Describe yourself in one word:
What is your background with regard to writing?
I have been writing since I was a child, starting with some truly appalling poetry and plagiarising famous works (especially by Enid Blyton). Surprisingly none of these have been published! I was the typical English Lit student nerd in high school and studied creative writing in university but there were long gaps in my twenties when I did no writing at all. It took until my thirties for me to get serious about it. See next question……
When did you first begin writing with a view of embarking on a career as a published author?
I was working at a community newspaper and had been dithering about with a fantasy book since 1996 but I never really thought I could be a published writer. To me writers were other people, out of my league. Until my sister nagged me into entering the 2003 Australian Women’s Weekly national short story competition and, to my complete shock, I won. I was picked from a field of about 8000 others and that gave me the confidence to feel it might be possible to be ‘an author’. I began submitting properly, tried to get an agent and in 2007 was signed up by Curtis Brown and my first book was published in 2008. So it only took twelve years, see how time flies!
Tell us a little more about Betrayal: The Twins of Saranthium:
The second book in my fantasy epic, Betrayal is about how far people will go to save those they love and the price of war and thirst for power on both those that seek it and those that resist. It follows the continuing journey of Tallis and Shaan, twins descended from the ancient and resurrected god of the serpents Azoth, who must fight to stop the god’s bid to reclaim his empire of slavery . In the ancient language of the serpents, Shaan is Arak-si- his beloved, and Tallis – Arak-ferish –his bane and their shared connection to the flying serpents of Saranthium could be their downfall or their salvation, depending on the choices they make.
Betrayal deals with some heavy topics of war, fallen Gods, and of course, betrayal. How do you personally work through the process of writing about these topics—is it difficult/draining for you through the writing process?
Yes absolutely it is. The most draining part is the emotional effect on the characters of all that happens to them. I have been known to write with tears streaming down my face during some of the most difficult scenes ie death and loss. But I also love writing those emotional highs and lows. It’s one of the things that most attracts me to creating such difficult topics and while I’m blubbing away I feel such satisfaction at the end and it reminds me of something I heard Benny of ABBA say once: “Sometimes it’s good to be sad.” There’s something so cathartic and resonating in that don’t you think?
Throughout Betrayal, the stories central characters Shaan and Tallis encounter many obstacles and challenges—what one character trait of theirs makes them most endearing to readers?
I would hope it’s Shaan’s spunk and Tallis’s loyalty but I can only speak for myself when I say the two of them are as dear to me as anyone in my family since I have known them for so long now so it’s hard to be objective.
One thing you’d like readers to know about the romance genre…
It’s much more varied than its given credit for and includes a vast range of genres from contemporary to fantasy (oddly just like my books!) but then most people who read romance are already smart enough to know that, it’s everyone else who needs educating.
If you weren’t writing, what would you be doing?
I can’t honestly think of anything else I could do anymore, all my life writing has been part of most work I’ve done (except for an unfortunate flirtation with car washing. Best not to talk about that. Disaster) Perhaps something in travel – rating hotels?? I’d enjoy that!
Biggest accomplishment to date:
Pre kids I would have said getting published, but now it’s the birth of my son. Even though it sounds clichéd, becoming a mum is one of things you can’t fully comprehend until you go through it yourself and even though it is the most challenging thing I’ve ever done, the moments of joy it brings can’t be beaten – even by being published which is awesome and wonderful. Ask me again when he’s a teenager and I might have a different reply though.
What’s next for you?
I’m working on the third and final book in the Twins series, Redemption, and after that I will probably have a break for a few months before starting another book as I’m expecting baby number two in early September. Given that, the next book is highly unlikely to be the start of another series! But never say never.
Confessions of an Author:
Favourite snack whilst writing?
Well something sweet is always nice but I MUST start with a cup of tea.
Is there something we’d be shocked to know about you?
I can be stupidly gullible. My husband, who I’ve known for over twenty years, can still tell me something completely untrue with a straight face and I will believe him. I once believed a friend when she told me she ‘cooked’ cookies in the fridge because they were refrigerator cookies. I know! You can stop laughing now.
What do you find easiest to write? And, the hardest?
Easiest: descriptions of setting and place. Hardest: battle scenes and love scenes (which can sometimes feel like the same thing!)
Favourite travel experience?
A holiday with my husband a few years ago on a small Greek island called Kastellorizo where we did little but eat, swim, drink and eat some more.
Favourite fictional character:
Captain Malcom Reynolds from Joss Whedon’s Firefly show.
Number one thing to do on your bucket list:
Meet Joss Whedon while attending Comicon – or having him make a show or movie from my books. Both seem totally plausible right?
Milk, dark or white chocolate?
Dark with rum raisin, milk for drinking but NEVER white, it’s not really even chocolate. Eww.
Red, white, bubbly? Bubbly
Salty or sweet? Both,I’m greedy
Beach or mountains? Both in one holiday – still greedy
Give or receive?
This is a trick question; the temptation is to say give, so everyone likes me and I seem like a healthy non-self serving person, but while giving leads to that warm fuzzy feeling is it really better than receiving?? Really? Truthfully receiving something feels good doesn’t it? From chocolate, to presents to winning an award it is awesome. It’s being appropriately grateful that can make you seem less of a selfish ass. So let’s work on that.
About the Author:
Lara Morgan’s career started with a bang after she won a national short story competition. She was invited to contribute a story to an anthology, taken to a writers festival and was interviewed like a real author. She even had business cards made. Then her novel manuscript was rejected, several times, and she lapsed into obscurity for years. Until, finally, an agent took pity on her, signed her up and got her a book deal. Which didn’t last, but still she was getting there! She has written two series; The Twins of Saranthium for adults, and The Rosie Black Chronicles for YA readers. She is published in Australia, New Zealand, Germany and Turkey and lives in Western Australia with her husband and son.
From fantasy writer Lara Morgan comes the second in her engrossing, enchanting, exciting Twins of Saranthium trilogy, perfect for curbing Game of Thrones withdrawals.
Shaan and Tallis have escaped from the fallen god, Azoth, but his dark shadow stretches over the enslaved people of the Wild Lands and the terrifying army of human-serpent warriors. War is coming, but the Council of Nine turn from the twins and their tales of Azoth’s menace, focusing instead on a war on the Free Lands.
Meanwhile, the Four Lost Gods have awoken, ready to reclaim the Birthstone currently in Azoth’s possession. But rather than the saviours Shaan and Tallis needed, the Four begin to exert terrible control over the people of Saranthium. With Tallis struggling to control the growing power within, and Shaan attempting to resist the pull of Azoth, the twins are under assault from all sides. Victory may still be possible, but only through a devastating act of betrayal