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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Morgan Shamy: The 2012 Guest Interview


It is my honor to present this guest interview with the Fabulous. Red. Head, aka Morgan Shamy.
(Morg is a former ballerina turned YA writer and author of SHADOW WATCHERS, inkpop’s No.1 top pick for Jan. 2010.

She is also wife to Mr. Morgan J, (an amazing X-Games gold medalist) and Mom to four little ankle biters.)

 Here are my ten $6,400 questions:

1.      Your current work revolves, in part, around the world of ballet. How long did you dance before hanging up your pointe shoes?

Ohhh man. Ballet was my world. I started when I was four, and danced hard-core up into college. Danced alongside the big professional company here in Utah for seven years and then traded the stage for teaching. 
I taught around 300 students per week until a couple years ago—until I knew I wanted to be home with the kids full time. It didn’t take long for my creative juices to get antsy… that’s when I discovered writing…

The Morg-inator... Climbing Upside Down in a Utah Canyon

2.      You and Mr. Morgan must have an interesting story on how you met – he being an X-gamer and you a former dancer. Can you share how you guys met?

Hubs and I met our junior year in HS, in Chemistry class. *Insert chemistry joke here* It quite literally was a Bella/Edward thing: where the wind blew my hair as I walked in and he stiffened in his seat… I couldn’t keep my eyes off him and he stared me down like I was something he wanted to eat for breakfast…

Okay, not *quite* like that, but you get the idea. We had an immediate connection. We dated. I ran away to San Francisco with him when he won the Gold medal in speed climbing for the U.S. Just your usual teen story.

3.      You had four kids by the age of twenty-nine and still have time to smile, respond to email and write. HOW do you find time to write? Seriously??
I have the uncanny ability to flip in and out of my MS periodically through the day. When my eyes hit the document, I’m in the world wholly and completely. Until five seconds later when someone is screaming and needs another bowl of cereal. ;) I work whenever and however I can.

I have though gone through different trial and error phases. With my first MS, I woke up at 3:00 a.m. six days a week and wrote until the kids got up. Now I stay up until one or two at night to get the work done. (Those nighttime hours are magic… I highly recommend them!)

4.      You’ve been handed $5,000 with no strings attached – and no obligation to pay it back. What would you do?
I’d go to Hawaii! (I hear there are some great Irish writers there.) But truth? I’d probably do something boring like pay off medical bills or something :P
(Don't believe what that Leprechaun says :)

5.      Have you always wanted to write – and if so, can you recall the first story you ever finished?
Always wanted to write? Bah! Not at all. I didn’t like to read until my adult years! How awful is that? Though I did find a story I wrote in 3rd grade the other day… and Mark, seriously. It was amazing. (It was about these 3 rings that held power. I think Tolkien ripped off my 3rd grade paper) I kid, but I believe writing has always been a part of my life without me being aware.

So yes, my first story was written a couple of years ago and the horror of what it was is still fresh in my memory. ;)

6.      If not a writer, you would be a … or a …, but *never* a ….
I would be teaching ballet, or maybe hubs and I would become rock-climbing bums…

But I could never be a stunt water-skier performer for a show in Sea World. Ha. Or anything involving water sports or sun. Sooooo not me. I seriously need to move to the upper Northwest or Ireland or something, where it’s always overcast. ;)

7.      Why not?
Oh! Answered above. LOL

8.      What are looking forward to reading next – and why?
Your next blog post, because they’re hilarious and meaningful. Book-wise? My favorite author is Diana Gabaldon… cannot *wait* until the next book in the Outlander series comes out!
(Man-blushes ...)

9.      How do you respond to blank/polite looks when you tell people you’re a writer?
Hahahaha! Never had the blank/polite look before.
Though I do get the bazillion questions that come from trying to explain the world. Words like “querying” and “submission” and answering why I haven’t been published yet are difficult to spell out.
While I respect self-pubs a great deal, I want to go the traditional route—and most people don’t understand the process.
Morgan & (Right Side Up) Mr. Morgan :)

10.  You seem to have figured how to get writing things done on a daily basis. What words of wisdom could you share on staying motivated – especially when life seems to get in the way of writing America’s. Next. Great. Novel?
LOL to the “Next. Great. Novel.”

But, there’s no shortcut to writing.

It literally is one word at a time over and over and over again.

Are you willing to put in the work?

Simple as that.

Write when you feel like it.

Write when you don’t feel like it.

Write when you’re too tired to write, and when you’d rather be doing something else.

It takes sacrifice, and you have to be willing to make it.

(Yes, I know I’m not there yet, but as I look back on my three-year journey, the leaps I’ve made are astounding.)
Hopefully in another three years I’ll be able to say the same thing. It’s a journey, and no matter where you are in the process, the best thing you can do is connect yourself with good people, smile, and get to work.

There now. That’s what I’m talking about, people!!!
Thanks, Morg, for being a true inspiration to me and other writers – on many different levels.

You can catch Morgan Shamy’s latest posts here.

 Bald. Guy. Out.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Not there yet, but you will be one day, Morgan!
Four kids and you still have time to write? Proof it can be done then.
And that your husband climbs that well is just impressive. I'd fall off somewhere around ten feet up. (No, not very Ninja, is it?)

S.P. Bowers said...

Loved the interview. My little ten year old self is in love with your being a ballerina.

Yay to another Diana Gabaoldon fan!

Elise Fallson said...

Awesome interview and pictures, you guys are so cute. And looks like we have the same writing schedule. Yeah to burning the midnight oil. (:

A Daft Scots Lass said...

An inspirational Guest Post for sure!!!

Wanna come Guest Post for me?

Miranda Hardy said...

Great interview. Interesting questions and great answers. I love how she can pop in and out of her fiction world.

Suzi said...

I prefer writing later at night too, but the problem is my mind is always buzzing for a while after and it's hard to shut down.

But I don't want to get up to early and write. Good thing I can work around the kids too. I've only got two though.

Cassie Mae said...

Gah, best interview eva! I love you guys. Morgan, you are such an inspiration and I love everything you have to say! For reals, I wanna be like you :)

Kelley Lynn said...

Awesome interview guys! I SO CAN'T Wait for the ballerina book!

M.J. Fifield said...

Great interview. Question #9 made me laugh out loud. I've never had the blank/polite looks before either but that's only because I almost never tell people I'm a writer.

Best of luck, Morgan.

Melissa said...

Great interview! I loved learning more about you, Morgan. Good luck with your queries. :)

Kyra Lennon said...

Cool interview! Morgan is fabulous, and I am looking forward to hearing so much more about her new WIP!

Jennie Bennett said...

Ha! I loved the Edward/Bella meeting. I think you're too cool to be my friend Morgan ;)

Anonymous said...

That's a great story on how you and hubby met. Yeah, could be lots of chemistry jokes here hahaha. I'd go to Hawaii too (Maui). Been there twice, once for our honeymoon.

Darci Cole said...

Lol, (Bald Guy Out, I love it ;-)

I LOVE Morgan! And her words are so true. I'm two years behind her and I've already seen the same things holding true in my experience.

Great interview!

Johanna Garth said...

Great Q & A Morgan and Mark!

Morgan I didn't know you had 4 kids. So glad you have the ability to effortlessly slip in and out of your MS!

Donna K. Weaver said...

Fun interview, but that's no surprise with Morgan because she just rocks.

And Morgan, Hawaii is just awesome. I can't wait to go back again to visit my daughter. =D

michelle said...

Hi Mark.
Well, actually Sawubona to your Aloha... *waves*
Great interview and such fun questions and answers!
Morgan has 4 kids and the ability to disconnect and magically re-connect with the MS... wow!

Hope Roberson said...

You have great interview questions, Mark! And fun answers, Morgan! I love the story about you and your husband in chemistry class :) What did you teach? Ballet?
Looking forward to your blogfest!!

DL Hammons said...

I can't imagine trying to write with a small child around, much less four! My hats off to Morgan!! Great interview ! :)

Nick Wilford said...

I remember you talking about the 3am thing on your blog. Still can't get over that! And to be able to click into it at the drop of a hat - that is a rare skill. Still, dancing teaches discipline, right?

I also think it's great that you discovered writing at all - it doesn't matter when... some people can go their whole lives without knowing they're talented at something! Great interview, Mark!

Morgan said...

Alex: You are the ultimate ninja. No one can touch you!

Sara: Gasp! You're a Diana fan? *dies*

Elise: Magic hours, yes? ;)

Scot's Lass: You know it!

Miranda: Thank you!

Suzi: Two is *just* as hard. It's all the same!

Cass: I wanna be like YOU!

Kelley: Can't wait for YOUR success. You're awesome.

M.J.: LOL! I've slowly taken the dive and am being blunt about it ;)

Melissa: Thanks so much... you're the best ;)

Kyra: Thanks, gorgeous!

J.A.: Pfffft! I'm so not cool, LOL ;)

Stephen: Jealous!

Darc: You're awesome. I hope you're feeling okay!

Johanna: Yes, when I'm in the zone, I'm in the ZONE... every five minutes or so...

Donna: Your daughter lives there??? Too cool...

Michelle: It's totally magic ;)

Hope: Yes... strictly ballet. :D

DL: You rock. Can't wait to see WRiTE CLUB's success!

Nick: I'm so glad I found it too... most of the time ;)

Samantha May said...

I came over from Morgan's blog! I'm a HUGE fan of hers and I always look forward to her posts! I used to wake up early (well, early for me) and try to get some writing done, but I would always get really sleepy and go back to bed. Now I'm a late night writer and I get way more done.

Consider yourself followed (in the non-creepy legal way) :D

Tiana Smith said...

I couldn't do the water sports thing either Morg, there's no shame in that! Also, "write when you don't feel like it" <--truer things have never been spoken ;)

Anonymous said...

Great interview. I sometimes write around things, but I'd rather have half an hour to an hour uninterrupted. Morgan's a dedicated writer. Yes, writers make sacrifices.

David P. King said...

I found myself cracking up throughout this entire post. Oh, man. You two are a great team. :)

Leigh Covington said...

This is BEYOND FABULOUS! Two of my favorite peeps in one place! I'm in love. Morg, you are brilliant! Just love you girl. So funny and honest! And Mark - your questions are worth way more than $6,400!

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Love your love story...how sweet! I had four *ankle biters* by the age of 30...and I assure you...they will still whine for bowls of cereal ten years from now. ;)

Morgan said...

Oh dear... I'm just realizing how LONG that comment I made earlier was, LOL!

Samantha: You. Will. Love. Mark's. Blog. :D

Tiana: Too true! ;)

Medeia: You're more dedicated than anyone else I know. Just came from your blog---holy goals! ;)

DPK: Ha! You and Mark would be hilarious too. I'd love to hear you guys banter!

Leigh: Definitely worth more than $6400 ;)

Elizabeth: Oh man! It never ends! LOL ;D

Anonymous said...

Absolutely loved this interview, Morgan and Mark. :)

Scarlett said...

What a fun interview! Really cool getting to know you better, Morgan!

First. You are my writer's hero.
Second. Gabaldon fans. Are. Awesome.
Third. I fell in love with your smile, even before I learned you are a bonafide ballerina! That rocks.

Nicole said...

Wonderful interview! Thanks to both of you for all the fun and insights.

Crack You Whip said...

Great questions and amazing answers! I can't find the time to write with one child...wow.

Morgan said...

Linda: thank you!

Scarlett: DIANA!!!!!! And if you didn't just make my day... :)

Nicole: Mark. Is. Awesome. :)

Crack You Whip: Just came from your site, and you are hilarious!

Susan Bodendo/Super Earthling said...

Morgan, what an interesting life you’ve led! I remember how tough it was finding tine to write with just one child. My writing schedule was the very same as yours. Years later and I still can’t completely get out of the middle of the night habit. Characters, thoughts and plot changes always seem to pull me out of sleep at about 3:00 a.m., demanding my attention. LOL

Loved what you said about when it’s time to write and the necessary sacrifice—so spot on!

Congratulations on your writing success so far, Morgan—I have a hunch you’ll have many more in the future! :D

Cynthia said...

Great interview! I just started a Mommy and Me ballet class with my daughter so I'm interested in knowing what's out there in the world of ballet.

Carmen Esposito said...

Great interview! My children are grown and I still can't seem to manage my writing time effectively. However being a creature of the night, I prefer to write at night. Waking up early to write will just about kill me.

Carrie Butler said...

I LOVE Morgan! What a fantastic interview. I loved the story of how she and the hubs met. :)

Unknown said...

Great interview and great advice at the end. One word at a time. It's amazing what Morgan's accomplished with all she's got going on. Thanks, Morgan and Mark!

Melissa Sugar said...

Great interview. It was motivating for someone like me who is still struggling and always complaining that I don't have enough time to get it all done. Morgan is proof that it can be accomplished, but we have to stick to the simple rule: Just Write.

There really are no magical answers or formulas or software programs. etc. We just have to write and writer everyday until we finish and then keep on writing. Good thing we all like writing, huh?

Congrats to Morgan and thanks for the interview.

Cortney Pearson said...

Mor-GAN! Holy awesomesauce, this was fantastic!! You're AMAZING!!! I especially loved (being the sap that I am) the chemistry story between how you and hubby met and had no idea about the San Francisco thing! Talk about back stories! This was great, and such a fun interview!! :D

nutschell said...

Awesome interview! Especially loved the love story of how you met:)

Unknown said...

Terrific interview! So much dirt on Shamy now. :) I'll buy the Twilight story, but I'm leaning more towards thinking of Morgan as playing the role of Edward. lol

Great interview, Mark. Love both of you guys, so I had a lot to enjoy here. :)

Unknown said...

Terrific interview! So much dirt on Shamy now. :) I'll buy the Twilight story, but I'm leaning more towards thinking of Morgan as playing the role of Edward. lol

Great interview, Mark. Love both of you guys, so I had a lot to enjoy here. :)

Maurice Mitchell said...

Good questions Mark. Morgan I heard ballet costs almost $40,000 a year after equipment and classes. It takes a lot of dedication to pursue it.

Bonnee Crawford said...

Sounds like an awesome story. Lol to the Edward/Bella thing, though I'd say that's a little depressing to be associated with Twilight... LOL! :)

cleemckenzie said...

Beats the heck out of the Twilight story!

Daisy Carter said...

JUST ADORE MORGAN! Such a great interview, Mark! Her advice to write no matter what is SPOT ON!

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