Were it All Began: A Southern Werewolf Blog

It all started with a line. I know that is stating the obvious, but it’s true. Back in 2007, I’d just begun my writing career in earnest. My first book had been published and my second was due out in April, so I thought I knew what I was doing. Back then, I was big on first lines. First lines were gateways to adventures. Still are, but that’s beside the point.

 

Where was I? Oh, yeah. So anyway, I had two books started already. One would go on to be Mis-Staked, published by Champagne Books, and the other was only a chapter or two of a book titled Immortally Yours, now, published by Desert Breeze publishing. I mean with two books more or less kicking my butt, why would I even entertain thoughts of starting a third, not to mention I had edits coming on the book coming out in April. Yep, I’m a glutton for punishment. Least I was in those days. I’ve learned my lesson on multiple books at the same time, tyvm.

 

But, this line was so intoxicating, I couldn’t let it go. I mean, it floored me with all the possibilities that went along with it. I knew right away it was going to be a paranormal romance. As I stared at the line, I saw a Southern Belle uttering the line. In fact, it was my wife’s voice echoing in my head.

 

“Not to sound totally insane, but how much wax does it take to do a bikini line when you’re a freaking werewolf?”

 

Not to say she’s hairy or a werewolf, but it was so a thing she would say. I had my heroine, but how did she become a werewolf? I’ve lived in the south my whole life and werewolves weren’t exactly common place. Goth kids in vampire makeup you could see everywhere. Tripped over them at the mall, Walmart. You name it. Werewolves? Not so much.

 

Then it hit me. What if lycanthropy was a sexually transmitted disease? That insane thought gave me the how. My heroine, who I named Madison, was rich and had gone on a vacation to Europe. She somehow got lost and ended up in Transylvania. Still, with me? Good, I know I’m hitting you with a lot of back story, but the biggest part of writing is getting to know your story and characters. I sat in my recliner living this back story in my head for a few minutes and fell in love with Mads. She is my wife so it was kind of easy.

 

Lost in Transylvania demanded a tall dark mysterious man. And, Nicholi Grant was born, or created rather. Madison, being who she had gradually become in my head, would have no problem having zee roll in zee hay with a tall dark mysterious stranger with the devilish good looks of Gerry Butler. My good friend Paisley Kirkpatrick made me say that, but it’s true. Nicholi does sort of remind me of him.

 

I had my first line, a Southern Belle and a mysterious one night stand who apparently turned out to be a werewolf. Sounded like I had a book on my hands. Nope, but I was close. I still needed a plot, a story to toss them into and shake like some fish in cornmeal and Tony’s. If you’re from the South, you’ll get that analogy. If not, I’m sorry.

 

This put me to thinking. Okay, it put me to watching a Buffy marathon on TNT. Then it hit me! Rather, my wife did and told me to stop mumbling to myself, Angel was on. Back to the Eureka. I needed monster hunters! But not as the main plot, a subplot building to the conclusion of the overall story. Still, what was Mads’ and Nicholi’s story?

 

There was so much to choose from. How did she become a werewolf? Will she forgive Nicholi for giving her a paranormal STD? Why did Nicholi show up after so long? It had been a year since their one night stand. These questions led me to wondering about Madison’s life in general. They were well off, but what if the family business was in trouble? Now, I had something to work with!

 

Namely, a multilayered story about a woman who’s a werewolf and meets the one night stand who turned her into a werewolf and just so happens to be trying to buy her family business, while a group of monster hunters are trying to kill them all.

 

Whew, try typing that three times fast!

 

Summing up the epic in those words doesn’t really sum it up either. The one line that would go on to become, Were Love Blooms is the story of a romance born in Europe but fully realized in the heart of Dixie. It is also about everything I grew up being surrounded by. A book about family. A book about a small town. A book incorporating the world I know and the world living inside my head.

 

As I look back on the seven years since I jotted down that mind numbing line, a lot has changed. It took me three years to finally finish Were Love Blooms. Thanks to Gail Delaney, I let Madison’s story play out. She read the beginning and said that I had to finish this book. I did and Desert Breeze ultimately published it. My wife and I have survived 16 yrs of being married and are stronger for the bad times, and happier because of the good times. I’ve seen three publishers go under, and found a home with Desert Breeze. I’ve seen over 20 books published and discovered a bigger world inside my head than I thought lived there. I’ve become a grandfather. I’ve seen the world grow bigger and smaller at the same time thanks to the internet. Lastly, I’ve been able to share my imagination with others for over 7 years and met readers and authors who have become friends and family to me. In short, life has been and is good. I am truly blessed.

