The Writer’s Desk with Morgan Busse
Morgan L. Busse is a writer by day and a mother by night. She is the author of the FOLLOWER OF THE WORD, THE SOUL CHRONICLES, THE RAVENWOOD SAGA, and SKYWORLD series. She is a three-time Christy Award finalist and winner of the INSPY, the Carol, and the Realm Award for best in Christian speculative fiction. During her spare time, she enjoys playing games, taking long walks, and dreaming about her next novel.
More about Blood Secrets:
Not everyone wants to see the world saved . . .
Time is running out. Cities are being engulfed in the Mist and humanity is on the brink of extinction. Theo believes he has found a way to stop mankind from Turning, but he doesn’t know how to alter Cass’s unique blood into a cure. Or if it can even be done.
Meanwhile, Cass struggles with the idea that she is possibly the savior of the world—a world she is not sure is worth saving.
From the Winchester manse to the steel city of Decadenn, there is something more chasing Cass than the House of Lords or the masked man who can walk in the Mist. Soon she must decide if she will use her blood to save mankind or let those who only care about themselves perish.
Q&A with Morgan Busse
TG: Everyone always asks for an interesting fact, we’re going to flip the question. What is one boring fact about yourself?
MB: I had a hard time coming up with an answer for this. I even asked my kids and they couldn’t think of anything (which means I must be a pretty cool mom!). So I’ll go with vanilla. I prefer vanilla over chocolate. I’m not really crazy about chocolate, so that’s boring, right?
TG: Where did you get the inspiration for Blood Secrets?
MB: Blood Secrets is the second book in the Skyworld duology. So you could say I got inspiration from the first book, Secrets in the Mist. All right, all jokes aside, when I wrote Blood Secrets it made me think of what really happens when someone saves the world and whom they are saving. Sometimes saving the world means saving those who hurt the hero, the villain, and the ones who wouldn’t think twice about letting everyone else die. And that was a very sobering thought. So when writing Blood Secrets, I wrestled with that idea.
TG: Do you have any habits or rituals as a writer?
MB: First, I find music to listen to (usually music that inspires that day’s writing, whether I’m writing a battle scene, contemplative scene, or romance scene), then I make something hot to drink (usually tea). And then it’s time to get to work!
TG: What habits would you encourage others to take up to be a more productive writer?
MB: We don’t rise to the level of our goals so much as achieve the level of our habits. That is something I teach in my writing classes. So find habits that are going to help you write and finish that book. For me, I write 500+ words four days a week. After a year, I have a finished novel. That doesn’t work for everyone. Some people write on the weekends. Some people write large chunks once or twice a week. No matter what it is, get in the habit of writing consistently so you can finish your book in a timely manner and meet your deadline (if you have one).
TG: What do you snack on or drink while writing?
MB: Usually it’s tea, but lately I’ve been enjoying a cup of hot chocolate (I think it’s the cold weather that’s making me want something a little sweeter for my hot drink).
TG: How do you overcome writer’s block?
MB: I rarely get writer’s block because I plan out my books. However, sometimes I have a hard time figuring out how to get from A to B. When that happens, I do a couple of things: I write ahead on scenes I know are coming up. Or I’ll do more research if the problematic chapters seem to need more information. Or if it’s really bad, I find I need to let my brain take a rest, and usually, my subconscious works it out (showers, long walks, and country drives are great for this).
TG: Are you an “edit-as-you-go” writer or do you wait until the very end before you do any editing?
MB: I’m an edit-as-I-go, but it’s not really intense. Usually, I like to read at night what I wrote that morning and listen to how it sounds and see how much I enjoy it. I write stories I enjoy, so I’m usually proud of how my morning’s work turned out and can’t wait to see what happens next.
TG: What would you say is the most common mistake new writers make?
MB: Not practicing enough. The best way to become a writer is to write. But sometimes it’s easier to read all the books, go to all the conferences, then try and apply all of that in one sitting (and then burn out). Instead, let yourself sink into the story and characters, enjoy telling the story, and write. Write a lot. One mentor of mine said you need to write a million words before you’re ready to write something worth reading. So write those words.
TG: What is the best piece of writing advice you’re ever received?
MB: Don’t be afraid to go deep in your writing. When my first book was going through its first set of edits, my editor encouraged me to go deeper, to bring those deep emotions to the surface. I took that to heart and try to be deep in my stories: deep in emotion, deep in thought, and deep in questions.
TG: What is coming up next for you?
MB: I’m currently working on a Viking-inspired fantasy with ties to the first series I ever wrote. If I’m honest, this is the hardest book I’ve written so far, but I believe when I finish, it will be one of the best. I can’t way to share this story with all of my readers!
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