Life as Amber knows it

"An adventure in the making…"

Monthly Archives: July 2012

An Interview with Editor and Bestselling Author, Scott Morgan

My kick-ass editor

  This week, I’m joined by Editor (and he’s an excellent one) and bestselling author, Scott Morgan.  You’ve read my tweets about his books and his webinars, and I have highlighted his flat-out awesomeness in another post about my 10 favorite Indie Authors.  Scott was kind enough to consent to being interviewed by your’s truly, and was very kind in offering me the chance to be interviewed by him on his blog this week.

You have a very broad range of skills in regards to the writing and publishing industry; Would you mind lining out all you offer?  I write, edit, speak, do webinars, teach, host workshops, interview, research, and generally be a smartypants. My background was as a mystery writer (as a kid), then a songwriter and poet (as a teen), then a scriptwriter (in my twenties), then a journalist (in my thirties), and now a grab bag of stuff I picked up along the way.

Where did the inspiration for Tryptic come from?  After I had published Short Stack, a Twitter friend who really liked it told me that it had re-kindled his interest in short fiction. As we talked, we came up with an idea for a collection of short stories centering on one town. The project got called off because of something in my friend’s life. I don’t want to reveal anything more than that because I don’t want to tread on his privacy, but the stories in Tryptic started with that book in mind. When we called off the book, I had three stories mostly finished that I liked a lot and didn’t want to see go to waste. A little while later I did a podcast with Charity Parkerson and Melissa Craig, who encouraged me to put out smaller bodies of work so that at least something is out there. The orphaned stories all had the theme of compassion amid a decaying situation, so I strung them together and put them out.

When did you start writing?  I started telling stories when I was four or five. I had a Spiderman doll and some Lincoln Logs and I used to build what I considered movie sets. I would narrate because I didn’t know what writing was yet. When I was seven I wrote my first short story, a murder mystery about someone who gets killed with a piece of ice, and once it melts there was no evidence. It was my dad’s idea, but I stole it and wrote an eight-page story. Wish I still had it.

What made you start writing?  I was always full of shit, so it was bound to leak out eventually.

Do you have any writing quirks?  Just that I love it despite the pain. But I don’t need the room to be precisely seventy degrees or anything, if that’s what you mean.

Who would your guest list include for your fantasy dinner?   William Shakespeare, Brian Hodge, Benjamin Franklin, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, and Terry Bradshaw (because you KNOW it’s going to be fun with him there).

What year would you visit in a time machine and why?  Wow, good question … Probably 1993, because it was the last time I was in love with the totality of my existence.

What book exceeded your expectations?  The Trouble with Tom: The Strange Afterlife of Thomas Paine by Paul Collins.

Do any of your fiction characters ever show up in your dreams?  Nope.

If you were going to a deserted island, what three items would you take with you?  A jumbo book of crossword puzzles (good ones), a pen that doesn’t run out of ink, and my guitar.

Name 3 books on your to-be-read list.  Banvard’s Folly: Thirteen Tales of Renowned Obscurity, Famous Anonymity, and Rotten Luck, by Paul Collins;  Dark Prairies, by R.S. Guthrie; Anything I might have missed by Alexie Sherman.

What book could you read over and over?  Nonfiction, The Trouble with Tom; Fiction, Falling Angel, by William Hjortsberg.

Which book do you think is a necessary read?  On Writing, by Stephen King.

Visit Scott Morgan’s website here and check out his Amazon.com Author’s page here.  And you can listen to Scott’s third interview on the TweepNation podcast here.

Peace, love, and huggles,

Amber

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A review of Scott Morgan’s “How I Make A Living In Writing”

There’s a reason why “How I Make a Living in Writing” by Scott Morgan hit the bestseller’s list within twelve hours of being published: It’s a truly honest read. It felt more like I was meeting a friend for coffee than I was reading. True to form, Morgan keeps it honest and open, and rather than make promises or claims, the author gives you an in-depth look at how he went from being a film-school student to becoming a writing professional.  And rather than blowing sunshine up your butt with promises of what will work, Morgan instead tells the story of what worked to get him where he is today, leaving it to the reader to decide what similar avenues they themselves might take in their own writing lives.

Five stars for such an honest book, folks.  I’d like to point out here that anything other than honest writing?  Load of bullshit; in fact, that’s the quickest way for me to stop reading and go on to something else.

Buy “How I Make A Living In Writing” here.

