I chatted with local author Megan Morgan about her new book and burning sofas.
Talk about your childhood, where you grew up, etc
I’m originally from West Virginia and I started writing when I was in junior high. I was really into fantasy and science fiction. I noticed a lack of female characters in that genre at that time. I really wanted to insert people like myself into those stories. I gave them to my friends to read and they enjoyed them. I figured out my stories had the same impact on others as the stories I read had on me.
Is it true you burned a sofa?
I HAVE burnt a couch ::laughs:: My dog buried part of a deer into the couch and it smelled so horribly there was no other option. ::laughs::
What is your book called and what is it about?
The book is called “The Altered Wake.” I describe it as a fantasy wrapped in a science fiction aesthetic. The premise of the novel is the main character, Cameron, lives in a post apocalyptic dystopian world. Super powers start turning up in the world around her and in one of her friends as well. She’s in the army so she’s ordered to hunt down her friend. In doing so, she has to uncover the origin of these powers and how they relate to her.
Why is it important to have more strong female lead characters in the age of the #MeToo movement?
I think that Cameron represents really well the general frustration that I have with the constraints of gender identity, and that said, I think MeToo represents issues of speaking out against assault for both genders. So, because that’s such a specific topic, it’s not one that I think Cameron’s character addresses. I think that men have just as difficult a time coming forward as women (if not more) due to the stigmas associated. What she does address, as a character, are broader issues. What I want to see, as a writer, is for people not to feel constrained by what they should and shouldn’t be according to societal gender norms. I want it to be acceptable for a woman to wield a sword and be a leader. I want it to be acceptable for a man to be guided by strong feelings. I want people to feel like they can run the whole spectrum and be who they are. And that’s where I write from, and that’s where so many of my characters begin.
So, Cameron is less about MeToo specifically, and more about the broader issues that MeToo and movements like it are trying to address.
What is your favorite book written by another author?
That’s such a hard question. “Harry Potter” was a big influence to me growing up. JK Rowling is a personal hero of mine because she fought so hard to make her work happen. I’m a HUGE fan of classic literature. I love “Pride and Prejudice..I’m such a big fan of British literature as you can tell.
Who is your favorite science fiction character?
I was a huge fan of Luke Skywalker growing up. “Star Wars” was my first love.
If you could have any actress play Cameron in a movie adaptation, who would it be and why?
Tessa Thompson, who plays the Valkyrie in “Thor.” You would need someone who has physicality and edgy sense of humor. You don’t see that a lot..that’s why I write what I write.
You tweeted out “I NEED to write.” Why?
My brain works better when I have a pen and paper in front of me. The world isn’t clear until until I start writing.
Are you excited about the release of your new book?
I’m REALLY excited. Writing is my voice. It’s great being able to get my voice out there for others to hear.