roh morgon

~ a little history

I’ve been a reader since I can remember. I started with animal stories, and along the way fell in love with a magnificent Arabian stallion called The Black in Walter Farley’s The Black Stallion. I read the whole series, and anything else about horses that I could get my hands on.

My next phase was the Readers’ Digest Condensed Books for Children. Though they were shortened versions, without the RD books I probably never would have been exposed to such classics as Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, Moby Dick, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, and countless others.

When I was in junior high school, my dad signed me up for the Science Fiction Book Club. Every 30 days they would send their book-of-the-month. I read Planet of the Apes, 2001: A Space Odyssey and Dune long before they were made into movies, along with many other science fiction classics.

I briefly dabbled in westerns when I spent a summer with my grandparents, and I fell head over heels for the steel-eyed, silent stranger who was fast with a gun and saved the day.

And then I discovered fantasy. Lord of the Rings opened up doors to lands even more wonderful that those in the wild west or on the faraway planets of science fiction, and I quickly immersed myself into realms ruled by magic and swords.

In the 1990s, the movie Interview with a Vampire introduced me to a new genre. After I read all of Anne Rice’s books, I consumed every vampire story I could get my hands on. Wonderful stories by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, Elaine Bergstrom, Nancy Collins, Nancy Baker and many others showed me how a simple mythology can have so many different—and fascinating—interpretations.

Fast forward to 2008. Vampires had taken over pop culture, thanks to the Twilight books and movies. Stephanie Meyer brought a new twist to the genre, one I thought was actually quite clever in spite of the grumblings by critics about “sparkly vampires.”

And then, one morning in December, I woke up with this sad, lonely vampire woman in my head. I couldn’t stop thinking about her, and when I got to work, I quickly wrote a one-page lament in her voice. She talked about her isolation, her fear of killing someone, and her anguish at watching her daughter live out her life from afar.

I wasn’t sure what to do at that point. I’d always thought about writing books, but never felt I had the time. Writing was something I’d decided would have to wait until I was retired.

But this creature, this vampire woman, would not leave me alone. And I found myself wondering about her life, and how she spent her time, and what had happened to make her this way.

And so, in early January 2009, I gave in and started writing down the bits of her existence that she revealed to me. Sunny showed me her life as though it were a movie, and all I did was translate the film into words on a computer screen.

Nicolas entered the picture a week or so later. Together they were relentless, and as their story unfolded in my head, movie-fashion, I could do nothing but write.

They would start in on me late at night, at 10:00, or maybe 11:00 – just when I was ready to go to bed. The movie played, and I had no choice but to type.

Sleep was a reward they allowed me only after the clock showed 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning, and I would gratefully shut down my computer and stagger to bed. My alarm would go off the next morning at 6:00 a.m., and I would crawl to work. After a long day, I returned home, only to repeat the cycle again, and again.

Weekends became typing marathons, with 5:00 a.m. bedtimes and 8:00 a.m. wakeups. And the movie played, and my fingers could only comply with the pressure to get the story out.

And I learned what it’s like to live with vampires.

Five months later, the first draft of the novel was completed. I then spent the next eighteen months learning how to write (something I’m still working on), and in October 2011, Watcher: Book I of The Chosen was born.

Since then, I’ve written several short stories in the Watcher world, along with a number of stories in a new YA series.

But the vampires refuse to let me go just yet. Runner: Book II of The Chosen is scheduled for release in Fall 2017—and there are more stories about their world on the way.

roh morgon @ Thursday, 13 July 2017 10:32 pm
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~ Watcher re-boot

Watcher re-boot?

Yes.

It’s been six years since Watcher: Book I of The Chosen was released. In that time, the series has gained a small but dedicated following.

And so, with the pending release of Runner: Book II of The Chosen this fall, I thought it was a good time to do something I’ve wanted to do for a long time:

Re-release a professionally edited Watcher, with new and improved content – and a brand new cover.

The editing was finished some time ago, but with my focus on completing Runner, it was necessary to delay actually incorporating those edits.

Runner is now with my editor, and Watcher is getting a serious makeover – one that I hope will make it more worthy to be the flagship of this series.

But even with snappier dialog, expanded scenes, and a flashy new cover, the heart of the story remains the same – a story about choice, about love and loss, and about coming out stronger on the other side.

 

 

roh morgon @ Sunday, 9 July 2017 10:54 pm
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~ 2017 update

2016 was a busy year that included a number of positive events in my life.

Most importantly, a serious health condition that has dogged me for much of my adult life has been resolved. I’m getting healthier by the day and that spark (which had been fading the last few years) has returned. I’m grateful to be alive.

My new lease on life motivated me to take a trip this past summer to a magical place featured in many of my favorite stories – ROMANIA. Even better, the trip was hosted by Dacre Stoker, the great-grandnephew of Dracula author Bram Stoker.

As my husband and I visited Romanian villages and hiked the Carpathian Mountains, I realized our trip was not only to another place, but another time. I absorbed as many sights, sounds, and smells as I could, and hopefully I’ll be able to reproduce some of those experiences in my next novel.

Another significant life event was a change in my day job, which now brings me more satisfaction and will allow me more time – and energy – for writing. In addition, for the first time I can truly see retirement on the not-too-distant horizon.

My dream of writing full-time is now a little closer.

As for my writing itself . . .

*  “Saving Magic”, a young adult fantasy from my Forbidden Doorways series, will be released this spring. “Magic” was originally written for the Fresno Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Woadsbury anthology. Unfortunately, the anthology never saw publication.

