If you don't already know (where have you been hiding?) A.K. Morgen's debut novel was just released on September 7th, via my personal FAVORITE publishing company: Curiosity Quills Press!
What do you do when you realize nothing in your life is what you’ve believed it to be?
When Arionna Jacobs loses her mother in a tragic accident, her world is turned upside down. She’s forced to leave her old life behind and move in with her father. Dace Matthews, a teaching assistant at her new college, is torn in two, unable to communicate with the feral wolf caged inside him.
When they meet, everything they thought they knew about life unravels. Dace has intimate access to Arionna’s mind, and something deep within her fights to rise to the surface. They don't understand what's happening to them or why, and they're running out of time to sort out the strange occurrences around them.
Their meeting sets an ancient Norse prophesy of destruction in motion, and what destiny has in store for them is bigger than either could have ever imagined. Unless they learn to trust themselves and one another, they may never resolve the mystery surrounding who they are to one another, and what that means for the world.
I have the honor of hosting Ayden and FADE on my blog today, so I wanted to ask her some questions. If you follow my blog at all, you may recognize some of these as my "Getting to know the Judges" questions from my brief Flash Factory Friday flash fiction contests. They're just such great questions, so I had to use them!
FADE releases September 7th - Please tell us something unknown about it. (Something we can't figure out by reading the blurb.)
In addition to the various myths and supernatural creatures that play a role in the novel, Fade will introduce you to a pack of gray wolves that have their own starring role in Arionna and Dace's journey. Doing the research and writing their parts of the novel was such a fun experience, and I think I'm actually more excited about everyone getting to meet the wolves than I am about anything else.
How long have you been writing?
I started writing in the first grade, and have written on and off ever since. I started writing seriously almost six years ago.
Tell us about your writing style. Are you a plotter/outliner, or do you fly by the seat of your pants?
I used to jot down a general outline, and let the story take me where it would. These days, my outlines are a lot more fleshed out by necessity. I'm still not in love with the process, but having the outline in front of me really does help keep me on track.
What is one piece of advice you would give new writers?
Learn to embrace constructive criticism and let go of negativity or you will never survive as a writer. Everyone has an opinion, but not everyone knows how to go about putting those opinions out there in a diplomatic or constructive manner. If you take the abrasive reviews personally, you're going to spend a lot more time questioning yourself and your worth as a writer than actual writing. Instead, learn to appreciate the help that can come from constructive reviews or criticism, and let go of those that offer nothing but frustration. Don't argue with the reviewer. Don't attack him or her. Don't get defensive and feel you must explain exactly why he or she is wrong. Simply say thank you, and move on. You will thank yourself for it later.
If you could save the life of any one fictional character who would it be and why?
I'd save Tristan from Tristan und Isolde. To me, their story is so much more beautiful than that of Romeo and Juliet, and a much better representative of an amazing love story that ends in tragedy. In one of the earliest versions of Tristan and Isolde's story, Tristan dies of poison before Isolde is able to get to him, told by her namesake that his lover has forsaken him. Wagner's opera and the more recent Tristan and Isolde movie are no less tragic, with Tristan dying upon his reunion with Isolde. No matter how many times I hear the story or see it unfold, I always hope the ending miraculously changes and they're able to be together for once! It never happens that way, of course, and my husband has to spend the next hour consoling me while I sob my heart out over the injustice of it all. He's actually banished me from reading or watching any version of the story without supervision. It's ridiculous.
Is there one book from your childhood that sticks out more than the others? Why?
There are three, actually. One of the first books I remember reading (or being read) is The Iliad. It was a childish version of the story, of course, but it captivated me from the very beginning and bred my love of both mythology and history.
The second is The Lorax by Dr Seuss. I remember being amazed at the stark imagery of the book, and the sense of responsibility and obligation it left. I loved Dr. Seuss before reading that book, but The Lorax elevated him to hero status for me. I now make a point of ensuring that the first books the kids in my life receive are Dr. Seuss books.
The third is Go Ask Alice. I read the book in the fifth grade, and could not imagine being in the position of the narrator, or enduring such a brutal life in the name of addiction. That book made me decide very early on that no high was worth losing everything.
What is your favorite thing to write about in your manuscripts? Fight scenes? Love scenes? Dialogue? Etc. Why?
My favorite thing to write is the internal dialogue and thought processes of a character. I've always been fascinated by psychology and what makes a person tick. My undergrad degree was actually in psychology, so getting to delve into the minds of my characters and figure out their motivations and how things work and fit together in their minds is always so much fun.
What has been your biggest regret in your writing journey thus far?
My biggest regret is that I spent so much time "off". I think I would have learned so much more had I kept at writing continuously instead of getting frustrated and shelving stories left and right throughout my late teens and early twenties.
My other big regret is not discovering the auto-save feature in Word until last year. Do you have any idea how many chapters I've lost?! A little piece of me wails in shock and horror every time I think about all those hours of work felled by that dreaded blue screen error.
Thanks so much, Jessa!
No, thank YOU, Ayden! It's been a pleasure having you over! ;-)
And now, you guys can cyber-stalk Ayden! YAY!
And of course, most importantly, don't forget to add FADE to your TBR list on Goodreads and grab a copy for yourself today!