Today on the blog I’m welcoming back the lovely Morton S. Gray. She’s just had a very exciting few weeks involving the paperback release of The Girl on the Beach and the ebook release of her second Choc Lit book, The Truth Lies Buried. She’s dropped by to answer a few questions – and ask for some help!
Morton, this is the second book featuring Borteen. Is the village based on anywhere in particular?
Borteen is a figment of my imagination and it’s interesting to see where readers think it is. One reader I spoke to the other day was convinced it was based on St Ives. In truth, it is an amalgamation of lots of the seaside towns I’ve visited over the years.
Carver is described in an early review as simply “Carver (swoon)”. Can you describe him to us (Lots of readers love a tortured hero they can help heal, and he seems to fit the role ideally!) Is he based on anyone in particular?
Again, Carver is from my imagination. He has slate-grey eyes with silver flashes, longish curly hair and a scar over his jawline on one side of his face leading down to his neck and chest. He plays the bodhran (an Irish drum) as a hobby and earns his living as a specialist carver in ecclesiastical buildings and old houses, supplementing this with chainsaw carving. He likes the chainsaw carving because it allows him to vent pent up feelings. He built his own house out of wood, which resembles a fairy-tale castle, complete with turrets.
When Jenny, the heroine, first sees him, he is carving … ‘Watching the man carving was like observing an intimate scene between lovers, as he shaped the log. There was something fascinating about the undulations of his back and his deliberate movements, as his strong arms handled the heavy saw like a paintbrush.’
Ooh, very nice! Who was your favourite character in The Truth Lies Buried? Do we meet any characters from your previous book?
I think my favourite character, apart from Wilf the dog, is Jenny, the heroine.
The main character readers will recognise from The Girl on the Beach is Mandy Vanes.
Looking at the blurb, this seems to be a bit of a thriller. What genre would you put it in? And is it a genre you often write in, or have you developed a new direction in your time with Choc Lit?
I describe my books as romance with a mystery to solve, they tend to be categorised as romantic suspense. I like to give my characters something interesting to resolve as they read through the book and even I don’t know what the something is when I begin to write, so it is as much a journey for me as for my readers.
You’ve got one book out in paperback now and this one out as an ebook with hopefully a paperback to follow sometime in the future. Do you feel like a proper author now?
Hmmm good question. I guess I’m still suffering a bit from imposter syndrome. I can’t possibly be a proper author, can I? It was fantastic to finally hold one of my books in my hand as a paperback – that made things a little more real.
We’ve seen your lovely writing room in a previous blog post, so on that note, do you prefer to write in silence or have some background music on? (I ask as I have just slotted a new CD into my machine and I’m curious!)
I do most of my raw writing in coffee shops with all of the background noise and piped music. I don’t have any particular pattern or rituals associated with my writing. I’m writing this right now to the sound of the dog snoring.
Finally, can we look forward to any more books based in Borteen and if so do we have an inkling who they will be about? Will they be about anyone we have already met?
The Girl on the Beach, my first novel with Choc Lit was actually about the fifth book I’d written. The book which is now The Truth Lies Buried was originally set in Worcester, Worcestershire, UK, but when Choc Lit asked me to write more books in my fictional seaside town of Borteen, I transplanted the location.
This second book is seeded with many characters who will hopefully have their own story too. Pippa Freeman’s story is finished and Mandy Vanes’ is well underway. Watch out for Buzz, Suzy Meadows and Becky Finch in future books. Maybe readers of this blog would like to let me know whose story they would like to read …
And that’s a challenge, dear reader, I hope you’ll take Morton up on. Thank you for dropping by, Morton, and I hope you have a great deal of success with your Borteen Series – no way should you think you have Imposter Syndrome – your success is all very well deserved.
The Truth Lies Buried
Two children in a police waiting room, two distressed mothers, a memory only half remembered …
When Jenny Simpson returns to the seaside town of Borteen, her childhood home, it’s for a less than happy reason. But it’s also a chance for her to start again.
A new job leads to her working for Carver Rodgers, a man who lives alone in a house that looks like it comes from the pages of a fairy tale – until you see the disaster zone inside …
As Jenny gets to know Carver she begins to unravel the sadness that has led to his chaotic existence. Gradually they realise they have something in common that is impossible to ignore – and it all links back to a meeting at a police station many years before.
Could the truth lie just beneath their feet?
Morton lives with her husband, two sons and Lily, the tiny white dog, in Worcestershire, U.K. She has been reading and writing fiction for as long as she can remember, penning her first attempt at a novel aged fourteen. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and The Society of Authors.
Her debut novel The Girl on the Beach was e-published in January 2017, after she won Choc Lit Publishing Search for a Star competition. The story follows a woman with a troubled past as she tries to unravel the mystery surrounding her son’s headteacher, Harry Dixon. This book is now available as a paperback.
Morton’s second book for Choc Lit The Truth Lies Buried was published as an e-book on 1 May 2018. Another romantic suspense novel, the book tells the story of Jenny Simpson and Carver Rodgers as they uncover secrets from their past.
Morton previously worked in the electricity industry in committee services, staff development and training. She has a Business Studies degree and is a fully qualified clinical hypnotherapist and Reiki Master. She also has diplomas in Tuina acupressure massage and energy field therapy. She enjoys crafts, history and loves tracing family trees. Having a hunger for learning new things is a bonus for the research behind her books.
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/morton_s_gray/
Purchasing links for The Girl on the Beach at http://www.choc-lit.com/dd-product/the-girl-on-the-beach/
Purchasing link for The Truth Lies Buried at http://www.choc-lit.com/dd-product/the-truth-lies-buried/