Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Passion for Writing Series: Author Morgan Mandel

You’ll find romance in Morgan Mandel’s mysteries, and vice versa, since she loves mixing genres. She’s an active member of Chicago-North RWA, where she’s served in many capacities, including president. She was also the library liaison for Midwest Mystery Writers of America, and belongs to Sisters in Crime and the Electronically Published Internet Connection.

Her latest paranormal romantic thriller is Forever Young: Blessing or Curse, Book One of the Always Young Trilogy, available in Print, Kindle, Nook, Smashwords and more. Other available novels by Morgan Mandel include the romantic suspense, Killer Career, the mystery, Two Wrongs, and the ever popular reality show romance, Girl of My Dreams.

Morgan also contributed two short stories to The Corner Café: A Tasty Collection of Short Stories.

Learn more about Morgan at/on:

The Passion for Writing - From Morgan's Pen

Where does your passion for writing come from?
For years I worked as a legal secretary, taking orders. I was also an avid reader. Then I chanced upon a program by RWA members at my local library. I discovered that authors were real people, with real lives. Not only that, though they followed directions about formatting and crafting quality books, ultimately they were their own bosses.

I couldn’t be in control at my day job, but I could be in control of at least one area of my life. I could write what I wanted, when I wanted. That was over 15 years ago, yet my passion for writing continues.

If your passion for writing was a color, what color would it be and why?
When writing’s going well, the color’s a serene blue.

When I run into writer’s block or am editing for the umpteenth time, yet still finding errors, the color turns red.

Writing isn’t always smooth sailing under a clear blue sky, but it’s my passion.

How do you keep the passion burning in your relationship with storytelling?
Online writing groups, such as BBTCafe and DorothyL, plus the semi-monthly meetings of Chicago-North RWA are wonderful motivators. It’s great to be amongst people with common interests and goals. Also, every time I attend a writing conference and listen to the guest speakers, I feel energized and ready to tackle the toughest manuscript.

Still, I have to admit there are times when I’m just not in the mood to write, so I don’t force myself. I know the urge will come back even stronger later, because it always does. Something inside compels me to reach out and share my stories with others.

Thanks for hosting me at your blog today, Shonell.

[purchase today]

Morgan’s latest full length novel, Forever Young, Blessing or Curse, is about a 55 year old widow who takes a pill to be 24 forever. Dorrie’s beautiful and young, but getting old isn’t the only way to die. A chance discovery has her fleeing for her life.

She’s about to find out how wrong she is.

Excerpt from Forever Young

A limp object lay sprawled in the parking lot where Dorrie was to meet her husband. It looked like, no it couldn’t be...

Pulse pounding, she hit the brakes and flung open the door. A few steps, and she stood staring in disbelief at her husband’s still form. That red streak didn’t belong in Larry’s salt and pepper hair, nor should it mar his olive skinned cheeks, and trickle onto his white cotton shirt.

She groped in her purse for the smartphone. Fingers shaking, she dialed 911. “There’s been an accident at the Life is for Living Institute. I need an ambulance. Hurry, please.”

A helpless feeling engulfed her. If only she knew first aid, but in all her fifty-five years, she’d never bothered to learn. She had to do something, but what? Bending down, knees scraping the asphalt, she touched her husband’s hand. “Larry, it’s all right. I’m here.” She wanted to be brave for him, but couldn’t keep her voice from quavering.

He whispered something she couldn’t catch, something about his iPhone.

“I found it on the nightstand, Larry. It’s right here in my purse.”

“Dorrie, I want you to keep it. Something’s…on it,” he gasped.

She bent closer. “I know honey, all those songs and photos. They mean a lot to me, too. Don’t worry, when we get home tonight, we’ll share them together.”

“No, more…Life is for Living isn’t…Forever Young isn’t…”

He struggled to speak, but his voice faded in and out. He probably shouldn’t talk. Where was that ambulance? Her husband needed help.

Larry flashed a weak smile and looked straight into her eyes. “Love ya,” he whispered.

Stifling a sob, she completed the ritual. “Love ya, back.” In their thirty years of marriage, how often had they said those words to each other?

