Monday, 16 January 2012

Author Interview and Contest: Leigh Morgan

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.

Leigh Morgan



GIVEAWAY:
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 :)

 Have fun!



You and your readers can reach me at:

leighmorgan@bardintraining.com

You can also get me at:

mlmacdonald@wi.rr.com

My website address is:

www.leighmorganauthor.com or
www.bardintraining.com

36 comments:

  1. Great interview ladies. I like strong, independent female leads as well. Leigh Morgans books sound good!

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  2. Naida,
    Thanks for stopping by and I hope you will love SPARRING PARTNERS and SECOND CHANCES. Hope you win a copy of each!

    Leigh

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  3. Naida,
    Thanks for stopping by and I hope you will love SPARRING PARTNERS and SECOND CHANCES. Hope you win a copy of each!

    Leigh

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  4. I am also a fan of strong women in both reality and in story. I recently started reading SECOND CHANCES and have to tell you I LOVE IT! I've greatly enjoyed your characters Rhia and Ramsey who are very well developed. I have found myself laughing out loud to many of the scenes involving these two, especially the one with the sheep! Your book keeps me turning the pages, wanting to see what happens next. I can't imagine your other books to be any different. A must read for anyone who loves a great romance story.

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  5. Hi Leigh,
    Great interview and Lis says hello as she right now is in Australia.

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  6. Dear Top Knot,
    I am so glad you are enjoying SECOND CHANCES. SPARRING PARTNERS is funny as well, so I think you'll enjoy it. Thanks for your kind words.

    Leigh

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  7. Hahaha I think I'm kind of a pain in the ass too, and I certainly appreciate that in other people:) I love a strong heroine who kicks butt and stands on her own two feet but also isn't afraid to ask for help when she needs it. Awesome interview!

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  8. Hello Blodeuedd and Lis! Thanks so much for this opportunity, it's fun and exciting. Have a lovely time in Australia, Lis. Wish I was there :)

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  9. Great interview.
    I like strong females in the book as long as they don't overshadow the males, I like them to be equal. Never read any of Leigh books, will check them out!

    Marissa

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  10. Thanks, Jenny!

    If you don't already have SPARRING PARTNERS and SECOND CHANCES I hope you win copies. I think you'll enjoy them. All of us pain in the a**es need to stick together and laugh together! Thanks for visiting.

    Leigh

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  11. Dear Marissa,
    I totally agree that the hero has to be extraordinary and not over- shadowed by any other character including the leading lady. Love strong, opinionated, kind and stubborn heroes who aren't afraid to take charge and who know when not to(full grin). I think you'll like Jordon and Ramsey they're delicious (at least I think so). Hope you read and enjoy both books and FIGHTING FATE when it comes out. Good Luck in the contest and thanks for visiting!

    Leigh

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  12. Great interview! I love when the female leads are tough. The DID gets very annoying, very quick. Thanks for stopping by and for the giveaways!

    Carole
    carolerae4488@yahoo.com
    caroleraesramblings.com

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  13. Dear Carole,
    I agree! If a damsel is in distress she ought to be able to get herself out of it one way or another. The hero may help or hinder but I don't like stories where he saves the day either...boring. Love strong characters who are quirky and fun and full of life. Putting them in trouble and watching how they squirm out is where it's at for me. Reed in SPARRING PARTNERS can certainly take care of herself. She fights with Jordon, but it's funny and they both grow in the process. Hope you love the stories. Good Luck in the contest! Thanks for your thoughts!

    Leigh

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  14. I love strong women characters too -- so much more interesting!

    Great interview!

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  15. Agreed, DC! Hope you enjoy reading SPARRING PARTNERS and SECOND CHANCES as much as I enjoyed writing them. Hope you like the covers as well. Good luck in the contest and thanks for posting. Happy Reading!

    Leigh

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  16. An attorney and an author?! Wow! What an interesting combo. Those strong, kick-ass heroines are definitely appealing and I often find myself trying to channel their abilities. LOL

    Thanks for the fun interview, ladies.

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  17. Dear Missie,
    I think the lawyer part of me feeds the writing beast. I definitely need karate and weapons training to keep them both in check and balanced. Plus I like kicking tail and taking names! (shameless grin) If you like feisty women you'll love SPARRING PARTNERS. SECOND CHANCES is full of spice but less physical fighting, although there is a nice punch scene! Hope you enjoy them both and look for FIGHTING FATE in the Spring. Thanks for posting.

    Leigh

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  18. Great interview. Loved both books and looking forward to the third. I, too, love the strong women and the strong-willed men with tender hearts. I am glad you are also going to indulge us with Scottish historicals! Fascinating culture!

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  19. Dear Rae Belle,
    Thank you so much for reading my stories. I am glad you enjoyed them. I think you'll enjoy Jesse and Taryn's story too. Like you, I love Highland culture and all things Scottish! I can't wait to get started on my first historical. My projected finish time is early Spring 2013 for that story and Spring 2012 for FIGHTING FATE, Jesse and Taryn's story. Happy Reading! Since you've already read SECOND CHANCES and SPARRING PARTNERS, I'll forward of copy of FIGHTING FATE to you when it's available if you e-mail and remind me (smile...not so great with the memory thing). Thanks again!

    Leigh

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  20. The heroine sounds so nice. Great title with that description too. :D Great interview. Strong females are my favorite!

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  21. Dear Melissa,
    Thank you so much for posting. I love each of my heroines, not only for their strengths but for their vulnerabilities and their fierce courage. I think you will identify with each of them. I hope you will enjoy my heroes as well for the same reasons. Happy Reading and good luck in the contest.

    Leigh

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  22. Thanks for stopping by today Leigh. Do enjoy the rest of the day now as I am heading to bed :)

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  23. Thanks Blodeuedd and Everyone,
    I have had a wonderful time. All the best.

    Leigh

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  24. These sound like wonderful vooks. I enjoyed the interview.

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  25. Wonderful interview! :D Thanks for sharing and introducing me to Leigh. :D

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  26. Great interview. I am a fan of a strong woman. I don't like women who cling and do not stand up for themself. I love reading romance novels and have always thought about writing a book but never knew where to start. How did you know you wanted to be a writer? Please enter me in contest. I would love to read your books. Tore923@aol.com

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  27. Dear Tore,
    I began writing because no one told me I couldn't and I figured I could do it as well as most authors I've read...it's harder than it sounds, but if you want to write, the best way is just to start writing what you'd like to read. The rest will come with practice and some books on craft. If you e-mail off line I'll suggest some you may find helpful. Writing is something you just have to keep doing and not give up on no matter who tells you not to quit your day job. Perseverance and a thick skin will get you everywhere! Hope you enjoy the books. Thanks for visiting and good luck in the contest!

    Leigh

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  28. Thanks for posting Yvonne and Melissa! Hope you enjoy the books & good luck in the contest! Happy Reading.

    Leigh

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  29. Wonderful interview! I love strong women and the martial arts. An author who really knows what she's doing in the martial arts is a great find! I look forward to more in the series!

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  30. I love strong heroines! Thanks for the giveaway!

    darlenesbooknook at gmail dot com

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  31. 4th degree black belt... work that stressful, huh? :)

    Cherry Mischievous
    (not an entry)

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  32. I enjoyed reading the interview, but this sentence is the best I have ever read, I so agree with it:

    Women are strong creatures and men and romance should add to their lives --- make them more whole --- not be the end-all-be-all.

    auriansbooks at gmail dot com

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  33. Thank you all for stopping by :D

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  34. I just love hunky males. I think these would be fun reads!

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Thank you for your lovely comment. I appreciate and love them all :D

I answer them all here.

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