 

Were Love Blooms and the entire Southern Werewolf Chronicles aren’t just the story of two people in love. It’s the story of me growing in my craft and in the process becoming friends with the world. To those of you who have read the Southern Werewolf Chronicles, thank you for spending both your money and time for a glimpse inside my head. To those of you who haven’t, I invite you to come and read for a spell. I might be biased, but I think the price of admission is well world the ride.

 

 were love bloomsfrom

Desert Breeze Publishing

http://www.desertbreezepublishing.com/southern-werewolf-chronicles-book-one-were-love-blooms-epub/

and

Available from

Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/Were-Blooms-Southern-Werewolf-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B0032JSL20/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1407113487&sr=1-1&keywords=were+love+blooms

and

other online booksellers

 

Wishing you a good week, and of course, happy reading!

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Waterfall Woman, a Character and a Muse Rolled into One!

Image Muse

 

I steal people! I believe I’ve confessed to this before, but it bears repeating. So what do you do when you’re a people thief who turns their friends’ entire personality into fictional characters? You interview them! In a series I like to call Character Muses Where Are They Now?, I will tag some of my favorite inspirations and ask them probing — no, not that kind of probing — questions.

 

But, who to start with? Well, after some deep thought, I went with the first one to pop up in my IM window. Seriously, one of my most favorite characters is Waterfall Woman from my Love Bites series. To me she is the glue that holds my dysfunctional vampire/slayer family together. She’s my fangy Yoda if you will. It doesn’t hurt that she’s also one of my dearest friends, and adopted sister to boot. Hey! I didn’t even have to kidnap her to get her on here either. In my line of work, that’s always a bonus. So without further adieu, allow me to introduce you to the real Waterfall Woman, Susan White. Cue the applause sign thingie, Stud, and none of your backtalk or its back into my psyche for you.

 

Jmo: Susan welcome to the Giggles. Did you bring cookies?

 

Susan: Have I ever not brought cookies? Well sometimes pie, maybe cake… cheesecake? This time, I definitely brought cookies. Peanut butter fudge delights.

 

Jmo: Mmmmm… Cheesecake. Peanut butter fudge delights sound even better. Uh, we better get to the questions before the drool prevents me from asking any. Susan, as a writer yourself, how do you approach creating characters? Have any of your friends found their way into your stories? I’m just asking to justify my own actions, by the way. Feel free to answer while I get a glass of milk for those delights.

 

Susan: Like many writers I do tons of research and talk to many peop…. ok that’s BS, I just write down what the voices in my head tell me to. And well, I’m a procrastinator of the highest order. I have a badge and everything. So many of my stories, and the characters that are insisting I know them, are still trapped in my head. Maybe I should let them out… Yes, if I actually write my stories down, then my friends definitely find their way into my stories. They’re the ones I know best, and who know me better than anyone. You will definitely find yourself in my stories… if I ever write them down. Being a little off center helps too. Did you hear that? Never mind, definitely those voices again. Oops I think there is drool on your shirt.

 

Jmo: No, that’s peanut butter delight slobber. Sorry. So, what did you think when I came to you and said I really wanted to back this character on you? Since, you know me so well, were you skeered?

 

Susan: I was a teeny tiny bit skeered, as you know me well, warts and all. But as a brother of my heart, I trust you completely. You would never ever hurt me. I know this to the depths of my soul.

 

Jmo: When I went into Waterfall in Love Free Stake Hard, I didn’t envision her past that book, but she kind of took over and her role in the books grew. That’s the scary thing. How well do you think I captured the heart of Susan and grafted it onto Waterfall Woman? Are you the Yoda she is?

 

Susan: I’d like to think that you captured me very well but I’m not sure I’m as noble and vibrant as Waterfall Woman. I love her as a character and would even if she weren’t based on me. Honestly, my favorite character so far is Joan lol. I am very flattered and honored to have such a character as Waterfall Woman based on me though. Me? Sage and Wise? Hmmm I dunno really. I’m definitely getting older, that’s for sure lol. Like anybody I’ve had ups and downs in life but I try to be as kind, compassionate and caring as I can. Does that count?

