Today we have Morgan L. Busse with us. Morgan writes both fantasy and steampunk and is the author of the Follower of the Word series, including Daughter of Light, a Christy and Carol award finalist. Along with writing, she is married to pastor and mother of four kids. In her free time, she enjoys games (both board and video), reading, and taking long walks. Typically you can find her hanging out with her laptop, a cup of tea, and her animal companions.
Please welcome Morgan L. Busse!
1) Everyone seems to have a “how I got published” story. What is yours?
It took giving up writing to be published. Curious? Here is my story.
For years I wrote during my kids’ naps, at night, and any other time I could find a spare moment. I wanted to be an author so bad I could taste it. After a couple years, I finally finished my first manuscript. I shopped Daughter of Light around, had a lot of interest, but no bites. Then one day my husband came home with a letter that shattered our lives: he had lost his job.
For weeks we went through the fog of trying to figure out how we would survive. Slowly, it became obvious: I would need to go back to work. As a mother of four kids, I knew I could not juggle a full time job, writing, and be a mother. Something had to give. And I knew what it was.
I remember that afternoon as I knelt before a window that overlooked our backyard and cried. With a broken heart I handed my dreams of being a writer to God. My family needed me to bring home a steady paycheck. So I put my writing behind me and went back to work. I didn’t know how long this season would last, but I would do it as long as I needed to.
Two weeks into my new job, I received an email from Marcher Lord Press. I had submitted my novel almost eighteen months before and since I had never heard from them, I had crossed Marcher Lord off of my list of potential publishers. I was so shocked by the email I could hardly talk, so I handed my phone to my husband to read instead. They were interested in acquiring Daughter of Light! Yeah!
Since then my life has been a roller coaster, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. And God has been with me along this journey, both during the joyful times and the hard times.
2) Tell us a little about your books.
The Follower of the Word series is about a young woman who can see inside a person’s soul. If I had known how hard such a premise would be to write, I would have pressed the delete button and erased the entire story. Instead, I was a naïve writer and started writing about Rowen.
Rowen is the last Truthsayer and one of the last of the Eldaran race. She has the ability to see inside people when she touches them and reflect back what they really are on the inside. It is a powerful gift, one that causes people to either fear her or use her power for their own means.
Years later and I am now at the finish line. Heir of Hope comes out at the end of this month and it has been both the hardest book to write, but the most fulfilling.
3) How do you write? What’s a normal writing day like for you?
My stories start years before I actually sit down and write them. When I come up with an idea, I start a folder on my computer where I store all characters, ideas, settings, plot threads, dialogue, etc…
When I am ready to write the story, I get out my storyboard and write all the plot points down on 3×5 cards and pin them to the board. Usually I have been collecting ideas for about 2+ years, so I have most of the story there and it just needs to be organized. This takes anywhere from a day to a week. When I am done, my storyboard contains the beginning, the ending, and every major plot point. Basically this will be my map as I write. Then I begin.
When I am writing a rough draft, I write about a thousand words a day every weekday. That is about all the creative juice I can squeeze out of my brain at a time. However, the beauty is after a couple months, I have a clean rough draft that doesn’t require much rewriting.
I let the rough draft sit for a couple weeks, then I go back and fill in a lot of the description, make sure things make sense, tighten up scenes, etc… Then I send out the manuscript to a couple beta readers, see what they have to say, make changes if I need to, then I mail the manuscript off to my editor and start on another story.
4) What are your hopes for your future as an author?
I want to keep writing until the day I die, and I want to write what I love and enjoy. That might mean writing stories that only resonate with a few people, or maybe one series will hit it big. In either case, I love writing and unless something happens, I will continue to write as long as I am able.
5) What inspired you to write?
I started writing years ago because I loved fantasy and science fiction and was disappointed in the few choices there were with a Christian worldview. That and my husband kept telling me I should write. He is my biggest cheerleader!
6) In what ways does your faith impact how you approach writing?
My heart and soul are in my stories. I had someone once ask me how I knew I was finished with a manuscript. I said when every ounce of my heart and soul was in the story and I had nothing left to give, that’s when I am finally finished. I don’t think I could write anything that didn’t have a piece of me—and consequently my faith—in it. But because I write this way, I believe that is why my faith comes across organically and not preachy in my stories.
7) What can you tell us about any future releases you have planned?
At the end of this month Heir of Hope comes out, the final book in the Follower of the Word series. I am also working on a fantasy steampunk series titled The Soul Chronicles and almost have the rough draft completed for the first book, Tainted. I have a publisher interested in series and hope to finalize that soon.
8) Star Wars or Star Trek?
I love both!
9) Favorite place to vacation?
The coast. I am not a fan of tropical beaches. Instead, I prefer rugged coasts with few people and water so cold you don’t want to go in.
10) Favorite season?
Fall. I love the colors, the smells, and the tastes of fall!
11) Do you have a particular drink or food you consume when you write? Like cocoa, raspberry tea, chocolate?
I drink a lot of tea when I write. Right now I am enjoying Earl Grey.
12) Do you listen to music while you write? If so what are some examples?
Yes, although I have very eclectic tastes ranging from soundtracks to trance to new age to Goth metal.
13) How would you like to be remembered?
As a woman who was strong and kind.
Thank you, Morgan, for joining us. You can find Morgan L. Busse online here:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MorganLBusse (@MorganLBusse)
As an added bonus, she is running an autographed giveaway of each of the Follower of the Word books over on Goodreads.com. Here are the links if you would like to enter her giveaways: