I am delighted to bring a new feature to Jaffareadstoo which showcases
the work of authors who live and write in the North
✧ Here's Scottish writer : Fiona Morgan ✧
A very warm welcome to Jaffareadstoo, Fiona. Tell us a little about yourself.
Hi everyone, I am Fiona Morgan and I live in a small town in Scotland called Airdrie, which is near Glasgow. I am married with two kids. During the day I work as a deafblind guide communicator and a British Sign Language Facilitator in a college interpreting classes for our deaf students.
How long have you been writing and what got you started?
I have been writing for about 4 years and have two thriller romance novels, Free and What's Mine, published with Pegasus, under their Vanguard imprint. I started writing after my depression started to get a grip of me again. I felt I had stopped pushing myself and was stagnating again, and that was the last thing I wanted to happen. I asked myself what I had always wanted to do, but was too scared to do and writing a book was the one thing that always came to mind. So as a hobby I picked up pen and paper and started to write myself a story. My friend asked if she could read it and once I was finished I emailed it over to her and she pushed me to send it out to publishers, they could only say no. So off I went to look into some publishers and sent my manuscript away. Pegasus agreed to publish my book in a way that suited me, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Your latest novel, What's Mine was published earlier this year. What can you tell us about the story that won't give too much away?
What's Mine is a thriller romance story based in Glasgow. It deals with love, hate, manipulation and control. It shows how someone out for revenge can cause so much destruction and asks the question if can love survive?
Are you a plotter...or ...a start writing and see where it takes you sort of writer?
I am a bit of both. I plot the characters, their appearance, their jobs, their cars, their friends, where they live, but then I allow their characteristics and personalities take on a life of their own. As for the events, I know the main ones I want to happen, major events in the story, but how I get from one to the other I let happen on it's own, that way other events can pop up and the story can flow and change on it's own. I was once letting the writing flow and got a surprise at what my own character did... I love that about writing!
Your books are written in the North. How have the people and the northern landscape shaped your stories?
Both my books are based in Glasgow and surrounding areas, so the landscape in my books is very built up, but I do pick out the well known streets in Glasgow City, like Buchanan Street, Mitchell Lane and Sauchiehall Street.
There are such an amazing spectrum of characters in Glasgow I had a great amount of personalities to help shape my characters, with this in mind, I wrote characters from all walks of life in Glasgow, from the astute, powerful, but dangerous, businessman, or the hard working, hard grafting business owner, to the underground thugs for higher. Due to the vast difference in each character, I used different Glaswegian dialect in my books, including Glasgow slang. I feel this gives the story and the characters a more real life feeling.
If you were pitching the North as an ideal place to live, work and write – how would you sell it and what makes it so special?
I would sell Scotland in two different ways. Firstly on the views and vistas. The scenery, hills and glens are amazing and peaceful to get anybodies creative juices flowing, and not far from any of the main cities. Loch Lomond, Fort William, Glencoe, to name a few.
The second way would be the amazing characters you find. Friendly, funny and real. After hitting the world cclass shopping, sitting in one of the coffee shops or pubs people watching is a great way to see life in its finest.
Do you write the type of books you like to read and which authors influence you?
I write one of the genres I like, I also like crime, and psychological thrillers. My favourite author at the moment is Stuart MacBride, he mixes gruesome and laughter in a unique way, and I love how he describes characters.
How do you manage to balance writing with your everyday life and what do you do to relax?
I write whenever and wherever I can. As I work during the day I try to get some words down before I start or on my breaks, but mostly at night and weekends. There is a Costa Coffee near me which I escape to, to do some writing and people watching, I also try to delegate the housework to my teenagers to give me more writing time, although they rarely take me up on the offer. Who would have thought teenagers didn't want to clean?
Can you share with us anything about your next writing project?
My next project is another thriller romance based in Glasgow, but this time it deals with lies and double lives, and of course relationships and love. It is coming on slowly, but surely, as the others did.
You can find out more about Fiona and her writing
Huge thanks to Fiona for being my special guest on the blog today
Coming next time : Conrad Jones