 

Huggles, joy, and peace to you all,

 

Amber

In the Gloaming

Five or six weeks ago, my dear friend Justin Bog jokingly suggested I spend the month of July 2012 writing a poem a day and publishing it.  In truth however, Justin really meant that I should publish a poetry book a day in July.  Which leads me to believe that either Justin is a.)certifiably insane, or b.) has a overly high opinion of my abilities as a writer.  Either or, Justin’s suggestion tipped off and helped to give birth to an idea that had been rattling around my head for some time now: A new poetry collection.  In the Gloaming was an idea that would whisper to me once I published The Color of Dawn back in January of this year: a poetry or a poetry and short story collection.

I’ve written before about how writing erotica makes me uncomfortable, but yet I still write it, and I still publish it, because writing what makes me uncomfortable, and writing it well, pushes me as a writer.  If erotica makes me uncomfortable, writing about my emotions, full out and in completely wide open honesty causes me to squirm horribly.  I can write about painful experiences in my life, but I have always done it in a removed manner.  When I began writing In the Gloaming, I said, “Fuck it.”  I pulled previously unpublished poems that were written honestly, but I hadn’t been okay with releasing to be read. I looked at experiences, both past and present, placing them under a high-resolution microscope and just wrote the mother-fucker.  When I finished each poem, there were tears: either from joy, or from heart ache.

Initially, In the Gloaming was to have several fiction short stories included.  But the poetry began taking over: I’d think I was finished, but then inspiration would grab hold of me and would not let go until I finally scribbled the words that were playing over and over again in my head.  After a frustrating day, and then evening, with my writing, trying to finish one short story meant for the collection, I went for a long drive.  It hit me while driving around aimlessly, Lifehouse blasting away on the stereo, that the short stories were not meant for this work.  That the poetry had over taken everything else.

Last Monday, I sat down to write.  And when I finished the poem, I knew.  In the Gloaming was complete.  Ironically enough, the name of the poem was “Finally”.  After being given the okay by my good friend, Author Melissa Craig to use a gorgeous photograph she had taken as my cover, I emailed my younger sister, and asked her for her help in creating the cover.  She came through as she always does: She takes some simple, mundane idea of mine and turns it into a thing of beauty.

There were the usual last minute editing snafus.  And then there was an unusual experience where when I went to hit “publish” on KDP’s website, my house lost power.  But there was no anxiety, no fear at publishing something so raw and from my heart, so laid out bare and honest.

I hope that you find something that touches you in this latest work of mine.  I myself began finding my true self while writing it.

To purchase “In the Gloaming,” click here

New Release: “Wanting”

I have surprised the hell out of myself over the past few months.

You see, I was pretty sure that my genre was in poetry and in the autobiographical arena.  Back in March, I saw someone on a motorcycle that reminded me of a former boyfriend from my early twenties.  Which inspired me to write, “James.”  When I began writing that particular short story, it began as a retelling of a lost love, and what happens when you do not ask the questions that need to be asked.  Instead, it turned into something I never thought I’d write: an erotica short story.  And I was shocked that I could actually write that genre.  After much going back and forth with several friends, asking their opinions, freaking out, having them talk me off the cliff I climbed up on, I hit publish.  I figured it was the one and only time I’d write something like that.  But a month after publishing “James” inspiration hit again.

I love it when that happens.

I’ve released two other erotica short stories since “James” went live, as well as two erotica poems.  Last Friday, I wrote the final short story, one that was a very hard and uncomfortable reach for me.  After editing and suggestions from a wonderful group of friends, I designed the cover, put the BAMF together, uploaded it to KDP, and hit publish last night.

Five short stories and two poems….

I’ve written before about music and the effect it has on me.  Well, music was the back drop for this work, so here are the songs that made up the soundtrack for “Wanting”:

“6 Under ground”, Sneaker Pimps

“Your winter”, Sister Hazel

“Your love takes me higher”, Sonique

“You won’t be mine”, Matchbox Twenty

“Just say yes”, Snow Patrol

“Stay the night”, Benjamin Orr

“Shape of my heart”, Sting

“Time after time”, Matchbox Twenty

“Desert Rose”, Sting, featuring Cheb Mami

“TIme of the season”, The Byrds

“Bittersweet symphony”, The Verve

“Sleeping satellite”, Tasmin Archer

“Like a stone”, Audioslave

To buy “Wanting, an erotica short story collection” click here.

And I have to give a huge shout out to my village for putting up with me during the writing and publishing process for reading, editing, suggesting, and making me laugh my ass off.  As always, I am thankful to: Justin Bog, Dionne Lister, Charity Parkerson, Scott Morgan, and my darling David Griffin.  Thank you five, immensely, for your constant support and love.

Peace and love….

Amber

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