Lisa: We’re so pleased to have author Morgan Brice joining us today on the tour for her new release, Badlands. Welcome, Morgan. Let’s begin by having you tell us something about yourself that most people don’t know.
Morgan: I ‘wrote’ my first story when I was five—I had to have my grandmother write it down because I couldn’t spell yet. It was about a vampire. (I loved the TV show Dark Shadows). I got in trouble in fifth grade with my teacher because when the class went to the library, I tried to check out a book about witchcraft. I have loved ghosts and spooky stuff all my life.
Lisa: What’s your favorite scene in Badlands, and what makes it a fave?
Morgan: I love the scene where Simon and Vic meet for the first time in the coffee shop, and both of them do such a terrible job at flirting even though they’re both really attracted to each other! It was fun to write, and it just felt so real because I think we’ve all had that time when we wanted to get the cute person’s attention and felt like we screwed everything up!
Lisa: Would you care to share an excerpt from the scene with us?
“Can you believe the line?” a voice said behind him. “Where did everyone come from, and why the hell are they between me and the coffee?”
Simon turned, thinking of a funny quip in response, and the words died in his throat. The man behind him was gorgeous. Short dark hair, caramel colored skin, and eyes the color of milk chocolate. Powerful arms crossed over a muscular chest hidden beneath a t-shirt, and a quick sweep of Simon’s gaze suggested the thighs beneath those fitted jeans were mouthwatering. He had a bit of swagger and a cocky grin, but something about him came off worn and frayed, piquing Simon’s interest beyond the man’s good looks.
“That’s the price of the Strand’s best coffee,” Simon replied with a smile. Oh God, that’s really lame. Shit, I’ve still got my glasses on. And my hair’s a mess. “Worth the wait though.”
The dark haired man returned the smile, although it didn’t reach his eyes. His gaze seemed to miss nothing, appraising and watchful. Cop? Simon wondered. That would fit. Sweet Jesus, look at that body! Those arms—
“I don’t get over here often, and not usually this early,” the man replied.
“It’s my guilty pleasure,” Simon confessed. “I’m kinda a coffee-holic. And the coffee maker at work died, so…here I am.”
This time, the stranger chuckled. “Yeah, well. Work coffee sucks. Always tastes like it’s been boiling all night, and I swear they never clean the pot.”
Outside, thunder rumbled, and rain began to darken the boardwalk. Instinctively, the line moved closer together, away from the windows. “Hope you don’t have far to go,” Simon commented. “Because it looks like we’re in for a downpour.”
The man met Simon’s gaze and kept eye contact for just a second too long, making Simon’s heart pound. He felt a flush come to his face under that appraising gaze, unsure whether the stranger was really checking him out, or just giving him a cop’s once-over. “I don’t mind getting wet,” the man replied, still not looking away, as if daring Simon to respond.
“Neither do I,” Simon managed to reply, hoping his voice didn’t betray his nervousness. A smile shared made Simon’s pulse spike again. “Did you walk?” he asked, desperate to keep the conversation going as they inched closer to the counter. Simon wished Tracey was working because she remembered all her regulars and she’d be able to fill him in on the mystery man. Only three more people in front of them before he gave his order. Simon knew he’d need to get creative, somehow, if he wanted to share more than a few minutes of idle chatter.
“Nah. Rode my motorcycle.” The cop—Simon felt sure the man was a cop—shifted, and he caught a glimpse of ink beneath the rolled up jacket sleeves. That observation went straight to Simon’s cock. He didn’t have any tattoos of his own, but the thought of an inked lover was a favorite midnight fantasy. Motorcycle cop came in a close second.
Get a grip, Kincaide. Horny is one thing. Desperate is totally not cool.
Lisa: If you could spend some real-life time with one of the characters in the book, who would you choose and why?
Morgan: Probably Simon, because I’m fascinated with his gift to talk to ghosts and get glimpses of the future. I’ve known some people with real gifts like that and I’m amazed at what they have experienced.
Lisa: Let’s take off your author cap and put on your reader cap for a moment: what do you look for in a book, what sort of protagonists do you love, and do you have a favorite genre/sub-genre?
Morgan: I love books that have a good plot—adventure, a crime to solve, something supernatural, and some romance (preferably all in the same book!) I want to see protagonists who don’t wait to be rescued, and who aren’t ‘too stupid to live’ as in making really dumb choices because the author is taking short cuts to move the plot along. I want to see smart, sassy characters who have weaknesses and scars but who want to do better and are willing to take risks.