*  “The Games Monsters Play”, a novelette of The Chosen, was published September 2016 and is now available on Amazon in both print and ebook formats.

“Games” is an expanded version of the story that first appeared in 2013’s “High Stakes: A Vampire Anthology”, edited by Gabrielle Faust and published by Evil Jester Press. The story follows a minor character from Watcher and introduces a major character from Runner.

*  “Runner: Book II of The Chosen”, after more revisions than I can count, is finally with my editor. I will not promise a publishing date (because that seems to be a promise I’ve been unable to keep so far), but I’m going to do everything I can to get it published this year.

*  “Seeker: Book III of The Chosen” is in development. All I can say about it is that my trip to Romania last summer has provided me wonderful backdrop material for Sunny’s continuing journey.

That’s it for now. It’s great to be back in the game.

roh morgon @ Saturday, 18 February 2017 3:03 pm
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~2016 update

New year. New determination.

I am writing.

I am editing.

Runner will be published by the end of the year.

The last three years have been a wild roller coaster ride. Every time I’ve thought I had control of my life again, or at least some semblance of it, some new challenge rose, frequently flanked by a couple old ones.

But everything feels different now.

My medical and family issues have slowly resolved, finally allowing my creative self to unfurl her wings and climb out from the protective cocoon in which she’s been hiding.

And it feels so glorious to stretch those wings.

My edit of Runner has morphed into a complete re-write of the first section, something that I hadn’t anticipated.

But it’s a good thing. In fact, it’s a great thing, and as it turned out, was absolutely necessary.

Runner‘s opening scene – about 20,000 words – hit the page in 2009, right after I completed the first draft of Watcher. It slowly evolved, 20,000-40,000 words at a time, until the initial draft was complete in late 2013.

Once the final chapter was done, it was time to turn my attention to an early chapter which I had purposely skipped. Medical research was needed to complete it, but that turned out to be much more difficult than I realized. I finally met an ER nurse who gave me a crash course in ER procedures (thank you, Janeane) and made me painfully aware that the scenes leading up to that chapter were completely unrealistic and needed major revision. Further discussions with my sister-in-law, a surgical nurse instructor, helped me fine-tune the scenes and keep them as medically accurate as possible.

And so the re-write began.

But like I said before, that was absolutely necessary. And not just because some of the details were wrong.

The writing was, well, not that great. I wrote those initial chapters five to seven years ago, and in the intervening years, something cool happened.

My writing improved. A lot.

And the first section of Runner is so much better now. There’s a maturity to the writing that even I can see, and I’m grateful I had the opportunity to write this story the right way BEFORE it’s published.

So for those of you who’ve been wondering if you’d ever see Watcher‘s sequel, believe me when I tell you this:

It will be well worth the wait.

And so I slowly step back into the writing world.

I was recently accepted as a featured author at the Great Valley Bookfest in Manteca on October 8th. And next week, I’ll be helping the San Francisco chapter of the Horror Writers Association with their booth at the Bay Area Book Festival.

And in July?

I’m traveling to Romania for an 11-day tour of the country as research for Seeker, my third book in the Chosen series. I’ll post more on that later.

Several weeks ago, I attended StokerCon, the Horror Writers Association convention and awards. I hugged writer friends I haven’t seen in three years, and made some great new ones. The workshops re-energized me, but it was being back in the presence of so much wonderful creativity that really strengthened my determination to finish my current projects and start new ones. That, and the belief in me and my writing that my close friends and family have, is giving me the drive and the energy to pursue my passion and my dream of someday being able to do this full-time.

Because I have so many wonderful stories to tell.

:)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

roh morgon @ Sunday, 29 May 2016 5:42 pm
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~checking in

Thought I’d check in and give you an update.

I’m in the midst of a major revision to the first part of Runner. I know – I thought it was done. But after consulting with an expert on an important part of the storyline, I needed to make some changes. I thought it was going to be the simple addition of a scene and maybe some minor corrections surrounding it. But that’s not the case. It’s amazing how one little change creates a ripple effect, and the tiny blip that was on the edge of your radar is now dead center and staring you down through sights aimed right at your face!

So, yeah. Gonna be a little longer. But I’m halfway through it – finishing it depends on just how much time real life demands of me.

I am also working on another project, one a little more personal and something totally different for me. When my mother was a child, she was given the Civil War diaries of her great-grandfather. He was a well-known war correspondent who regularly wrote articles for the National Tribune, a weekly newspaper based in Washington, D.C.

It’s been her lifelong dream to publish those diaries in the form of a book, and she has been transcribing them – first on a typewriter, then on a computer – for much of her life. She recently started prepping the finished book for publication through Amazon/Create Space and was having trouble with the formatting. I volunteered to help her, and am slowly straightening out the many kinks that Word can throw into a document. And no, not interested in using Scrivener or InDesign – I’m pretty good at beating Word into submission and just don’t have time to learn to use new software at this point.

So anyhow, my latest foray into publishing is now in the realm of non-fiction. I love this business – there’s always something new to learn and new territory to explore.

And for those who are Civil War buffs, I’ll let you know when this book is out. It’s pretty interesting – my great-great grandfather was certainly in the thick of things. I’m enjoying getting to know him, too. It’s kinda cool to think I might’ve inherited some of his talent.

roh morgon @ Sunday, 1 February 2015 12:22 pm
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