Kathy, I'm so glad you could join me today! I confess I don't normally read scary books but I'm going to have to make an exception for your book. Your title, Be Not Afraid, and cover are just too intriguing to pass up! I mean, check this out people...
Does that not make you want to read this or what? Well, I don't know about you guys but I'm ready to get started. Grab your coffee, sit back, and let's meet the lovely K.R. Morrison!
Once again Kathy, welcome! I'm so glad you could join me today *hugs* I've loved getting to meet so many wonderful people and being introduced to new genres I don't normally read. Let's dive right in...when did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve always liked to write, almost as much as I liked to read. I spent most of my younger life drawing, though. That was how I expressed myself. But when the kids came along, the paints and paper got put away, and never really got reawakened. I’d been writing the annual Christmas letter for years, and folks always told me how much they enjoyed them.
Then came this book, which was really a compulsion (which I will expand on later). Once I got a publisher and saw my book in my hands—that’s when the writing bug hit. I have so many stories in my head! Getting them to line up and stay on their best behavior is a tough business.
Totally understand about the book being a compulsion LOL. That's how my books has been really. What has been the most difficult part about being a writer?
Today it was the frustration that comes with marketing and promotion. It can sometimes get so discouraging. But then someone gives you a compliment or BUYS YOUR BOOK and things start looking up again. Gives you a reason to go on.
You know, that's something I'm already experiencing. If I start getting discouraged, a compliment can go a long way towards cheering me up! You said you love to read, so who are your favorite authors?
Modern-day authors: Terry Pratchett and Jasper Fforde. (No, that’s not a typo.) Have you ever read them? They are so funny! I give them straight-As for imaginativeness. Authors of writings past: definitely Robert Louis Stevenson. I have an old copy of “A Child’s Garden of Verses” and still read it when I can.
I have heard of Terry Pratchett but haven't had a chance to read much of his. I keep seeing his name thrown around though so I'll be reading more of his work I think! Who are the authors inspire you?
More writers than authors, really. Screenplay writers. It’s because I see my story unfold as if on the screen, and I take great pains in going into the right amount of detail without getting caught up in it. Gestures, conversations, facial expressions—they take precedence in my writing over what the characters wore or what they ate, or the color of their eyes. I only add that sort of thing if it is germane to the story.
Ooh I love that response! Sometimes my scenes play out like that too :) And speaking of scenes, do you like to plan your scenes out or do you just wing it?
I definitely plan. But I don’t do outlines or write notes. I walk. A lot. And as I do, I play the scenes out in my mind. My writings are Christian in nature, so I wouldn’t dream of not getting the advice of my Collaborator. Some scene shifts or outcomes are so unexpected that I just stop walking, my mouth open.
See I'm never able to plan so in a way, I envy you people that ability lol. We've heard your favorite authors, but what type of books do you like to read?
I’ve really become fond of YA. But mystery is my usual choice, then paranormal (not horror, believe it or not), humor, adventure, inspirational (all faiths), and hiking narratives. Depends on my mood, and how long I’ve been reading a certain genre.
I like that, a very good mix of genres :) What do you like to do in your free time?
What I like to do in my free time is walk—and I don’t mean a leisurely stroll. I am a race walker, although I am not the fastest horse in the stable. But I get better the more weight I lose. The first year I walked in the Portland-to-Coast Relay, the only sentient being I passed was a dead deer.. And even she gave me trouble…But now, after seven years, I can pretty much hold my own, even pass other walkers.
What I end up doing instead of walking, most days, is clean the house…
Wait a minute...there are race walkers?? That is just awesome!! I loathe running but I don't mind walking at all. I'll have to look into this more! We won't even go into how messy my house is lol. Where is your favorite place to vacation?
Best place I have ever been is Scotland. My roots are there, in the far north, on the Isle of Lewis. But the highlands call me. There is something about that fierce solitude that connects with my heart. My husband says we’ll go back in a couple of years. Can’t wait!
Until then, a trip to New Orleans next year will do nicely.
Ok now I'm jealous. Scotland is definitely right up on my list of places I want to visit. I'm going to be hitting you up to see pictures later so I can live vicariously :) We are just days away form Halloween so I must ask you...what is the craziest Halloween costume you’ve ever worn?
