at home dreaming of summer.

JET: Can you tell us about Changeling?

Morgan: Changeling is a dark and brutal tale. Almost literary in its detailed depiction of day to day lives and living. It’s about a young woman who goes out one night for a night out with her office, and disappears. She’s been taken by a vampire. A very old, very controlling and extremely psychotic vampire. He is not a dark prince, and he is not a hero. He’s a complex psychological mess, and he slowly tries to dismantle his plaything. His plaything, Joanne, is made of sterner stuff than he thinks. Slowly, they change each other. Joanne, the girl, isn’t aware he’s a vampire for a long time, the reader is. In that, there is a great deal of horror. The book is about a battle of wills, and who wins.

JET: What drew you to writing about the paranormal?

Morgan: It’s what I’m best at. I’ve tried to be other things. I’d rather be a science fiction writer. Failing that, fantasy. I’m terrible at science fiction, truly dire. I’m okay at fantasy. In the dark, however, my gift flourishes. I’ve always loved horror. I’m an avid reader. The darkness always mixed well with my background, being Scottish, being brought up with lots of legends of dark powers and lost souls being tricked to their death... it’s natural to me I guess. It’s just what comes out best, when I write. We don’t get to choose what we’re good at!  And I’ve always loved vampires….

JET: What’s been your most challenging hurdle on the road to publication?

Morgan: Dealing with how to portray extreme violence, male to female, without it being either gratuitous, or fetishised. It’s hard stuff to write, and it’s incredibly difficult to read. A couple of beta readers and a reviewer couldn’t hack it. It’s been hard to expose myself by being both so honest and open, and by allowing the story to be what it needs to be.

JET: What was your favorite moment in the journey?

Morgan: My first review. I was terrified, and the author who did it, Betty Carlton, hit it in one. She understood the book, and why it was the shape it was, and how it worked. That was pretty awesome. A close second is the private email I got the week of publication, from a reader who stated the book had helped her cope with her own past, and was healing for her. Reader feedback has been just the best thing. When you spend so long on a book, you somehow think it’s never gonna get out, never gonna get read. And then people you don’t know, have never met, are buying it and thanking you. That’s just wonderful.

JET: Which authors had the most influence over you growing up?

Morgan: It’s a long list! Harlan Ellison, Anne McCaffrey, Stephen King, John Wyndham, James White, Tanith Lee, Minette Walters, Arthur C Clarke, James Herbert, LM Montgomery, The Brontes, Jane Austen, I could go on for some time....

JET: When did you know you wanted to take the plunge into the writing world?

Morgan: I’ve always known. I was given a typewriter for my fifth birthday. A real one: not a toy. I read the way I breathed; without thought of it. It was the same for writing. I started my fist novel at 12. A spy novel!

JET: What’s the craziest thing you’ve done in the name of book research? Most interesting fact you uncovered?

Morgan: Standing around in the North Sea winds in winter, being hit by a sideways wave of water in freezing temperatures, photographing gravestones. Thankfully, it was so bitter cold, and so wet, no one else was around to witness the madness. Most interesting fact? My, you do ask interesting questions. I genuinely don’t think I can answer that, given that my head is packed full with nonsense about so many things. Oh, I know. What happened to the Cemetery of the Innocents in Paris in May 1780. That proved that truth is waaay stranger than fiction. It’s a tiny footnote in the second book, but boy, is it just amazing. Why yes, I am a tease, what made you ask?

JET: Of all the novels and stories you’ve written - which one is your favorite? Why?

Morgan: Changeling. Always will be. It’s my darling. My child. I have other children, but Changeling is the book where I speak the clearest about things that touch me.

JET: Any advice for the novices out there?

Morgan: Write, write write. It’s the only way. It may take ten years to find your voice, it may take twenty. But the only way you have of finding yourself in the words, is to keep churning them out. Write, write, write. That, and find a good editor. Always.

JET: All right - now that I’ve hammered you with the big questions, let’s tackle my favorite (and geeky) quick ten. . . starting with: Paper or Plastic?

Morgan: Paper.

JET: Steak or Tofu?

Morgan: Steak

JET: Beach or Mountains?

Morgan: Beach, but not in the Summer. I like my beaches wild and windy and crashing. You won’t find me on a towel under the sun.

JET: Country or Rock-n-Roll?

Morgan: Country

JET: Paper or Digital?

Morgan: Paper.

JET: Silent Film Classics or Cheesy B Rated Horror?

Morgan: Both. I’m a film teacher.

JET: Coffee or Tea?

Morgan: Tea

JET: Salty or Sweet?

Morgan: Salty

JET: Top 10 best seller or Unknown Back Shelf Find?

Morgan: Unknown Back Shelf Find

JET: 2012 Mayan Prophecy Believer or Ain’t Gonna Happen?

Morgan: Puhleese. *rolls eyes*

JET: Thank you for indulging me. Before we wrap this up, can you tell us what you're working on now? What's next?

Morgan: I should be working on the sequel to Changeling, Lucifer’s Stepdaughter. But when Changeling went out, I found room in my brain for something else. So I’m working on a short horror novel named Bedlam Maternity, set in the East End of London in the present day. I’ll put it out in about 4 months, hopefully, and them get back to Lucifer’s Stepdaughter.

Thank you so much for taking the time to chat on my blog. Folks, you can find out more about Morgan Gallagher and her work at the following places:

Buy Changeling: Amazon UK Amazon USA Smashwords

Author Pages: Ethics Trading Amazon UK Amazon USA

Contact Author: Novel Blog Twitter: @DreyfussTrilogy FaceBook

Join me on Monday when Deborah Riley-Magnus shares her Manic Monday with us.

Until then,



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