Good morning lovely people and happy Saturday. I hope the weather has brightened up a bit for you today! So I’ve got two posts for you today – yay! First up is a Meet the Author interview with the lovely Morton Gray. We’re talking about Romance with a mystery to solve, love at first sight, which celebrities she’d pick to play some of her characters and her second published book, The Truth Lies Buried….
Romantic Suspense (or I prefer Romance with a Mystery to Solve)
Tell us a bit about yourself:
Hi I’m Morton Gray. I live in Worcestershire with my family and little white dog, Lily. I have always written, penning my first novel aged fourteen, but began to take things seriously after the birth of my second child. I attended lots of courses on writing and joined the Romantic Novelists’ Association New Writer’s Scheme, which allows for an invaluable novel critique for each year you are a member.
After shortlisting in several novel competitions, I won Choc Lit Publishing’s Search for a Star competition in 2016, resulting in my debut novel, The Girl on the Beach, being published in 2017. Choc Lit have also published another two of my novels, The Truth Lies Buried and Christmas at Borteen Bay, and are currently considering a further two for publication, hopefully, later in the year. My genre is romantic suspense, but I prefer to say romance with a mystery to solve.
How long does it take you to write a book?
Now that is a very good question. I have many manuscripts in various stages of completion on my laptop. If I write a book from start to finish, I can do a first draft in about five weeks, but then comes the laborious part of taking this raw material and making it into a novel. This means revisiting the manuscript many, many times, as I take out the bits that don’t work, expand the story and polish the words and descriptions until I can do no more. So, to answer the original question, it takes many hours and slavish dedication to complete a novel, sometimes over several years. I never waste even a snippet of writing, as sometimes those discarded paragraphs are just what you need for your work in progress.
Which book, out of all the books you have written, is your favourite and why?
My first published novel, now called The Girl on the Beach, started life with the title Who is Harry Dixon? I think this novel will always be my favourite, because this is the one that got me my first publication deal. Also, I love the main characters Harry Dixon and Ellie Golden.
Which of your characters would you want to be stranded on an island with, and why?
I think for practical know how I’d settle for carpenter, Carver Rodgers from The Truth Lies Buried. He’s also rather sexy and easy on the eye too. If I wanted a best friend, however, I’d opt for Mandy Vanes. She runs the Owl Corner craft centre in my fictional seaside town of Borteen and has appeared in all three of my published novels to date as a secondary character. I’ve just sent Mandy’s Story off to my publisher, so fingers crossed my readers get to know about her hidden secrets soon.
What other jobs have you done other than being an author?
I worked for an electricity supplier for sixteen years in administration, training and staff development. After that I had a complete career change and trained to be a clinical hypnotherapist and Reiki Master. When my second child was born, I was a stay at home mum, training to be a writer.
Other than writing, what else do you enjoy doing?
How long have you got? I have many hobbies. I’ve traced family trees since my teens. I love trying new crafts and have had a go at lots of different ones. My latest craft adventures are into the world of weaving, soap and solid shampoo making.
If you could give your younger writing self any advice what would it be?
I think I could have been published much sooner if I’d had a stronger belief in my abilities. So, I’d tell my younger self that she’s better than she thinks and to go for it.
Do you believe in love at first sight?
I most definitely believe in love at first sight. I fell in love with my husband of nearly eighteen years when I saw his photograph on an internet dating website. In fact, I probably would have married him after our first date!
You win a million pounds – you give half to charity. Which charity do you pick and why? What would you do with the rest of the money?
As a family we split our charity donations between The Multiple Sclerosis Society and The Cystic Fibrosis Trust, so I don’t see we would do anything differently in this case. My father had MS and my husband’s late first wife had CF.
The rest of the money would more than likely be invested, so that I could help my two sons, or any other family member if they needed it. Might be tempted to have a nice holiday and maybe a piece of jewellery though.
If you could be, or meet, any mythical creature, what would you choose and why?
This would most definitely have to be a unicorn! I love unicorns and have numerous depictions of them in my life including socks, brooches, pictures and cuddly toys.
If your novels were made into a television series, who would play the major parts?
Well we can all dream, can’t we? To date, all of my books are based in a fictional seaside town, Borteen.
Let me see, heroes – Kit Harrington as Harry Dixon from The Girl on the Beach, Tom Hiddleston as Carver Rodgers from The Truth Lies Buried, Stephen Mangan as Ethan Gibson from Christmas at Borteen Bay.
Heroines – Meg Ryan as Ellie Golden from The Girl on the Beach, Emilia Clarke as Jenny Simpson from The Truth Lies Buried and Lily James as Pippa Freeman from Christmas at Borteen Bay.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to see that? Wow.
And finally, tell us about your most recent book and where we can find it?
I’m going to cheat here and tell you about book two, as book three, Christmas at Borteen Bay is as the title suggests a Christmas book. My second novel is called The Truth Lies Buried. The book tells the story of Jenny Simpson and Carver Rodgers as they uncover secrets from their past. The blurb on the back of the book reads:-
Two children in a police waiting room, two distressed mothers, a memory only half remembered…
When Jenny Simpson returns to the seaside town of Borteen, her childhood home, it’s for a less than happy reason. But it’s also a chance for her to start again.
A new job leads to her working for Carver Rodgers, a man who lives alone in a house that looks like it comes from the pages of a fairy tale – until you see the disaster zone inside …
As Jenny gets to know Carver she begins to unravel the sadness that has led to his chaotic existence. Gradually they realise they have something in common that is impossible to ignore – and it all links back to a meeting at a police station many years before.
Could the truth lie just beneath their feet?
The book is available as an eBook, paperback, audio download and on audio CD. Purchasing links for The Truth Lies Buried can be found at http://www.choc-lit.com/dd-product/the-truth-lies-buried/
final words from chelle…
Thank you for coming over to Curled Up With A Good Book to talk to us Morton – it’s lovely to get to know you better. I think it’s so lovely that you fell in love with your Husband from his photo and I”m so glad it worked out for you! The actors and actresses you have picked to play some of your characters are brilliant – now I know when I read your books, I’ll be imaging them…. And finally, Romance with a mystery to solve sounds fantastic – I’ll definitely be checking these out!
If you have any questions or comments for Morton then get in touch through social media or drop a comment below; and if you’ve read some of Morton’s book then I’d love to hear from you!
Back soon lovelies….