In my eight-grade year, the school had a costume contest. I still remember going out into the backyard with rolls of heavy-grade wire and fashioning my costume. A sturdy frame, hung from the branches of the maple tree, and tons of papier-mache; make sure there’s a way to get into the thing. Yellow paint over all, and ta-dah! I was a giant banana! It went over really well in the contest. I think I got first place.
However, I couldn’t sit down while wearing it. Oh well.
OMG that is just awesome!! Who needs to sit anyway? ;) I'll be hitting you up for pics of those later too haha. As I'm sure people can goes from the cover, Be Not Afraid is horror. Why did you choose to write a horror novel?
This is the hardest thing to answer, because it makes me squirm. I have an all-abiding horror of vampires—I can’t even look at the word without my heart racing.
I didn’t have this weird phobia until the night I had an all-too-real nightmare. (Okay, breathe….) I dreamt I was being attacked by a vampire, and it involved all of my senses. I could feel the bite, the blood being pulled from my veins, the pain of their walls collapsing…
It was over in seconds, but when I woke up the dream continued. In my conscious state, I could see myself in a church, begging God’s forgiveness. From there, the dream became a storyline. Which is pretty common, but there was a catch: This line of thought kept playing over and over in my head, during all my waking hours, and every time it re-played, more detail and information would be added. It got to where the story took an hour to get through to the end. Then off it would go again.
After three weeks of this, I finally put pen to paper, and as I wrote the story out, the part that got written disappeared from my mind. It was a great relief! And I am really glad the second book did not have its start the same way.
Oh wow, that is intense. I'm so glad you could share that with us and I'm even more glad that part disappeared after you put it onto paper. Let's try for hopefully a lighter note...I love your title, Be Not Afraid! How did you come up with it?
There is a hymn by Robert J. Dufford, SJ, with the same title. There is a line in it that the book gives a picture to: “If you stand before the power of Hell, and death is at your side, know that I am with you through it all.” I quoted that in the front of the book. (Oregon Catholic Press very nicely gave me the necessary permission to use it.)
That is awesome, love the meaning! And that was so nice of the Oregon Catholic Press to let you use it! What has been the most fun about working on Be Not Afraid?
The extremely bestest, funnest, most wonderfulnest thing about the whole adventure was opening that box from the publisher and seeing my work, printed and bound. I was PUBLISHED! My work MEANT SOMETHING!! It was somewhat akin to seeing the baby in the crib and thinking, “Wow! I did this!”
I'm so happy for you!! Seriously, that must have just been the most amazing feeling in the universe!! *happy dance* :) How did you come up with the premise for your books?
Nightmares, both times, although the second one just uses a short “bad dream” I had years ago as a background, instead of taking over my entire life like the first one.
Well I suppose you can't get much better with horror novels than to be able to say it is literally the stuff of nightmares ;) Can you tell me more about the world in which Be Not Afraid is set?
It’s a world I know, one which I live in. The neighborhood and town in the story do not look anything like mine, to my mind’s eye, but it has the flora and fauna of the Pacific Northwest. The building in which Lydia works is pretty much the same, however, as the place where I work. So much so that my co-worker recognized it right away when she read it, although no names were mentioned!
Haha I bet that was fun for her! I've heard some of the best advice for writers is to write what you know :) Do you have any favorite characters from your books?
That would be St. Therese, who helps Lydia through her times of doubt and fear. I love this young saint. Her life and philosophy of simplicity and humbleness before God and others are how I strive to live my life. Doesn’t always work out that way, though.
I cannot wait to read more about St. Therese! She sounds wonderful. As you've mentioned already, Be Not Afraid has a bit of a spiritual twist. Can you elaborate on this?
This book is a message of mercy and forgiveness, about love, about sacrifice. I emphasize in it that no one, and I mean no one, regardless of customs, beliefs, or geography, is exempt from the love of God—no matter what the soul calls its Deity. I use the Christian view because that is the one I know, but I include all of God’s creation. God created all of us, and wants us to know of His love, and does not want to lose any of us. So those who believe in a Higher Power, and love and respect all others above themselves, are not far from the kingdom of God.
