Thursday, March 20, 2014

Author Interview: Morgan Straughan Comnick, Author of SPIRIT VISION

If God gave you a mission, would you answer His call?
The Lord has given Stary, a high school freshman, a mission: extinguish the evil residing in the murderer of two teens--Maren and Umbra. Stary never imagined that her strange visions meant that she was the Spirit Warrior for God and now with her powers activated, she must train to use them and try not to get caught by the murderer who has the ability to hide and conjure up the dark powers from the fallen angel himself--Lucifer. If Stary fails, not only will she lose her life, but Maren and Umbra will lose their entry into heaven and the world will be exposed to the madness of the murderer for the next forty years until the new Spirit Warrior is born.

Buy the book at: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iTunes | Smashwords

Interview with Morgan Straughan Comnick
Darmie Orem: What's your style of writing?

Morgan: I like to write using a lot of descriptive terms and imagery. I know I write a lot, but I try to make it flow so it is effortless, like how you breathe. I personally like books that have a little bit of everything, so I write that way as well; something for everyone. :)

Darmie Orem: What did you do before coming into the literary life? Make it very brief.

Morgan: I have dreamed of being a teacher since I was ten and I am still one and will always be in some form or fashion, no matter where my path takes me. They coincide fairly well most of the time.

Darmie Orem: What types of genre do you work within?

Morgan: Spirit Vision is a paranormal romance with mystery, high school life, and humor in it as well. I do not limit myself to one genre; I have way too many ideas for books all over the spectrum, but I like writing for young adults. I can bet that 90% of my books to come will be young adult, but I would like to compose an intermediate or juvenile work and write a few children's books as well in my life time

Darmie Orem: How did Stary's story begin? Was it an event which gave you the idea to write it, a character, or an image?

Morgan: Stary's story itself started after I decided I wanted to take a crack at writing a book, but I did not decide on the topic at first. I was exploring my school, observing things from the point of view of an author for the first time and it is amazing what I uncovered! I knew I wanted to write from the point of view of a freshman girl in high school since I was one; it made narration simple, relatable. I was into spiritual/ghost stories where humans helped them with a task at the time (I go through phases), so I knew that was my genre. I was in the bathroom and I was thinking of powers for Stary's powers and then I joked, saying, "Duh! Of course she can see spirits and see spirit writing; she would have spirit vision," and the title was born! The rest of the plot came to me in a rush within the next weeks. It was a pretty surreal experience, but I get ideas on a whim a lot.

Darmie Orem: How many years has the first chapter been growing in your mind?

Morgan: I have to write in order so chapter one was originally written close to ten years ago! 0.o Dang! Now I feel old! >.< It came to me fairly quickly. I watched anime where the heroines had symbolic dreams often, so that is what I intended for Stary to start off with. I have vivid dreams too, so I wanted to make it as detailed as possible, but the original version is much tamer than the one I have now! I added some more dark elements to it, but with the theme, it fits. Still, the three main parts are all the same.

Darmie Orem: What's the theme of SPIRIT VISION?

Morgan: "Hold on to what if." Maren and Umbra never give up to find a way to enter heaven even when it seems near hopeless. Stary never gives up on tracking a murderer, a task that could end her own life, in order to help her new friends. This pops up a lot in the book and this quote is so dear to me, I use it as my author quote on my business cards!

Darmie Orem: Do you make it a conscious choice to identify your theme before you start writing the novel or is it something which develops as the characters evolve?

Morgan: I think the characters reveal the theme to me. They lead me on every path the book takes. We fight over it and sometimes, they pout when I am stubborn, but it is like having your children in your head! You NEED them and in the end, it is THEIR tale you are sharing to the world. 

Darmie Orem: What is not quite right that your lead character has to fix? Please, briefly tell us.

Morgan: My lead character and narrator, Stary, finds out she is the chosen Spirit Warrior for God and she has the ability to see, communicate, and aide spirits and ghosts. In this case, she has been asked to track down the murderer of Maren and Umbra so she can take the evil out of the murderer and the spirits can move on into Heaven. This is a rule of Heaven to help save other innocent lives. This is a huge problem; I am not sure I could handle the task, although I would try!