 

Jmo: Every time. So, if you had to pick one aspect of Waterfall Woman to have, what would it be? You already have one Bird Brain, so you can’t pick him. Sorry.

 

Susan: lol Yes I do have the Bird Brain. He’s actually sitting here near me now checking his email and talking to Yoda, one of our two dogs.  Hmmm that’s a toughie. I think I’d like her ability to help people. I do what I can, in my own way, but I love that she helps people, well people, vamps etc. Does that make sense?

 

Jmo: Yes it does, because the biggest part I stole from you was your heart. Your love and caring for others is the basis for who Waterfall truly is.

 

Susan: Then I’m even more honored that she is based on me. I really truly believe that love is what makes the world go ’round. Unconditional love is extremely important to me. Do people know that Walking Bird is based on a real person btw? I’m asking because if anyone has wondered if he would really cook and eat the road kill… well yes, yes he would. And no I’m not deflecting at all. Ignore the wet eyes and sniffly nose please. That’s just my allergies acting up.

 

Jmo: Don’t sniffle. Here’s a napkin. Just blow around the peanut butter smudges. Heck, I stole your whole family when you get down to it. I would say more but that might give away too much. You can find out what I’m talking about when Bite Marks Two comes out. But, aside from the ultra manly Walking Bird, I used your son, Chris, for Stalking Shadow, the hero in Bite Marks One. Again, we don’t want to give away too much there either because some dastardly stuff happens in that book.

 

Is there any part of you, you wished I had included when creating your alter ego?

 

Susan: Actually, I can’t think of any. I love all of my family, including my chosen family, with my whole heart. You’ve got that covered. Sometimes when I read the books I’m in, I think you know me better than I do lol. I also laugh out loud so much that I almost wet my pants.

 

Jmo: Don’t go incontinent on me, sis. The knowing you better thing is because the floppy haired dude from Ancient Aliens sold me an alien brain reading device off his website. Before I go to finish off the rest of those delights, one last question. If you could be Waterfall Woman for one day, what would you do?

 

Susan: That one is easy. I’d help as many people as I could with as many issues as I could. I would also make sure they all knew they were loved and cared for. Kind of boring I know.

 

Jmo: Not boring at all. That’s because you really are Waterfall Woman, and thanks for stopping by, Susan. And, if any of you would like to learn more about Waterfall Woman, feel free to check out the Love Bites and Bite Marks series. I promise you a roller coaster ride of romance and fun. I’ll even include some handy dandy links so you don’t get lost on the way to the bookstore. Don’t feel bad. I always end up in the teen fiction section for some reason. I blame Percy Jackson for all the good it does me. He stopped returning my calls.

 

Any parting words for our readers, sis?

 

Susan: I love floppy haired dude by the way. Well, I guess I’d just like to say, let all those you love know you love them while you can and….. read the books! lol They really are awesome. All of them. Every J Morgan book has a special place in my heart as do you my brother from another mother. Muuuuah and a hug for all who needs one.

 

Jmo: Who am I to disagree with Waterfall Woman and hugs back? I like hugs a lot, by the way. Til, our next adventure into the Giggles, have a good day and happy reading! Now, where did I put those peanut butter delights?

 

 

Love Bites and Bite Marks

Available from

Desert Breeze Publishing

 

http://www.desertbreezepublishing.com/brands/J.-Morgan.html

And

on

Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/J.-Morgan/e/B0032R8BFE/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1381366196&sr=1-1

Comedy in Two Parts

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If I remember correctly, I’m supposed to be doing something about comedy this week. Of course, this has been one of those weeks that makes you forget your own name, so who knows? Since I’m brain dead, I beg your forgiveness for any rambling drivel you may be forced to endure on my behalf.

 

Comedy is the exaggerated norm. That is I guess the first Law of Jmoism. Without a normal base line to go from you can’t achieve comedy. Comedy works because first and foremost you present a believable character or situation and extend outwards from there.

 

I love Big Bang Theory. Sure, it’s a sitcom about unbelievable characters, but if you go back to that first season and the beginning episodes, the writers gave you characters you could believe in. They might have been outside most peoples’ circle of friends, but they presented them first in ways that you could understand and empathize with. After they hooked you, the craziness began.

