She currently has a series out called Spirit Vision - which is ab0ut a kickass heroine that fights evil spirits. Sorta like a cross between Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Sailor Moon, it's a wonderful series that I've had the pleasure of reading.
The Power of Mortals is the third book in the series and she has been touring the internet to spread awareness of it. And what kinda of writing bestie would I be if I didn't do my bit to help? And luckily Morgan took time out of her busy schedule to talk to me about her book and a few other things.
So without further ado ladies and gentlemen, I present to you - the wonderfully talented Morgan Straughan Comnick!
;) – Thank you dearest! :D I’ve missed you as well! I hate that adulating gets in the way of our fun!
Ok, so REAL questions now. Tell us a bit about yourself. What does Morgan do when she isn’t writing?
I am from the mid-western part of the U.S.A., born and raised! I’m an Early Childhood teacher, Sunday school teacher, Anime Club sensei, and a huge otaku. I have such an amazing family, sweet husband, and epic friends. I like to be bubbly, silly, and never lose my imagination or child-like wonder.
And pray that you NEVER lose that! ;) I hear that you’re a teacher. How did you/why did you want to get into that line of work?
As a child, I got to watch my father prepare to educate his high school teachers, so I knew the ins-and-outs of being a teacher beyond the thought to be believed 8 to 3 schedule. When I wasn’t at home or school, I was at my grandma’s house, playing with my brother and younger cousins. One of our favorite games to play was school, and I was the teacher. Seeing their little eyes light-up when a concept clicked for them gave me such a surreal feeling that when my beloved fifth grade teacher and friend told me I had the compassion to be a teacher, I knew that was the career path I was meant to take.
I guess the big question is, what made you want to get into writing?
I was also a super shy person and words failed me, my lack of confidence constricting. I discovered I enjoyed writing and that I could express myself through poetry when spoken words were lost to me. Then, I had a very charismatic ninth grade Language Arts teacher (a co-teacher of my dad’s). He came into class one day, late, flung the door open with jubilance and exclaimed, “I’m going to write a book!” We all thought he was batty and continued with our work. He then yelled my maiden name, making my skittish-self leap out of my seat, informing me I would be a good character in his upcoming masterpiece. And…I laughed! I felt badly, but I laughed at a teacher! Later, I pondered, “If this man can write a book, what’s stopping me from trying?” And then, it’s like a switch turned on. I saw inspiration everywhere and “Spirit Vision” was 90% plotted in my head within two weeks, at the tender age of 15!
Awesome! it takes me about two or three years to plot my books out and I'm an adult! So who are you influences?
For Spirit Vision, I was inspired by my love for the supernatural. I believe there are things we cannot explain and when I was growing up in middle school, supernatural romances were new and all the rage. So, it’s easy to see where that came from. I based the normal aspects and characters on my life as a freshman in high school at the time I WAS one, so it was a breeze to write from that perspective. Lastly, my favorite game at the time was Sonic Adventure 2 for the Gamecube. It inspired Maren and Umbra and the sci-fi elements in the work. Now, I write to express myself, share the characters I love so much with the world, and my otaku/nerdy life.
Spirit Vision starts out following Stary Moon, your average shy, kind, and nerdy freshman, well, she’s normal until she has a strange vision on the day a dead body is found at her school! Stary later meets the spirit of the dead girl, Maren, and her obnoxious friend, Umbra, them informing her she is the current Spirit Warrior for the Lord and it is her mission to track down and take the evil out of their murderer in order for Maren and Umbra to go to Heaven. The story infuses the supernatural with a mystery and romance while Stary is trying to survive being in high school, keeping this secret from her friends, and getting her crush to ask her to the dance! The next instalments follow Stary’s adventures still, adding new challenges, villains, characters, powers, and rewards.
OOOOOHHHH. I'm excited! And having read the first two books I wanna know where it goes from here! Without any spoilers, what can readers expect from the next book?
An answer to the cliff-hanger in “New Beginnings” along with new powers, reveals, and Latin!
I do love me some latin! And I also really like the main character, Stary Moon. Is she based on anyone?
She’s based on myself if I was braver and had kick-butt powers!
