I’d like to welcome Lisa C. Morgan today. She is here promoting her new book, Phoenix Rising. Lisa’s new book is an exciting Young Adult Paranormal book. Be sure to check out my review following Lisa’s take-over. So without any further waiting here is Lisa C. Morgan.
As a new author, I have received many questions on topics from “why did I do” something with a particular character all the way to a fantasy cast if my book were a movie, but there is one question that I get that I love to answer.
“Why do you write?”
I think the better question would be “how do I stop?”
Any number of things may cause a spark, prompting me to grab whatever I have handy to write on (paper, cell phone app, arm…) and jot down a line or two to best describe my idea. There is no set time or situation that seems to be my Muse’s preferred contact time. She has whispered in my ear while I’m driving a kid to softball practice. She’s screamed over my stereo while I’ve vacuumed. My Muse has gone so far as to wake me up in the middle of the night and have me run downstairs to my laptop, all in the name of inspiration.
When the idea for Phoenix Rising popped into my head, I was sitting beside the swimming pool, watching my baby girl’s swim team practice. It wasn’t a plethora of sentences, spelling out the entire story, rather it was one sentence “What if everything you’ve read about in fairy tales were true and surrounding you, just below the surface?”
Yeah…like I said… a little broad and open to interpretation.
I’d jotted it down on the back of a grocery list, but unlike other little mutterings, this stuck with me. I looked around at the trees, at the kids paddling away, at the growing crowd of sweating bystanders who waited for the pool to open to the public. I wondered if some of those folks weren’t more than what they seemed…
Phoenix Rising was born.
Now, having that story (and two follow up ones) written, I find more often than not, I’m relating the ‘real’ world to The Realm, the fictional setting in my book. Blurring the edges of what is around me and seeing the overlap between the two worlds in my eyes.
As I wrote further and further into the series, I found that it consumed more of my time. Situations would develop as I drove to grab milk. Characters were born when a song played on the radio. Worlds were being built in my mind as I ate the overpriced and under cooked steak I’d ordered during my anniversary dinner with the hubby, (shhh… don’t let him know! Of course I enjoy hearing about his job…)
Writing for me became the vacation I desperately needed away from the day to day monotony of life with a husband, kids, and dogs. When a prior engagement needed to be addressed, forcing me to leave the confines of my uncomfortable chair and computer, I would sometimes let my mind wander, agreeing to all sorts of school committees and car pools, because I wasn’t there- I was in Celine, or The Realm or in the library at The Trust. I was battling revenants or riding a motorcycle with a handsome stranger.
But the biggest side effect- nausea. Yes, a sick to my stomach feeling that I would get if an idea came to mind but I didn’t run to write it. I think of it like medication in a way. If you have a prescription, many times you must take it at the appropriate time or risk unpleasant side effects. It was almost like I’d developed an addiction to writing my story. I’d lose sleep; lose my appetite even, if I neglected what a character whispered in my ear.
Writing, not unlike reading for me, is the escape we all need. We travel to another place and time; we are thrust into situations we would otherwise never face. Writing was even better for me. Not only was I being taken on a journey, I could have an impact on that journey! How exhilarating!
When I completed Phoenix Rising, it was almost as if I was in mourning. I missed my characters and couldn’t wait to see what they did next. The lucky part- I’m the writer, so I didn’t have to wait to see!
I have given up on attempting to separate the real world from the writing world now. It’s futile in any case. Writing has always been my outlet for emotions, my dreams manifested to where I could look back and smile or maybe even cry. I have sobbed when I wrote. I have flat out cheered! There were even a few times when I screamed at the screen in anger, asking “How could you do that to” whomever. Yes, yes… I know. I wrote the story, but I take no blame or responsibility for what my characters do or say.
So, it isn’t so much about the why do I write. It’s how can I not? I’m a kayak and my story is the rapids- I can use my paddles to help steer, but ultimately it’s the water that directs me.
I think I’ll just enjoy the ride…
Maggie has lived the last ten years with a woman who isn’t her mother and carrying the label “Daughter of John Henning”, a man sentenced to live out his days at Sunnyview Psychiatric Hospital after his conviction of fire bombing a church… and killing the 8 people inside. What Maggie learns will change her life. She is the last of a race of creatures known as “The Phoenix”, a race of supernatural beings with the ability to wield and control fire. And she will need that power now… Revenants- walking, living, skeletal creatures who have waged a war against an unseen, parallel world known simply as The Realm- need
Maggie’s blood to bring them to a full power…a power that will give them an unbeatable edge and offer the deciding weapon in this war. Maggie is not alone as she learns not only what she really is, but what it is her destiny to become…
“…And I believe you do not have the control over your fire yet to destroy us all.” He was calling my bluff. Worse, he was right.