 

That’s how I do it. In my books, I attempt to introduce you to characters, who are unabashedly raw, human, flawed. Sure, they’re vampires, werewolves and ghosts, but at their hearts they’re just like you or me. But, not that guy. Yeah, you over there in the corner. Put that away and move on. Shoo… Shoo…

 

Now, where was I? Oh, yes.

 

See what I did there. I started off serious. You were probably thinking that this guy, meaning me, was about to make some profound point or another. Then, he, me, moves on to talking about werewolves and such. You were still on board, but might have been wondering where this was leading with your finger cautiously hovering over a bookmarked icon on your toolbar. Wham! I end it with some insanity about a guy in a corner? But! You kept reading, because it might have been mildly amusing, especially when you began to think about all things this jerk in the corner might have had to put away. I bet your mind might have even dipped into a gutter or two. Mine did.

 

But, that profound point you were waiting for me to make is this. Comedy is seriousness laced with the ability to make your imagination work overtime. It’s just like horror. The lights dim and you imagine all sorts of lurky things coming toward you in the dark. Comedy is horror’s opposite. Instead of the dark, it’s mimes in sunshine coming at you. Okay, bad example, but you get the idea.

 

The second Law of Jmoism is that you can’t be funny all the time. Comedy in huge doses just doesn’t work. For one thing, it makes you one dimensional. Do you laugh all the time? Man, I hope not. People might think you were crazy for one thing. For another, life is about the good, the bad, and then you have the Facts of Life. The Facts of Life. Loved that show, but I’m not digressing as you may think. The facts of life is this, you have equal, or sometimes unequal parts of good and bad in your life. Laughter allows you to deal with the bad. Sorrow allows you to appreciate the good all the more because it is fleeting at times and needs to be cherished.

 

So, if you’re planning to attempt comedy, trust in balance. There is balance to more than just the Force. Latticework in your funny when it’s needed. To break a heavy situation. To hide insecurity. To showcase a character’s snark or personality, but understand this. If your own thing is one liner after one liner, it won’t work. It took me awhile to figure that out, so feel free to learn from my mistakes.

 

Exaggerate the norm. Let’s go back to that. Enhancing a character’s personality quirks is just one tool. I’ll refer back to Sheldon on Big Bang for this one. We all know someone who is introverted and maybe just left of center. Which is why we love him as a character. Here’s the thing. After five years of watching him, we see evolution in his character. He is not the same guy we got to know in the beginning. As writers, we need to strive to have the ability to do that in our characters. If your hero or heroine is the same person they were on page one, as they are on page two hundred, you just failed.

 

How to twist a character, though. What you talking ’bout Willis? Serious, but funny? That just seems like a contradiction in terms. Well, it is, but it works. To show you what I’m talking about, here’s a few of my tricks.

 

In Love at First Stake, I had Donatello Ravell, be allergic to human blood. Savannah was the ultimate Buffy. She was trained to kill Vampires, but really not experienced enough to get the job done.

 

In Were Love Blooms, Madison Lee is the ultimate Southern Belle, but a European vacation gives her something they didn’t cover in her Southern Belle handbook. A raging case of the werewolf cooties. Nicholi Grant, the hero in this story, is the consummate straight-man to her Lucille Ball. Like I said above. Comedy without seriousness doesn’t cut it.

 

Love Free Stake Hard, gives us Deme, a four thousand year old Vampire, who has never truly lived. It’s up to our human heroine, Dela, to show him that a life not lived is not really a life at all.

 

Each of those three examples start off at that norm base line I talked about. Normal people in normal, or in my case, paranormal, situations thrust into situations that can’t help but lend themselves to comedic episodes. You twist the serious until you laugh at it or cry from experiencing it.

 

I know I’ve harped on that sorrow and cry business, but that is the heart of comedy. Avoiding the stuff that you can’t face without going insane.

 

A Southern Deb who suddenly becomes a werewolf? To her, it’s the end of her world. To us, it’s a chance to laugh along with her until she realizes her curse just might be the thing that she’s needed to make her stronger.

 

A first time Vampire Slayer, who might not be up to the challenge, but who is up to falling for the Vampire she’s sent to kill? Again, end of one world, beginning of another.

 

These aren’t just stories, they’re examples of looking on the bright side and finding happiness.

 

And, that just might be the point of Comedy.

