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Interview with Talli L. Morgan (MELIORA)

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talli-l-morgan.jpg?resize=200%2C267&ssl=Talli L. Morgan is a librarian and indie author from upstate New York. They are the author of the Windermere Tales series as well as one standalone novel, Meliora.

Twitter: @TLM_writes

Instagram: @tallimorgan.books

Website: tallimorgan.com

Meliora | The Oracle Stone | The Savior’s Rise


Welcome to the Hive, Talli! Let’s start with the basics: tell us about your new book, Meliora – why should readers check it out?

I’m so happy to be here! So Meliora is a low-stakes fantasy romance about a baker and a prince pretending to elope in order to cover up rumors about interactions with some shady mages. I’ve been pitching it as a good read for fans of Studio Ghibli –– especially Howl’s Moving Castle –– since it’s ultimately a feel-good story but there’s some deeper underlying plot threads as well.


meliora-talli-l-morgan.jpg?resize=197%2CCan you tell us a bit more about your characters? Do you have a favourite type of character you enjoy writing? 

The main character of Meliora is a baker named Winter, who’s trying to find a cure for his younger sister’s illness. Winter is selfless to a fault, so much so that he forgets to take care of himself. Meanwhile, our secondary character, Prince Arturo, is impulsive, carefree, and coaxes Winter out of his shell.

Basically, I like writing characters who are disasters. And most of mine tend to be messy in some way –– no one is perfect, of course. But there’s something particularly entertaining about watching a character make a series of poor decisions and then have to dig themselves out of the hole they made. 


Your other series, The Windermere Tales, is pretty different to your new release – can you give us a glimpse into that world? Is the world building inspired by anything specific?

Windermere is, in a word, loud. Those books are my love letter to classic epic fantasy with sprawling worlds, exciting adventures, high-stakes quests, and of course spectacular magic. I can’t pin down any one inspiration for the world, but various locations are loosely based on real-world places such as Scandinavia and the Mediterranean region. Windermere is a big world with a lot of interlocking pieces; including The Oracle Stone and The Savior’s Rise, I’ve already got twelve books either planned or drafted in this world, so I’ll be sticking around here for a while! 


We always appreciate a beautiful book cover! How involved in the process were you? Was there a particular aesthetic you hoped they’d portray?

I actually create my own book covers! Normally they go through a few different iterations before I’m satisfied, but typically by the time the book needs a cover, I have a clear vision in my mind of what I want it to look like. I tend to associate books with colors; I knew The Oracle Stone had to be purple, and I knew Meliora needed summery pastels. Once I’ve got the vibes, it’s just a matter of finding backgrounds and other elements that fit my vision. Unsplash and Canva are my best friends!


Let’s talk about the writing process; do you have a process? Tell us a little something about how your story comes together.

My writing process is a mess, tbh. A lot of it comes down to knowing vaguely where I’m going and then winging it when I get there. I begin new projects with a messy page of ideas, things to eventually include, character journeys, etc., and then I use all that to create a road map. What happens in the first chapter? What’s the first big plot point? What’s the midpoint, and where does everyone have to be at the end? Sometimes these things are clear, sometimes I don’t know what each point is until I get there. And most of the time, it all changes as I go. But I need something to follow, even if it’s vague, otherwise nothing gets done.


the-oracle-stone-talli-l-morgan.png?resiWe see such varying opinions from authors when it comes to the time of editing their books. How have you found the editing process? Enjoyable, stressful or satisfying?

I always say that when I’m drafting, I wish I was editing, and when I’m editing, I wish I was drafting. There are parts of each step of the writing process that get tedious and frustrating, but I don’t think I hate any part of it. Sometimes, editing is fun for me. I like fixing and polishing the story as it becomes less of a mess and more like what I envisioned. When I know what needs to change or be strengthened, editing is great. When I know something’s not working but I can’t figure out how to fix it, then I want to flee and write something else. Depends on the day. 


What (or who) are your most significant fantasy/sci-fi influences? Are there any creators whom you dream of working with someday?

My top three fantasy authors are V.E. Schwab, Leigh Bardugo, and Samantha Shannon. I absolutely adore all of their books, and I’d be honored and also would die on the spot to do a book tour or panel with any of them. I’ve also got a bunch of wonderful writer friends with whom I’d LOVE to collab on a book someday. 


The world shifts, and you find yourself with an extra day on your hands during which you’re not allowed to write. How do you choose to spend the day?

Oh, trust me, I’d still be writing in my head even if I couldn’t put it on paper! But okay, no writing allowed –– I’d either read a book or two, or start a super detailed drawing. 


One of our favourite questions here on the Fantasy Hive: which fantastical creature would you ride into battle and why?

Is it basic to say a dragon? Even still, dragon. 100%. Dragons are always awesome, and I would be unstoppable.


Tell us about a book you love. Any hidden gems?

Just so you know, this is the hardest question ever. But okay, let me tell you about a recent fave: Metanoia by Juniper Lake Fitzgerald. This is the first book in an ongoing dark fantasy series, and despite the numerous emotional gut punches, it is just such a beautiful book. The characters steal the show, the prose is gorgeous, and the world is one of the most unique fantasy settings I’ve ever read. I can’t recommend this book enough; it deserves more hype!


the-saviours-rise-talli-l-morgan.png?resCan you tell us a little something about your current work(s) in progress? Have you any upcoming projects which you can share?

I have so many WIPs right now, we’d be here all day if I talked about all of them! As of now, I don’t have any set releases for the rest of the year, but I am hoping to release the first book in a new Windermere trilogy sometime next year. For now, all I’ll say is that fans of The Oracle Stone will find some familiar faces in this new series.


Are you doing anything fun to celebrate Meliora’s release? Do you have any upcoming virtual events our readers may be interested in?

I am anticipating a delicious ice cream cake for Meliora’s release day, since it’s also my birthday! But other than that, nope, no upcoming events or anything like that.


Finally, what is the one thing you hope readers take away from your writing?

I don’t usually write with any sort of intended takeaways in mind. I just hope that readers can find something to connect to that makes the story memorable.


Thank you so much for joining us today!

Thank you!!!


The post Interview with Talli L. Morgan (MELIORA) appeared first on The Fantasy Hive.

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