#interview with Morgan J. Muir #author of Aeonian Dreams @lovingthebook
Morgan J Muir lives in Utah with her fantastic husband, three offspring, and as many cats (but she doesn’t carry them with kits in sacks, and has never been to St. Ives). She grew up riding horses and motorcycles and listening to her grandmother read poetry. She grew up reading any sci-fi/fantasy novel she could get her hands on and so was surprised the day she discovered that she also really enjoyed historical fiction.
Morgan always loved to write and draw and her parents always liked to say that they knew she’d write a book some day. Ever since she was small she told stories and drew pictures for her tales. When she got old enough, all of her spare time between classes was spent writing and she always had a notebook with her.
Her first novel was originally written after her first child was born, to help her pass the long, lonely hours as a new stay-at-home mom. As her kids got older and more came she was too busy to do much with her stories, until one year she was introduced to NaNoWriMo, which finally rekindled the spark that led her to finish what she’d started.
Morgan’s favorite authors are Brandon Sanderson, Kristen Britain and Marion Zimmer Bradley.
Name / Pen name & little about yourself:
My name is Morgan J Muir, and I live with my husband and kids in Roy, Utah, which is about an hour north of Salt Lake City, and I enjoy playing ice hockey.
When did you first realise you wanted to be a writer?
I think my parents knew that I’d be a writer someday long before I did. I always loved to read, I remember as a small child discovering that the bilboards along the freeway had words, and I’d read them aloud to my parents, just for the joy of reading.
I think the thing that had the biggest impact on me, though, was one day in school, in fourth grade, I had finished all my work, and my teacher had a little bookshelf of old books we could borrow and read when we were finished with our work. I picked one with a dark, edgy unicorn on the cover, and absolutely fell in love with fantasy, and with the idea of telling my own stories. I’m not sure exactly when I started writing my stories down, but all through the rest of my school career I always had a notebook and pen with me, working on stories.
However, life, jobs and kids, got in the way and I stopped writing. About three or four years ago a friend of mine introduced me to NaNoWriMo, and I once again fell in love. I dusted off an old book that I’d written after my first child was born and decided it was time to get serious, and that I really, honestly, wanted to be a writer.
What genre are your books? and what made you write in that genre?
Fantasy is my favourite thing to write. I have written historical fantasy, which Aeonian Dreams is, but I’ve found that my true love is straight up fantasy. In fact, I once tried writing a historical romance and made it a full two sentences before my character was using magic, and just like that, it was back to fantasy. I think what draws me to it the most is that I love to read it. I love the freedom of writing in it, and creating in it, and not having to research if a certain type of ship existed in this time frame, or if rifling existed in guns yet, or if it was reasonable that a person who was 18 had sailed to China more than once. Plus, making up curse words and insults in a fantasy world is incredibly fun.
When did you write your first book and how old were you?
I’ve always written, but I started my first published book right after my first child was born. I was 23 at the time. However, I didn’t get around to finishing the editorial and publishing aspects until several years later. I was 30 at the time.
Where do you get your ideas for your books?
My core ideas tend to come from music. I like to start with an idea, or an emotional scenario, and I build my stories around that. The ideas that fill in the gaps and flesh out the stories tend to come to me in quiet moments when I am not otherwise engaged in using my mind.
How long does it typically take you to write a book?
It really depends on the length of the book. At this point, I would say a typical 80k word book for me might take six months to create the first draft, if it’s the only thing I’m working on. After the draft is complete, my editing process to get it ready for publication can take up to a year.
How many books have you written? Which is your favourite?
I have 2 published and 4-5 more that I am working on. I’ve found that my favourite book, the one I’m most excited about, is always the one I’m working on.
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? How do you overcome it?
I’ve joined the camp who believes that writer’s block doesn’t actually exist, that it is a symptom. Either you’re bored and need a break, or there’s something wrong with your story that you need to fix. When I feel like I just don’t know what to do next, I either take a break and wait for my subconscious to give me an idea (this can only happen if I’m physically doing things), or try to figure out what is wrong, or just start working on another scene from a different character.
Have you done any collaborations with other writers?
What do you think of reviews?
I think they’re important for readers, to help them know what they can expect out of a book and to help them feel confident that what they’re spending their money on is worth it.