 

Til, next week…

 

Happy Reading!

Jmo

Making a good first impression Jmo style!

 

 

ImageIt never hurts to make a good first impression. Bad impressions generally get you hit over the head with a beer bottles and rudely shoved out the door of your favorite watering hole. Since this blog is about writing and all writers want to make a good impression, we’ll be discussing my favorite first impression.

 

The first line of a book is your first impression. It’s the first taste a reader will get of your book. After honing my scan of a first paragraph, I’ve come to judge books by their first page and rarely by their covers. Sure, the cover sparks my interest, but if the first page makes me yawn, I slap it back on the shelf and mentally berate artists everywhere for tricking me. I grew up devouring books with covers by Boris, Frazetta and the Hildebrant Brothers, so I’m no stranger to picking up books based on cover art. It serves its purpose if the artist knows what they’re doing.

 

But, it’s up to me as an author to draw you past a cover with my writing skills. If you, or me, as a writer can’t back up that cover, we need to rethink a career in writing. That first line thing goes for chapters too. I’m also a big believer in last lines. The final line of a chapter should make you speed turn the page to find out what happens next. Most of the time, you have something to back that up, but not all chapters can leave you breathless. Some have to further the story in more mundane ways. But, this isn’t about last lines. It’s about first lines.

 

To illustrate my point, I’m going to use one of my favorite first lines from one of my books. This one is from Love at First Stake.

 

“Madam, are you aware you just shoved a sizable stake through my heart!”

 

Okay, see what I did there? That one line informed the reader of two things.  A. This book is about Vampires. B. This book just might be funny. Now, let’s see what tone I’d set if I went a different way.

 

            Her fist came down, slamming the ash hewn stake through the bloodsucker’s heart.

 

That sets a totally different tone. A. We still know it’s about Vampires. B. This book just might get gory and more serious than I intended. Another thing. It’s kind of boring. How many times have you read a vampire novel that is all about the mythology and mired in clichés? Love Bites was intended to be a different take on Vampires. A funny take. Something to set it apart from the horde of vampire books out on the shelves already. Hopefully, I succeeded in drawing in readers with that first line and keeping them entertained long enough to keep reading to the end.

 

One more first line. This is from Were Love Blooms.

Image

 

Not to sound totally insane, but how much wax does it take to do a bikini line when you’re a freaking werewolf? 

 

Again, I’ve defined the subject matter and tone of the book in a comical way. We immediately know the main character is a werewolf and none too happy about the fact. By the way, if anyone can answer that question for me I’d really like to know how much it takes. I might not be a werewolf, but I’m quite hairy.

 

But, I digress. This blog is about writing, not my follicle issues.

 

If you’ve been following this blog series, you’ve got a grasp on the concept that characters and plot are your first concerns. Once you know both of those things, you can get to the fun stuff. And, that’s the real point of writing. Having fun doing it. If you see it as work, it’ll come across as work. Nobody likes work, least of all readers. We read to escape work, life and stress in general.

 

I’m in no way saying comedy is everyone’s favorite, but the first line first impression works no matter what genre you’re writing. Let me show you. This is from a current work in progress that I’ve been playing around with in my spare time. Ha! What spare time? Please forgive the language, but sometimes situations dictate a harsh response, especially if you’re dealing with a harsh type of character. The name of this work is Shadick’s Brand.

 

“Son of a bitch!” Jace Shadick let the curse roll across his lips, as he saw the plume of smoke painting the dusty blue sky.

 

What does the first line tell you? Probably not a comedy. Something bad just happened. Something worse is probably going to happen. The title of the book hints that it’s a Western, so I tailored his speech and the visual description to mirror his environment and times. Not only does the first line give you his frame of mind, but it allows you a look into the world around him. Dusty blue sky equals cloudy day. The smoke gives you an idea that a tragedy has occurred. The curse tells you it is something he doesn’t want to deal with. That’s a lot for a line to tell you. More importantly, does it make you want to read more? Feel free to tell me the truth. I would appreciate it.

 

What can we bring away from all this? First lines are windows to your book. It’s a hook to make a reader want to read more. The impact defines the tone of a book. A single line can give a complete overview of what a reader can expect. Finally, if you’re doing it right, first lines can be fun.

 

So next time you sit down to write, consider how important that first impression is. From there it’s up to you to either totally kill it, or get hit with a beer bottle. Figuratively of course. But, if it were me, I’d try to kill it, just in case. Beer bottles really hurt.

 

 

 

Writing the Jmo Way!

First off let me say Happy Easter! I hope you are all safe, happy, and blessed.

Now on to the business of the day. Last week I let my good friend Paisley take the heat off me with her guest blog so I could give myself an extra week to think on the second part of my writing blog series. Because, with this one, I really needed the thunking time.

Plot is never an easy thing to talk about. To quote a famous Doctor it’s all whimbly wombly. The spellings might be a little off but you get the idea.

To begin with, plot gets confused with story. Plot is the driving force of a story, not the story itself. The story is a direct result of how the plot guides the character through the twists and turns an author puts those characters through. Somewhere, there is probably a list of all the plots ever thought up by authors. There aren’t that many, but here’s a few just to give you an idea.

Man versus environment.

Man versus man.

Man versus self.

Man versus an intergalactic zombie horde bent on world domination and delectable human brainage.

Okay, that last one is mine and mine alone, but it’s still a viable plot, just one that not even a comic book would use.

The three plots about it though can be twisted to be used for just about every eventuality. I leave it to you to come up with those twists. In part one of this series, I told you I would be using the plot from my new WiP to illustrate my points. In it, we went over characters and how I came up with a story. Now that we have three different plots to base a book on, lets go over a few different techniques in developing a plot.

Character driven plots.

Story driven plot

Insane sadist author driven plot.

What do I mean by those?

Character driven plots tend to allow the characters themselves to determine how a plot will develop and unfold. Their reactions or actions dictate how the plot flows. This to me is a panster mentality. The writer discovers what happens as the reader does, by the seat of his or her pants. There’s a lot of room for error this way, but it also gives a spontaneity to the work that adds an excitement element that any other way just can’t compete with.

Story driven plots are more developed before hand. The author has a firm grasp on the book and knows the plot well enough to see how the characters will react to the story as he or she sees it. Usually, the author can envision the entire story with no surprises because the ending is already set in stone.

Do I really need to go into that last one? The author throws everything but the kitchen sink, and sometimes that, at his characters and rubs his hands maniacally while he does it. Yes, I used male pronouns, because most of the time that’s me doing it.

But, I have used all three techniques as a writer. Early on, I was the supreme pantster. Now, I use a combination of all three to achieve my nefarious ends.

Before starting Bite the Neck that Loves You, I had my plot already. In fact the plot for all the Bite Marks books are already set in stone. Franki would look for Alex, then they both would look for the Tome of Alabaster, a book they needed to find and keep out of the First Fallen’s hands. For those not in the know, The First Fallen is the first vampire birthed on earth. Not telling how, in case you haven’t caught up yet. I’d call that plot man versus environment, but I could be wrong because my characters need to battle their own natures to achieve that end. That’s the thing about characters, if they don’t evolve, you’re basically spinning your wheels. We craved growth in those we care about. Why shouldn’t people in books grow too? We love them just as much as people out here in the real world.

Here’s where things go wonky on a writer. Just because we have a plot, characters we pretty much know like second cousins and even a firm grasp on all the things that will happen between page one and the end, those characters will do things to totally screw up the middle bit. The plot doesn’t change but how the story develops changes because of how the characters begin evolving on you.

So, you have to step back and take a different look on things. This is where the term writer’s block comes from. Nothing twists up a writer’s mind like having their creations not do what we tell them to do. We’re a megalomaniac bunch, when it comes to stuff like that.

That’s all my secrets for this week. Next week, I’ll come up with something else to ponder on. Thinking something about first lines, or cliffhangers. Any who. Happy Easter and have a wonderful week.

Happy Reading!

Jmo.

Who is Jmorgan and what does love got to do with it?

Writers don’t under normal circumstances like to talk about themselves. That’s why we write. We can show you who we are indirectly, without the messiness of a ‘What I did last summer’ report in front of the class. Sure, I know you’re thinking, authors talk about themselves all the time. ‘Heck, I’m sitting here reading your blog, and I definitely get the feeling you’ve spent the last four weeks talking about yourself.’ Yep, you got me. But, am I talking about myself, or about the books? Perhaps the answer is a little of both. That begs the question, who is J. Morgan? Really?

