Bo, welcome to Hardcover Feedback! A lot of people are on Twitter these days, so can you describe Morgan Hall for us in 140 characters or less (which is the size of a tweet)?
Well, love never dies, and revenge never sleeps in Morgan Hall.
Morgan Hall is a desolate country estate that has been in Lady Christie Morgan’s family for almost 400 years. A family cursed by eternal tragedy, and now Christie is the last Morgan. Apparitions appear, sparking a chain of horrifying occurrences involving Christie and the two men who love her: Anthony Longfield-Lothian and Tristan Ely.
This is a saga of mystery and sordid family history weaving intrigue for the passionate love triangle. Past and present war as the secrets of three aristocratic families unfold - resurfacing in a spine-chilling mystery of passion and lust, ghostly happenings, and blood-curdling murders.
Emotions run high as their world spins wildly out of control. Are they all cursed to repeat the grizzly past? Does sweet revenge claim its prize? That’s up to you the reader to find out…
When did you begin writing Morgan Hall? What inspired this book and how much research was involved in writing it?
I wrote the first draft of Morgan Hall after having my first child. When she was a baby I was always alone at home with her for most of the day so did much writing, and somehow I was really inspired to at the time so it didn’t take long. I finished the polished version when I took a sabbatical from work later on though so it was an on-off thing. Left for a few years before proper completion.
Boarding school inspired me. It was set in an early 18th century ex-stately home with 300 acres of landscaped gardens and a glorious lake. The estate had been inhabited and owned by aristocratic families since the 12th century and the ruins of the old manor were both beside and at the bottom of the lake. It was both beautiful and spooky and I had quite a few eerie experiences there of a ghostly nature. I did think to myself I must write a spooky novel one day in a similar setting but wasn’t actually able to sit down and do it until I was much older.
There was quite a lot of research into history and architecture. Even though it is a work of fiction, the details must be absolutely right.
What or who made the biggest influence on you wanting to become a writer?
I think I’ve always just had a tale brewing within me. As a child I was always fascinated by ghost stories, classical architecture, historical places and drawn to heroes that were a bit dark and mysterious such as the classical Heathcliff and I would have loved the modern day Lestat. I’ve always had that romantic gothic inclination. Then as you grow up, you meet certain people, experience intense emotions both good and bad and get thrown into situations out of our control; basically life is one big story. Together with a creative imagination and much life experience Morgan Hall just evolved naturally within me until I had to write it down on paper and transform it into novel.
What was the first book you ever wrote about and was it ever published?
Morgan Hall was the first book I have written and it is published by a traditional small press.
Do you have any writing habits that people might find unusual?
I’m not sure if my writing habits are unusual as such, but I write from bouts of inspiration. It just suddenly comes to me. I know the ending first, then the beginning and then everything in between falls into place.
Do you have a favorite character or one that is especially close to your heart?
Christie, the heroine is very much a part of me. She possesses parts of my own character plus everything I love and hate as well as everything I aspire to be – all within Christie. I also love the hero Anthony, very much.
What is the best gift you have ever received, do you still have it and who gave it to you?
Everything someone I love gives me is special but I have this pendant given to me by my brother over 20 years ago that I still wear daily today. It is a replica of a museum piece, an ancient Persian ram’s head. It’s very me and I still wear it every day on a black leather choker.
What is something that you have always wanted to do, but just haven't gotten around to it yet?
I would like Morgan Hall to become a best seller and made into a big box-office movie but I haven’t got around to doing it yet LOL.
If you were stranded on a deserted island, what three things would you hope to find in your suitcase?
An unbreakable magic wand that would grant my every wish including getting off the island. In fact, add two more of those just in case one gets lost!
What is your all-time favorite book?
Morgan Hall of course.
Other than yourself, who is your favorite author?
If a TV show was based on your life, what type of TV show would it be (i.e., comedy, drama, suspense, etc.) who would you choose to play the leading character (you), and what would the theme song be? Why?
It would definitely be a drama – serious but with a sense of humour. I would like the actress Eva Green to play the leading role. Of course we are nothing alike, but it could be a movie based on my life and the character based on me, but it doesn’t have to be exactly the same.
The theme song will be “Dreams” by the band Van Halen because it is my favourite song and I truly believe in it: in picking yourself up, looking forward and not back, rising up above hardships and following your dreams.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Are you an early bird or a night owl?
Both. I’m a night owl because I was born one. I’m an early bird because I’m organised and therefore have to be.
What is your favorite TV show and/or movie?
My favourite TV series is the 1981 British version of “Brideshead Revisited” based on the classic by Evelyn Waugh. My favourite movie is “Dead Poets Society”, I love all the “Harry Potter” movies, “Amadeus” and “Titanic” (I’m fascinated about anything to do with the Titanic), and more recently “Dark Shadows” (the movie).
If you were throwing a dinner party and you could invite five people (fictional or real, dead or alive), other than family or friends, who would you invite and why?
If this is a dinner party I’d like it to be fun and entertaining. So I will choose Lord Byron because he must be the most amazing man to ever have dinner with. Cleopatra because that would just be fascinating. Anthony Longfield-Lothian from Morgan Hall – read the book and find out why. Elizabeth Swann from the “Pirates of the Caribbean” because she’s a kick-ass woman in a man’s world. And Johnny Depp because I think he’d add an interesting twist to it!
If you had the opportunity to go anywhere you wanted, at anytime in history, where would you go and why?
I have romantic visions about certain times in history – the buildings people lived in, the way they dressed and behaved and so forth. But the reality I know is far from it and humanity has definitely grown more civilised since the days of old. So as much as I love reading about history, I’d much prefer to live for today or catch a glimpse into the future.
What are you currently working on?
I am working on the sequel to Morgan Hall and plan on creating a series. Like with Morgan Hall, the characters are passionate, dark, romantic, deep and intriguing. This time the story is very contemporary and takes the characters (new and old) from the UK up to the icy mountains of Switzerland and half way around the world to Hong Kong in the mystical East. The villain is even worse than the last! The sequel is much scarier. I get chills writing it.
Where can people connect with you online?
Email me at: email@example.com
I am very happy to receive emails from readers and anyone interested in Morgan Hall and it’s good to meet new people. I always reply.
My website: www.bobriar.com is under construction.
Thank you so much Bo for being on Hardcover Feedback!
Lady Christie Morgan is not the only occupant in this desolate English estate. A young apparition appears, sparking a chain of horrifying occurrences involving Christie and the two men closest to her: Anthony Longfield-Lothian and Tristan Ely. A saga of mystery and sordid family history weaves intrigue for the passionate love triangle. Past and present war as the secrets of three aristocratic families come to light.
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