Christina Morgan was born and raised in central Kentucky where she currently lives with her husband and two teenage daughters. Her suspense series, The Flesh & Blood Trilogy, was published in 2016, as was her standalone motorcycle club novel, Confessions of an Old Lady. She loves puppies, thunderstorms, caramel macchiatos, the purple (the color, not the movie), dragonflies, and gets a sweet tea from McDonalds almost every single day.
1.What got you into writing / what made you sit down and actually start something? I’ve written fiction (short stories, etc) since I was very young. But in 2013, I was asked to write a short story for a national magazine for attorneys (I’m a practicing litigation paralegal by day). It got rave reviews and I got so much praise for it, it got me thinking perhaps I should sit down and start a novel. I did just that. Ten really bad novels later, I was finally published in 2016 with “Like Father, Like Daughter.”
2.What is a usual writing day like for you, how is it structured?
I usually only get to write at night, after dinner and the kids are in bed. I work full-time as a paralegal by day, so I don’t have as much time as I’d like to devote to writing. But the weekends are all about me and my stories.
3.Do you get writers block? If so, how do you overcome it?
Never seriously. Occasionally, I’ll get stumped on how to get from point A to point B in a novel, but I usually just think it over during a quiet car ride, or in the bath, or when lying down at night before I go to sleep. Usually, it only lasts a couple of days.
4.Are you a plotter or pantser when it comes to writing a story?
Not sure exactly what a “pantser” is (laughs at her own ignorance), but if you’re asking if I outline my novels before I write them, the answer is – kind of. I don’t completely outline the entire novel. I keep a working outline to add to as I’m writing and ideas come to me. For the most part, I start with a small idea, then just sit down and write as it comes to me.
5.Are you traditionally or self-published?I was first published by Limitless Publishing in 2016. I did TRY my hand at self-pubbing several years ago, though I had no idea what I was doing. I simply wanted to see my books in print and have something for my girls to put on their bookshelves. I’ll never do that again. For me, it’s go big or go home.
6. What was the publishing process like for you? Any advice to aspiring authors?
I can’t say it was all that difficult. I did write several not-so-great books over the course of a three year period that went nowhere, but I was only seriously querying for about 3 years before I was picked up by my first agent and then was published (without my agent – long story) less than a year after that. My best advice is pretty cliché…just never give up. No, scratch that. It’s to read, research, and study. I didn’t get better at writing until I learned to do those three things religiously.
7.What has been your highlight since becoming a published author?
Just recently, someone anonymously nominated me for a publishing award. That was pretty cool, especially considering I have no idea who did it (probably my mom).
8.Can you share a little of your most recent book with us, including genre and targeted audience? Of course (but not too much, right?)! It’s the story of a kidnapping told from the viewpoints of the kidnapper, his victim, and the two men (old rivals; one a detective, the other a crime boss) fighting to bring her home safely. It’s a suspense/thriller audience that will hopefully appeal to men and women between twenty and one hundred. It’s the first time I’ve ever written from a man’s perspective, let alone three men, so I’m truly hoping I target a larger audience this time, as opposed to my more female driven previous novels.
9.What tip would you give to new authors when trying to build a fan-base / get followers and market their books? (What to do and what not to do.)People may disagree, but I don’t find it necessary to spend a lot of money on marketing websites, etc. When I was marketing Like Father, Like Daughter, I did a lot of work myself. I managed to book a television news show, I was featured in the second largest newspaper in my state, and I did several book signings at local bookstores. I saw a big difference in my royalties the next month. And none of that cost me hardly a penny.
10.How long on average does it take you to write a book?I get a hard time over this sometimes, but not long at all. I think the average for me is between 8 and 12 weeks. That’s just the first draft, though. If you count all the time spent revising and editing and then querying, I’d say from beginning to end, about a year.
11.Tell us about the book cover/s, how the designing came about, whether you had much input etc. My publisher has on-staff designers they use. I was fortunate to get a pretty cool designer. Actually, though, the first draft of the cover for LFLD was not good. The design was very cool and professionally done, but it didn’t fit my novel at all. Luckily, yes, I was able to have input and expressed my concerns. Eventually, after three drafts, we came up with a design I was content with.
12.Apart from writing, what do you do in your spare time?If I’m not working during the day as a paralegal (have I said that enough yet?), or spending time with my husband and daughters, I’m usually reading. I read a new book every week or so. I try to take Stephen King’s advice to heart. He says you can’t be a good writer if you don’t read. Reading is practice and you can learn a lot, especially if you read within your genre. Plus, I just really enjoy reading.
Christina Morgan (Facebook)