As the J. Morgan in question, I’d have to say even I don’t know who I am. The man I am at this moment isn’t the man from ten years ago. Last week even. I’m pretty sure the man a year from now wouldn’t recognize the guy sitting here typing. So what’s the point of this metaphysical discourse?

Glad you asked. The answer relates to the main subject of this blog. If you want to know who J. Morgan is, the answer is in my books. How can I, or anyone, write without instilling the essence of who they are in their work?

Okay, if that’s true then who am I? I write about Vampires, werewolves and zombies. That tells you I’m a fan of the spooky. My books are peppered with all things geek. So, I must be a geek who loves comics, Star Wars, and a list of things that would make a mini ComicCon in my spare bedroom. And, yes, that last bit is true. I write Romance, so I must be an incurable romantic at heart. Got me! I love a happy ending. Just from a cursory look at my books you have some of me. I also write comedies. That either means I’m a funny guy, or I spent two much time in front of SitComs during my formative years. Either way, I think you’d be right.

But, that’s just the surface. Who am I underneath the Star Wars tee shirt?

If we go back to the beginning, I am someone’s son. I was raised in a house where family came first. Even when we didn’t have much, I never once thought that I wasn’t loved. That love is the basis of what I am able to convey through my books.

What else? I am a husband. I must have some grasp of what love means, otherwise my wife would have shook her head and walked out of this castle of geekiness a very long time ago. I’ve said this before, but when you read one of my books, I can only base what you see on what I know — the love between Jenn and me.

The thing that fills me with the most love is that I’m a father. Being someone’s parent is a reversal of being someone’s child. Being a child shows you what unconditional love is all about. Because, quite frankly, if you thought about how big of a brat you were growing up, just the teenage years alone, you’d have to wonder to yourself how come you weren’t left in a deserted field somewhere. Being a parent takes that unconditional love to a whole new level. You might have been shown it, but the first sight of your child fills every fiber of your being with a love so strong that it keeps you up at night. It fills you with confidence. It feels you with doubt. It terrifies you. It gives you strength. It makes you better than you would be left to your own devices. You would die to protect the life, who has become the absolute center of your universe. Romantic love is great. All consuming at times, but it is nothing compared to the love you feel for your child.

So, J. Morgan is a geek with a full understanding of love? Oh, heck no! If you say you understand love, you’re deluding yourself. I can grasp the fundamentals of it, but not the totality of it. Who of us hasn’t wanted to stop the gnawing in our guts when love has us twisting on its yo-yo string? You can’t understand love. You can only bend to its will and pray it leaves you with enough sanity to nod at the appropriate times. Or, you can be like me and write books as therapy.

If my books are therapy, how can they show who I am? You know change the names to protect the innocent and all that. Well, again the answer is simple. I am an evolutionary being in flux reconciling who I was and who I am with the who I want to be. Huh? Don’t even try. I wrote it and I’m still scratching my head. But, I think that’s the same with all of us. When I write you see that bright eyed kid who saw the world an unfolding kingdom just within his fingertips. You see the man who accepted the fact the world might be too much, but what he got is pretty freaking awesome. You see the man who isn’t completely there yet, but uses his regrets about what he could have done and turns them into what he can still do. So, in the words of a truly great 80’s metal band…

 

You know I’m a dreamer
But my heart’s of gold
I had to run away high
So, I wouldn’t come home low

Just when things went right
Doesn’t mean they’re always wrong
Just take this song and you’ll never feel
Left all alone

Take me to your heart
Feel me in your bones
Just one more night
And I’m comin’ off this
Long and winding road

I’m on my way, I’m on my way
Home sweet home, tonight tonight
I’m on my way, I’m on my way
Home sweet home

You know that I’ve seen
Too many romantic dreams
Up in lights, fallin’ off
The silver screen

My heart’s like an open book
For the whole world to read
Sometime, nothing keeps me together
At the seams

Thanks, Motley Crue

for saying it all with a great back beat.

Interview with the Jmo- Part Deux

Image

When last we left out intrepid author, he had been handcuffed to a chair in a roach infested, DNA splattered motel room. Fearing for his life, our brave Jmo did the only thing a studly specimen of manhood could do in his situation.

Mommmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

 

When that didn’t work, he curled into a fetal position and sucked his thumb. In the midst of doing a real fine job of that, the motel room’s door flew open, letting in a swirl of yellow taffeta.

