7 Questions With Author S E Morgan
S E Morgan is a historical novelist from Wales. After a career in mental health and government she has taken time to indulge in her passions of walking, Wales and writing. She recently published her first novel, From Waterloo to Water Street.
An occasional potter, photographer and painter, S E Morgan aims to develop parts of her brain little used until now – while she still has the chance.
For the ones of you who are new to my blog, I’m Esther, writer, content creator for authors and massive nerd. If you’re interested to know all the tips & tricks surrounding the process From Writing To Publishing Your Novel, you’re only a click away. For writing and marketing tips consider subscribing to my YouTube Channel.
What would you do if you wouldn’t be writing?
I had a very enjoyable career as a doctor and policy maker in mental health care and wouldn’t change those earlier choices. When I was younger I wanted to write but had no idea about what. Now I might try to paint if I didn’t write, it needs to be an all consuming activity that takes me out of day to day cares.
What should readers expect from your next novel?
I’ve finished a novel set in Fifth Century Wales and Ireland, it is fast moving and fun, aiming to make well known historical characters, come to life as real people.
I did a lot of research to find what facts were known or suspected, and wove those into the plot. The work is very different to my first more thoughtful novel which looks at survivor guilt, trauma, love and loss. I’m waiting for my editor to take their red pen to it, as I write.
I already have started a sequel to From Waterloo to Water Street. I’ve moved the family on twenty years to a time of mass emigration, when the Welsh language was being suppressed and there was a demand for far more rights for ordinary people. At that time votes were cast in public and those men who had the vote, (no women of course) were often threatened with eviction if they didn’t vote the way their landlord told them to.
Looking back, what advice would you give yourself at the beginning of your journey?
Take your time, there’s no rush and be more organised in your planning and maybe to start thinking about marketing earlier.
What’s the best advice/feedback on writing you’ve ever received?
The usual one, put your work away in a drawer for several months, you can’t see the plot flaws let alone typos until you have detached from the work.
There are a lot of experts behind the novel, editors, developmental editors, proofreaders, beta readers, etc. How did you find your perfect crew?
I was lucky to have friends interested in creative writing and history, they were fantastic. My local writer circle in Cardiff has also been great; writing the final blurb to sell the novel was a group effort. Welsh publishers were also supportive.
Although in the end none published it, they gave helpful and detailed feedback after asking for my full MS. That encouragement inspired me to carry on and not give up. That is how I met my editor, Rebecca from Cadogan and Quill. She’d given me useful feedback, (and choosing a random editor from the many advertising on line just seemed like rolling a dice).
I went for a big UK indie self publisher package, Troubadour, as this is a new world for me. I don’t know how their costs compare with others, just picked the best rated company. Their staff have been super helpful and pleasant throughout the process and I was very pleased with my book cover.
Just how much research is there behind a novel? Tell us how it looks behind the scenes.
I’m a historical novelist, so a lot. In many ways digging into the past and bringing lost and forgotten people back to life is the best part about writing.
I immersed myself in Welsh newspapers from 1843; read old soldiers first hand accounts of Waterloo, (for a long time one of the most written about battles in history), and accounts of their day to day life; read contemporary novels eg Mill on the Floss; Royal Commission reports on the Rebecca uprising and much more. I reference my novels and would like to think they are meticulously researched.
What are the 5 immediate tasks you hope to accomplish in the near future?
Learn how to market a novel well! So, thank you Esther Rabbit for your blogs and networking opportunities.
Try to give talks to target readers around Wales. I have a couple in diary already.
Finish editing my second novel and decide whether to chase agents and publishers or take the indie route again.
Carry on writing my sequel. (I’ve read if you want to sell your novel pitch it cheap, to sell the second one for more. No idea if it will work.)
Find S E Morgan on her Website
Are you in the Writing Industry?
Shoot me an email, I’d love to interview you!
And check out Lost in Amber: An Out Of This World Paranormal Romance if enjoy girl power, adventure & a toe-curling love story.
She just wanted to mope over her breakup but the universe had other plans for Zoey Mills.
Read the full blurb here.