Today I am having Leigh Morgan over for an interview. Since Lis has read two of her books, and will read the next one, I asked Lis to ask the questions.
And at the end of this interview you will have the chance to win one of her books. Open to all. Leigh will be stopping by so go ahead and ask questions :)
About me & what made me start writing:
My real name is Morganne MacDonald. I’ve been a practicing attorney for the past 20yrs working as a child and elder advocate mostly. I also do mediation and help families settle cases. I have been an avid reader and creator of stories since I was little. My second year of law school I picked up my first romance, Johanna Lindsey’s DEFY NOT THE HEART and that was it for me. I can honestly say I would have shot my in-laws and one or more of my law professors had I not devoured every romance I could find. J After graduation, law practice stressed me in the extreme so I started martial arts training after my first week out. I’m now a 4th degree black belt in Okinawan Shorin Ryu. I have a 4th degree black belt in weapons (Kobudo) as well. I started writing novels because I thought I could do it as well as anyone <big laugh> ignorance is truly the voice of inexperience. I joined RWA and quickly learned I didn’t even know what “voice” meant. Two children and years later here I am.
In both Sparring Partners and Second Chances you write strong, independent female leads. Is that something that is important to you in romance?
Yes. Yes. Yes. Not only do I write them, I love them. Maybe that comes from the fact that all the women I know are strong. I’m sure I’ve met some who are not, but they don’t register on my radar. One of the sweetest, soft-spoken, go-with-the-flow women I know lost her husband who was also her best friend after decades of marriage. She picked herself up changed her area of practice to one she didn’t know at all and now she’s supporting herself, her sons and dating again. That’s strength and it’s in us all, no matter how deep. Plus, I’m kind of a pain in the a** so I appreciate women who also carry this trait in their DNA. Women are strong creatures and men and romance should add to their lives --- make them more whole --- not be the end-all-be-all. Plus, romance makes us vulnerable and I love playing around with that on the page.
Where do you find your inspiration for your stories? And do events from real life influence your stories?
What a great question. Most days I don’t find it by looking, it just comes when I don’t close any doors in my heart or in my mind. I know that sounds all kinds of Zenny, so I’ll try to be more specific. SECOND CHANCES began from a song I heard on the radio. The singer’s voice made my toes curl and the back of my neck tingle. Images of champagne, silk and lot’s of naked man flashed through my ‘I-gotta-get-a-room’ brain and voila the seeds of a story were born: Older, well-educated, straight-laced woman seeking herself and her new sexual freedom and a somewhat younger, vastly more experienced sensually knowing man who needed meaning and sincerity and just gets a kick out of her. I love Ram and Rhia and I still love that song.
Sparring partners is part of a series. Can you give us an insight into the series? What are your plans for the series?
SPARRING PARTNERS is book one in the Dojo Chronicles, a series of stand alone books that have martial arts training and philosophy as a common feature. The next book in the series is FIGHTING FATE. It features Reed’s adoptive son, Jesse, now in his late twenties and the daughter she gave up for adoption when she was 16, Taryn. The exterior plot deals with finding a mysterious artifact on the Glastonbury plain in England’s pagan spirituality center. This book, like all my books, is really about what family means and finding our own identities and meaning through our relationships with those we love, grow to love, and those we can’t just make swim with the fishes because to do so would piss off someone we love. <big grin> FIGHTING FATE is in the last phases of completion and should be up in Spring 2012. My dojo is so filled with weird, wonderful, interesting odd-balls that I will continue to write these fun, light stories as long as I can. I will be starting Scottish historicals too, featuring the same family ties (MacDonald & Campbell) as are in the contemporary series. I can wait to start weaving these together!
We all love a hunky, sexy, sweet, romantic man in romance. What does your 'perfect' man in romance look like?
He looks as imperfect as the real thing to me, then I mess with him a bit and see how he will rise and be his own best self. Again a little Zenny <heavy sigh>. I love strong, kind men who have a sense of purpose or a quest. Men for me must live by a code and be honorable. I don’t have to agree with their code, and often don’t, which is what makes it fun, but they have to be true to it. My heroes all have to love deeply as well and be willing to sacrifice for the higher good when necessary and have fun not sacrificing when it’s not. They all love their mamas – or some female they identify with as mother, sister, aunt etc. I say this with a grin, but I can’t or won’t write a hero I can’t love and so they need to respect women; no misogynists need apply.
How important is a good book cover for you?
VERY. I love my covers. My husband and I created them, at least all the ones up now. Vince is attaching photos of my covers, including the new one for FIGHTING FATE. My husband is an architect and knows many graphic artists. We commissioned one to do a cover for SPARRING PARTNERS. The setting in SPARRING PARTNERS is integral to the story. It’s almost a character for me. That first cover captured the setting perfectly for me and I love it! So much in fact I have the original framed on my wall in its full 11x17 glory. Readers hated it. And by hate I mean refused to read the book. And as much as it pains me to say it, the READERS were RIGHT. The cover simply didn’t fit the feel of the story which is hot, sensual, sexy and fun. So, with that in mind we tried to make the covers for the Dojo Chronicle books reflect the sensuality of the stories. We’re very interested in what your readers think! Thank you so much for your blog…you and your readers changed my cover theme and in no small part have been instrumental in if not changing my life, nudging it forward with a shove!
You recently released Second Chances, what is next on the agenda book-wise?
Finishing, polishing and publishing FIGHTING FATE by Spring. Then I’m going to outline the 3rd Dojo Chronicles book, set it aside, and jump into my first Scottish historical. I’m a Highland girl and very active in Scottish events here in Wisconsin so I’m looking forward to this and welcoming it with open arms. I can’t wait to start fighting with some of the Highland weaponry…I mean research J. I’ll keep you posted.
Thank You again for this wonderful opportunity to share my love of writing and romance with your readers.
2 winners will each win e-copies of Sparring Partners and Second Chances
(gifted from Amazon)
1. Open to all in the universe
2. Ends Jan 27th
3. Leigh is stopping by today so be free to ask her questions, comment on anything or just tell me if you are entering :)
You and your readers can reach me at:
You can also get me at:
My website address is: