Today I’d like you to meet a fellow author in Paper Crane Books. I met Morgan when she joined the press a couple of years ago. She is a lovely, creative person, a spinner of tales and a teacher. It is a delightful combination.
She agreed to sit down with me for an interview. Please welcome my friend Morgan. (*applause from the audience*)
#1. Do you plot out your novels in advance or do you write on the fly?
I am an organizer, so I plot an outline for each story with major events, quotes I want to use, and such. However, once I got into being an author for a company, I have learned to write on the fly at times, seeing how my ideas may not be functional to the story like I planned YEARS earlier or having an idea strike me that I can’t ignore. A few chapters I have done have happened this way. So, I suppose I am both now!
#2. What experience do you want for your readers?
I want them to find something they enjoy in the world I created with my imagination, a story meant to be told by its characters; I am merely the note-taker for their amazing adventures. This is why I add so many genres in my book. It is YA, primarily paranormal/romance, but I also weave in mystery, adventure, Christian fiction and ideology, teenage issues, school life, life lessons, comedy, nerd culture, self-discovery and worth and more. I have many events in my books that are from my life, just in a different setting or a character handles it the way I dreamt of if I was brave enough to. I want my readers to know that I am inviting them on this journey with open arms and that I connect with them in some way or another. What a ride we will have!
#3 What inspires you in our writing?
Like stated previously, the events and people in my life inspire me greatly. We are the authors of our own life stories and the world is full of amazing characters; we just have to be open enough to find them. Anime, manga, and other works, be it books, shows, or films, also fuel my writing fire. Music and walking calm my soul, allowing it to translate the ever-going gears in my mind. My imagination is always on, which is good for the creative person that I hope I am, but it can also be a hindrance at times.
#4. What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer?
Authors are considered sane?! That’s a newsflash to me… o.0 I kid! Mostly…HA!
Like with my teaching, one must be organized, yet at the same time, as flexible as the world’s largest rubber band. There have been times that I plan to write, but life gets in the way, or the iron is not hot. However, I have deadlines that I have to be punctual on (which I am). Time management is also huge and you have to know yourself as a worker. You must expect the unexpected at all times and even then, sometimes you’re hit with something out of left field that rattles you.
Remember that you love writing, sharing the world and characters you have created with the world, whether it be one person or ten million, I think the thrill of experiencing this is the same and keeps you in check, to write more. I know my students and fans, who are just as passionate with my author life as I am, lift me up with I am slipping into the void of creative soul sanity, unbeknownst to them.
#5. Have you ever read or seen yourself as a character in a book or a movie?
Well…Stary Moon, the main character of my “Spirit Vision” series, has traits, looks, interests and experiences that I have/had had, except she is braver than I am…and has awesome powers!
When I really enjoyed a manga or anime (especially when I was in middle and high school), I would pretend I was a character from the series or add a character to their world, like a mental fan-fiction. I even wrote some of my ideas in Word documents! I don’t do this anymore…well, as much!
#6. Why do you think what you do matters?
I have inspired my students, by working to obtain my dream, to go after theirs. I get to share my beloved characters with the world and have them loved by others, a surreal feeling. My voice was locked tight inside me due to my shyness and the bullying I went through, but with writing, I was able to be myself and not be myself, expressing my thoughts, my wishes, my goals, my fantasies. I get to connect to people in a way very few do. This is why writing matters.
#7. If you could travel to the past in a time machine, what advice would you give to the 6-year-old you?
If it was the six-year-old me in kindergarten, I would warn her that even though you love dinosaurs, you may want to look for a career pathway that is less sandy and not located in the blistering desert sun! If it was my first grade self, well, that was the year the bullying started, over a misunderstanding on the playground. How shy, how lonely she was. I would pat her shoulder, give her my most gentle smile, and tell her that what happened was not her fault, and one day, she would meet true friends that would love everything in her goody-two-shoes soul. I would direct her to go out and explore the playground, using her imagination to create worlds without shame; they will come in handy to her one day. Maybe if I would have had this outlook back then, the worse attacks on my self-esteem could have been ignored for I would have been stronger.
#8. If you would clone yourself, which of your characteristics you wouldn’t want to be cloned?
I’m weird; I like the traits I have, but since society seems to want to snuff them out, I am timid, guard myself at times. There are traits I wish I had more of, or were lessen. I wish I was a little braver, stronger, healthier, had more self-esteem. I also wish I was less scared of everything. I do desire to stop stuttering, to be better at phonics and math, and wasn’t allergic to oranges.
#9. Are you making some influences on the world or constantly being influenced by the world?
I think it’s a cycle of both. I want to influence people to follow their dreams, see good in everything, know that life is a gift you only get once, and show every single person they shine. Yet, the world has shown me beauty and darkness, changing my outlook on certain ideals, making me grow a backbone and a bigger heart at the same time. The two theories go hand-and-hand.
About Morgan Straughan Comnick
Educator of young minds by day, super nerdy savior of justice and cute things by night, Morgan Straughan Comnick has a love for turning the normal into something special without losing its essence. Morgan draws from real life experiences and her ongoing imagination to spark her writing. In her spare time, she enjoys doing goofy voices, traveling to new worlds by turning pages, humming child-like songs, and forcing people to smile with her “bubbliness.” It is Morgan’s mission in life to spread the amazement of otaku/Japanese culture to the world and to stop bullying; she knows everyone shines brightly.
For more information about Morgan and her works through Paper Crane Books, check out her website, which also have links to all her social medias: