Thursday, July 11, 2013

Straight From the Mouth of 'Ancient Guardians: The Legacy of the Key' S.L. Morgan

S.L. Morgan was born and raised in California. After 29 years of living in the Sierra Nevada Mountains there, she and her husband began their journeys of moving throughout the United States. She currently lives in Texas, where she and her husband are raising their three children.

In October of 2011, S.L. Morgan became inspired to write her new novel series, Ancient Guardians. With her passion and love for Jane Austen and other classic romance novels, she was motivated to write a novel series of her own. The Legacy of the Key is the first book in her novel series, taking readers not only into a new magical dimension—but giving them a feeling that they have been transported back in time—into England’s seventeenth century.

With her second novel in this series nearing its release date in late summer 2013, S.L. Morgan is currently writing in the third novel of the

Ancient Guardians series, and is excited to bring her readers on more adventures and journeys with these characters.

Visit her website at

Thanks for letting us interrogate interview you!  Can you give us a go-for-the-gut answer as to why you wanted to be an author?

Initially, I just wanted to put the stories that were in my head down on paper so I could have them to share them with my family.  It wasn’t until I realized how much I enjoyed the writing process that I thought about publishing it for everyone else to read. So, I guess you can say I had no intentions of becoming an author, but I’m certainly pleased that that’s where I ended up.

Tell us (we won’t tell promise!) is it all it’s cracked up to be?  I mean what are the perks and what are the demands?

The best part of being an author for me is letting my imagination flow. I love writing and living in this world with my characters. With that said, writing is the fun and easy part. Having fun playing in a fantasy world, those are the perks. The demands aren’t quite as stimulating. There are hours and hours of editing, revising, rewriting, and enduring through the long, grueling process of ensuring that your readers are easily transported into the story world with you. It’s a long process, but in the end, it’s worth it. After all of that is finally complete, and you’ve got your baby published for everyone to enjoy, now it’s time to get to work on marketing it (so everyone can, indeed, enjoy it).  Every author wants their book ‘out there’ and being read by its targeted audience, but that takes time and a lot of effort. There’s definitely a learning curve, but doing your research makes all the difference!

Which route did you take – traditional or self-published – and can you give us the nitty gritty low down on what’s that like?

I opted to self-publish. The upside to this was that I understood that my book would be released and published much sooner than it would have had I chosen to wait on a publishing house to pick it up and release it. Even though I decided to self-publish, I felt I owed it to the potential readers, my book, and definitely myself to have this book professionally edited. It was the BEST decision I could have ever made. The editors (Bonita Kale, Amanda Baker) polished the novel, provided excellent suggestions, and gave me more confidence than ever to step out into the “publishing world.” With self-publishing, also comes self-marketing. I had to introduce myself to online social sites, and even though it is difficult at times to promote the book, I enjoy interacting with other authors, readers, bloggers, and people I would have never met, had I not had the courage to self-publish.

For me, the most difficult part of self-publishing is that while I must market my books, I am also writing and editing the other books in my series. It is very difficult to step away from writing a chapter or completing an edit on my other books, when a marketing need comes up; it’s not so easy to switch gears sometimes.  I think the most attractive part of having a publishing house behind you is that you can give your undivided attention to writing.

Tell us for real what your family feels about you spending so much time getting your book written, polished, edited, formatted, published, what have you?

My family goes through highs and lows with all of the above, and I think they might have a love/hate relationship with this process by now.  While they’re happy that I’m doing something I love, and they love the stories and characters, it takes a lot of my time away from them, which they aren’t too fond of.  There have been many instances when my husband and the kids are playing or watching a movie together, and they’re bummed that mom has her head in her laptop because she’s in the middle of writing a scene. I do try to include them in my writing process, though; I’ll ask their opinions about what they think should happen, or let them know about an idea I just got and they’ll get excited about it.  I know that they are anxiously awaiting more free time with me, but until then, they’re all good sports and are very supportive about what I do.

This is for pet lovers.  If you don’t own a pet, skip this question, but do your pets actually get their food on time or do they have to wait until you type just one more word?

This is for plant lovers.  If you don’t own a plant, skip this question, but if you do, are they actually still alive?

In writing your book, how did you deal with the phone ringing, your family needing dinner or your boss calling you saying you’re late?

Nothing is more distracting to my thought process than the notifications from my phone! I’m sure this book would have been published long ago had it not been for those interruptions!  Up to this point, my family hasn’t missed a meal, but I won’t lie, we’ve had pancakes for dinner more than a few times during this writing process.

What was the craziest or insane thing that happened to you in the book publishing process?

I think the craziest thing that happened was when I reached out to other authors in one of my author groups to ask about how they dealt with the dreaded “one-star review.” I needed to prepare myself for the fact that there will be people who will love this book, those who find it “alright,” and those who absolutely hate it. So, after reaching out and receiving some very supportive advice, the next thing I knew, I had two one-star reviews on the book and I was amazed to find that they were attached to a couple of other authors out there. I was absolutely dumbfounded that there are authors that would be so malicious to those who are trying to accomplish the same goal, but this is the real world, and stuff like this happens.

How about the social networks?  Which ones do you believe help and which ones do you wish you could avoid?

Goodreads has been very helpful. I have taken advantage of the giveaways and with this I was able to get the book noticed by some who may have never come across it. Twitter has been my absolute favorite! There are so many supportive authors and other artists out there helping each other.

Right now, there are no social media sites that I wish I could avoid; all of them are giving me a way to interact with people.

Book sales.  Don’t you just love them (or lack of?)?  How are you making the sales happen for you?

I absolutely love them because they tell me that people are reading my book. That really is my favorite part. I try not to get too wrapped up in how many sales are coming in, and I tend to joke when the sales fall off, saying things like, “My poor book stalled out, and I gotta do something to help get my kids back in the game.” With my second novel coming out late summer (fingers crossed), I am determined to get more readers on board. I am using Goodreads giveaways, twitter, and blog tours to help increase the visibility of the book and hopefully bring more sales.

What is one thing you’d like to jump on the rooftop and scream about?

That I finally finished my fourth book! If I actually jumped on my roof and screamed about it, I’m sure my neighbors would call to have me put into a mental institution, so I’ll hold off on that for now.

Okay, too much sugar for you today!  Here’s a nice cup of Chamomile tea and come on over and sit under the cabana and watch the waves roll in.  Now…can you tell us what you love about being a published author and how all those things above doesn’t matter because it’s all part of the whole scheme of things and you wouldn’t have it any other way?

Now that sounds enticing! When I step back and look at the whirlwind of everything I went through to publish The Legacy of the Key, I am amazed. But it’s when the readers tell me how much they enjoyed the book, the characters, and the new world of Pemdas, that’s what makes everything worth it. To bring something new to the reading world, to learn that this book has made more than one nonreader want to read; no I would not have it any other way.

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