Author: Morgan Straughan Comnick
Publisher: Paper Crane Books
Genre: Short Stories
This collection was born thanks to adventures to magical places that my youthful imagination crafted, a royal decree that henceforth let me be known as “The Queen of Details,” and a very energetic “role model for today’s youth.” Writing had always been a comfort, a way of expressing myself since my voice was locked tight due to shyness. But because of these events, gifts, professors, and people in my life, light was shed on a pathway to writing as a career. In this collection, you will find works mostly from my high school years, exploring an array of genres. You’ll learn about my younger self–both child and teen–who made me the woman I am today. It all started with a notebook, a pencil, words of encouragement, and a sweet, little dream.
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- A Sweet Little Dream is available at Amazon.
What is your least favorite quality about yourself?
I do not have much confidence in myself and get scared easily. My shyness and being too nice has burned and harmed me as well.
How long have you been writing?
Professionally, I signed my contract with Paper Crane Books on February 2013 and my first novel, Spirit Vision, was released that December. I began the bulk of my writing in high school and college, as a way of expression when I was too shy for spoken words, when I wanted my creative traits to show, and when I needed a friend to vent to.
Who or what influenced your writing once you began?
My Communication Arts teacher my freshmen year of high school, Mr. Banger, declared dramatically one day that he was going to write a book. We cackled at his antics, but then he told me I would make an interesting book character. For some reason, I reasoned with myself that if this man could write a book, I could try. I fused this fire with my school life at the time and my love for spirits and from this Spirit Vision was born. I have been going ever since.
Who or what influenced your writing over the years?
I look at the world around me, the place that has been my home and comfort, and find the uniqueness of it, a fantastical, fantasy element to it without it losing its core, its element, what it is. There is inspiration everywhere; you just have to have an open mind and find it.
How did you come up with the title of the book?
I never considered writing a career when I was in school; just a hobby and a way to express myself. When I started writing Spirit Vision I wanted to share it with the world. I was not sure if it would happen, so I considered it my sweet, little dream, one I held close to my heart. That is why I named my first collection, compiled of my first writings, A Sweet, Little Dream.
Are there any current books that have grasped your interest?
I received several mangas and books for Christmas. Right now, I have been pleasure reading my mangas and currently reading Emerald Green, the fine book in the Ruby Red time-travelling series. As far as genre, I enjoy vampire series, fairy tale retellings, historical fiction, realistic fiction, and books with magic in them.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Writers block is so annoying, especially for me because I have to write in order, which I have heard is odd for an author! Cutting a part you love in editing breaks my heart and makes my soul shrivel.
Give us three “Good to Know” facts about you. Be creative, you can talk about your first job, something that inspires you, anything fun that might grab the readers attention.
- I have the movie The Lion King completely memorized and have since age four.
- I am allergic to citrus. I cannot even smell it or my throat closes up.
- I am an oktau (a Japanese culture nerd through anime, manga, cosplay, and culture) and proud!
Tell us a little bit about the cover art. Who designed it? What made you choose that particular image/artwork?
My cover art for the Spirit Vision series is by the talented Ms. Suzy Zhang, AKA Cherriuki. I drew the concept art and Suzy made it beautiful, making my characters come to life, and drawing the eye to my book.
However, for A Sweet, Little Dream, my publisher and I purchased images from a photo site for businesses that I picked up and Sheenah, my publisher, took my ideas and made it lovely. The girl is a young girl who reminds me of myself, one enjoying the peace and beauty of the poppy field, envisioning her “sweet, little dream.”
Morgan was born and raised in the small, yet big enough town of Farmington, Missouri which has magic hidden within it along with bipolar weather. Before she found her path to teaching and the bridge that connects her to writing, she wanted to be a paleontologist, a teddy bear designer, an actor (which she still dreams about, but in anime voice acting form), and an American J-Pop idol. She had been writing since she was six, but never pondered it until her 6th grade Communication Arts teacher gave her the title “The Queen of Details” and her 9th grade Communication Arts teacher informed her she would make a fantastic book character for HIS future book, where she laughed, but it triggered the question within her “Why can’t I write one?”
When she is not writing, daydreaming, snuggling with her hubby, or trying to educate and inspire young minds at her local school district, Morgan enjoys singing, acting, drawing, playing video games, organizing things, doing goofy voices, confusing people by making them smile with her cute, but unique fashion choices, engaging in social interaction with her friends, family, co-workers, love of her life, and church family, smiling and laughing to burn calories, having ‘me’ time by listening to music and walking, watching awesome TV shows and movies, and collecting adorable plushies, and geeky buttons and keychains along with buying way too many books, graphic tees, and dresses. She is in love with reading as well. Her guilty pleasure, however, is being a full otaku. Anime, manga, cosplay, Japanese culture and more help identify and inspire her every day, giving her confidence and happiness.
Morgan’s first book, Spirit Vision, fuses Morgan’s love for her hometown and the people close in life, the world beyond life, finding the magic only you can have inside yourself, the power of love and friendship, and of writing in general. She hopes to make Spirit Vision a series and write many more books, sharing her always on imagination with the world.
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