Rachel Morgan in the HOT SEAT

As a teacher of teenagers, Rachel Morgan is hard to rattle. But she’s seen the third degree burns that poor CharitySusan and Rebecca have sustained in recent weeks, and as much as she’s trying to hide it, her fear shines through. Sorry, Rachel. Too late to back out now. It’s your turn for the HOT SEAT!

Gday, Rachel!

Rachel has an Honours degree in Genetics, teaches Maths to high school girls, and co-hosts the Power of Tension Blogfest with me. She joins us today from Durban, South Africa.

So, Rachel, let’s get started. What genre(s) do you write?

Mainly young adult fantasy (the type with adventure, mystery, drama, action and romance!), but also some paranormal romance and a little middle grade fantasy.

Tell us about your yet-to-be-named Work in Progress, in a limerick!

A girl wakes to find she’s no memory
Of the life and the person she used to be
Bad guys start stalking her
(One of them’s into her ;-))
And things get dangerous pretty quickly

(Damn, that was tough – and it doesn’t even really say much!)

[CJ: It says more than you think. Sounds intriguing!]

Most of us write part time. How do you spend your time when you’re not writing?

Teaching. Preparing to teach. Marking. Doing “school projects” I’ve somehow volunteered for that have nothing to do with my job description! Blogging. Experimenting on graphic design programs.

Tell us a little about your writing process.

The writing process isn’t, uh, happening much at the moment! I teach more classes than I did last year, so there is less time to write. The writing process I USED to have was: first thing in the morning, laptop on my lap in bed. Sometimes I would nod off for a while… It was great.

[CJ: Sounds like you need to scale back on teaching again. Who needs money!]

Who or what are your biggest writing inspirations?

There are a ton of authors whose work I love and find very inspirational. Since there are so many I’ll just say J. K. Rowling for now. 🙂

Someone who just popped into my head is Elana Johnson – she is a teacher, a mother, involved in WriteOn Con and has a book coming out this year (and there are probably many other things she does that I don’t know about!). She seems extraordinarily busy and yet she accomplishes so much!

[CJ: Two authors who are definitely worth emulating!]

What have been the biggest challenges you’ve faced as a writer?

Finding—sorry, scratch that—MAKING time to write. And distractions, like reading the latest book that arrived in the post, replying to emails, blogging, making my blog look pretty… Just switch the computer off and WRITE dammit!  

[CJ: I hear ya! (running a blogfest is also a good distraction, have you noticed? ;)]

And now for the HOT SEAT questions!

Hot Seat

*Insert scary music here*

What are your secret fears as a writer? How do you stop them from taking over?

“My writing is actually CRAP and the story I spent 15 months writing is SO BORING that no one is going to stay awake long enough to get past the first few chapters.” Haha! Sound familiar, anyone?

Some of the ways I get over this… reading other people’s writing (including some self-published novels) and recognising that I actually write better than that. Ignoring the fears and saying to myself, well maybe it is crap, but I’ll fix it up later in the next draft, so just carry on. Knowing that I love stories enough to keep on writing them, even if I am afraid.

[CJ: Yep, I can relate. For evidence, see this post.]

What fictional character are you most like and why?

Ooh, this one I can answer easily [CJ: Grrrr :(] because I recently read a book where I kept thinking, “This is so ME!”  

It’s Anna, from Stephanie Perkins’ Anna and the French Kiss. She is a neat freak, complete germ-o-phobe, scared of getting into trouble for missing classes, and quite happy to stay home and read a book instead of going out and partying.

If you could only read one genre for the rest of your life, what genre would you choose?

No ways… come on! [CJ: That’s better! :D]

Um… something young adult… Yeah, I’d have to say young adult fantasy, because fantasy covers so much!


Thank you so much, awesome blogfest-partner-in-crime, for hosting me in the hot seat. It only burnt a little 😉 !

Yes, but wait till tomorrow. That’s when the burn really sets in. Just like sun burn. 😀

P.S. You’re welcome.


If you’d like to hear more from Rachel, check out her blog or follow her on Twitter.

If you’d like a turn in the HOT SEAT, let me know in the comments and I’ll schedule you in for a buttocks burning. 😀

P.S. You’ve got less than 24 hours to vote for your favourite finalist in the Power of Tension Blogfest.



Filed under Hot Seat, Writers, Writing

18 responses to “Rachel Morgan in the HOT SEAT

  1. Our writing process is the same 🙂 I like your limerick. It makes me want to read the book!

  2. Vicki Tremper

    I admire you just for trying a limerick (I chickened out). Great to get to know you better, Rachel. Your rapport with Cally shines through even here.

    I’m struggling now with finding the right balance, too. Best of luck making the time to write!

    • Finding that balance is so tricky. I’m definitely struggling with it at the moment too. But I’m sure we’ll all reach our goals in the end, it might just take us a little longer than we would like. 🙂

  3. Struggling with the writing time, too! Hoping things will get lighten up a little in a week or two so I can get back to it! Great interview 🙂

  4. Amy

    Great interview Rachel! 🙂

  5. Loved your answers Rachel!

  6. Thanks for the comments, guys! And thanks again for the interview, Cally. That HOT seat wasn’t too bad 😉

  7. Rachel is full of awesome. It was fun to hear more about her! Thanks Cally.

  8. Your book sounds so interesting! I love characters that can’t remember who they are 🙂

    Also (and I think I’ve told you during the Crusades) I am so jealous that you have a degree in genetics! If only mythology class hadn’t been at the same time as advanced genetics lab I would have been turning fruit flies blue! But I love Apollo, and he beats out genetics any day 😛

    • Genetic vs mythology. Tough one!

      Rachel, did you consider going into science as a career? My husband is a molecular biologist and he loves the work but hates the lack of job security.

      • It’s definitely hard to find and keep a job in the sciences! (especially for research)

        • If I could go back and choose I think I might pick Mythology over Genetics! Actually… I don’t know. Genetics is so interesting… but so is Mythology! Super tough!

          I looked for laboratory jobs when I finished my degree but teaching is the job opportunity that worked out 🙂 Now I think I’m too “out of the loop” to go back into science without further training.

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