Winterview with Author Morgan Hazelwood

To celebrate 13 weeks of winter, Hàlön Chronicles will be conducting one interview a week for 13 weeks. Join us on the hashtag #13Winterviews, or check out our right-side blog hop to sneak a peek at all the wonderful authors and artists I’ll be interviewing in the coming weeks.

Hosted by: K. J. Harrowick

Without further ado, Fantasy Author: Morgan Hazelwood.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I was born in Philly (Philadelphia, PA) and raised in Virginia, as the daughter of a librarian and a network engineer. So, of course I grew up to be a software engineer by day and writer by night.

Over the years, my hobbies have included fencing, longsword, lifting weights, reading, dancing (studio and social), and cosplaying. As a younger identical twin, I have the distinction of having “cosplayed” Princess Leia before I could hold my head up, due to my mother cosplaying Luke/Leia’s nanny when she could still cradle each of us on an arm.

I also have a habit of hostessing. I’ve hosted annual parties of up to 120 people. I was a volunteer for a local anime convention for several years- thanks to a severe web-comic addiction and a fondness for cosplaying and helping out behind-the-scenes. I now help run a support group for YA writers who are at the point of looking for agents for their finished (or as finished as a novel ever gets) work.

What types of books do you write, and why?

I write fantasy that leans towards YA, partially because that’s what I like to read myself. (I’m scared to try writing Urban fantasy, though). My current novel started as a few scenes in a dream I had many years ago. The only way for me to find out who the people were and what happened to them was to write the story myself. After three attempts, I finished my rough draft 3 years ago. Now, I’m working on turning that rough draft into a polished tale.

What were your early influences, and how does this manifest in your work today?

I started off loving fairy tales of any sort. I read every single book in my elementary school’s fairy and folk tale section. I remember loving Susan Cooper (The Dark is Rising), Patricia Wrede (Dealing with Dragons), Lois Duncan, and a lot of Anne McCaffrey.

By high school, I was reading a lot of Mercedes Lackey’s Heralds of Valdemar books. But also RL Stine, Christopher Pike, and LJ Smith. Mom made sure I didn’t neglect the science fiction side of speculative fiction with Asimov and Heinlein, just for a start. These days, I read a lot of Seanan McGuire, Patricia Briggs, Ilona Andrews, Lois Bujold, and Laurell K Hamilton. I’m currently in the middle of the Hugh Howey’s Silo series.

When people talk about how SFF is predominately male, I just laugh. You can end up just reading male authors if that’s what you prefer, but I end up reading a lot of female penned fantasy–both traditional and urban. I’m certain that a lot of Lackey influences are present in my work.

Are there aspects of the craft that excite you more than others?

My two favorite parts, so far are when my word count is steadily growing. and when I realize exactly what a scene needs to make it fit and flow just. right.

What books or websites are your go-to places while editing?

I love etymonline.com for word roots and meanings, for coming up with names and new concepts for my novel.

Thesaurus.com gets used a lot, as does Wikipedia, and random google searches. My current creation is a completely fantasy world, so real life influences actions, but doesn’t need to correlate 1-1.

Tell us about your writing space (music/snacks/interruptions/etc).

  • I’m trying to stop the snack+editing connection, but it’s hard going. Currently, my main interruptions are my ridiculous social schedule. But I love my friends and family and don’t want to neglect those relationships, and they’re understanding when I’m working towards even self-mandated deadlines
  • I’m the pickiest beverage drinker ever
    • I don’t like coffee, tea, dark sodas, or hops — I used to work in a coffee shop, I’ve tried it all. I just don’t do bitter.
    • I usually drink water while writing, making myself wait to finish a cup before taking a break
    • I don’t think I’ve ever written while not sober
    • I will resort to Sunkist when I’m desperate for caffeine
  • I can’t edit to music, I’m too distractable. I can write on paper, on my phone in the car. But editing? I’ve gotta be set up right for that.
    • I’ve had my iPad read my writing aloud to me.
    • For copy-editing, I love printing out an actual copy from my local Kinko’s/FedEx store, then grabbing my multicolored set of Bic pens and going at it.
      • (The problem with paper edits is that you have to eventually put them into the text. And I’ve found that translation takes me nearly as long as the original edits.)
  • My first book was written to a Pandora station seeded with AVICII’s ‘Wake Me Up‘. It’s sequel and my current work in progress, I’m invoking the music I grew up with my mom playing: using ‘Neil Diamond’ to seed my new station.

Tell us about your current WIP or your latest book release.

I’m currently working on INK AND SNOW, the sequel to my first book, INK AND FLESH.

“In a world where those with blue patterns on their skin are known to be ripe for demon possession, Lilyen, a devout young woman struggles with her faith when she finds herself marked. On the run from the church’s elite forces, she learns the truth about her marks, what happens to those who are marked and their loved ones, and what happens to those the church claims to favor. Lilyen has a sister to save. No rebel sanctuary, corrupt church, nor overprotective parent will stand in her way.”

I just finished its final round of edits, and am hoping to query come Spring. Fingers crossed!


You can follow me at:
My Website/Blog | Twitter | FB Author Page | FB | Instagram | Pinterest | Tumblr


Before you leave, don’t forget to check out all the amazing Winterviews Authors. 🙂

One comment to Winterview with Author Morgan Hazelwood

  • Maria Guglielmo  says:

    Great post, and let’s hear it for women fantasy writers!

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