Our shortlist INSPY interviews continue with Christy and Carol award finalist, Morgan L. Busse. Her novel, Heir of Hope (Enclave Publishing) made the final of our 2016 shortlist in the Speculative Fiction category.
We chat with Morgan about what inspired Heir of Hope, her latest box office movie (Editor’s Note: I totally understand the Marvel fangirl feels), plus she gives us a sneek peek into what’s next!
The great city of Thyra has fallen and shadows spread across the land. Rowen Mar, the last Truthsayer, is taken before the Shadonae. But the Shadonae are not who she thought they were, and now they want to claim her as their own. Caleb Tala, former assassin and prince, is now a Guardian of mankind. Exiled from his country, Caleb wanders the desert in search of his mother’s past and clues to who he is. These are the last days of the Eldaran race. Rowen and Caleb must find their way along the dark path set before them by their ancestors: to heal what was wounded and love where hatred grows. But the road is narrow and the darkness beckons. If either of them fails, all will be lost… And the human race will be no more. Book three of the Follower of the Word series. – Goodreads | Amazon
INSPYs: What inspired Heir of Hope?
The Follower of the Word series is an epic fantasy series that follows Rowen, a young woman who has the ability when she touches someone to see inside their soul. In other words, she can see what God sees inside of us. Not only that, but she reflects back what she sees to the person she is touching. Learning why she has this ability and that she needs God’s help to use it is ultimately what this series is about. That without God, her power would overwhelm her.
When I first began writing Daughter of Light, the first book, I knew the story would eventually go to a dark place where everything Rowen believed in would be tested beyond her abilities, and that the only way she would survive was by completely trusting in the Word. Those final dark moments came in Heir of Hope.
Why did I write Heir of Hope as a dark story? Because I’ve experienced some very dark times in my own life. Following God does not mean life will be all daisies and rainbows. Sometimes it means walking through valleys filled with shadows of death. Sometimes it means wondering where God is in the midst of pain and tears.
When I wrote Heir of Hope, I drew upon my own experiences: two cancer scares, almost losing my son, when my husband lost his job, when we lost our house, when we couldn’t pay the bills, and when we were betrayed by people we loved. It was during those dark, painful times that I found God was right there beside me. I was never alone.
That was what I wanted to convey in Heir of Hope. There is hope in the midst of suffering. There is light in the darkest times. God is always there with us, even when we can’t see Him.
I’ve been asked what is my favorite novel I’ve written. My answer is Heir of Hope. It was the hardest yet most satisfying book I’ve written. When I wrote the conclusion to the Follower of the Word series, I wrote my heart and soul into that story.
(If you want to check out the Follower of the Word series, Daughter of Light is currently free on kindle.)
INSPYs: Can you give us a peek into what’s coming next?
I am now working on a Victorian steampunk series that is a loose retelling of Frankenstein. Steampunk is a sub-genre that usually takes place in either the Wild West or Victorian era, but with a fantasy/science fiction twist and advance technology run by steam.
Tainted (the first book in my series) follows Kat Bloodmayne, one of the first women chosen to attend the Tower Academy of Sciences. However, she has a secret: when she loses control of her emotions, she unleashes the power to control matter. But every time she does this, it destroys a part of her soul. So she is searching for a cure before her soul dies and she becomes something else entirely.
Tainted is now available in paperback and ebook.
JUST FOR FUN QUESTIONS
- What are you listening to? Typically when I am writing, I listen to soundtracks or gentle background music such as The Piano Guys. Currently I am listening to the soundtrack for Morrowind, a fantasy game. It helps set the mood for the story I’m writing.
- What are you watching? I just saw the new Marvel movie, Captain America: Civil War. Excellent story telling, excellent character development. Half of me was watching as a super heroes fan and the other half as a writer and both sides absolutely loved Marvel’s latest movie! Lots of feels!
- What are you reading or what’s on your nightstand? When I have a moment between writing, family, and church, I am making my way through Melanie Dickerson’s fairytale retellings (as you can see on my iPad on my nightstand). Currently I am on The Fairest Beauty. It’s taken me a while to get through it since I only have snatches of reading time here and there, but I’m really enjoying it when I get to read. I love Melanie’s stories and recommend it for anyone who enjoys fairytales!
Thank you so much for joining our author interview series, Morgan. It was a pleasure to chat with you, and learn about what’s next.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I am a wife, mother, and author. I write Christian fantasy and steampunk for the adult market. My work is published with Enclave Publishing, the premier publishing company for Christian fantasy and science fiction.