Phoenix Rising is a first person story revolving around sixteen year old Maggie Henning. Maggie lives with her mother and has spent the previous ten years of her life wearing a label- daughter of the murderer John Henning. Her father resides at Sunnybrook Psychiatric Hospital, having been convicted of killing eight people inside of a local church, burning them alive. Or so Maggie has always been told. Maggie’s world begins to change after finding a letter addressed to her from the psychiatric hospital that offers an ominous warning. She ignores the letter, waving it off as some random nut sending her mail.
Having to endure visits with her father, per her mother’s request, has left Maggie feeling isolated and alone, with exception to her one friend, Stephanie; daughter of her father’s deceased law partner. In an effort to cheer Maggie up, Stephanie and she take in a little “retail therapy” at the local mall.
Maggie finds herself drawn into a music store she doesn’t normally go in to, drawn by a melody played by a mysterious raven haired guy that apparently alarms Maggie’s friend.
Following an argument, Maggie is abandoned at the shopping center to walk home, only to spot the mystery man again, riding a motorcycle, who offers her a ride home. Maggie isn’t normally that reckless, but she decides to throw caution to the wing and take him up on the offer.
The stage is set after a visit to her see her father, normally in a fairly catatonic state, comes aware, givingMaggie the same warning as the letter she received. Creatures, called “revenants” want Maggie’s blood. Just when Maggie had felt optimistic about her father, the hopes were dashed. But, she had seen strange things; bones, pointed teeth, rotting flesh…
The drive home reveals that Maggie’s mother is NOT what she seemed to be and after she’s attacked, the mystery guy, named Michel, arrives and rescues Maggie from one of these creatures.
Maggie is taken to “The Trust”, a manor house that offers protection to beings from “The Realm”- another world that lives right below the surface of the Mortal one. Maggie begins to learn of this strange world and the creatures that inhabit it, including a young witch with much to live up to named Autumn, a light hearted fairy named Seatha, and two Vampire Princes of The Realm, one of which is Michel. Michel is kind and level headed. Luc, his brother, is a smart ass and calls things as he sees them. The two brothers tend to be opposites of each other in most things, with exceptions to their kingdom and now, Maggie.
Maggie meets Liam at The Trust, learning that the crazy board game eating man from the asylum is really her grandfather. Liam explains The Realm, offering guidance, and more importantly, informs Maggie of what she really is- the last of a race of beings called “Phoenixes”, creatures who have the ability to call fire and use it as they wish.
The revenants, led by a creature named Ossa, will stop at nothing to get Maggie; needing her blood to bring them to full power.
Maggie must not only come to believe in all that she has heard, including that she’s one of these mythical creatures from stories, but also learn how to wield her power to face the creatures that would destroy both worlds Maggie has come to know of. All of this, even as she begins to feel more than mere friendship with one of the Princes…
This was an excellent beginning to a new series. It was a very unique story. Using the legend of the Phoenix is truly a first. I have yet to read a story with a phoenix as the main character. Lisa Morgan has definitely out done herself with her first book in this series. She definitely draws you in and makes you want to read the next book immediately. The love story and eventual triangle that is created is one for the books. Also, the character building was phenomenal. The Princes, Luc and Michel, Maggie, Liam, Amber and Seatha are all very memorable and I can’t wait to learn more about them. Overall, I would totally and completely recommend this book. But, I will warn you, you will have tears at parts and want to scream at the book. But, that is what made it a really memorable book for me. You will definitely enjoy.
I would like to thank Lisa C. Morgan for stopping by today and Tempting book tours for allowing me to host this stop. I definitely look forward to the next book in this series as will you. For more information about Lisa C. Morgan and Phoenix Rising be sure to check out her links below.
A lover of books and words, it has always been her desire to tell stories that the people near her could listen and read, escaping the world around them by way of the page.
Always having a new story idea popping into her head, (sometimes at the least appropriate of times,) Lisa can always be found with a notebook and writing utensil somewhere within reach, just as her 8th grade teacher made her promise to do.Lisa has two short stories previously published in anthologies. A Romantic short titled Nothing’s Terminal (A Home for the Holidays; December, 2011) and a zombie themed short titled Antidote (The Thorn of Death; March 2012). Her debut novel- Phoenix Rising is the first in a new YA series Maggie Henning & The Realm and will be released July 2012. Upcoming will be the continuation in the series- Phoenix Burning, Phoenix Shadow, and Phoenix Ashes.
When she isn’t writing or taxing kids, Lisa enjoys reading, football, softball, cooking, singing & dancing, tattoos, and spending time with family and friends.