November 2002's Author! Author!
By: Mary Lynn, MyShelf.Com
I chose Shelby Morgen as my choice for author of the month because she typifies a brave new breed on at least two levels. Not only has she chosen to publish her books in various electronic formats, but she is also among the authors who dare to blend classic genres such as contemporary romance, fantasy, and science fiction with a high level of skill and ultra sensuality that keep her readers eagerly awaiting her next book. This blend has been termed romantica and is taking romance readers of various genres by storm. And the proof that Ms. Morgen has managed this well is the glowing reviews her books receive (including a recent 4 star one from Romantic Times magazine) and an award from Word Weaving. Further proof of her skill as an author can be found between the "pages" of any of her memorable and addictive books. To readers who like healthy doses of sensuality with their fantasies, grab one of her books and prepare to be transported to another place and time.
|An Interview with Shelby|
|By: Mary Lynn|
Mary Lynn: How long have you been writing?
Shelby Morgen: I've been writing professionally for about five years now, but I really started back in grade school, tuning my teachers out and scribbling in my notebooks. My early stuff was - ah - different, though, LOL.
Mary Lynn: Have you always written ultra sensual romances?
Shelby Morgen: I didn't technically start writing erotic romance until the spring of 2001, when I wrote my first book for Ellora's Cave, although my romances had always been pretty spicy - my first editor always made me tone down my sex scenes. Ellora's Cave does not!!
Mary Lynn: What is the source of your inspiration?
Shelby Morgen: Ever since I first read Lord of The Rings many decades ago I wanted to write Fantasy but I wanted relationships in my fantasy. When I started submitting my work to editors, though, I was always told there was no market for Romantic Fantasy. Times change
Mary Lynn: Tell us a little about why you chose to publish your novels electronically.
Shelby Morgen: Patience. I have none. I've had manuscripts sitting on editors' desks at some of the major publishers - like Berkley-Jove- that they REQUESTED-for as long as three years. IF those manuscripts get sold, it will be two years after they're read before the books come out. I'm into instant gratification and instant feedback. How can you learn anything from reader feedback if its five years after the fact? And why would I care what a reviewer has to say about a book I wrote half a decade ago? Are you the same person you were five years ago? When I get a review for an E-Book, or reader comments, I immediately apply the results to my current writing. It's current -- it matters NOW.
Mary Lynn: What was your first published book and what did you learn from that experience?
Shelby Morgen: Charlie's Way first came out from Books Onscreen in 1999. Charlie has since gone out of print. I wrote a revised version called REDEMPTION, now available from Ellora's Cave. I fell in love with the electronic medium with Books Onscreen - the immediacy of it truly appealed to me.
Mary Lynn: What best describes your writing style?
Shelby Morgen: Damn you ask hard questions. I write in depth characterizations that usually rely heavily on internal character growth and discovery, as well as strong action/adventure oriented plotting, with, of course, heavy emphasis on personal relationships that develop and grow both emotionally and physically. (deep breath.)
Mary Lynn: How do you mange to make your characters so "real?"
Shelby Morgen: I have an extensive theatre background - I try to feel my characters, so when I write in their point of view I AM that character. That's a little tricky, though, when I'm writing from the hero's P.O.V. Since most of my readers are women, I have to walk a fine line between what men are really thinking and what women want them to think. Fortunately most of my males are easily coerced into being slightly less reticent about their feelings than they might be under different circumstances. However when a man falls out of a tree, he either laughs or kicks the tree - he definitely doesn't cry and talk about his abused childhood.
Mary Lynn: Have any authors had a particular influence on your career or writing style?
Shelby Morgen: I have favorites - Tolkien and Terry Brooks and David Eddings and Nora/J. D. Robb but I think any of them would be insulted if I said they'd influenced my style. That is definitely my own.
Mary Lynn: Werewolves have popular since Lon Chaney Jr. made the wolf man come alive for so many readers. Tell us about your own "wolf men."
Shelby Morgen: Well, I definitely don't write werewolves, though I have been amused to find my books classified under werewolves from time to time. My world is populated with Humans, Elves, Fey, Orcs and Dark Elves. Many of the magically inclined can shape shift into their totem animals, but this magic should not be confused with the genetic makeup of werewolves - this is simply a magical talent, much as deciphering which of two identical pair of jeans your child has left on the floor has actually been worn.
Mary Lynn: What is the most enjoyable part of being a writer?
Shelby Morgen: Hmm reader feedback. Having people talk to me about my characters in a way that lets me know I've had an impact on their lives Isn't that what we all strive to do? Touch people in some way? Share a piece of ourselves in the hopes of enriching others?
Mary Lynn: What is the least enjoyable aspect of being a writer?
Shelby Morgen: Editing. Searching for 11 uses of the verb form plead that should have been pled, and finding all the places I used heal instead of heel especially since I can't always tell if they're right when I find em. I'm dyslexic.
Mary Lynn: What has reader response been to your ultra sensual style?
Shelby Morgen: I've never had any negative feedback on the sex in my books, but I think readers really like the plots, too
Mary Lynn: Tell us something about your current release and what readers can expect to see from you in the not to distant future.
Shelby Morgen: Two of my books just released at the same time. The Way of The Wolf: The Northlanders Book I, is a re-release of the first four books of the Northlanders Series under one cover. The Northlanders recently won the WordWeaving Award for Excellence, a reviewers choice award from wordweaving.com. A Prisoner's Desire introduces the reader to the life of the slaves of Élahandara - through the eyes of a madman. Although part of The Song Of The Bear series, this book can be read without having read the previous titles. The Song of The Bear series will draw in some familiar characters in the next book as Jarla and Thallin from Too Hot To Handle meet up with Braunnan and Cullaelon in the next book.
Mary Lynn: Where can readers find your wonderful books? How can readers reach you with feedback?
Shelby Morgen: My books are on sale as either downloads or in CD-ROM format directly from the publisher at EllorasCave.com or from sites such as Amazon.com readers can respond with feedback to my email address - firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mary Lynn: Is there anything else you'd like to add?
For those following The Northlanders Series, there's a wonderful map
done my artist Kate Douglas available from Ellora's Cave as a free
download on the order page for The Way of The Wolf. For more
information, be sure to check my website, www.ShelbyMorgen@MargaretRiley.com.
Way of the Wolf: The Northlanders I
Winner of The WordWeaving Award for Excellence
A Slave's Price: Book 1: Way of the Wolf
Too Hot To Handle: Way of the Wolf 1.5
Too Hot To Handle is book 1.5 in the Way of the Wolf series. It is not necessary to have read A Slave's Price in order to read this installment.
|A Rogue's Virtue: Way of the Wolf II|
A Sorcerer's Seduction: Way of the Wolf III
A Warrior's Pride: Way of the Wolf IV
|A Mercenary's Prize: Song of the Bear I|
|A Prisoner's Desire: Song of the Bear II|
|All I Want For Christmas|
Nominated as favorite romance of 2001 by Sime~Gen, Inc!
|2002's Honorary List|