Marilyn Celeste Morris is Visiting Today!
Thank you for the opportunity to talk about my writing. I’m glad to be your guest!
I’ve been a published author for about seven years now, with five books in print and more on the way. I got there the hard way, like all of us who labor at our craft, but I’ve had fun, too. I have more works in progress that keep me busy and happy. I have lived alone for about 20 years after a divorce, but recently my son came home from Oregon to live with me, and that’s quite an adjustment. Besides my son, I have a daughter in CA and another daughter in Fort Worth, where I live, and five grandchildren.
I began writing as a child. In kindergarten, I lusted after the chalkboard where teacher made letters and letters made words, and words made sentences, and sentences made stories! I remember listening on the radio to Let’s Pretend, and afterward I would re-write the story they produced. Later in my childhood, I drew on my experiences as an army brat, isolated in various military compounds where I entertained myself by writing stories. So you might say, isolation –not a bad thing at all --led me to entertaining myself by writing stories.
In grade school overseas (Seoul, Korea and Linz, Austria) I wrote for the school newspaper. After high school, I married and began raising children. No time for writing, there. We divorced when my kids were fairly small, and I moved to Fort Worth TX where I am now, and married again. After twelve years, we gave this marriage a mercy killing and I embarked on my working as an administrative assistant. No time for writing, there, either. Unless you count my writing a column every week for a suburban newspaper.
I’ve discovered that although I write fiction, much of my work is drawn from my real-life experiences.
For instance, I had played with an idea for a novel that was first published as Sabbath’s Room, based on my experience adopting a black cat named Sabbath, who came to rule my household until her death in 2000, and when I retired, I brushed it off and sent it to a publisher, where it was accepted. I was delirious.
I then decided to write my “memoirs” as a military brat, following my army officer father all over the world, and how it affected my life, both good and bad. This was published as Once a Brat. I also published a book about living with SLE, or Lupus. This was titled, Diagnosis: Lupus: The Intimate Journal of a Lupus Patient.
When I approached this same publisher with my proposed third manuscript, however, it was rejected, saying I had not promoted my first two books to justify their taking another.
Well, I huffed. I’ll just send it to another publisher. The novel was The Women of Camp Sobingo, which is the story of four women who meet aboard a ship bound for Korea at the end of WWII where they would join their army officer husbands in a remote military compound known as Camp Sobingo. One of the women is loosely based on my mother’s experiences as an army wife, except, she snorted indignantly, “I never had an affair with a priest.” These women form bonds that would last them through their experiences there and when they meet again 25 years later, secrets and sorrow are at last revealed.
It was accepted by Vanilla Heart Publishing and I have been with them ever since. Since joining that publishing house, I have reprinted Sabbath’s Room as Sabbath’s Gift; Diagnosis: Lupus is now titled The Cards We’re Dealt, incorporating other “Lupies;” stories; and added to Once a Brat by adding stories from other military brats, now known as Once a Brat, Always a Brat.
Other novels quickly followed: Forces of Nature: featured as “when Mother Nature collides with Human Nature during a fierce tornado that hits a crowded shopping mall.” For this novel, I drew upon my experiences working as a temp in the National Weather Service and at a shopping mall manager’s office.
Taking my newspaper columns written over a ten-year period, I published the best of them as My Ashes of Dead Lovers Garage Sale, and other stories from a single woman of a certain age.
A sequel to Sabbath’s Gift followed, as Sabbath’s House, and I am working on the third book in the Sabbath Series, Sabbath’s Village. These books are classified as paranormal mystery.
My most recent work is due for release at any moment. It’s The Unexplored Heart, which tells the story of a British explorer who hires a young woman to transcribe his notes on his expeditions, and a mystery is unraveled as well as a romance blooms. I wish I could say I drew upon my experiences as an archaeologist and explorer, but those were mostly “armchair” travels; however, I incorporated my love of history and exploration (even as a young army brat overseas) into the story line.
An interesting thing happened the moment I ended The Unexplored Heart. One of the minor characters began demanding her own book, nagging me incessantly and refusing to keep quiet, so I’ll be humoring her by writing, After Camelot, featuring the intrepid Esther Wooster, wife of the (fictitious) famed archaeologist, Charles Wooster of Victorian era fame.
A sequel is also in the works for The Women of Camp Sobingo, to be titled, That Cavanaugh Woman.
I’ve been asked often whose writings I enjoy. It would be Stephen King. Honestly. I love how he plots, and plants clues, and gives people the shivers. I also like Dean Koontz. Funny, isn’t it? A little old granny lady like me, interested in horror?
When not writing, I enjoy watching The History Channel, Nat Geo, Discovery and Biography. Also, any time The Vicar of Dibley is running, I’m there!
I enjoy book signings, especially when wanna-be authors hesitantly approach me and tell me in bashful tones, “I’ve always wanted to write a book.” When I tell them, “Well, do it, then,” they look like deer caught in the headlights. I then tell them it might not be the fear of rejection that keeps them from sending their stuff out, but the fear of actually having their work in print…..how would their lives change? What would their friends and family think? So it’s not fear of failure, but fear of success that may be keeping them from completing their manuscript that’s tucked away in the bottom desk drawer. I wish I could say my life has changed drastically, but no such luck. Maybe someday…..
Let me add a couple of links here to my works:
My publisher’s link:
Amazon: Link For All my Books:
From the other Marilyn, owner of this blog:
Thank you so much for visiting today. We've been on my lists together and I'm delighted to get to know more about you and your body of works.