Hi Morgan, we're so glad to have you here today. Tell us a little about yourself.
I am married to a wonderful man who is the pastor of a young church in Kansas. Together we are raising four children, two dogs, two cats, and two guinea pigs. When I am not writing, I love to read, bike, and play games with my family.
How long have you been writing?
I have now been writing for over eight years. Whew, that is a long time!
Why did you start writing? Did you always want to be a writer?
I was not one of those people who decided when they were six they would be a writer. But looking back, I realize that storytelling was in my blood. I would write plays and perform them for my family or write stories and illustrate them (there was one about a super hero squirrel, complete with a tiny red cape).I didn’t start writing until shortly after my second child was born. By then I had fallen in love with speculative fiction and was devouring any book I could find. One day I walked into a Christian book store and asked to see their fantasy section (I laugh about that now). The lady gave me a weird look and pointed to the one Frank Peretti book they had on the bottom shelf. I couldn’t believe it. That’s it?
I went home and shared my disappointment with my husband. He said I should write a Christian fantasy. I said no way! But then a couple months later on a trip to Seattle, I had this idea of a young woman with a mark on her hand that allowed her to see inside people’s souls. And that is how my first novel, Daughter of Light, was born.
What is your writing process? Do you write regularly at certain times or just when inspiration hits?
I try and write everyday. Most of the time that is about 500-1,000 words. But sometimes life intervenes and I don’t write. For example, my children are home for the summer. Four children does not equal a nice, quiet house. So I’ve learned to fit in what I can, but be fine if I miss a day here or there. I never want my children growing up believing writing was more important than they were.
If you could only share one piece of advice with aspiring authors, what would it be?
Don’t be so focused on being published that you forget to live life. If you are married, enjoy your spouse. If you have children, enjoy the years you have with them. The writing will always be there, but the relationships may not. So enjoy them now. When the highs and lows in writing hit, it is the relationships in your life that will keep you grounded.
Which are you - panster or plotter?
I am a plotter. I have to know how the book begins, how it will end, and the main plot events before I write a book. My outline is like my map, showing me where I need to go next. However, I don’t plot out every detail, so I can be surprised as I am writing along. That helps keep the story fresh and exciting.
Are you planning any other books?
Yes. I have a steampunk novel that I am slowly plotting out right now. I also have a potential series set in the same world as Follower of the Word, only it takes place 400 years before and explains what happened during the Nordic Wars.
How many books have you written?
So far I have written two books, both in the Follower of the Word series (Daughter of Light and Son of Truth) with a third one in the works.
What are a few interesting things you’ve studied/researched for your latest novel?
Different knife fighting styles. I discovered a little known sicilian knife fighting technique that fit the personality of Caleb Tala (an assassin in my book).
What’s your outlook on fan fiction?
I enjoyed fan fiction long before I became a writer. I think as long as people put the appropriate disclaimers on their work and give credit to the original author, and the author doesn’t mind them playing in his or her world, then fan fiction is a fine way to exercise ideas, writing skills, and story enthusiasm. It is said that imitation is the greatest form of flattery, and fan fiction is just that: imitating a story or author that you love.
When you read, what is your favorite genre?
I read almost everything if it is a good story. I probably lean more toward the speculative, but I also enjoy historicals, suspense, even romance.
If you couldn’t be an author, what would your ideal career be?
I was originally heading into the medical field, specifically research, when God changed the direction of my life. Instead, I worked my husband through seminary and became a mother. Looking back, I’m sure I would have enjoyed a medical career, but I don’t think I would have ever became a writer. I like God’s plan for my life better than the one I had charted out.
What's the weirdest thing you've Googled?
Funeral practices. There are some pretty interesting ways people take care of the dead!
And finally, where can we find you online?
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MorganLBusse (@MorganLBusse)
Thanks so much for joining us today!