27 October, 2016

#Interview with Morgan Lee, #Author of The Naked Tree

About the Author:
After thousands of hours procrastinating, several hundred gallons of coffee and tea, and endless prayers, Morgan has finally produced a physical book that is now in your hands. Ever since she was a little girl she has always been fascinated with the written word and has wanted to be an author. Morgan received her bachelor of arts degree in creative writing from Kansas State University. It was only in 2013 when she received Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior that she found her purpose for writing and discovered that her ministry would be to present the glory of God through fiction. Morgan Lee currently lives in Kansas City with her family.

Connect with Morgan Lee:

An Interview with the Author:

When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer/ a storyteller?
I always knew that I wanted to be a writer. I knew from the very first moment I learned how to write in kindergarten. It was how I spoke, how I communicated. I was not a very loud or outgoing child, (and let’s face it, I’m still not that loud) so writing was a way for me to get all of my feelings out of my head and onto paper, things that I could never speak out loud. So I feel like I always knew.

What inspires you to write?
I generally get inspiration from everywhere. It’s never lacking. Motivation on the other hand is another story, but everyday life inspires me. Every morning I open my eyes inspires me. It’s really just choosing to take that inspiration and not be afraid to run with it.

How did you come up with the idea for your current story?
Tons of story ideas run through my head at all times, but with The Naked Tree my story came from both the outside and the inside. I never before considered writing science fiction, but after watching everything that has been going on in the media, the violence, the overwhelming lack for human life, and dealing with my own emotions regarding my existence in the world, a story was born.

Are there some stories tucked away in some drawer that was written before and never saw the light of the day?
Oh jeez, there are tons of stories that are hidden away in my file cabinet. I have not ruled out letting them out of their hole, but I think for the time being I’ll focus on new ideas. It’s kind of blessing and a curse. I have an endless supply of ideas, but sometimes it’s difficult to focus on just one.

Tell us about your writing process.
My writing process has grown so much since I first started writing. I completed my first manuscript in the 8th grade and that took me almost 5 years, since the 4th grade of writing and rewriting off and on. I literally had no process and was waiting for some kind of inspiration. I use to think that I was a pants-er and that I could just write and let the story develop along the way, but that is the reason there are so many unfinished stories in the dark abyss of my file cabinet. Now, I am a cold hard plotter. Scrivener is my best friend and I have fallen in love with the outlining process. After writing my outline according to the 3 Act Structure and spending time developing characters, I start writing and I’ll write the entire 1st draft, no reading, no editing. And because I just can’t keep my hands off of it, I only put it away for about a week (or 3 days) then I pick it up again and read through the whole thing and the dreaded editing process begins…

What is your favorite scene in the book? Why?
How can I choose just one?! I love any scene with Rowan and Colette. The one that sticks out to me is the scene when Rowan tells Colette his deepest regret and dark past. They have a really beautiful moment I think and their level of trust grows deeper. Anytime Rowan is interacting with his team is a good one. Also the love triangle thing with Levi, Adamek and Eviya is so delightfully wicked and intriguing.

What is your most interesting writing quirk?
I don’t know if other writers do this, but if I’m feeling stuck on a scene or need some kind of boost or inspiration I go to Starbucks, grab a Grande Triple Caramel Macchiato with a shot of Hazelnut, head to my local park, find an unoccupied shelter, get out of my car and act out my book. Every time. I live with a lot of people so there is never a time to do it in my house, but it helps me to talk out the plot and act it out. Loud and proud! And it always helps. After that I can go back home and sit down and write the scene.

Do you read? Who are your favorite authors and how have they influenced your writing style?
I do read, but not as much as I would like to. I enjoy classic novels and authors. I try to read a lot of diverse books, but a do enjoy a good YA novel with a little bit of romance. I often find it difficult to read while I’m invested in writing a new novel. I don’t want to risk another authors voice coming through in my own writing so I only read during times of editing. 

What is the best piece of advice you would give to someone that wants to get into writing?
This may sound cheesy, but always follow your heart. Be true to yourself in your writing and never try to be a copycat. You are not the next JK Rowling, Stephen King, or Mark Twain. You are you, and you is just fine. Don’t expect to be great all at once. Writing is part talent, part refusing to give up.

If you were to be stranded on the famous deserted island, what three things would you carry?
A notebook. A pack of pens. And a machete for hunting and protection. 

How do you spend your free time? Do you have a favorite place to go and unwind?
My favorite place to go to unwind is the park. Swinging on the swing is so relaxing and there’s just something about feeling with wind on my face. It’s freeing!

Can you share with us something off your bucket list?
My bucket list seems never ending. One of the main things I want to do is, skydive, climb Ayers Rock, scuba dive in the Great Barrier Reef, learn Japanese, just to name a few. 

Tell us three fun facts about yourself.
- I have a notebook and pen addiction…I’m not ashamed. 
- I love animals, but have bad luck with pets. (They usually die or run away)
- I wrote my first book in the 2nd grade.

What do you have in store next for your readers?
I have my next 4 books scheduled to be released next year. Two of them are the second and third books in the trilogy of my debut novel Seed Among the Thorns. Book two is titled Seed Among the Rocks, the third Seed Among Good Ground. The next book is a contemporary NA novel title The Skeleton in my Bathroom that follows a woman’s journey with Crohn’s Disease. The following book is a non-fiction autobiographical book about my life called And Then, He Said, I Love You. So yes, there are tons of things in the works! 

About the Book
Life is just a Vapor...
if you were blessed enough to have them that is.

            Colette has lived the last seventeen years of her life being hidden away and choosing to hide herself. Colette is a part of a class of people who are even lower than the animals they herd. They are Vaporless. Defects in a perfect world. And Colette was the worse one of them. After the vicious leaders, Eviya, Levi and Adamek of the Triunity put out a bounty for the blood of the Vaporless no one is safe. Disaster has struck. The Tree of Knowl is failing and the once beautiful Vapors are now killing their hosts. A solution must be found and that solution is to sacrifice the Vaporless to the Tree in an effort to appease it so that it will reverse the curse it placed.
            Now on the run, Colette meets Rowan and Holden leaders of a well known rebellion group who call themselves R.H.I.S.K. With the help of Rowan, Holden, Anastasia, Kofi, and Kimaya, Colette hatches a plan to discover a way to save themselves and the Vaporless from destruction. When the group enters into the Province Ilan they find themselves the knights of an ancient war. A risky mission over the Edge. A mysterious device called the Eloi. And a war that will shake the very foundation that they have known.

And the story all starts with a single naked tree.

Book Links:

The Naked Tree Blog Tour Stops:
Monday, October 24: Afterthelastpage.com
Tuesday, October 25: Novelersblog.wordpress.com
Wednesday, October 26: girlplusbook.com
Friday, October 28: jbronderbookreviews.com
Saturday, October 29: theyounggirlwholovedbooks.blogspot.com
Sunday, October 30: thehoplessreader.blogspot.com

Join in Sunday night 9pm-12am CST for the Virtual Release Party for The Naked Tree!
www.facebook.com/morganleej Author Morgan Lee Fan Page! There will be giveaways, contests, trivia, other authors, and more!

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