You guys already know that me and Morgan have worked together on various voice-over projects. I first met her when I joined Paper Crane Books - and whilst I didn't stay long, the friendship between me and Morgan has lasted. I almost feel like I've know her for years, she's that good a person. And having read her work (and proofread it from time to time) I can tell you guys she is an incredible writer and one of the most charismatic people I have had the pleasure of working with.
So sit back, relax and let me and Morgan chat a bit about her latest release.
Educator of young minds by day, super nerdy savior of justice and cute things by night, Morgan Straughan Comnick has a love for turning the normal into something special without losing its essence. Morgan draws from real life experiences and her ongoing imagination to spark her writing. In her spare time, she enjoys doing goofy voices, traveling to new worlds by turning pages, humming child-like songs, and forcing people to smile with her "bubbliness." It is Morgan's mission in life to spread the amazement of otaku/Japanese culture to the world and to stop bullying; she knows everyone shines brightly.
Sure thing, good sir. My name is Morgan Straughan Comnick. I am a young adult author for Paper Crane Books. Currently, I have three books published, the first two titles in my “Spirit Vision” series, a paranormal/mystery/romance (“Spirit Vision” and “New Beginnings”) and “A Sweet, Little Dream,” a collection of poems, short stories, and other literacy works I wrote in high school, but some are older.
Is writing your job or do you have some other work ourside of this?
Writing is one of my jobs and loves, but I also have a passion for teaching. I am currently the librarian for my hometown’s kindergarten and the one of the elementary technology instructors. I also teach Sunday school at my church and in the summer, I teach an array of engaging and educational week long classes at my college. This is a lot of work, but fun and rewording to work with a wide range of ages, interests, and personalities in teaching. I am still seeking a full time Early Childhood or Elementary teaching position; I am certified and have my licence for these areas.
So - million dollar question - what inspired you to become a writer?
I was such a shy child, with no confidence in myself. My voice was locked tight, but I had a powerful imagination. I wrote poems to start to express myself when my spoken words failed me, but thanks to a very charismatic ninth grade communication arts teacher who told me I would make a good character in his book, I got the fire to tackle writing my own manuscript at age 14, and bam! The world opened up to me and I saw inspiration everywhere. This was how I pieced together my first written work, “Spirit Vision.”
And roughly how many books have you written already?
As started above, I have three books published already. I also had two short story essays published in a holiday anthology. I am working on edits currently/soon for “Spirit Vision 3: The Power of Mortals,” and my college collection of short stories and poems, “Fallen Star Dust.” I have ideas for several more works in a multitude of formats for the future.
As I mentioned, me and you met through Paper Crane Books. What made you choose Paper Crane Books as your publisher and what has the experience been like?
Paper Crane has been incredible for me and Spirit Vision; my publisher and I are such a team and I know she loves my characters as much as I do. She works so hard too! I am so lucky I sent my query letter to them and I was accepted!
Spirit Vision follows 15 year old Stary Moon, who discovers she is the current Spirit Warrior, selected by the Lord, given the ability to see, hear, and aid spiritual beings. Her first mission once this knowledge is granted to her is to find and take the evil out of the murderer of two teens, Maren and Umbra, who have been tracking their killer for almost two years, but to no avail. Stary must also develop her powers, keep her mortal loved ones safe, and try not to fall in love in the process. High school is never easy, especially when a murderer is vent on destroying you!
Have to say I never had problems like that in my school - I had enough to deal with without having to deal with that. XD What can people expect in the next book – New Beginnings? (pictured)
Words in other languages, spy missions, new paranormal powers and incantations that are B.A., hotties, prophetic dreams, high school drama, and all the nerd references! Oh! And…I might be hated for the final page…*ducks* I already had some students declare it so!
Oh yes. THAT scene! Have to admit I was a little bit peeved at that scene myself. But I'll be interested to see how the story goes from here. Now this may be the mother of all tough questions, but I have to ask it. Who are your favourite authors? Indie or otherwise?
My favorite author would have to be Lurlene McDaniel, although there are so many I like! Her books are so full of heart and make you really think of the importance of life, especially when it is cut short. Her works got me into reading in high school and I have not stopped since. My favorite manga-ka would be my first; CLAMP; they are so magical and their art stunning, stories breath-taking and diverse. Again, there are many manga-ka I enjoy deeply, so it was a hard choice.
Do you have any other hobbies?
