Let me briefly re-introduce my May Author of the Month, C. A. Morgan.
C. A. Morgan (or better known as Cheryl amongst her family and friends) devotes her time not only to her writing but to assisting her fellow authors via her blog, the “First Time Authors Only Book Club” Facebook Group, and her editing services, all the while battling an autoimmune disorder—one that released her true gift of writing.
I had the privilege of getting to know Cheryl in a quick yet in-depth and insightful interview.
Hi, Cheryl! You share a great deal about yourself, including your battle with Retroperitoneal Fibrosis and how you began writing, on your website and your blog. Could you tell us something about yourself that your readers may not know?
I think the one thing that interests people the most when they find out is that I’m from a really large family. I have 8 brothers and 2 sisters. I’m the oldest girl. One of my brothers and one of my sisters are actually younger than my son, so it makes for an interesting dynamic.
Interesting dynamic AND interesting holiday dinners, I bet. [giggles] Speaking of families (in every sense of the word), your debut novel, 2Friends 4Ever: A Journey to Reunion, focuses on a friendship between two women that spans over 40 years—a friendship that many of us may never experience. I’m sure that there are many lessons that could be gained from such a devoted companionship. If you could relay one, what would that be?
The biggest lesson from “2Friends 4Ever: A Journey to Reunion” is that true friends accept each other warts and all. These two girls don’t always agree and are so different in many aspects of their lives, but their friendship means more to them than any of these differences. They don’t judge each other and just accept that there will be times they will agree to disagree. Basically, you don’t have to love everything about a person to love them.
That is so true. Some may not know that your second novel, Journey to Redemption, is due to be released this summer. Could you tell us more about it?
“Journey to Redemption” is another tale of a relationship between two extremely diverse people, in this case brothers. The brothers are raised in the same dysfunctional household with a mother who suffers a mental illness & an emotionally absent father who brings a totally unfeeling stepmother into the picture as well. The book visits how the brothers view their family unit and how they approach the other people in their lives, always with the knowledge that their relationship with each other is one of the most important in their lives. Dale, our macho brother, has problems dealing with the women in his life and is constantly searching for acceptance from his father. Chase, our homosexual brother, compromises in a time when being a homosexual could be the end of everything you hoped to achieve. Chase has long ago given up any type of relationship with his father, but maintains a loving relationship with his mother. This 15 year snapshot of the brothers’ lives takes some interesting twists and turns and I think will bring out a lot of emotions from the readers.
I love how your novels focus on the varying types of relationships. Where do you find your inspiration to write?
I think my writing is an offshoot of one of my favorite past times, imagining what makes people tick. I would watch people’s behavior and wonder what could have possibly happened in their lives to cause that specific behavior or wonder how a person could possibly look themselves in the mirror in the morning after having done something. My writing is just taking those thoughts and, instead of building one scenario around one behavior, taking it to an all encompassing level where I get to look at the entire person. I really do enjoy the adventure!
So, when you’re not writing, how do you spend your time? What are your other passions?
Unfortunately, I don’t spend my non-writing time as I would like much of the time. My disability limits me in so many ways. I try to do things associated with my book, like book signings, etc, but I’ve been limited in that effort. I’m actually hoping to see marked improvement in marketing efforts this summer. I also edit and review other writers books because I love to read and I’m totally anal retentive about major errors in published books. Plus, I want to do whatever I can to help new writers get their books into the hands of readers everywhere. This is a tough business and anything we can do to help each other is so worth it. Other than that, I spend as much time as I can with my 10 year old granddaughter. She is the joy of my life, of course, and we have so much fun together, even if it’s just sitting in my bed telling stories to each other or watching TV.
Aw, how adorable! It’s wonderful how you incorporate reading in your everyday life. As an avid reader and recent book reviewer, has a book you’ve read changed your perspective on your written work?
I learn so much from every book I read. Each writer has their own style, but there are still things we can learn from each other. Sometimes, I learn what I don’t want to do, but most of the time I’ll see writing techniques that I think I’d like to try in my books. I’ve learned tons about writing dialogue from reading others books, and I hope I’m getting a bit better at describing the physical people, places and things in my books because I don’t think I’m too good at that yet. But I’m getting better.
Now…with almost two novels under your belt, what’s next for the great
C. A. Morgan?
I’ve had a couple ideas for my next book floating around in my head for months now and I just recently decided on the subject matter. I’m going to challenge myself and go back in time to the early 1900’s Columbus and actually try to weave a love story. Both of my books include love stories within them, but that wasn’t the basis of the books. For my next work, I think the love story will be the integral part of the book and everything else will revolve around that. We’ll all have to wait to see how it turns out. I have absolutely fallen in love with writing and I want to continue. I hope some day I’ll write that one book that everyone will want to read, but for now, I’m happy to learn my craft and enjoy the good words those who have read my books have shared.
I have no doubt that your readers will continue to enjoy and support your work. For those who may have questions or just want to follow your successes and progress, how can you be contacted?
Anyone can contact me anytime at my website email. I love hearing comments and answering questions. If you want to keep up with the goings-on in my life, you can subscribe to my blog at http://blog.c-a-morgan.com/ or befriend me on Facebook or Twitter. I do follow people back.
Cheryl, do you have any final words for your dedicated fans and prospective readers? Anything I may have missed that you feel the reading world should know about C. A. Morgan, the writer?
If I had one thing I would like to share with people, particularly the reading public, it’s that there are so many talented new authors out here and we are so dependent on people like them to get the word out about our books. I thank everyone who has read and reviewed my book because without you, I’d have no reason to think I could continue doing something I so enjoy. Watch the internet for those new authors and support them when you can. I realize you are taking a chance on reading a bomb, but trust me, there are a lot more good books out here than bad ones and you’ll never be sorry for helping a new author get a leg up.
Thank you, Angelique, for taking the time today. I appreciate this opportunity and if there is anything else you’d like to know, just drop me a note. —Cheryl
And thank you, Cheryl, for allowing me and your readers to get to know you on a more personal level. Best of luck to you on your current and future novels.