An Interview with Morgan Rice

The Wanderer was given the opportunity recently to interview Morgan Rice. In the past two volumes of our literary journal, we have reviewed both of Ms. Rice’s newest novels in the Kings and Sorcerers series. Books full of action and adventure, centered around a young heroine who is easy to root for, Ms. Rice took time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions that we thought readers would like to know. If you haven’t read the reviews for her two novels as of yet, go read them here and here.

Here is the interview:

Q: Ms. Rice, you are a highly successful author, with 32 novels written. You recently just released the second book in the Kings and Sorcerers series, does it feel any less nerve wracking now, as a #1 bestselling author, than it did when you began? Are you just as nervous for fans to read your work?

A: No matter how many novels I write, or how well they may do, I always feel as if I am starting from scratch each time I embark on a new book. I always want a new book to be better than the previous one, to be as fresh and original as possible, and to give fans something special each time. Every time I embark, I am staring at a blank page, and it gets no easier. If anything, the pressure becomes greater, because you want to be as original as possible and you don’t want to disappoint. When writing a 17 book series, there is also the challenge of keeping all the details of the prior 16 books fresh in your mind. So yes, the pressure is always on. But in some ways, you want the pressure to be on. It keeps you intense and focused, and it makes you never take your readers for granted.

Q: You have four series out now, with two being epic fantasies, a vampire series, and a dystopian fiction trilogy. You clearly have a love for the fantastical, whether it’s in the real world setting, a world you create or even the shadows that some of us wish were real. What was your inspiration? Especially regarding your Kings and Sorcerers What drove you to create such vivid worlds for readers to get lost in?

A: I have been a lifelong fan of fantasy and spent countless childhood years devouring everything in the genre. When conceptualizing my series, I felt driven to create a series that was different from everything else in the genre, and that did not put such an intense burden on the reader. I wanted to captivate from page one and let the writing disappear—as opposed to calling attention to itself. The goal is to allow readers to get lost, and to create page turners. The other goal is to inspire and empower readers, especially women and especially young adults. Empower is the word I live by most when writing. It is a high mission. I’ve come to learn that sometimes, fantastical worlds and characters can be more empowering for readers than just about anything else.

Q: You have an amazing following on your social media feeds, does the encouragement and love you receive for your books ever make you feel nervous? As a writer myself, I get self concious when my writing is praised, how do you handle the praise? And what advice do you have for aspiring writers who will eventually get negative feedback alongside the positive?

A: On any given day there may be readers who say my writing is better than Tolkien and just as many readers who insist it’s the worst thing they’ve ever read. The praise is great and the criticism is painful, of course, but you have to learn to try to shut it all out. Both can distract you. For some reason, when you try to create something new in this world, there are often people who will arise from the woodwork and tell you that you can’t do that, for whatever reason, an army of people who will try to stop you or keep you down in any way they can. You can’t let them win. Because if they do win, then you are depriving the equally valid army of people who can draw inspiration from your work. Each day you have to make a choice of who to listen to, who to believe. Ideally, it’s best to listen to yourself, to follow your own inner guidance, block out the outside world and make your writing the best that you personally know it can be.

Q: The Wanderer has reviewed both the first novel in the Kings and Sorcerers series and now has released a review of the second novel of the series in this new volume. You seem to have titled them perfectly, with the prophecy “There would come a rise of the dragons, followed by a rise of the valiant”. Can you share any tidbits regarding where the war will lead in the following novels?

A: Thank you. I can’t give away too much right now, but you can look forward to the plot lines converging and the various characters’ stories intersecting and impacting each other; an epic battle as the various armies converge; an invasion by Marta; and a dragon war.

Q: Your range of characters in both Rise of the Dragons and Rise of the Valiant are beautiful. From Kyra, who is a fierce warrior in her own right, to Merk who we still wonder about as he makes his way to Ur. It seems as though Merk and Kyra will soon meet, but will Alec and Marco eventually make their way to Kyra? Also, as the book goes on, their strengths and weaknesses are revealed in their adventures. Do you  have a reason behind each of their specific weaknesses? Such as Merk’s self-loathing?

A: A big part of my novels is the internal (and external) journey of the characters, their rise and fall and rise again, their vulnerabilities, and their struggles to overcome those vulnerabilities. I strive to make them not only about people physically questing and reaching certain places, but, perhaps more importantly, about people changing as people.

We asked Ms. Rice if she could give us any sneak peeks into her next novel in the Kings and Sorcerers series and she declined, which is both a good and bad thing. Good because it gives the readers more time to stew over the second novel in the series and because it leaves them wanting more. But bad because it makes us readers sad since we would love some kind of juicy detail about the next novel.

Keep an eye out for her next novel and for us to make a review for it also. We thank Ms. Rice for her lovely interview, we truly enjoyed it.

 

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Margaret_Larlham

Margaret Larlham is a director and playwright at San Diego State University. Her scripts are adapted from children’s literature have a strong focus on physicality and cultural diversity.

Larlham was born and educated in South Africa, and taught in the Speech and Drama Department at the University of Natal in Durban, South Africa prior to moving to San Diego in 1986. Continue reading

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22-07-13-BOOKCROSSING-FOTOI recently discovered a website and community called Book Crossing. It’s an organization that celebrates and promotes the distribution of book as opposed to keeping your books on a shelf at home. The website encourages users to print out a label for the book, register the book online, and release it into the wild! Continue reading