I’m delighted to welcome Choc Lit author, Morton Gray to chat about her writing, winning Choc Lit’s Search for a Star, and her new book, The Girl on the Beach which is out TODAY! Happy Release Day, Morton 🙂
The Fun Stuff:
What part of the world do you come from?
I was born in Birmingham, U.K., but lived for most of my life in the West Midlands. I moved to Worcestershire when I married my husband, but still consider myself to be a Black Country lass and have the family history to prove it.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
There was never a clear career path in my mind, so I tried to keep my education quite general. After a business studies degree, I joined a large organisation and enjoyed being moved around the company. I worked in administration, committee services, training and management development. After sixteen years, I decided to train as a therapist and worked as a clinical hypnotherapist and Reiki Master for several years. I’ve always written as part of my job, be it press releases, reports or training materials, but found novel writing much later in my life.
List three words to describe yourself.
Busy, Caring, Creative.
Who would play you in a film about your life?
These days, I think it would have to be Emma Thompson.
What’s your favourite snack food when writing?
Erm… too many snacks – chocolate, crisps, peanuts and my latest favourite of dark chocolate coated coffee beans.
What literary character is most like you?
Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice, because she is an observer of the world and a romantic at heart.
The Sensible Side:
Tell us a little about yourself.
I came to write seriously about eight years ago when I was recovering from a couple of operations and looking for a new direction. I won a short story competition that I entered on a whim. That was it, the spark for writing was there. I went on courses to learn the craft of writing and set about writing as many different things as I could to discover my genre and style.
When I’m not writing, I’m doing all the usual family and household stuff, but love nothing better than tracing family trees and learning new craft skills.
Give us the title and genre of your debut book. Can you treat us to a brief excerpt?
My debut novel is a contemporary romantic suspense story called The Girl on the Beach and is set in the fictional seaside town of Borteen.
The blurb reads:-
Who is Harry Dixon?
When Ellie Golden meets Harry Dixon, she can’t help but feel she recognises him from somewhere. But when she finally realises who he is, she can’t believe it – because the man she met on the beach all those years before wasn’t called Harry Dixon. And, what’s more, that man is dead.
For a woman trying to outrun her troubled past and protect her son, Harry’s presence is deeply unsettling – and even more disconcerting than coming face to face with a dead man, is the fact that Harry seems to have no recollection of ever having met Ellie before. At least that’s what he says …
But perhaps Harry isn’t the person Ellie should be worried about. Because there’s a far more dangerous figure from the past lurking just outside of the new life she has built for herself, biding his time, just waiting to strike.
Where did the inspiration for The Girl on the Beach come from?
My stories usually start with a character who has an intriguing backstory or who finds themselves in a mysterious situation. I then have to write the novel to find out what has been happening and how it will resolve.
In this case, it was the combination of a couple of news headlines (I can’t tell you the exact content or it will give too much away) and my friend, who runs an art gallery, holding an art competition at my son’s high school. My heroine, Ellie Golden was born from these bits of information.
At the beginning of The Girl on the Beach, Ellie has just met her son’s new headmaster, but she recognises him from the past…
What happened when you discovered you were the winner of Choc Lit Publishing’s Search for a Star competition?
You mean after I’d run around for a good while screaming like a mad woman? My son had an optician’s appointment at the time the announcement was made and I had to try to juggle that when my Twitter and Facebook feeds were going mad. I rang my mom and she burst into tears and couldn’t speak on the phone. Then, my phone battery died.
I was stunned, especially as Choc Lit is the publisher I’ve admired for many years. It was also a little bitter sweet, as my friend, Lynn Forth had also been shortlisted in the competition. I’d have been happier if we both could have won.
What can we expect from you in the future?
I’m writing more books based in my fictional seaside town of Borteen. At the moment, I’m finishing the best friend’s story from The Girl on the Beach.
You have a beautiful new website and blog at www.mortonsgray.com. How else can we contact you to find out more about your books?
Twitter – @MortonSGray
Facebook Page – Morton S. Gray Author – https://www.facebook.com/mortonsgray/
Purchasing links and information for “The Girl on the Beach” can be found on the Choc Lit website at http://www.choc-lit.com/dd-product/the-girl-on-the-beach/ It is worth signing up for Choc Lit’s newsletter and blog, as they have regular giveaways and taster stories.
HUGE thanks to Morton for joining me on my blog today, be sure to follow her links and check out The Girl on the Beach.
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