It’s an honor to welcome my writing friend, Morgan Busse, to my blog today.
Tell us a little about yourself
I am a wife, mother, and author. I write Christian fantasy and steampunk for the adult market. I’m married to a wonderful, wacky guy (who also happens to be a pastor) and together we are raising four monkeys…er…kids. I’m a shy introvert, but start talking geek and I’ll come out of my shell. Along with writing, I enjoy games of all sorts, hiking, biking, and reading. I love rainy days, mountains, and a good cup of tea.
Why do you write what you write?
The speculative genre (fantasy, science fiction, time-travel, space opera, steampunk, you name it) is so rich. No matter what I write, something fantastical would eventually show up in the story. I also love how I can ask, “what if?” and have all the freedom to explore the answer. For example, what if we could see inside people’s souls? What would we see? Or what if our souls slowly died? How would that change us? What if cats could talk? What would they tell us? Okay, maybe not that last set of questions. Or maybe (thinking now…).
What inspired you to write your current release?
Years ago I had an idea about a young woman who was “tainted” by her father’s experiments and no matter what she did, it was changing her into a monster. As I started to brainstorm, I stumbled upon the steampunk genre, realized it was the perfect venue Kat’s story. Science, cool technology, and Victorian culture.
What was the most difficult part of writing this book?
Most writers experience what’s called a “sophomore novel.” It’s usually the second contracted book and the first time a writer is writing under a deadline, so there is a whole new layer of pressure, which usually affects the writing ability. I never experienced that in my Follower of the Word series.
However, Tainted was hard to write from the very beginning. The ideas didn’t flow, the characters didn’t want to move, etc…There were panic moments where I wondered if I could actually write this story, followed by copious amounts of coffee! I eventually finished and worked with a great editor who helped me draw out more of the story. In the end, I think Tainted turned out great, but I would definitely say it was my “sophomore novel”.
Tell us a little bit about Tainted.
Kat Bloodmayne, one of the few young women accepted into the Tower of Academy Sciences. However, she has a secret. When she loses control of her emotions, she is able to manipulate the laws of science. But every time she unleashes this power, it kills a part of her soul. After she loses control one night and hurts a handful of people, she goes on the run to find a cure for her soul.
What do you hope readers will take away from this book?
A lot of women have deep issues with their father. All Kat’s ever wanted is for her father to love her and accept her. She also sees herself as “tainted” and beyond redemption, another issue people deal with. I hope that through this series, people will see that there is always hope, and that there is always love.
Why did you set the novel where you did?
Originally Tainted was going to be a fantasy novel. Then a couple years ago I discovered steampunk and realized it was a better fit. I used science instead of magic to tell Kat’s story.
You seem to have a recurring theme in your novels about souls and redemption.
Yes, I never set out to write these themes, but they seem to pop up in all my novels. I think it’s because over and over again I see the brokenness in people and in our world. My heart breaks and I so I want to share about the One who can heal us. Speculative fiction allows me to explore and show this in so many ways.
Of the novels you’ve written, which is your favorite?
That’s a hard one! I think I have two so far. Daughter of Light was my first novel and I worked hard on it for over a span of six years. I poured so much of myself into Heir of Hope—all the hurt, fear, and heartache Rowen goes through is the same stuff I experienced in real life. In writing the end of Rowen’s story, I found healing for myself.
What do you like most about being a writer? Least?
Dreaming, then creating a deep, intense story around my ideas. I also love receiving messages and emails from readers who get what I was writing and that it changed their lives.
On the other hand, writing is really hard. Some days I feel like I would create a better story by pounding my head on the keyboard than trying to pull something from my brain. It still amazes me how after months of writing a little bit each day an amazing story emerges, which makes it worth putting my bum in the chair.
Also critical reviews are hard to receive. When you’ve poured so much of your energy, heart, and soul into a story and someone reads it in a day and says, “meh”, it hurts. But I know my stories are not for everyone, and I pray over each novel and ask God to present my book to whoever needs to read it.
Do you have any advice for aspiring novelists?
Write a lot. It is with practice that you start to find out how to tell a good story through words. Once you’ve gotten into the practice of writing, then start reading books on writing, follow blogs, and go to conferences. These can provide insight into how to hone your characters, settings, plot, and inform you on the publishing world and all that it entails.
If you could go back to the pre-published writer you were, knowing what you do now, what advice would you give her?
Enjoy the journey and don’t give up. Writing is hard, whether you’re published or not, so write for yourself and God foremost.
Where can readers find your books and more about you?
Here are some links where you can find me online:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MorganLBusse (@MorganLBusse)