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Rise of the Fey

Q&A

Could you please quickly describe the Morgana series and world for those who haven't read any of the books yet?

A: The Morgana Trilogy is a modern take on Arthurian legends, with Arthur's half-sister Morgan as the main character. It is set mostly in Wisconsin (though it does occasionally traipse over to Switzerland) and the world beneath Lake Winnebago, aka Avalon. One of the main foundations of the story is a real legend that says that the Fey are those angels who got stuck on earth after the Big Battle between heaven and hell. Of course, with such great powers at their disposition, the Fey ruled over common mortals for millennia, oftentimes abusing their positions, until the Order of the Round Table's knights decided to rectify the situation.

In book 1 of the trilogy, Blood of the Fey, Morgan, who grew up separated from her family, is suddenly thrown into this magical world to be trained as a knight. But no matter how much she wants to fit in with her family and her new school, all she manages to do is get into more trouble.

And that's about all I can say without revealing any of the juicy details, but let's just say that in Rise of the Fey, Morgan's much more proactive at taking things into her own hands (though habits are hard to reform).

How much of Rise of the Fey, the sequel to Blood of the Fey, was in your mind when you wrote the first book?

A: A lot, actually. Because I wanted to make sure I didn't drop the ball on all the different threads I spun in Blood of the Fey, I kept track of all my ideas and plots in a notebook. I later decided whether to put them into book 2 or book 3 (which isn't always easy to do). It's using those notes that I created the foundations for Rise of the Fey. However, even with all of my plotting, I ended up making quite a few changes in the subsequent drafts anyway.

A lot of fans have been asking this question: Is Morgan going to be fainting a lot in Rise of the Fey as well?

A: Ha! Well, I don't want to give out any spoilers, but I will say this: one of the reasons Morgan, uh, passed out quite a bit the first time around was because of a particular ward of sorts... For those who've read Blood of the Fey all the way through, I'm sure they'll know what I mean, and what that entails.

When can we expect Book 3?

A: My initial intent, when I started the trilogy, had been to have one book come out a year. But the last couple of years have taught me that life loves to mess up the best-laid plans, so I don't want to put a definite date down just yet. So let's just say it'll be out within one to two years.

What can you say about the writing process?

A: It's a long, arduous journey, especially when you're a human being in need of seeing the outside world, because you need to devote yourself to your story and that means sacrificing your free time (all of it) and your sleep time (which is so unhealthy!) until you become known as the "crazy lady who's allergic to the sun."

Of course, everyone approaches writing differently, but for me it necessarily comes with the research of my own world and people, first, deciding who to keep and who to toss, where, why, how, and in the most intriguing way possible (to that end I recommend reading a number of books on writing as I find them great for pushing me to think about my story under different angles). Then comes the writing of the first draft, which is tricky despite all the planning. And, finally, there's the editing, which took me ages to do with this book, and many, many drafts. But, despite how tired it made me feel or how antisocial it made me look, I still enjoyed every minute of it, and am ready to do it again for the next book. And again for the book after that. And again...

Who are your favorite authors, and also your greatest influence?

A: That's a tough question to answer, because it really depends on the genre. But, since I write primarily fantasy, I have to say that I always loved the Harry Potter series, and I absolutely love Scott Westerfeld's writing, particularly in his Leviathan/Behemoth/Goliath trilogy which I can read over and over again! Then there's the book that got me started in the fantasy genre and the Arthurian legends in particular: The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley.

Outside of those, there are always my all-time two favorites, which aren't fantasy at all: La Petite Fadette by George Sand, and Daddy-Long-Legs by Jean Webster (the latter always puts me in a cheery mood).

But this list is by no means exhaustive...