Okay, this third person referencing myself has gotten old. I sucked my thumb and whimpered for my momma. Telling people I did it in the third person isn’t going to make it all go away. I did it. Giggle if you must, but let’s get over it. I’m still a hostage. An unfortunate one at that, because I recognize the owner of that yellow prom dress only too well.

Jmo: Madison?

Madison: The one and only, sugah. Now, does Madison Lee know how to make an entrance or what?

Jmo: Nice twirl, but what do you want from me?

Madison: Nothing really, but Nicholi said that Deme wanted a representative from the Maegunous to back him up on this turning our lives into sophomoric comedies. I have no idea what he’s talking about. In the Southern Werewolf Chronicles, you make me come off like the genteel Southern Deb that I am.

Jmo: So, you’re gonna let me go?

Madison: Not so fast, hot stuff. We still have a big problem we need to sort out.

Jmo: We do? Come on, Madison. Were Love Blooms was not only a LASR finalist for Best Book of 2010, but Joyfully Reviewed just named it as one of the best in Romance for 2012. That’s not too shabby.

Madison: Didn’t say it was.

Jmo: Then, what’s the problem?

Madison: Cliffhangers! I’m not going to spoil anyone’s read, but you’re awfully fond of them. Normally, I could care less, but this time, you messed with me. Vampires are too nice when it comes to crap like this. Civilized about it. Well, werewolves aren’t. This one ain’t for damn sure.

Jmo: I’m working on it. I promise.

Madison: Don’t lie to me. I’ve checked your laptop. You’re working on the next Bite Marks book. My readers want to find out what happens to me. They demand to know!

Jmo: I’m sorry, but the VCI have better lawyers than you do. It’s my contract that I have to have a book out a year chronicling their exploits. Not to point any fingers, but you missed four of our last six interviews. How do you expect me to write a book when I don’t know what to write?

Madison: That’s not my fault. I had New York fashion week to attend. Milan Fashion week to attend, then my nails were atrocious. You can’t have me showing my hands in public with werewolf nails. Not to mention, I had a waxing after the last full moon. You just don’t cancel those appointments. They’re set up months in advance. From the looks of that Duck Dynasty beard you’re sporting, you could use one yourself.

Jmo: My facial hair is a fashion statement, thank you very much.

Madison: It looks more like someone slapped a dead opossum on my face statement. I’m just saying, if you don’t get the drag out and write book three, I know people who will make you wish you did. Furry people. Furry people with fleas and large teeth and tails.

Jmo: Okay, as soon as I wrap up the second Bite Marks book, I promise to finish Were Love Finds You, but you’ve got to actually come to our meetings. I’m not only your underpaid therapist, but I’m the guy who has to write your books. unless, you just want me to start making things up?

Madison: Oh hell naw. I’ve seen your imagination. You’ll have me dying my pelt pink and acting like some freaky Wonder Woman rip off. The name of the series is The Southern Werewolf Chronicles, not Big Bang Wolf Theory. I will not become some Geek-a-Rama book. It’s bad enough you did that to the Vamps. I’ll see you this coming Friday. Have your tape recorder handy.

Jmo: Deal.

Madison: Now, I’ve got things to do. There’s a big sale at this little boutique just outside Paris. If I leave now, I can make it there before all the locals get the good stuff.

Jmo: What about untying me?

Madison: No can do boss. You’ve got one more visitor to deal with. If you’re lucky, you might see daylight before those roaches carry you off. If I were you, I’d do a heap of praying, because the next one isn’t as forgiving as me and Deme.

I opened my mouth to say something profound, but as we all know, I just ain’t a producer of profound. All I could do was mumble under my breath as she slipped through the door. Here I was two visitors down and no better off than when I work up in this roach motel. Her ominous words haunted me, but there wasn’t much I could do. calling for momma hadn’t worked. Sucking my thumb did help, but it wouldn’t get me out of these handcuffs.

So, while I sit here waiting on my next ghost of literary heck to come a’calling, please check out Joyfully Reviewed kind review for Were Love Blooms by clicking the cute icon before below. Then if you like what you see, click on the Desert Breeze banner to pick up the book that started it all Were Love Blooms.

Until next week, happy reading. And, somebody find out why my momma ain’t returning my screams for help.

 

Best of 2012

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