Darmie Orem: Is there anything you wouldn't write about within your genres?

Morgan: Using religion and religious lore, I had to be careful because I did not want to offend anyone. This is a work of fiction after all. I was just careful with my wording. I also get red thinking about my characters in... 'adult situations...' Romantically, I know, as they age, things may happen and I will not deny it, but I will not go into graphic detail because, well, I get so...*blushes* Yeah, this is why I stick to young adult fiction and not the adult books with Fabio on the cover that my grandma loves! -_-;;

Darmie Orem: What are the elements in SPIRIT VISION that will keep a reader stay up all night reading, that will whisk him or her to faraway places and times, that will expand minds and inspire?

Morgan: How nicely put! :D Like I said, I put a little bit of something in there for everyone and I like putting twists and turns that the reader may not expect. I am told by many that the ending, although to me it was obvious, was real shocking! I think that is good. ^^ I also have different events going on, but they do tie together in the end: there is the mystery of the murderer, there is Stary trying to live a normal life and failing, there is Stary and who her romantic interests will be... A movie in your head I hope.

Darmie Orem: Shortly, what's the climactic end of SPIRIT VISION?

Morgan: Wow! I really do not like spoilers! But, I can tell you Stary, Umbra, and Maren do confront the murderer in an epic, to the death battle and several things are revealed. The ending also opens up the story to another book, which I am currently working on and plan to have out this fall! :)

Darmie Orem: Do you wish to be synonymous with fame and fortune in the publishing field?

Morgan: I am not going to lie; I would like to be a well-known writer and I could always use more money, but that is not my goal in writing. I want to share my stories with the world, have Stary's story loved by more people than myself, and inspire others to see that you should never give up on your dreams. If I get some fame and fortune from it, I will not complain. ;)

Darmie Orem: How many books do you plan to write & publish before you get off the ride of 
 literary life?

Morgan: For Spirit Vision, I have plans for a five book series, and I have ideas for at least three side books and a fan book. I have an anthology coming out this year as well and plan on another one in the not too distant future. I also have numerous ideas for other stories, all written down! If they ALL get published, I would say I am looking into over 200 books being published! 0.o It is a lot and I think I will write until I physically cannot any more or mentally, but I pray that never happens.

Darmie Orem: Morgan, will you write for us a short encouraging quote? [Smiles]

Morgan: :D Of course: I was always a super shy kid, a kid who worked hard at everything, but I always got second no matter what. It was never about a prize or praise, but I wanted to be good at one thing, I wanted someone to clap for me, I wanted to shine, just once. I wrote this poem a while back and I repeated it often like a mantra when I needed to get myself out of a tough spot and say, "You are good enough!" I want everyone to know they are good at something, they shine in their own way; we just have to find it and support each other's light.

"Someday...It'll be time
My time to show my light
Let my feelings glow in the night
and prove my heart can shine."

Darmie Orem: Hmm. Concise and sweet. Have you enjoyed this interview?

Morgan: Very much so! Thank you so much for having me, supporting my tour, and asking such excellent questions! :)

Darmie Orem: Thanks for choosing Authors' Curtilage for your Tour Stop for SPIRIT VISION presented by Paper Crane Books.

About the Author: Educator of young minds by day, super nerdy savior of justice and cute things by night, Morgan Straughan Comnick has a love for turning the normal into something special without losing its essence. Morgan draws from real life experiences and her ongoing imagination to spark her writing. In her spare time, she enjoys doing goofy voices, traveling to new worlds by turning pages, humming child-like songs, and forcing people to smile with her "bubbliness." It is Morgan's mission in life to spread the amazement of otaku/Japanese culture to the world and to stop bullying; she knows everyone shines brightly.
Follow the author at: Website | Facebook | Goodreads | Pinterest | Twitter | YouTube

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