Author J. Lloyd Morgan
Book Bug: Welcome to The Book Bug!
When and why did you begin writing?
J. Lloyd: I wrote my first short story in 4th grade. It was a tale of how my friends and I were captured by space aliens. However, I have dyslexia and so spelling is a mystery to me. Because of that, I stopped writing because people couldn’t see beyond all the typos. I started writing my first novel when I was in my mid-thirties. I wanted to write a book for my daughters that was exciting, but also taught a message. Once I opened the flood gates, (and with the help of spellcheck) I’ve been writing non-stop since then.
Book Bug: What book(s)/author(s) have influenced your life and writing?
J. Lloyd: The author that inspired my style the most was Greg Keyes. He writes epic stories from multiple points of view and are paced to perfection. Gerald N. Lund’s books taught me how to have the characters come alive. His Work & The Glory series is a masterpiece. From a spiritual point of view, The Book of Mormon as had the biggest influence on my life.
Book Bug: I love the Work and the Glory series! They are my favorite books!
What is your favorite genre to read/write?
J. Lloyd: I enjoy realistic fiction. That’s a pretty broad term. Sometimes it’s Sci-Fi. Sometimes it’s Fantasy. Sometimes it’s Mystery. The common thread is character driven stories—where the characters come to life and seem real, regardless of the setting.
Book Bug: What is your writing process? Do you follow a regular routine?
J. Lloyd: It’s changed over the years. I do something every single day. It may be writing a book or short story. It may be editing. It may be writing a blog. I find a block of time each day where I can devote to my writing—usually it’s after my kids have gone to bed.
Book Bug: That is my most productive time of the day!
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?
J. Lloyd: If (when) I get stuck on a certain part of a book or story, I’ve found three things work for me. First, I work on another project—editing, blogging or a short story. Second, I’ll take a drive and go somewhere I’ve never been. I’ll randomly drive down side streets or country roads. Third, I’ll go to a shopping mall and listen to people talk. It may sound creepy, but it’s amazing what people say. Any of these things can trigger the inspiration to move one with my primary work in progress.
Book Bug: I've never heard those ones before!
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
J. Lloyd: Making sure I don’t bash the reader over the head with the message I’m trying to convey. Each book or short story has a theme. I use a lot of symbolism. The good news? I’ve found a way to have a compelling surface story while the underlying message is being told. The bad news? Sometimes people get too wrapped up in the surface story that they miss the point. My short story, Howler King, is a perfect example. Rarely do I find that people understand what it’s about, but they love the surface story.
Book Bug: What do you think are the most important elements of good writing?
J. Lloyd: A good editor. I’m kidding. Wait—no I’m not. I think good writing has just enough setting that adds to the story without bogging it down. To me, the story is about people. There are any number of things that can detract from that. A good editor helps you see the important parts without losing the essence of the story.
Book Bug: What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
J. Lloyd: I’m a big baseball fan. There are a lot of parallels between baseball and life. In the end, it’s a matter of persistence—throwing one pitch at a time. Sometimes you’ll strike out a batter, sometimes you’ll give up a home run. Either way, you learn from it and keep on pitching.
Book Bug: What book are you reading now?
J. Lloyd: I’m working on my Master’s in Creative Writing. One of the assigned books is On Writing by Stephen King. I could do without the bad language in the book, but aside from that, it’s been an excellent read. I just finished reading Keeper’s Quest by Kelly Nelson. She asked me if I’d read it before it was published so I could give it a blurb on the back. It’s excellent and I know her fans will love it.
Book Bug: What are your current/future projects?
J. Lloyd: I’m very excited about my next book, The Mirror of the Soul. I wrote it in conjunction with international recording artist Chris de Burgh (of The Lady in Red fame). Hopefully, it will be out in the next few months. The third book in the Bariwon series, The Zealous Star, has been written and is in the critique stage. My book, Wall of Faith, is completed and I’m considering options for its release—it’s quite a departure from my other works. I’ll be self-publishing an anthology called The Night the Port-A-Potty Burned Down and Other Stories. It should be out by the end of 2012.
Book Bug: Wow, you are a very busy man!
Do you have any advice for other writers?
J. Lloyd: Write the books and stories you want to write—not the book you think others will want to read. You’ll be more passionate about it and in the end, it will make for a better book or story.
Book Bug: Thank you for being here! I'm looking forward to reading your books.
Walnut Springs Press Books
by J. Lloyd Morgan