Welcome to my in-depth writers series Fighting Prose. Where I talk to authors in the industry on what their process is like and what it takes for them to keep on creating, through all the odds. This week we’re talking to Isabella Morgan. She’s a rocking book blogger turned writer. She takes amazing photos of books and I can’t wait to dive into her first novel. Read below to find out about her process!
How long have you been writing?
I guess you could say I've been writing since high school. I had met a friend in one of my classes who was into writing, and I told her that I loved reading and she challenged me to write a story after reading her work. That night I had gone home and began writing a story, and even though I hadn't passionately written much between then and now, it definitely lit a fire inside of me that I never thought I had before when it came to writing.
How long did it take you to write your debut novel?
Under The Scars took me about five years to complete from idea to hitting publish. It was a long time coming, and I think I seriously dedicated the last year towards it from where I had stopped before. It was a really hard book to write just because it deals with a lot topics, but also a lot of the writing had to do with my own personal experiences that you'll read about at the end of the book in my author's note.
What's your favorite genre to read? Write?
My favourite Genre to read and write is romance. I'm a hopeless romantic at heart, and honestly I feel like whatever you read, there will always be some sort of connection to yourself and the book. Being a reader and writer of Contemporary romance, I find myself being able to connect to a lot of parts in a book, because they're stories you can imagine yourself living in, or one your best friend went through. Although it's fiction, it still has a way to relate to someone someway or another.
Tell me about your process: how do you get in the mood to write? How do your characters come together? How do you get your ideas?
Oh man that's a loaded question! Getting in the mood to write is always tricky. I could be doing something that needs my full attention and I've got ideas running through my head at all times of the day except for when It's time to actually sit down and write. Sometimes I'll just sit in front of the computer and stare at it, or I'll write the major parts that happen in the book and then come back to fill in the rest. That way I'm able to get down what I know I want to happen and work on the parts I'm unsure about. My characters kind of come together right from the beginning. The names however change from time to time. When it comes to writing, I generally have an idea if I'm doing an inter-connected standalone series or just a standalone in general. The characters come out from people I've met, my own personal habits, random things I may hear people say. They start off as an Idea and the more I write them, the more they become real to the story. Just like us, we all need time to grow and I think that's what happens with my characters. My ideas are kind of the same. I could be at a concert, and during that whole time I've somehow come up with three different story ideas. They just come generally at the most random times, and I cant even tell you how many journals I own that I've had to purchase on the spot of wherever I am just to get ideas down (I'm better writing than typing onto my phone)
What do you admire the most about the writing world?
How do I even begin answering this? I think there are a lot of fellow Canadian writers that I truly admire, and many of them have actually become good friends of mine! I think (just to name a few) some authors that I admire would be Kennedy Fox (They're ALWAYS writing and have books out like every three months!) Teagan Hunter (She's an incredible bad-ass woman who loves pizza as much as I do, and is always inspiring me) and Staci Hart (She's honestly the best, and so down to earth! I love her writing style!)
If you're not busy writing, what are you busy doing?
When I'm not frantically staring at my screen or scrolling through youtube (When I should be writing) I'm a Early Childhood Educator (ECE for short) Basically I teach children from infancy to age 13, and although kids can be crazy, I love what I do! Right now I'm a supply ECE for the school board, and I'm hoping to get a permanent position sometime this school year (If I'm lucky!) But if I have, by some miracle, the luck in my hands, I'll be able to get an Internship for a publishing house to get my foot into the door and possibly learn more about a career I've been more passionate about lately especially with my book releasing.
Have you ever had writers block? If so, how did you get out of it?
OH. MY. LANTA. All the time! I don't even know how it happens every time, but I'm pretty sure I have writer's block about 80% of the time. I think I just need to be somewhere secluded with no WI-FI so that I can actually sit my butt down and just write. Or just have someone constantly body guard me anytime I try to leave my office to go watch T.V.
For a writer starting out what advice would you give them?
Make sure you have some sort of plan. Whether it's sticking to your deadlines, (Or being okay with pushing some) getting feedback from readers you trust, but also write from what you know. If you want your characters to be realistic, you need to pave them a way that makes them vulnerable. Above all... Don't be afraid to use your voice. After all, this is YOUR STORY. You won't be able to please everyone, but if it's something you're passionate about, others will love it as much as you do!
Have you always been creative? Has it always been writing?
I actually used to love to draw and paint. That was my main creativity. I still have tons of old school sketches alongside my paintings which are somewhere in the basement collecting dust at the moment. Growing up I actually wanted to be an Art Teacher. When I got older and writing started coming into my sight, I was told that it wouldn't be a steady career. Of course my teenage self thought that meant I shouldn't try because it would never happen. As you can see I turned that more into a challenge and proved that I could become an author. Before becoming an author though, I was a book blogger (still am!) where I read and write reviews for authors, which has been the best four years that I continue to do!
What is your dream writing location?
I think I've created a pinterest board of some of my favourite writing spots and it's so varied, it's not even funny! I think ideally, I want to be in the cottage/mountains away from the city (Since I currently live in the city). I want there to be reception of course, but far enough away that I could blast my music and not be bothered by anyone. If I had to be closer to the city, I just want to have a big room with all my books, a nice "Nest chair" and a big window I can have my desk facing to look out of (Rather than the white wall I'm currently staring at as I write this now!)
If you could bring one of your characters to life who would it be? Why?
Considering I only have one book out at the moment, I think I would bring Eden to life. She's honestly like the best friend everyone wants to have. Her and Violet have been tight since high school and it's rare now to have friends so close from when you were younger. She's spunky, but also is ALWAYS there for you when you really need a friend. (I also can't wait to write her story next!)
Good Luck with Everything Isabella!
If you happen to know an author that would be great for my Fighting Prose series be sure to send them my way!
Thanks for reading!