As if the occupation of a writer didn't carry with it enough intrigue, Louisa Morgan elevates it to the next level, enchanting with a true, mysterious finesse. Louisa Morgan is the pseudonym of Louise Marley, an award-winning writer of fantasy, science fiction, and historical fiction. Much of her work is influenced by her first career as a classical singer, most recently her novel Mozart’s Blood. Writing as Louisa Morgan, she is the author of A Secret History of Witches, The Witch’s Kind, and the newest book, The Age of Witches. Louisa lives in the Pacific Northwest with her family and her spirit familiar, Oscar the Border Terrier. Visit her at www.louisamorgan.net.
WFC2020: It is moments like this, Louisa, we wish we had a curtain to draw back to introduce our upcoming interview, somewhat like you may have experienced as a classical singer. There is something about that curtain reveal that conveys excitement so wonderfully! What would you say was your first "curtain unveiling" moment as an author, if you will -- any "first" moment that really put a spotlight on your fresh, new literary life?
My first novel sale was so traditional, it’s boring. But my first bestseller? Magical!
I had been writing and publishing for a number of years, my career going up and down, as careers do. I fell in love with the idea of a historical novel with witches, a series of life stories, told through linked novellas. I freely admit my agent shopped it around for a while before a brilliant editor snapped it up and transformed it. It got bigger, longer, and better under the guidance of Lindsey Hall, who is now with Tor, and she also saw to it that it had a beautiful cover. To my delighted surprise, A Secret History of Witches sold briskly from the first moment it appeared, and three years later, it’s still selling, and it has led to two other thematically-related book, with one more in the pipeline.
I’m not joking when I say this process was magical. It seemed to be enchanted from beginning to end, and I feel like a very, very lucky writer.
WFC2020: 'Magical!' A fitting word choice for such a spell-binding piece! Which of your books would you recommend to new readers who may not be familiar with your work and who would like a bit of that enchantment themselves?
It seems A Secret History of Witches is a good place to start. Lots of my dear readers have followed me from that one through the two that have followed (all three are standalones.) We have great discussions on the Louisa Morgan Facebook page, so if any readers are interested in witches, in paganism, in history, or in magic (as well as moon phases and a dash of astrology) please drop by!
WFC2020: You seem wonderfully engaged with your fans! While they're busy visiting you online, we also enjoy your attendance here at WFC. Would you say you had a favorite memory of attending the conference?
I think the most fun I had at WFC was in London in 1997. I got to meet one of my mentors, Geoff Ryman, and also met Anne McCaffrey in person, after she had blurbed my first trilogy. She was so gracious as she accepted my little offering of Seattle Chocolates, and I felt welcomed into the tribe.
WFC2020: Whether it's chocolates or the publication of a new book, you authors always seem to be giving away literal and figurative gifts! Tell us about your latest gift -- what is it about? What was the inspiration for this story?
The Witch’s Kind is set on the Olympic Peninsula, where I live, around the time of World War II and the rash of UFO sightings all over the Pacific Northwest. It’s a book very close to my heart, with a character based on my grandmother, the painter E.L.M. Campbell. It’s about feminine power, mother love, and the sisterhood of all women. I was inspired by my surroundings here, living on Puget Sound, with sea birds and beaches and organic farms—the setting is spectacular, and in the book, the magic is in the water.
WFC2020: Clearly artist's blood runs in the family, and magic is in your work! What's the next spellbinding book you're weaving now?
The book I’m halfway through now is a prequel to Secret History. A number of readers expressed interest in the backstory of the “great witch Ursule”, and I decided I wanted to know it, too. It’s similar to The Witch’s Kind in that there’s only one point of view, though it’s in third person, not first. The setting is Brittany, France, in the late 18th and very early 19th centuries—French peasantry, the French Revolution, gypsies, and magic!
WFC2020: If you could loan us a spell to jump the timeline to when this is published, we would greatly appreciate it. It's so very hard to wait when we hear such thrilling synopsis! But we understand if that's a trade secret. Speaking of time, it's about time we let you back to writing; anything else you’d like attendees to know before we part?
I’d love for the attendees of WFC, and of all the conventions we usually go to, to know that I very much miss seeing them in person. I love the internet for its ability to keep me connected with readers and with people who share my interests, but I am SO eager for the time we can be in the same room once again, to talk books and writing and life. That’s going to be a great day. Meantime, if any of the WFC folks would like to reach out to me, please do! These interactions are keeping me going during this lonely time.
WFC2020: Absolutely! We agree wholeheartedly -- these virtual connections are so vital for us as well; thank you for joining us today, and where are some haunts our readers can find you on the Internet?
I’ve mentioned the Louisa Morgan Facebook page. I’m also on Twitter, @WriterLouisa, and of course there’s the website, www.louisamorgan.net
I try to answer all tweets and Facebook comments! https://www.facebook.com/CatholicWitch
The best buy links are on the Hachette author page, here: https://www.hachettebookgroup.com/contributor/louisa-morgan