Today I'd like to welcome author, Morgan Busse.
It's great to have you here, Morgan. How did you develop a love of story?
I’ve always loved stories for as long as I can remember. I read almost everything in our small town library and broke the record for the most books read when I was in elementary school. When I wasn’t reading, I was creating stories for my siblings and I to act out (they usually included a unicorn). And when I wasn’t “pretending” with my siblings, I was writing plays for my stuffed animals to perform for my family. I love stories!
So story has been a part of your life for quite a while. :) What do you want readers to come away with after reading your books?
Hope. I’ve been through some dark times in my life and even struggled with suicide at one point. Because of that, I write about raw characters who struggle with darkness, both within themselves and in the world around them. However, there is always hope, even if it is just a tiny light. That light is Jesus, and I can’t imagine writing about anything else. If it wasn’t for him, I would not have a reason to live.
Amen. How does faith play a part in your writing?
I do not set out to write about themes of brokenness and redemption, they just appear in my story. Like I said above, I see and experience the darkness that we live in, and the darkness that pervades our world. There is a lot of fantasy out there that deals with these issues, but the hope they arrive at leaves me dissatisfied, or sometimes there is no hope. When I write, I want to share that there is hope, and there is light, and there is a reason to live because that is the hope I have personally found. My faith, consciously and subconsciously, seeps into my stories.
I'm noticing a pattern of hope. :) Tell us about your new book.
Tainted comes out April 15th. Tainted is the first book in my steampunk series, The Soul Chronicles. Steampunk is a genre where the world setting is similar to the Victorian era or Wild West, but usually set in a different world with fantasy or science fiction elements and technology.
Here is the back blurb for Tainted:
What Happens When Your Soul Dies? Kat Bloodmayne is one of the first women chosen to attend the Tower Academy of Sciences. But she carries a secret: she can twist the natural laws of life. She has no idea where this ability came from, only that every time she loses control and unleashes this power, it kills a part of her soul. If she doesn't find a cure soon, her soul will die and she will become something else entirely.
After a devastating personal loss, Stephen Grey leaves the World City Police Force to become a bounty hunter. He believes in justice and will stop at nothing to ensure criminals are caught and locked up. However, when Kat Bloodmayne shows up in his office seeking his help, his world is turned upside down.
Together they search World City and beyond for a doctor who can cure Kat. But what they discover on the way goes beyond science and into the dark sphere of magic.
Sounds interesting. What is your most difficult writing challenge?
Rough drafts. I hate writing rough drafts. I stare at the screen and try and pull what little creative juices I have out and onto the keyboard. So I make myself write everyday. And since I’m a plotter, I know what I should be writing and where the story should be going. But I hate sitting in that chair and writing! It’s the edits and rewrites that I love because that’s when I get to polish the story into something beautiful. But I can’t do that unless I have the rough draft, so, you know, I have to write that first.
Now I'm the exact opposite. I love the first draft writing process. Not so crazy about the editing stage though. :) What are you working on now?
I am finishing up Awakened, the second book in the Soul Chronicles. After that, I have a couple projects in mind, including another steampunk novel and another fantasy series.
Sounds like you've been busy. One final question. What is your 'how I got published' story?
I started writing shortly after my daughter was born, mainly because I needed a creative outlet and my husband encouraged me to try. It was during a long trip to Seattle that I had this idea about a woman who when she touched someone could see inside their soul. When I arrived home, I started writing what would eventually be my debut novel, Daughter of Light.
I worked on Daughter of Light for six years, improving the story after each critique and after I learned something about writing. At the Mount Hermon Writing conference, I started pitching my epic fantasy. I had a lot of interest, but publishers and agents weren’t sure there was a market for that kind of book. I pitched to one last person: Jeff Gerke of Marcher Lord Press.
Shortly after I arrived home my husband lost his job. It became apparent that I needed to go back to work fulltime to help my family. As a mother of four kids, I knew I could not juggle the needs of my kids, my job, and writing. Something had to go and I knew it had to be my writing. So with much crying, I handed my dream of being a writer to God and walked away from writing to start a fulltime job. A couple weeks later, I heard back from Marcher Lord Press: they wanted my book!
So after a crazy couple of months of writing during my lunch breaks and at night, my debut fantasy novel released: Daughter of Light. That book went on to final in the Christy and Carol Awards for speculative fiction. Since then, I have finished that series and am now preparing to release the first book in my steampunk series, Tainted. It’s been quite a journey!
Wow! What a God story. Thank you for sharing that with us today. Be sure to leave a comment for your chance to win this month's giveaway.