I like urban fantasy because I like the idea of there being magic and monsters and supernatural stuff going on under our noses and there being a whole hidden world out there. I also really like detective and mystery books, preferably with romance involved.
Lisa: What are your least and most favorite things about being an author?
Morgan: My favorite thing is getting to spend most of my day telling the stories in my head! And my least favorite thing is that I can think up new stories faster than I can write them!
Lisa: What’s the one genre/sub-genre you haven’t written yet, but would love to? What’s kept you from it so far?
Morgan: I haven’t done a cozy mystery or a police procedural story yet. I have a cozy mystery series planned. The only thing that’s kept me from it is having only 24 hours in a day! I not only write as Morgan Brice, but I’m also bringing out new epic and urban fantasy novels as Gail Z. Martin, so stories just have to wait in line for their turn!
Lisa: What’s your favorite part about writing a story that either alters our contemporary world or creates a world entirely from scratch?
Morgan: Magic and the supernatural. I try to come up with a different magical system for different series, so that means thinking through the rules about how magic works, what it costs in terms of energy, training, health, etc. for the person doing the magic, etc. Now in my Badlands and Witchbane series, because there is and will be some crossover (as well as there being some crossover to the Deadly Curiosities series I write as Gail Z. Martin and the Mark Wojcik Spells Salt and Steel I co-write with Larry N. Martin), the rules for magic are the same. I love looking up monsters and ghost stories and lore about magic and supernatural legends. That’s so much fun for me!
Lisa: Let’s talk tropes: do you have a few favorites that you enjoy both writing and reading? If so, what are they and what makes them your faves?
Morgan: I like friends-to-lovers and enemies-to-lovers. Those are probably my favorite tropes, especially where one person has been oblivious and the other person is head-over-heels.
Lisa: If you could choose one of your books to be adapted for the silver screen, which would you choose? Why do you think it would translate well to film?
Morgan: I think that either Badlands or Witchbane (or my Deadly Curiosities series under my Gail Z. Martin name) would do well for TV. The type of adventure lends itself to an episode format, and there’s a lot of potential material to work with. So if anyone out there knows a TV producer…..
Lisa: If I were to interview Simon and Vic, what would they say about you?
Morgan: They’d probably say I should get away from my keyboard more and go to the real beach to chill out!
Lisa: Was there a particular part of the process—from writing to editing to cover design to publishing—that was easier or harder than you thought it would be? What was it?
Morgan: It’s really fun working with cover artists and picking out the models for the main characters! When I was working with a traditional publisher, I didn’t get a lot of input into covers. Now, I get to work closely with the artists/designers to get images I really like and that represent the book well.
Lisa: If you won the lottery, what’s the first completely self-indulgent thing you’d do?
Morgan: I have a whole lot of world traveling I want to do, and I’d be planning some awesome trips to see all the places I’ve only read about, and check out some awesome beaches!
Lisa: It’s the zombie apocalypse. It’s up to you and 5 other uninfected humans to save what’s left of humanity. Which fictional characters would you want on your team, and why?
Morgan: Sam and Dean Winchester, because they’re badass, Harry Dresden because he’s a wizard, Perceval Whyborne and Griffin Flaherty from Jordan L. Hawk’s Whyborne and Griffin series, because they are also totally badass.
Lisa: Thanks so much for chatting with us today, Morgan, it’s been a pleasure!
About the Book
Author: Morgan Brice
Cover Artist: Natania Barron
Genre/s: Urban Fantasy, MM Paranormal Romance
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Buy Links: Amazon US || Amazon UK || Kobo || Nook/B&N
Blurb: Simon Kincaide owns a boardwalk shop in Myrtle Beach where he runs ghost tours & does seances and private psychic readings, a fresh start after his abilities cost him his lover and his job as a folklore professor. Jaded cop Vic D’Amato saw something supernatural he couldn’t explain during a shootout several years ago in Pittsburgh and relocated to Myrtle Beach to leave the past behind, still skeptical about the paranormal. But when the search for a serial killer hits a dead end, Vic battles his skepticism to ask Simon for help. As the body count rises, Simon’s involvement makes him a target, and a suspect. But Simon can’t say no, even if it costs him his life and heart.
About the Author
Morgan Brice is the romance pen name of bestselling author Gail Z. Martin. Morgan writes urban fantasy male/male paranormal romance, with plenty of action, adventure and supernatural thrills to go with the happily ever after. Gail writes epic fantasy and urban fantasy, and together with co-author hubby Larry N. Martin, steampunk and comedic horror, all of which have less romance, more explosions
Morgan Brice will be a Supporting Author at Gay Romantic Lit convention and a Hosting Author at RomCon in October.
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