Today, I’m chatting to Fiona Morgan, author of the romantic suspense novel, Free, and finding out a little more about her.
Welcome to the blog, Fiona. The subject matter of your novel, Free, is quite emotive, and it deals with some fairly powerful issues. What inspires your stories or characters?
When I was writing Free, I wanted to squash the stereotype of the low income, drunken Glaswegian being the domestic abusive person, and show that it could and sometimes is the upper-class, financially secure gentleman. That it can happen in all walks of life.
I am grateful for my friend who works in the police force and helps me with research and answers all the weird and wonderful questions that I ask. Through many of our conversations I have had light bulb moments, ideas coming to me of where to take the story I am working on and even the main idea for my third book. I am also always people watching and love when life gives me ideas and inspiration.
So, how do you go about starting a new project?
Once I have the idea for my new book I get my notebook, which becomes my bible, and start writing notes. I plan my characters, their descriptions, their likes and any particular dislikes I want them to have. I also note down their address, cars they drive or anything else I will need to remember about them, family, work, tattoos etc. Then I write what main events I want to happen, how I want the big finale to go, what research I will need, and some questions I will need to ask to write it all. From there I get a writing pad and pen and write (I would love to say freely, but life isn’t always that kind). My planning doesn’t stop there though, throughout my writing I am constantly taking notes and asking questions.
What’s your favourite inspirational quote?
There are a few inspirational quotes that I like, but the one that I stand by the most isn’t famous, or quoted by anyone famous. It is what I said to myself when I decided to bite the bullet and write the book I’d always thought about. “If I don’t do it, it won’t get done!” I find it to be true and inspirational.
What has surprised you most about being a published author?
The fact that people are buying, reading and actually enjoying my book surprises me everyday! People’s reaction towards me when they find out I’m a published author is amazing, everyone has been full of kind words and support.
Is there anyone who has been particularly influential in your writing career?
My husband has been influential. He is always there when I need help in my writing, from answering my strange questions, being my spell checker and a sounding board to re-enacting some of the scenes in the book so I can get the physicalities and movements of people correct.
My friend Katie has also been inspirational, if it wasn’t for her support and confidence boosting talks that I could write the book, I may still be stuck. I am so grateful to have them both in my life.
How lovely to have such great support! What are your writing goals, long and/or short term?
My short term goals:- I have my second book What’s Mine due to be released in 2018 so I will be promoting that as well as continuing to promote Free. I am also in the middle of writing book number 3.
Long term goals:- I want to continue to write and hopefully become a full time author. As long as the ideas keep coming, I’ll keep writing them.
Which genre would you like to write, but don’t think you could?
I would love to write a psychological thriller, but really don’t think I have the brains for it. The twists and turns involved in them get me dizzy when reading them, but writing them would be like vertigo.
I agree! Fun question: What TV show from your childhood would you want back?
There are loads of old T.V. shows I would love to see back, but I think I would have to pick The A Team. It reminds me of weekends at my Nana’s. I loved how they could all go into a shed with nothing and come out in a tank that they built from spare parts and beat the bad guys hands down! T.V. gold!!
Haha, I remember it well. Another fun question. Your book is being filmed! Who would you cast if you had the chance?
For Nathan the antagonist in Free I think Nicholas Hault (About a Boy and Skins). He was a superb baddie in Skins.
For Neil the hero in Free I would love Martin Compston (Wee Man). He is a fantastic Scottish actor.
For Ava the heroine in Free I have picked Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones, Me Before You) she is delicate and fragile looking, with a backbone of steel. Perfect.
With Jack, Neil’s best friend, I have picked Richard Madden (Game of Thrones). He has a cheeky chap look about him.
Ah, a girl can dream…
Absolutely! What are the best and worst things about being a writer?
The best thing about being a writer has to be the fact that I can write a story, make anything happen in it that I want, enjoy myself whilst writing and other people read it and enjoy it also. I love hearing that people have enjoyed my book, partly because it makes me feel proud that I managed to complete a dream, but mostly that they got pleasure from it.
The worst thing about being a writer is the guilt I feel. If I’m writing I feel guilty that I should probably be doing something else, like cleaning the house, and when I’m doing other things, like cleaning the house, I want to be writing. Most of the time I do deals with myself. Clean the bathroom, then you can write for half an hour, or, if you clean the upstairs today and promise to clean the downstairs tomorrow, you can write for the rest of the day. My favourite promise to myself I nearly never keep is to clean the whole house if I go to Costa and write for an hour… or two.
Where do you write?
I work during the day as a British Sign Language Facilitator and a Deaf Blind Guide Communicator, so I write whenever and wherever I can. This includes in my car, or in the college café before I start work. At night I mostly write sitting on my couch with my husband beside me getting random questions fired at him. Depending on the day and what I’ve promised myself, I sometimes go out for a coffee to write, I always take my writing on holiday with me, or if I’m being particularly lazy (or worked particularly hard the day before) I will do some writing in bed. Anywhere I have somewhere to sit and my pad, I will write.
Thank you, Fiona, for answering my questions. Good luck with the writing!
Fiona lives in the small town of Airdrie near Glasgow with her husband, Liam, and their two daughters, Erin and Sian.
She works as a deafblind guide/communicator and a British Sign Language facilitator, learning British Sign Language after the birth of her second daughter.