|Posted by Morgan Bell on February 12, 2018 at 2:45 AM|
October Author of the Month
So, what have you written?
My new release is a short story collection of weird literary fiction called Laissez Faire. It is the follow up to my first collection Sniggerless Boundulations. I have also edited a speculative fiction anthology called Sproutlings: A Compendium of Little Fictions which is available in hardback through Amazon.
Which writers inspire you?
Cate Kennedy, Margo Lanagan, George Saunders, Jim Crace, Charles Simic
Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?
I generally draft and brainstorm with pen and paper. I used voice-to-text for the first time this year and hope to use it more in future. It is recommended for people who can’t sit a long time and who have ADHD and other barriers to writing. I recently attended the NSW Writers Centre’s Speculative Fiction Festival and had a chat session with John Birmingham who said he uses voice-to-text, a standing desk, and the pomodora technique for time management.
What book/s are you reading at present?
A couple of interesting short story collections I have on the go: Bream Gives Me Hiccups by Jesse Eisenberg, Dressing Up For The Carnival by Carol Shields, and Portable Curiosities by Julie Koh.
Do you proofread/edit all your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?
For the anthology I edited, Sproutlings, I had one round of proofreading done by contributing author and friend Sheree Christoffersen, and I couldn’t recommend it enough. A set of fresh eyes on a large project in invaluable. It got me out of an anxiety loop and helped get the book to print. For the ebooks of my single author collections, which are much shorter, I have done all the proofreading and editing myself, as it is simple enough to update the manuscript if I find a typo. However I plan on using a proofreader for all future print works.
Do you let the book stew – leave it for a month and then come back to it to edit?
The benefit of having a terrible memory is that if I leave a bit of time between writing a story and editing it, it will be like I’m reading the work for the first time. I often wait many months, even years. If I am writing a story for a competition I will try to have at least a day off between completed draft and final polish.
Tell us about the cover/s and how it/they came about.
My Sproutlings cover was designed by local Newcastle illustrator Tallulah Cunningham. She also created the cover art for two anthologies I have been a part of, Novascapes 1 and Novascapes 2. All three covers are bookstore quality and widely complimented, I highly recommend her services. I have used Amazon Kindle’s free in-house cover designing tool for simple ebook covers, and I am becoming a pro with Canva for future projects.
Did you get interviewed by local press/radio for your book launch?
I was interviewed by two local newspapers in my area, Port Stephens NSW Australia, about my anthology Sproutlings. It was crowdfunded on kickstarter and contained content from a lot of local authors.
Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book/s?
I had two wonderful trailers made for the Sproutlings kickstarter campaign by contributing author and friend Vesna McMaster from Moosey Productions. So fun, and so effective. I would use Moosey again for trailers, top notch results.
Did you format your own book?
I did indeed. For print editions I have used free templates from Lulu and Createspace and adapted fonts, titles, and contents pages to give them a unique flare.
In what formats is your book available?
For ebooks I am exclusive to Amazon Kindle. I like being part of the Kindle Select Program, and I am a Kindle user myself, I’ve used their free apps for years. I make review copies privately available by email ([email protected]) in mobi, epub, and pdf using the conversion program Calibre.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Don’t be too hard on yourself, you have depression. Invest money in your mental health. Don’t let anyone hold money over your head for unethical work. Know when to leave a job. Know how to be sick. Write about what scares you. You will meet your tribe in the writing community.
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Short story collections are legit art. Be proud of any length of writing, including flash fiction. Not everything short of a novel is a fail. You know who wrote novellas? Hemingway (The Old Man and the Sea), Steinbeck (Of Mice and Men), Stevenson (Jeckyll and Hyde), James (Turn of the Screw), Orwell (Animal Farm), Wells (The Time Machine, The War of the Worlds) and Dickens (A Christmas Carol). If you’ve got 150 pages in you, you could have a classic on your hands. One well-formed paragraph on a page over 75 pages can win you a Pulitzer.
Social media links:
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Morgan-Bell/e/B00HXEIDA0
Book links for my new release Laissez Faire:
Amazon USA: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075HHSDC5
Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B075HHSDC5
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B075HHSDC5
Originally published on the C. J. Rose blog (Generation Son Inc on Wix) 9 October 2017.