Welcome to Readers Write to Know! I asked you, my readers, what questions they would ask their favorite authors if given the chance, and the authors visiting my blog answered them! This week, I am so happy to have Christian Fantasy author Morgan Busse. I love author who write what God places on their hearts, and Morgan is definitely that kind of author. She is also as a couple of rescue guinea pigs — a first for me! Enjoy Morgan’s interview – her insight is so good, and check out the giveaway for your chance to win one of her books!
Tell us a little bit about yourself I usually tell people I’m a writer by day and a mother by night. I’m married to an amazing man who serves as a pastor and is always making me laugh. Together we are raising four teens (yes, you read that right, four teens!). We are also in the rescue business and are currently owned by two rescue dogs, 2 rescue cats, and 2 rescue guinea pigs.
When I’m not writing, I love playing games with my family (both board games and video games), taking walks with my husband in the evening with our dogs, rainy days (happy sigh!), and a good cup of tea.
At the moment, I’m in the middle of moving from Illinois to Virginia and really excited about this new chapter in my family’s life!
Tell us about your current release Mark of the Raven is a coming of age story about a young woman who inherits her family’s ability to walk in dreams and discovers her family has been using their gift for hire: to find out secrets or to assassinate. Not everyone is born into a “good” family and I wanted to show that it only takes one person willing to break away from the past and ask questions to change not only herself, but her family, her people, and the world.
If you knew ahead of time your book would benefit only one person on their spiritual journey, would you still write it? Yes, I would. In fact, I wrote a blog about my journey toward coming to that conclusion (what-if-only-one-person-reads-my-books). Writing is not for the faint-hearted and there are many times I’ve wanted to throw in the towel and walk away. But through writing, I’ve also come to understand God’s heart, and how great His love and grace is toward humankind. And if God wants to use me, my time, and my talents to reach only one other person, then I want to be used by Him.
Do you feel pressured to compromise your standards in order to reach a larger audience or be more successful? Haha, yes! When I get my royalty check or look at my Amazon ranking, there are times I’m tempted to write in more lucrative genres. But some of those genres would be akin to me selling my soul (erotica anyone?), and God hasn’t called me to write in other genres. And I want to see Christian fantasy flourish. The next generation is enamored with the supernatural, with the fantastical, with the spiritual, and what better story combines all of those elements than Christian fantasy. So I’ll keep writing stories about flawed characters in a different world who are looking for light and hope because there are people who want and even need these stories.
How do you push past the fear of your writing being average and be bold enough to sell it to a publisher(or agent or audience if you self publish)? As an introvert who is both shy and struggles with social anxiety, I’m very familiar with fear. But a long time ago, I decided I did not want my fears to stop me from living life. Every time I’m scared to step out (sometimes even out of my own house), I ask myself if I will regret not doing it. And the answer is almost always yes.
I apply the same principle with my writing. In the end, I will regret at least not trying. The worse thing that can happen is a rejection letter. And I’ve had worse things happen in my life. Most recently, my agent asked me if I wanted to submit my latest manuscript to Bethany House since he heard there was an opening. Part of me thought I wasn’t good enough for a big publishing house and wanted to just avoid the process. But I knew I would regret it if I didn’t try. So we submitted the manuscript and the name of that story was Mark of the Raven. And now you know the rest!
What inspired you to start writing, or did you always want to write? I’ve always been an avid reader for as long as I can remember (I wanted to learn how to read so bad my mom finally taught me when I was four). But I never thought of being a writer. What I didn’t realize is storytelling has always been in my blood. I was always making up stories, writing scripts to perform for my family, and dreaming. Always dreaming.
It wasn’t until my daughter was born and I needed something creative to do that my husband said I should write. Ha! No. I read books, I don’t write books. But he kept encouraging me, and after discovering there were hardly any Christian fantasy (this was back in 2002), and having an idea pop into my head that wouldn’t go away, I started writing, and I haven’t stopped. Daughter of Light was that first idea, now a book, and to date I have published 6 novels with another one releasing in April and I’m finishing up another one.
What advice do you have for aspiring writers? Write, write, write! Just like a pianist needs to practice every day, the best way to learn how to write is to do it. Along with that, learn how to write. There are many great books, blogs, and conferences out there that can assist you. But don’t let them paralyze you from writing. Keep on writing. And one more thing, finish what you started. It’s easy to go from story idea to story idea, but if you want to be an author, you need to finish the story.
Which of your characters most reflects your personality? All of my characters carry a part of me within them. Rowen from Daughter of Light is my fear of the sacrifices it takes to really follow God. Kat from Tainted carries my love of science and my wondering if I’m a monster and if there is any chance at redemption. Selene from is my persona: hiding my emotions and doing what I think will help the most people, but it may not be the right thing to do.
What is one thing that you never saw yourself doing and either do it now or have done? Writing! I was going to be a science researcher and work for the CDC. Instead, I chose to work my husband through seminary, then found out I was going to be a mom, then through my husband’s encouragement, became a writer. When I became a writer, I never saw myself winning any awards or writing for a big publishing house. I was happy with who I was and where I was. But God had other plans and I feel honored to have been a two time Christy Award finalist, winner of the Carol Award and Realm Award and writing for Bethany House. It’s been quite a journey!
Morgan is giving away a paper back or ebook (readers choice) copy of Mark of the Raven to a reader!
a Rafflecopter giveaway