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17 Questions with Author Page Morgan

May 15, 2013

Today we welcome Page Morgan, author of The Beautiful and the Cursed, the first book in a new trilogy that includes scandal, a missing sibling, mysterious folks in an mysterious old Parisian setting, and gargoyles! Read on to find out about the inspiration for this trilogy and so much more!

Beautiful and the Cursed

What inspired you to write THE BEAUTIFUL AND THE CURSED?

A photograph of a Notre Dame gargoyle caught my attention in a random web search a handful of years ago. It was unexpected and it’s still difficult to explain, but that gargoyle intrigued me enough to want to tell its story.

How did you choose to set your story in Paris?

I think the decision was made for me when I saw that first photograph. It was almost a gut instinct that Paris would be the setting. When I write, “place” often comes first. It’s almost as if I can’t know my characters if I don’t know where they are going to be.

Any inside info about the inspiration for the other creatures?

I had a lot of fun creating the main demon threats in The Beautiful and the Cursed: hellhounds. Out of all the demons I went on to create, these are the closest to actual legend, specifically the Welsh mythology of Cwn Annwn—that hellhounds have an otherworldly master who sent them out on hunts. The massive size, red flaming eyes, foul odor, and wicked teeth are also taken from legend.

What is one thing about you that would surprise your readers?

I’m not sure it would surprise them, but I eschew the “Write what you know” advice. It never made any sense to me. Reading is about exploring, stepping out of what you know into something you don’t know a thing about. Writing should be that way too, at least for me.

Do you use social media? If yes, how do you feel about the role social media plays in your writing/artistic life?

I have a love/hate relationship with social media. I love connecting with other writers, readers, and bloggers online, but I have to constantly tear myself away from the Internet in order to focus on writing. Reading reviews—both good and bad—messes with my head, too. I’m glad I’ve stopped doing that already!

What book made the strongest impression on you as a child?

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson. It was the first book I’d read that dealt with the death of someone my own age. It was equal parts terrifying and poignant.

What was your favorite genre to read as a teenager?

I loved mystery and horror. Stephen King and Christopher Pike were my favorites.

Did you always want to be a writer?  And how did you enter the children’s book world?

I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to be a published author, but I do remember the moment I realized I wanted to be a part of children’s publishing. It was after listening to Natalie Babbitt’s presentation at the Keene State College Children’s Literature Festival and reading her novel, The Eyes of the Amaryllis. Something inside of me just woke up and discovered that this was what I wanted to write.

What’s your favorite snack food when you’re working?

I can’t eat and write at the same time so I stick with beverages. Coffee, tea, and wine are my go-to’s (depending on the time of day!).

Do you have a favorite writing spot?

I am horribly ergonomically incorrect! I like to draft in a big comfy chair in my writing cabin. But when it comes time to revise, I sit at a table so I can spread all my papers out.

Do you have favorite music to listen to when you work?

I can’t listen to music while writing, but I do sometimes listen to specific songs before I write, to ease me into the mood of my world and characters. Most of the time it’s instrumental or classical music, since lyrics tend to distract me.

THE BEAUTIFUL AND THE CURSED will have appeal for adult readers as well as the YA audience, did you think about this when you were writing it?

I knew it appealed to me and I am adult, so perhaps I did! But really, when I write I don’t think too much about who might read it. I write to please myself first, then when I’m done, I hope my agent loves it, then my editor, and then hopefully lots of other people as well!

What is one piece of advice you would like to give to aspiring authors?

That publishing takes time. Keep writing, keep trying, and have patience. Once I started seeing publishing as a goal and not just a dream, the patience part was much easier to deal with.

Do you ever experience writer’s block?

No, thank goodness. Sometimes I’m not sure what happens next in a story that I’m either writing or plotting, but I’ve never had a length of time when I didn’t or couldn’t write something.

Do you have favorite part of the writing process?

Revision is by far my favorite part. I love having a finished draft to pull apart and restructure and change. It’s the first draft that kills me!

Any sneak peeks at what will happen in Book Two, or Book Three?

In the second book, we find out more about Luc’s personal history and why he was cast into the Dispossessed, and we also have a new demon threat hunting Ingrid—a mimic demon. The arrival of Nolan Quinn’s demon hunter father and his disapproval of Gabby complicates her plans to join the Alliance. As for Grayson, his hellhound blood begins to change him drastically. Book three is still a work-in-progress, so no hints just yet!

Is there anything more that you would like to say to your readers and fans?

There is nothing an author loves more than seeing an enthusiastic review or comment about their book. I’ve been lucky to have so many readers excitedly anticipating The Beautiful and the Cursed, so thank you! I hope they enjoy getting to know my characters as much I did.

Click here to read Emma’s great review of The Beautiful and Cursed.

Many thanks to Page Morgan for joining us at Random Acts of Reading today, we’re already looking forward to book 2!

Please share your thoughts in our comments section.

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