Friday, May 18, 2012

An Interview with J. Morgan

I'm so excited to be able to interview you! I know I have the inside scoop on most of these questions, but I think other people would like to know some of the stories behind the answers.

Q: So, Bite the One You're With is the first book in a new series called Bite Marks, but this is by far the first book in your series. In truth, it's the sixth book of a planned fifteen, right? When you began this series, did you have any idea -- even the slightest inkling -- of how sweeping and expansive this storyline would be come?

Yep, officially BTOYW is book six, but it is also the first book of the second five book arc. Love Bites was light and fluffy in the beginning. By book three things were heading in a direction I hadn't envisioned when I started. Love Bites started growing up. As it did, I saw that after the events of Lovership of the Stake, the next book wouldn't have the same tone as the first five. That's why I divided it into three parts.  Each part would consist of five books. Love Bites would be the calm before the storm to come. Bite Marks would be about the repercussions of what happened as a result of our merry band of Humans and Vampires coming together. It would also be centered around the Vampire Wars. A thing that hadn't happened in nearly five thousand years. The third five book arc? Well, that I can't talk about right now. I love spoilers as well as the next Whovian, but telling now would be giving away way too much.

To answer your second question, if I knew then what I've written now, I'd have said, 'No way!' That's the beauty of writing. You never know how far your imagination will take you.

Q: Megan isn't the typical heroine, and I know several women combined inspired her. Why did you choose to write a curvy, plus sized heroine and do you think readers will be open to her as a heroine? Or, was that a consideration on your part? Did you just know it was her story?

Megan is perhaps my favorite character to date because she doesn't fit into the normal mode of what a heroine should be. I live in the real world, and even though I write about vampires, werewolves and other things that thrive in the darkness, I want to make my characters believable. Women don't come in one size, namely supermodel. Women are beautiful because they are different. I found it unfair that in a lot of romances, the message seemed to be unless you're a set size or body type, a knight shining armor wasn't waiting for you. The first paranormal romance I read was Night Play by Sherrilyn Kenyon. I loved that she bucked tradition to make her heroine curvy and beautiful to the hero because of who she was and not because of how she looked on the outside. Since then, I haven't really seen another book like it.


When Megan popped into my head, I saw her as an every woman. The three big influences on her personality came from those closest to me, or rather closest to my heart. A certain Gail popped up first, because she is fun, quirky, and beautiful in her own right. So, when I pictured Megan physically, I pictured Gail, you know the one I mean. Next came my wife Jenn, because Megan needed some snark and let's face it, every heroine I've ever written has some Jenn in them. Finally, the true love of my stomach, Paula Deen. Megan is a chef and every chef needs more bacon and butter to make the recipe complete.


I know this is long winded and might sound crazy, but when I was writing Bite the One You're With, I never considered whether the readers would accept her as a heroine based on her outer appearance. I like to think I know my readers. They look past color, beliefs and how someone looks to see the things that really matter, who the person is on the inside and as always they look to the love.

Q: If you don't mind me saying so, you have an amazing talent for tapping into a whole plethora of emotions when you write. Yes, your work is funny. I always warn people "Do not drink anything when reading J. Morgan!" But, readers experience much more than that when reading. Do you think this is part of your evolution as a writer, or do you think this skill has always been there and you're just allowing it now to emerge?

I'll be the first to admit when I began writing comedy that I relied heavily on spit takes and snark to drive my characters, as well as the story to propel them through a book. With each new book, I began delving first into who the characters were and how they'd react to a situation, instead of letting the situations define them. It took several books for me to realize that to remain fresh as an author I needed to step forward and go beyond what I knew and look for what I needed to know to be a better writer. Now, that wasn't all me coming to that realization. I've had the privilege of making this journey as a writer with great friends who aren't afraid to tell me the truth along with the praise. And, I guess some amazing editors who have twisted my arm, put up with my insanity and bad grammar, generally taught me the things I didn't know and helped me improve on the things I did know. This wasn't asked, but I'm giving this advice anyway. If you truly want to become a writer, you have to be honest enough with yourself to accept the fact you aren't God's gift to literature and to accept criticism. If you can't do that, you're not going to go far.

Q: Okay, enough about how amazing you are. I think I've proven my point. Tell everyone who doesn't already know about what Bite the One You're with is about, and how does it fit into the entire arc.

BTOYW is about Megan Marshall, the non-slayer side of the Marshall family. After the events of Lovership of the Stake, the Fallen is targeting those close to the characters of the Love Bites series. Stalking Shadow, the son of Waterfall Woman, has been sent to protect Megan and get her to safety. Their first meeting is where all heck breaks loose. It's not exactly love at first sight between them, but when the threat of the Fallen becomes all too real, they are thrown together. Now, not only are their lives at stake, but it's their hearts that are in the real danger.

The first book of Bite Marks sets the stage for the Vampire Wars. Basically nine months separate Bite Marks from Love Bites. During that time, a secret war has gone between the forces of the Fallen and the gang from Love Bites. Bite the One You're With blows that war up, excuse the pun. From the first page to the last, the groundwork for the next ten books are here. What else can I say? This book is the fang changer. Okay, maybe I should have kept that pun to myself. Let's move on before the stink of it follows me forever.

Q: You've incorporated a lot of mythology, theology, and pop culture into your novels. Is there a legend or mythological creature you haven't used yet that you would like to? What is it? Tell us more!

I haven't touched Egyptian and for a very good reason. As much as I love everything there is about Egypt and its history, Anne Rice did it, and did it better than I ever could. Maybe one day, I'll work on a book dealing with Egypt but I don't see the Love Bites series being it. Hmmm… You never know, though. The last five books will have a lot of stuff going on that could very well make me eat those words.

Q: At the end of each book you set us up for the next romance. Care to give us a hint about who you'll toss together in the next book? Come on... whet our appetites.

I can't say much, but the book will revolve around two new characters introduced in Bite the One You're With. One is a two hundred year old womanizer from the age of the musketeers, and the other is a street wise, smart mouth slayer. When they meet, it's murder, and then the fun truly begins. Okay, that's all I can say.

Q: Okay, one last question. Twinkies or Oreos... you can only have one for the rest of your life. What do you choose?

A Twinkie Oreo! No? Are you sure on that? I'm sure that soon there will be a Twinkie Oreo. But, if I had to pick just one, it would be the Oreos for one simple reason. There's more Oreos in a box than there are Twinkies in a box. Case closed. Now, do I get a complimentary box? 

Um... sure... it's in the mail. :-)

JMo didn't mention this, but if you haven't had a chance to read his first series Love Bites yet, you've got a great opportunity. Exclusively through his publisher's website, you can now purchase all FIVE books in one zipped pack. And at a discounted price! If you bought these books individually, you'd spend nearly $33.00. But, with this pack you get all five for $22.99.

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