You mean you don't? ;) What influenced you to write this novel?
I knew I wanted to write five or six books for this series since the start, each adding to the dynamics of the supernatural world I crafted. New challenges, powers, and characters to add to the charm of the original is what drives me. I love these characters as if they are my own children!
You mentioned earlier (and it's probably the worst kept secret) that you're a huge Otaku! What are your favourite Mangas/Animes?
You know you’re an otaku when you are getting paid to be the sensei of an Anime club and twelve high school students bow for you when you enter the room! :D Yes, I am a HUGE otaku! I really love A LOT of anime and manga. In fact, Dan and I did a video each on our shared Youtube Channel, Moon Panda Power, about our favorite animes! :D I’m sure he can link that here. (done! ;) ) But, spoiler alert: Cardcaptor Sakura is my first and favorite anime AND manga (other than Pokemon because I did not know what anime or manga was when I started watching it). For manga, I love anything by CLAMP and ArinaTanemura along with Ouran High School Host Club, Stepping on Roses, and more. You can get a FULL list here on my “To be a nerdy Otaku” page on my website.
You’re also a huge fan of Disney. What are your favourite films?
All praise the M.I.C.K.E.Y. M.O.U.S.E!!! :D I ADORE Disney. I grew up in the Disney Renaissance, which was a GREAT time to grow up! If I had to pick three films, it would be The Lion King, Aladdin, and Beauty and the Beast. I really love Lilo & Stitch too!
As I also know you’re a Power Rangers fan, I have to ask - what is your opinion of the trailer for the new film?
Power Rangers was LITERALLY my early childhood and I will never grow out of my dream to be the next Pink Ranger. However, when I watched the trailer, my mouth was agape and my brain shut down for about three minutes. I had no real clue what to think, a rarity. It looks to generic, like many other bad-kids-become-a-team-of-randomly-overpowered-superheroes-and-there-are-aliens movie that I have seen a dozen times. That’s not MY Power Rangers. Mine were SO goody-goody-two-shoes that it was laughable, but we all praised that. My brother and I are still going to see it opening showing in our best Power Rangers attire, but our bar is low. When my sweet grandma is bashing the trailer, it’s hard to be thrilled.
Yeah I know the feeling. I heard that (SPOILER ALERT) Rita Repulsa may be the Green Ranger in this one. If that happens I will be P.I.S.ed! XD Also, me and Morgan recently did a Power Rangers headscratchers blog. You can check that out here.
;)-Well, it depends if Amanda has enough money to get good supplies! xD Also, I don’t think Stary would attack another human, even a magic-powered one unless it was for an assignment or Amanda was a murderer. I don’t think she COULD. But, I do have to say that they would make a kick-butt team!
To be fair, when Amanda is possessed by the Blood gem, she is pretty lethal. But a team up would be pretty cool. Now, if Spirit Vision was made into a film, who would you want to star in it?
Ah…me? Who knows Stary better? Is that too much to ask? For Maren, if Brittany Snow was a bit younger, I could see her. For Umbra…There are a few members in either the bands “Big Bang” and “Shinee” I’m looking at. ;) I promised Mr. Banger, who inspired my book series and is one of my biggest supporters, that he could play his character, Mr. Tin, but he wants a limo and tux for the premier!
And I'm sure that there would be a few people that would LOVE a role in it? Hint, hint! XD But how about a Spirit Vision/Draconica crossover?
I think that would be awesome!- Epic! Have your people call my people!
And finally – are you able to tell us what you’re working on now?
Starting a new job in a new district drains a lot of my writing time, but nevertheless, I will get it done. I am currently very SLOWLY going to work on Spirit Vision 4, but I am more focused on a new book project, coded for now H & B. It will be more adult in content and it still has fantasy elements, but with monsters and monster hunting instead of spirits. I hope to compile another collection of short stories and poems into my third collection in a year or two. ^_^
Morgan, it has been a pleasure as always. Don’t be a stranger now!
You too my Panda friend! Thanks for having me. Call me, beep me, you know how to reach me! Author besties! =D
And don't forget that you can purchase a copy of The Power of Mortals on Amazon. I'll even leave a link for you - because I'm nice like that ;)