I’m delighted to welcome Morton S. Gray to my blog.
Hello Morton, I’m thrilled to have a fellow Romantic Novelists’ Association member on my blog today. I remember so vividly the occasion we first met. We had gathered at The Royal Over-Seas League building in London, with many other shortlisted candidates, for the RNA – New Writers Scheme – Joan Hessayon Award. We were fresh to the publishing world and had little experience with mingling with other authors. It was a fun evening and one which I shall never forget. Haven’t we come a long way since then?
But before I go off at a tangent and share our writing journeys, here are a few questions which will hopefully give your readers an insight into some of the things that matter to you.
Arabella: How did you manage to get your first novel published and what did you learn from the experience?
Morton: I entered and unbelievably won Choc Lit Publishing’s Search for a Star competition. The win secured me a publishing deal for The Girl on the Beach and I have gone on to publish a further two novels with them so far – The Truth Lies Buried and Christmas at Borteen Bay. What did I learn? I’d always thought my work wasn’t quite good enough, so winning the competition was a huge confidence boost. I guess I learned that my work just needed to find the right home. Message to as yet unpublished writers – keep submitting your work!
Arabella: The T.V. is on and you’re in control of the remote. Which is it to be: A quiz programme…An afternoon of sport…A family soap…A romantic film you always wanted to see but missed when it was shown at the cinema?
Morton: I love property programmes – Location, Location, Escape to the Country, Grand Designs, or else, as an avid family historian, Who Do You Think You Are. I’ve really been enjoying the drama, Line of Duty too. These days, I rarely watch live television; I’m more likely to record programmes so that I can pick and choose.
Arabella: Who or what inspired you to write your latest paperback release, The Truth Lies Buried?
Morton: The novel was inspired by a postcard of a wooden castle, which was the prompt for a piece of descriptive writing on a writing workshop run by author Linda Gillard. I completed the descriptive task, but couldn’t help wondering who would live in a house like that. I came up with my carpenter and woodcarver, Carver Rodgers and the rest of the novel flowed from there.
Arabella: Where do you read? Sofa or bed or ____?
Morton: I read in bed. Unfortunately, I’m a very slow reader these days, as I’m always so tired when I finally get to bed. My latest reads include The Daughter of the House, a historical novel by Victoria Cornwall, A Summer to Remember, a contemporary novel by Sue Moorcroft and I’m halfway through The Man I Fell in Love With, a contemporary novel by Kate Field.
Arabella: Some authors write at first light, others need a mug of coffee or a glass of wine before putting pen to paper. When writing, are there any “essentials” you need to help the words flow?
Morton: When I am working on a first draft, I work best in a coffee shop. I usually write the initial story longhand in a notebook. The addition of good coffee and the buzz of the coffee shop seem to get the words flowing. When I get to the second draft, I’m in my study working on my computer. With a mom who needs support these days, a teenager doing GCSEs and a husband who is sometimes at home, sometimes working away, I’ve never managed to establish a routine, I just grab time when I can.
Arabella: If you could choose, which would it be: A walk in the woods, a walk along a beachfront to dip your toes in the sea, or a day shopping for clothes?
Morton: This one is easy to answer – most definitely a walk on a beach. I’ve actually just come back from a week in Bamburgh, Northumberland. The beach there is amazing. We walked on it at least twice a day and I’m missing it terribly. There is nothing better for the soul than a walk on the beach.
(Morton, I love the footprints in the sand. A great image.)
Arabella: You’re halfway through the work-in-progress, you’re about to kill off the hero and there is going to be no happy-ever-after. In other words, you’re stuck! If you had to contact an “author/publisher/editor friend” for guidance, who would it be?
Morton: I have several friends to contact in this situation, I guess my first author contacts would be Victoria Cornwall, or Janice Preston, but I am most likely to share my dilemma with my friend, Susan Wood over our weekly coffee.
Arabella: Do you have any great writing, publishing, or marketing tips you’d like to share to “want-to-be” authors starting out on their writing journey?
Morton: Believe in yourself and your own style of writing. Keep writing and keep sending your work out to publishers and competitions, because you never know, you might be like me and win!
Thank you for joining me on Arabella’s Blog and Chit-Chat, Morton. I’m sure that like me, your readers were delighted to discover a little bit more about you. Thank you for sharing. And if I’m every in Worcestershire, I might even be tempted to call in for one of your excellent Tuina acupressure massages.
All the best, and happy-ever-after writing…
About Morton S. Gray
Morton lives with her husband, two sons and Lily, the tiny white dog, in Worcestershire, U.K. She has been reading and writing fiction for as long as she can remember, penning her first attempt at a novel aged fourteen. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and The Society of Authors.
Her debut novel The Girl on the Beach was published after she won the Choc Lit Publishing Search for a Star competition. This story follows a woman with a troubled past as she tries to unravel the mystery surrounding her son’s new headteacher, Harry Dixon. The book is available as a paperback and e-book.
Morton’s second book for Choc Lit The Truth Lies Buried is another romantic suspense novel, The book tells the story of Jenny Simpson and Carver Rodgers as they uncover secrets from their past. This book is available as an e-book, paperback and audiobook.
Christmas at Borteen Bay is Morton’s first Christmas novella. It is set in her fictional seaside town of Borteen and follows the story of Pippa Freeman, who runs the Rose Court Guesthouse with her mother, and local policeman Ethan Gibson, as they unravel a family secret as Christmas approaches.
Morton previously worked in the electricity industry in committee services, staff development and training. She has a Business Studies degree and is a fully qualified Clinical Hypnotherapist and Reiki Master. She also has diplomas in Tuina acupressure massage and energy field therapy. She enjoys crafts, history and loves tracing family trees. Having a hunger for learning new things is a bonus for the research behind her books.
You can catch up with Morton on her website www.mortonsgray.com
Twitter - @MortonSGray, her Facebook page – Morton S. Gray Author - https://www.facebook.com/mortonsgray/
Book Blurb The Truth Lies Buried
When Jenny Simpson returns to the seaside town of Borteen, her childhood home, it’s for a less than happy reason. But it’s also a chance for her to start again.
A new job leads to her working for Carver Rodgers, a man who lives alone in a house that looks like it comes from the pages of a fairy tale – until you see the disaster zone inside …
As Jenny gets to know Carver she begins to unravel the sadness that has led to his chaotic existence. Gradually they realise they have something in common that is impossible to ignore – and it all links back to a meeting at a police station many years before.
Could the truth lie just beneath their feet?
Other books by Morton S. Gray:
Purchasing links for The Girl on the Beach at http://www.choc-lit.com/dd-product/the-girl-on-the-beach/
Purchasing links for Christmas in Borteen Bay at https://www.choc-lit.com/dd-product/christmas-at-borteen-bay/