Monday 3 September 2012

Leigh Morgan interview + giveaway

Help me welcome Leigh Morgan to my blog today :) There will also be a giveaway at the bottom.


Thank you for this opportunity to engage with you and your friends again about writing and about my most recent release, Fighting Fate.

You asked about combining my writing life with my work life and how I do both. Since June of this year I've been able to spend more time writing and I'm loving it. I try to write somewhere between 1500 and 3500 words a day consistently. Some days I can do that in a few hours. Others I write and revise most of the day. Many writers also have other occupations and seem to manage their time more efficiently, but having these rough parameters seems to work for me.

My inspiration for Fighting Fate just kind of blossomed from a trip to the Glastonbury plain. I knew I wanted to write about Jesse, Reed's adopted son from Sparring Partners, and I thought it would be interesting to throw the daughter Reed gave up for adoption as a teenager into the mix and see what happened. Then when I visited Chalice Well in Glastonbury the spirituality and magic of the place hit me and I knew I had to weave those mythic elements into this story. Fighting Fate just developed from there. It's sent me on a path I'm loving and my current work in progress, Defending Destiny takes that mythical, magical theme and carries it into Scotland and the Kilmartin Glen area of Argyll. Reed's youngest child, Daisy, is the heroine in that book and we learn more about this secret society of Finders and Bringers of the Light in Defending Destiny. There's so much magic in these areas, you can almost taste it. They're like a writer's playground where anything can happen. I hope I answered your question, sometime I seem to ramble when I'm enthused about a topic.

I choose names for my characters I either love or hate depending on their personalities. When I see them in my mind's eye, I usually get a sense of who they are and I try to pick names that evoke that image for me. I pick names I would name my children or one of my pets; good strong, often Celtic, names. If I write a slime-ball character I choose the name of someone I don't particularly like, or has hurt someone I care about. It's cathartic (evil grin). I played around with Reed's name and shamelessly tried to influence people with that one: phonetically her name is Read's hoping I can keep readers reading more!

Writing gives me the opportunity to explore why people do what they do and how different people react to stressful and sometimes life-threatening situations. I observe and I get to explore motivation, my own as well as the characters I write about. I get to create worlds I'd like to live in and that is really cool. I enjoy telling stories, especially ones where flawed, likeable people love deeply and live fully.

My plan for the Dojo series, which Pen & Sword publishing has re-titled the Warrior Chronicles, is to publish Defending Destiny, book three later this fall. Then I'm going to plot a Scottish historical that will take place in the time of Somerled, about 1000 A.D. where we'll learn how the spiritual artifacts Taryn and Daisy are searching for in Fighting Fate and Defending Destiny, came to be hidden. I'm going to tie the contemporary and the historicals together, but they will all stand on their own as well. I'm really looking forward to that. The Warrior/Dojo series doesn't really have an ending point. I'll keep adding books as long as the stories are solid and people enjoy reading them.

This weekend is the Wisconsin Scottish Highland Games. I'm doing a book signing later today in the MacDonald Clan tent there. My family and I also take our Scottish Deerhounds to the games, the eldest of which is named: Somerled after the founder of our Clan.  Next weekend we'll be in Colorado for the Highland Games in Estes Park. My husband and I have a Scottish food and gear business; we sell haggis and pasties as well as hand-carved leather sporrans and other Celtic leather goods under the name Macskis Highland Foods & Gear. To say that all things Scottish influence me and my writing is like saying humans require water to survive. It's an inescapable elemental truth that is so much a part of who I am and everything I do that I don't even think about it. I love that part of who I am and I bring it out to play whenever I can in my life and in my writing. (Huge smile).

I'm happy to talk Scotland, writing, food, gear and Deerhounds (the most perfect creatures under heaven) anytime! Thanks so much for having me. Look for Defending Destiny this fall!

Much love and happy reading,


3 winners of e-copies of Fighting fate 

1. Open to all around the world
2. Ends Sep 17th
3. Just enter :)
    Or comment, ask a question of Leigh, or tell me anything you want.


  1. Nice post! It sounds like the authors heart is in Scotland and that inspires her and influences her greatly.
    Fighting Fate sounds like a good one.