His lips stilled. His hand slackened. His brown eyes stared unseeingly, as his face froze into a smile.

This can’t be happening. Larry, you can’t leave me. It’s too soon.

Blood rushed to her head. Roaring filled her ears. Larry couldn’t be gone. She’d prove it. Dorrie bent to kiss his lips. They felt warm and soft. He must be alive. Soon the ambulance would come, the paramedics would fix him, and he’d be all right.

She glanced again at Larry’s still form. The truth hit, sucking her breath away. She didn’t need a medical examiner to tell her what she could see with her own eyes. Larry had left and would never return. Her stomach convulsed, her chest heaved with sobs. It shouldn’t end like this, not in the middle of a parking lot. Larry deserved better. So did she.

In the works is Blessing or Curse: A Forever Young Anthology, about others who take the Forever Young pill. Always Young will follow, bringing back the original heroine to close out the trilogy.


Morgan Mandel said...

Thanks for hosting me at your blog today, Shonell.

One of those chocolate-caramel lattes sounds really good this morning!

Morgan Mandel

Barbara Edwards said...

I have both books you mentioned and recommend them. An older heroine is interesting to meet. Good story.

Maggie Toussaint said...

I understand what you mean by feeling powerless in some areas leading you to writing. I was trapped in a dead-end job and felt the same sense of needing to have a happy ending. Now I'm happy to write those happy endings and to have justice be served.

Enjoyed the excerpt!

Mona Risk said...

I read Forever Young. It kept me hooked from the first to the last page. Great suspense and powerful characters. As an indie writer now, I enjoy being in charge of my publishing.

Morgan Mandel said...

Barbara and Mona,
I'm so glad you enjoyed Forever Young.
And it looks like many of us authors really like the idea of being in charge!

Morgan Mandel

Helen Ginger said...

Excellent scene, Morgan. You start off strong and keep it up throughout the book.

Earl Staggs said...

Excellent interview and excellent blurb, Morgan. Also liked your thoughts about the freedom and control we have in our writing. Even with the ups, downs, ins and outs, there's nothing like it

Marian Allen said...

Thanks for hosting Morgan! And, Morgan, thank you for sharing that strong excerpt. :) I love getting a taste of a book, especially when it comes with some insight into the heart of the writer.

Marian Allen
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Marian Allen said...

Thanks for hosting Morgan! And, Morgan, thank you for sharing that strong excerpt. :) I love getting a taste of a book, especially when it comes with some insight into the heart of the writer.

Marian Allen
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Morgan Mandel said...

Glad everyone enjoyed the excerpt.
And we have more authors mentioning about the control angle!

Morgan Mandel

Shonell Bacon said...

Thank YOU for agreeing to be featured, Morgan! Loved your responses to the questions, particularly your thoughts on writing (or not writing) every day. I still have people that try to ram that thought down my throat, and I'm just not that writer. And miraculously, the writing still gets done.

Jacqueline Seewald said...

I enjoyed reading the blog. Like you, I write romantic suspense and love reading and writing in the genre.

Morgan Mandel said...

Yes, Shonell, some writers probably thrive on the discipline of writing no matter how they feel or how busy they are, but I love the freedom of doing what I wish when I wish. I'm the boss when I write.

Morgan Mandel said...

Yes, it's fun to write romantic suspense, Jacqueline. It's also fun to branch out and combine genres. I get bored easily, so I like to trade off. Keeps my writing fresh.

Morgan Mandel

Mary Marvella said...

Interesting comments, Morgan and others. Stories take root in my imagination and characters grow in my dreams, all with no fertilizer or sowing.

My passion comes from my need to write stories to share as I told them when I was a kid. It just is.

And yes, I love to make things happen my way when characters allow me some control. (snort)

Morgan Mandel said...

Mary has a good point. Maybe we're not as free as it seems. Characters do have a tendency to take over at times.

Morgan Mandel

Bob Sanchez said...

Hi Shonell and Morgan,
I can relate to the comment about having the freedom to write what you like. I'd been a technical writer during the day, following company standards, and going home to write whatever I pleased, however I pleased. What a liberating feeling.

Morgan Mandel said...

It's our time now, authors!
Lots of choices!