IF I have free time, which is rare, I like to walk and listen to music, read, sing, do funny voices or act goofy with my loved ones, hug my cat Socks, play video games or Pokemon cards, doodle, act, shop for clothes if there is a sale, eat cheese, and, my biggest love: being an otaku! Anime, manga, Japanese culture, cosplaying…I LOVE IT ALL! I also love stuffed animals, Elvis, kawaii things, and hugs! :)
Funny you mention Japanese culture - and you already mentioned Manga as well - I was gonna ask if you have any favourite Manga's or Anime?
That is like asking which cheese is my favorite; there are so many! To name a few: Cardcaptor Sakura, Man of Many Faces, Fruits Basket, Ouran High School Host Club, anything by Arina Tanemara-san, and several others! I have a full list on my website in the “To Be a Nerdy Otaku” section.
As well as writing – I understand that you do a little bit of voice acting as well. Mainly with Yours Truly! How did that come about? Is it something you'd like to so professionally?
I do indeed love to voice act and it would thrill me to do it professional. It is an honor to work with such a superb script writer and voice actor each video! ;)
The first time I recall someone telling me shocked them with how I mimicked a voice well was that I was maybe…three, and I copied Olive Oil off of the Pop-Eye cartoon, her line, “Oh Pop-Eye help!” I am sure I was being a silly older toddler, but my mom STILL makes me do that voice to this day and I do not even remember how it went! >.< I also did elementary Jenny from the film Forrest Gump when I was young too, her “Run, Forrest, Run!” bit. I have always had an annoying to me high-pitched voice, but I love to act out books, plays, and stories. I am sure the voices just came to me; they do when I read now to my kindergarteners. :)
Do you have a favourite voice role you’ve done so far? From either my videos or any other voice acting you've done?
Ironically, my favorite roles would probably be either really cute, young voices, characters that are so adorable you get cavities listening to them OR slow talking, sultry, evil roles. They are opposite ends of the spectrum, I know, but I think because they are so different from my regular voice, that it’s easier for me to keep a hold of the voice whereas princesses or heroines, although I love them, I have to focus so hard sometimes to keep in character and not go to my speaking that I feel I goof up more and I am more critical with them. I still mess up big time with any role I do, though!
I understand also that you’re a bit of a Disney fan! What’s your favourite film?
I adore Disney to pieces and several of their works are classics in my heart, but, my all-time favorite would have to be “The Lion King!” I have so many embarrassing stories about how I was a super fan of the movie as a child, but I will keep those to myself…(evil Scar cackle).
OH gosh! This is such a hard question! I know, if I can get away with it, I would want to play Stary because she is BASED on me, personality and looks (although she is prettier and braver than I).
For Umbra…currently, the choice I like best would have to be Seungri from the South Korean band, Big Bang, For Maren, I would say a young Brittany Snow (when she has her wavy blonde hair, she looks so much like her)! I like Becca Tobin for Chloe (a younger version). On the others, I am not 100% yet. Thoughts friends?
So? Can you give us a heads up about any other projects you are involved in? Books or otherwise?
Writing, teaching, Sunday school, church choir, voice acting on shows and doing events on Youtube Channels…I do run Pokemon events once a month with my Poke Crew, where we teach students who to play the Pokemon TCG. It is very fun.
You certainly keep a busy lifestyle, my friend! What advice would you give to any aspiring author?
Hold on to what if. It took me four years to complete my manuscript and four more to find a company who believed in me. It is a long process, but never give up on your dream; that dream is too beautiful to crush. Let it thrive!
Ok, so those were the fun questions - now to get serious! And these ones will REALLY test your mettle! Ready?
A bus has five people when it begins its journey. At the first stop, two get off, three get on. Next stop, five get off. Next stop, six get on. In the final stop, half the total number of the people already on the bus get off and twice the number of people on the second stop get on.
The question is – does this T-shirt make me look fat? XD
I would say Pikachu because he can make his own mighty electric charge from his body and he is super speedy too. It would be a…shocking match! xD
This one actually HAS been answered on Screwattack. I've seen the fight and... well, let's just say you might not like the result. You can watch it HERE if you want. Just don't blame me for the result! XD
Drawn that way, but it’s fun to pretend she can be deliciously evil when it is useful for her. I suppose most women can be like that though. ;)
And finally… the most important question of all. What does the Fox say? XD
I personally like the “"A-oo-oo-oo-ooo! Woo-oo-oo-ooo!" idea, but I think Foxes really squeak or, in Oriental cultures, they are seen as deities, sometimes good, sometimes not…Maybe they do not need to make a sound then? ;D
Since FNAF I actually can't get THIS sound outta my head! (Don't watch if easily scared!) XD
Thank you so much for joining me today on my Blog Morgan! You can check out and follow this amazing author at the following links. And don't forget to grab yourself a copy of New Beginnings on Amazon :)