roh morgon

~ out with the old . . .

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All-in-all, 2017 was a good year.

It began on a hopeful note as the re-write of Runner: Book II of The Chosen neared completion, making the novel’s pending publication more tangible.

Once I handed over the final draft to my editor, Jodi Lester, several other dreams began morphing from fantasy to reality: 1) the long-planned release of a professionally edited version of Watcher: Book I of The Chosen, and 2) publishing it with a new, professionally designed cover.

My deepest thanks go to Jodi, and to the cover design crew at Deranged Doctor Design, for bringing the realization of both those dreams to fruition.

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I’m also extremely grateful to my beta readers for their time and effort spent to read and comment on Runner. Their feedback provided me the information necessary to fine-tune the story and more fully immerse readers into the world of The Chosen.

I did manage to take a couple short breaks from the mad race toward publication of the two novels. The first break was a quiet week in May spent visiting my parents in Arizona; the second was a week-long cross-country trip in August to witness the Great American Eclipse in Casper, Wyoming. The eclipse was phenomenal, and I’ll never again look at a sunrise or a sunset without remembering the magic of the 360-degree twilight we experienced in the middle of the day.

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After we returned from our eclipse trip, efforts to complete the edits on both books began in earnest. Jodi and I spent the next two months swapping versions of the books back and forth in a flurry of further editing and proofreading. As the October publishing dates neared, I donned my publisher hat and began prepping the manuscripts for both paperback and ebook editions. Jodi and I were literally editing and formatting clear up to the midnight deadlines for each of the books with scarcely a breath between.

But it was well-worth the effort. The second edition of Watcher: Book I of The Chosen was successfully released on October 7; Runner: Book II of The Chosen followed on October 25.

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October was busy in the PR department as well. The books and I were featured in eight different blogs and newsletters in the first real promotion I’ve done since Watcher’s initial release in 2011. Between those appearances and my engagement of an ARC (Advance Review Copy) distribution service, Watcher picked up a significant number of reviews. At this time, Watcher has nearly fifty (50!) 4-star and 5-star reviews, with new ones rolling in every day.

Also in October, I discovered a new music idol. Ludovico Einaudi is an Italian pianist and composer whose wonderful compositions defy any one-word description. Combining classical, rock, pop, and electronica, he frequently backs his piano with avant-garde string sections and semi-psychedelic visuals in concert. Though he’s a far cry from the hard rock artists I favor such as Tool and Nine Inch Nails, or the bluesy sounds of The Black Keys and the retro-psychedelic moods of The Black Angels and Wooden Shjips, he is currently my favorite musician. I used several songs from his “In a Time Lapse” album in Runner, and am already building the Seeker playlist with his music as its foundation.

November and December were as hectic as those months usually are, and it was with some relief—and some reluctance—that I stepped away from the book business to focus on shopping, cooking, and visiting family for the holidays.

As I look back over the year, I feel grateful for all that I have and all that I’ve achieved. My family members are doing well and are in reasonably good health, and I’m thankful to have been able to spend time on several occasions with my aging parents. They, along with my children and my husband, fully support my writing, and I’m fortunate to have their love and encouragement.

Writing is a balancing act, and with a day job and family, there is little time to pursue other interests. But, as cliché as it sounds, it is important to stop and smell the roses. Or watch a sunset in the middle of the day, or hug a parent or a grandchild.

With the publication of Watcher and Runner now behind me, I’m looking ahead to the next chapters in both the series and in my own life.

Farewell 2017. It’s been a good year, and I look forward to the next one.

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roh morgon @ Monday, 1 January 2018 11:50 pm
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~ launch day #2

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Today is Launch day for Runner: Book II of The Chosen. The day it is officially available for purchase or borrowing as a Kindle Unlimited title.

It’s been a long journey for both the book and for me. But it’s over now – the editing, the revisions, the formatting, and the uploading.

It feels a bit surreal to no longer worry about this book ever being published.

Now my worry is a new one – that fans of Watcher: Book I of The Chosen will find its sequel equally engaging.

Guess we’ll just have to wait for the reviews to roll in and hope for the best.

But I suspect fans might like reading about the new challenges facing Sunny and how she deals with them.

Meanwhile, it’s time to turn my attention to Seeker: Book III of The Chosen and follow Sunny as her story continues.

roh morgon @ Wednesday, 25 October 2017 9:36 pm
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~ pre-orders for new Watcher: Book I of The Chosen

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Last week, the new cover for the second edition of Watcher: Book I of The Chosen was revealed. Apparently folks like it – the two facebook posts picked up nearly 100 likes by unique viewers in less than two days, which, for me, was pretty spectacular considering the small number of followers I have.

A few people asked me about pre-orders, so as a thank you to my followers, pre-orders for the ebook version are now enabled at a discounted price.

Paperback pre-orders should hopefully be ready sometime later on this week.

As the official release date of October 7 nears, I’m scrambling to get the word out to readers and reviewers. There was never an official “launch” for the first edition, which was released six years ago almost to the day. This time around, I have a small, but very devoted following, and am trying to launch the new Watcher properly.

But this is also practice – because three weeks later, Runner: Book II of The Chosen, will be released as well. And since this is a “virgin” release, I’m doing everything I can to publicize it, including the promotion of its now grown-up sister, Watcher.

As I mentioned previously, I feel like I’ve just graduated high school and am starting college at the University of Life as a Published Writer.

Thank you to all of my supporters for sharing this journey with me.

Here is the link for ordering the ebook version of Watcher: Book I of The Chosen:

https:/www.amazon.com/dp/B075QP4H2Q

roh morgon @ Saturday, 23 September 2017 8:13 am
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~ 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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~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.

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