I think that message is fantastic and I'm looking forward to seeing how you convey that message! I hear you have a prequel in the works. Please tell us more!
“Resurgence: The Rise of Judas” is a prequel/sequel. It takes in a number of myths about the origins of vampires, starting right outside the Garden of Eden in Genesis. From there we skip to the end of the New Testament, then to the Carpathian Mountains of the 15th century. After that, it is a short time in Scotland, then across the Pond to the New World. After 19th-century New Orleans, the prequel becomes the sequel. Skipping over the first book, we arrive just in time for yet another skirmish between Heaven and Hell.
Ok Kathy, you are hooking me in without my having had a chance to read Be Not Afraid :) I'm for sure going to be checking this book out when it's finished! How many books are you planning for the series and when can we expect the next one?
I’d expected only two, but the characters had a meeting one night when I went out for beer. They decided that two-year-old Toby would have a go at righting the wrongs of the world. They were very clever in keeping it to themselves. As I wrote out the chapter where this information emerged, I could almost hear them giggling in the background.
Now, whether or not I will be spurred on by another nightmare remains to be seen. After “Resurgence”, I plan on making a lot of quilts and doing jigsaw puzzles. But you know about the best-laid plans of mice and us…
LOL They had a meeting when you went out for beer? Love it! They were probably jealous of not being included ;) Well, I'm sorry to say we are running short on time. What's next for you?
I think I shall fly down to L.A. and demand an audience with Tim Burton. Ha ha. Oh, I amuse myself grandly…
Actually, no idea at this point. I usually take things one day at a time. I’m returning to voluntary servitude (meaning, a paying job), so my options are pretty narrow at the moment.
If you do that you must take me with you! Love Tim Burton :) Before you have to head off, anything else you want your readers to know?
I have met a lot of people on the interwebs in the past year or so. I am so blessed to know all of you, if only your names and faces. You are all important to me, and I am not just saying that.
Thanks for letting me be on your blog, Lindsay! I really appreciate it.
Thank you so much for stopping by Kathy! I have loved getting to know you and I'm very much looking forward to reading your work! I just need to carve out a little bit of time and then I'm going to curl up with my favorite security blanket because I have a feeling I might need it ;)
Well ladies and gentlemen, I hope you've enjoyed meeting the fantabulous K.R. Morrison! Now go get in the Halloween spirit and buy her book, Be Not Afraid! Keep reading for a bit of a bio on her as well as buy links for her book!
Join me on the next exciting installment of The Lindsay Show!
Be Not Afraid...Buy it Now!
War is imminent. Evil has overtaken the world, although the world does not know it. God must intervene on the behalf of those who love Him, and a war is brewing that will decide supremacy.
God’s plan unfolds, and His subjects must retain their faith in the midst of every evil the Father of Lies can throw at them. Lydia, because of her strong faith, is particularly seized upon by Vlad, a demonic vampire. He brings her to the brink of despair, unknowingly causing her to cling even harder to her Lord and Savior. When she is miraculously saved, Vlad finds and then harasses her friends and family, unaware of the angels and saints who are on the brink of attack against him and his minions.
The faithful are tested to the ends of their abilities. Will they be able to stand fast against the power of Death, remembering that God is with them? Or will the Father of Lies rise triumphant?
Available in paperback, hardback, and ebook!!
Meet K.R. Morrison!
Find K.R. Morrison online!K.R. Morrison is the pen name for Kathy Ree, who has lived in Wilsonville for 22 years. She came here from California, after the Loma Prieta earthquake caused her to rethink her stance on “never moving again”. At her first sight of Oregon, she never looked back.She wrote her first book, “Be Not Afraid”, after a nightmare she experienced would not leave her mind, even when awake. Before this book, she had not written much of anything, outside of the annual Christmas letter.A prequel/sequel to the first book, “Resurgence: The Rise of Judas”, has just been finished, and hopefully will see publication soon.When not writing or working, she quilts or works in the garden.She lives with her husband of 26 years, their son and daughter, and two cats.