  2. I will read this just for the sexy smexy cover! Scotland and Deerhounds are an added bonus!

  3. Aaahhhhh Scotland. I love it. One day I will go there. ^.^

  4. Oh great way to pick names and I still want to know what those Scotts have under their kilt! LOL

    Btw, deerhounds are such great dogs. What can I say? I like the big pups. :D

  5. *waves weakly*
    I am not sure anybody would like me to read a book with such a cover.

  6. Great post! I'd love to read this one.


  7. Scotland is one of the places listed in my "I want to visit before I die" list. Hopefully someday...
    Thank you for the opportunity and good luck to me.

  8. I don't know why, as I am not the least bit Scottish, but if you mention Scotland or highlander I immediately start to drool. I love that Celtic things influence you. I home to visit Scotland one day. The cover by the way is hot, hot, hot.

  9. Thank you for the interview Leigh :)
    And thanks to Lis for the questions!

  10. I love the Scottish men. Thanks for the blog and giveaway.

  11. Great guest post. Thanks for the giveaway.

  12. Please enter me in contest. I would love to read this book.

  13. I've been told that Scotland is a bookish person's paradise. Apparently it is also a writer's paradise for inspiration.

  14. No Scottish ancestors here, but I agree that Scotand is fascinating and inspiring! I visited Edinburgh in Autumn a few years ago and was utterly enchanted by it. We spent a whole day going from bookshop to bookshop buying lots of books. Just remembering it brings a smile to my face.

  15. READ MORE! Haha love it! I love finding out how authors come up with the names for their characters, and I can definitely see how naming a villain after someone you don't necessarily care for would be cathartic ;-)

  16. Congrats on the new release. This book sounds fantastic. Can't wait to read it. Thanks for the great interview. I'd love to visit Scotland to see where my ancestors are from. It's on my bucket list.


  17. thanks for the post, it's nice that you can spend more time at writing, and impressive to do so much. Thanks for sharing the way you write your books. I'm sure you'll have a wonderful weekend!

  18. I like that the author names her characters to match their personalities.

    lag110 at mchsi dot com

  19. I love Scotland and all things that encompass it!!

  20. Leigh Morgan has problems posting via wordpress :/ So I am posting a response from her here:

    Good Morning All & Thanks so much for visiting! This is my third attempt at answering, I'm hopeless when it comes to tech. I hope this goes through lol. Heidi & Kimba, thanks for your kind words about F.F's cover, my husband keeps telling everyone he's the cover model :). Wait 'til you see the next one ;). Melliane, I loved writing Merlin, he's a bit naughty and just plain fun. And you're right,it is nice to have more time to write. Carole, Cat, Kimba, Stephanie Staci & Joanne, Scotland is a magical place and I'm sure you'll love it when you get there <3. Mirjam, I'm so glad you loved Edinburgh and its bookstores; it's my favorite city so far and I can't wait for the next visit! Kretch & Kimba, I have to agree, there's nothing like a man in a kilt to make the heart beat faster. Lag & Jenny, thanks for commenting on my character names. I have a lot of fun with that part of writing. I took a ton of heat for having two female leads in Sparring Partners with "male" names; Finn and Reed Mohr were created in that book. Melissa, Scottish Deerhounds are wonderful. My three embody everything loving, loyal and joyful in a canine companion; they are indeed the most perfect creatures under heaven. Brandileigh, Yvonne, Julie, Torie and Melliane, I'm so glad you're excited about reading Fighting Fate! I hope everyone enjoys it and the rest of the series. I especially loved the bits about Merlin. Glastonbury plain is just ripe with all things magical. I hope you also enjoy Defending Destiny which is set in the Kilmartin Glen area of Argyll, Scotland and continues the mythical theme. Anachronist, my writing isn't for everyone, but I thank you for your comments and hope you have time to spend with all the wonderful books you enjoy reading. Thanks again everyone for spending time with me. Thanks to Lis and Blodeudd for having me and for their kind words about my stories! Good luck to all in the giveaway and Happy Reading!

  21. I love a book with the backdrop of Scotland!



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