Author Interview – Morgan Smith

Author Spotlight

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 Morgan Smith

Today I have the distinct pleasure of welcoming Morgan Smith, a phenomenal Epic Fantasy author. Currently, you can find her novels, A Spell in the Country and Casting in Stone on Amazon.

Publisher’s Weekly Review!

Please make yourself comfortable, Morgan, and tell us a bit about yourself and your novels.

*Have you always wanted to be an author?

Not really. I wanted to be an artist, originally. I discovered in art college that I wasn’t really dedicated enough, though.

*What inspired you to write your first book?

I was promised a free lunch. Seriously.

*What is the name of your latest novel?

My most recent published novel is “Casting in Stone”.

*How did you come up with the concept for your novel?

There was a one-time, throwaway line in my first novel that I kept coming back to and wondering about. Eventually, the whole story formed in my head and I had to write it down.

*Who is your favorite character and why?

Keridwen from “A Spell in the Country” – she’s such a smart-ass.

*Who is your least favorite character and why?

Iain in “Casting in Stone.” He has a pretty small, almost off-stage role, but for me he was the ultimate betrayer: almost everyone who trusted him came to grief, and he did it in a cold and calculating way.

*Which character do you relate to the most and why?

Probably Caoimhe in “Casting in Stone.” But that’s because most of her fight scenes are things that I did myself, during my martial sports “career.”

*Is there a certain message (s) that you desire your readers to grasp?

That ordinary people can take the bull by the horns and make change. You don’t need to wait around for “The Chosen One.” You don’t need to be “The Chosen One.” You can just look inside yourself and do the right thing.

*What books have influenced you the most? Why?

Jane Austen. I learned everything I know about plot structure from “Pride and Prejudice”.

*Who are a few of your favorite authors?

In fantasy: Ursula LeGuin, Neil Gaiman, Elizabeth Moon, Teresa Edgerton, Barbara Hambly.

I realize that most of these people, younger readers won’t recognize the names. But seek them out. They are BRILLIANT authors.

*Any future projects you would like to talk about?

Book Three of the first Averraine series is in the plotting stages. There’s a related book called “The Shades of Winter” about half-finished. And I’m doing a romantic fantasy that’s a homage to Georgette Heyer. Look her up if you like Regency romances: she pretty much invented the modern version of these.

*If you could start again, is there anything you would change in your latest book?

I think I would rewrite the ending a bit. Maybe.

*Is there a short snippet of your current book that you would like to share?

He strode at me the way he always started a bout, using his bulk to reinforce his supremacy. His first shot would start with a feint to the left, it always did, he was good at it and I had had to find and practice a way to make it look as if only luck succeeded in making him miss that first punishing shot, wherever it came from. I skittered clumsily to the right, got slightly behind him and made him turn quickly.

 It’s a problem for bigger fighters, having to maneuver. It throws them off their game. On a battlefield, your enemy is generally right in front of you and there isn’t any finessing it, but one on one, with no distractions, it’s a completely different tale. You need to be able to move and move quickly, and, accustomed to his opponents following his lead, he simply wasn’t used to it. I threw a tentative-looking blow towards his midsection as he came at me again, a shot I knew he could easily block, and then I hopped out of his range.

 He started towards me again, this time with purpose. He was going to use his second trick, and try to force me off my feet by virtue of his weight, which was considerable. I danced away and ended up behind him again, and he stumbled, a little, as he turned.

 His brow was furrowed, puzzled now, and just a little bit wary. I couldn’t afford that, it was too soon, and I had to get him back to a place where his arrogance would make him commit to something risky. I swung wildly, missing by a mile. He grinned, any momentary doubts erased. He was sure, now, that he had my measure.

 He moved back a half-step to adjust the distance and I let him. I knew exactly what I needed to do. I moved sideways fast, tracking his sword, and let him strike.

 I felt the blow, as the tip of his sword slid past and under my shield, robbed of most of its force by my meeting it sooner than he wanted. I’d misjudged the angle by a hair, but I was now as committed as he’d been and he let his shield drop away a little as he began to step back, as so many fighters will when they’re sure they’ve hurt you, and he was still smiling.

 I was moving with him, inside his range and further, and my sword sank in, deep into his chest, and I pressed it all the way home.

 He was already dead when I pulled it free.

*Do you have any advice for up and coming authors?

Read. Read everything. Read outside your comfort zone and read outside your genre. You cannot write if you don’t read.

I know that you think it will influence your author-voice – and it will, briefly. But if you have any chops at all, in a month or two, that influence will blend not only with all the other author-voices influencing you, but it will blend into your own, and make yours not only stronger, but even more uniquely you.

For updates and more information, you can contact or follow Morgan on her BLOG, FACEBOOK, or TWITTER.

*Do you have any links that you would like to share?

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What if your life was an open book? What if you were just an ordinary soldier, with ordinary skills and ordinary goals? What if you weren’t “The Chosen One” but still had to try to save the world?

“A Spell in the Country” is the story of that soldier – a young woman driven not by prophesy, but by circumstances and coincidence, and by the strengths and weaknesses that anyone might possess.

Lured into treason and only narrowly escaping the gallows, Keridwen was desperate to build some kind of life for herself. But between demons bent on death and mayhem, treachery at the very heart of the kingdom, and a prince who had every right to nurse a grudge against her, what were the odds that she could stay out of trouble for long?

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What if you weren’t what heroes are made of? They said ill winds blew at her back. They said she was cursed, a hex, a jinx, a hissing in the dark. And it was true: everywhere she went, no matter what she did, misfortune seemed to follow in her wake. But that, of course, wasn’t the worst of it.

The evil that seemed to track Caoimhe throughout her life had caused so many tragedies. She fled her old life, trying to lose herself in anonymity , but the unholy circumstances of her birth, and the machinations of those who sought to use her existence to further their own schemes followed her still. Can she overcome a long-dead evil and finally be free?

This epic fantasy tale of medieval swords and sorcery will appeal to young adult and adult readers alike.

Thank you, Morgan, for taking the time to sit down and talk with me. You are welcome at any time. Great Success!

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Author: Aaron-Michael Hall

Aaron-Michael Hall is a native of southern Illinois. She was born and raised just across the Mississippi River from St. Louis, Mo. After moving about the country, she has returned to her roots and where this journey began. When she was younger, Aaron-Michael would get lost in the fantasy and sci-fi worlds created by Andre Norton, N.K. Jemisin, R.A. Salvatore, Octavia Butler, Ursula K Le Guin, and R. Scott Bakker. Being from a large family, Aaron-Michael would often steal away high in a tree or nearby wood seeking solitude. While enjoying the peace her natural surrounding provided, she created her own worlds and languages. For hours, she would be lost in the magnificence of her own imagination. Some characters and elements created then are used now in her current series. The Rise of Nazil is the first novel in the trilogy of the same name from this new author. It is an intelligent and intriguing read with a host of characters. Seed of Scorn (book 2) and Piercing the Darkness (book 3) complete The Rise of Nazil trilogy and are all available on Amazon. When asked why she wrote this series, Aaron-Michael simply said, “It needed to be written.” Blood of Oisin is the title of the first novel in The Shifter trilogy that releases February 2017. It is her hope that the readers enjoy the wonders of Faélondul even more than she enjoyed writing about them.

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