The Dreyfuss Trilogy

Changeling * Lucifer's Stepdaughter * Moonchild

Contact Morgan

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Interview With Me

And another one.  Quite personal questions.  I talk about why I work with Mums & Babies, on Human Rights issues.

The connection Christopher is talking about, is very weird.  I had a Viking wedding, in the early '80s, that Magnus Magnusson was a guest at, as it was the very first Largs Viking Festival.  He worked for Magnus's daughter's husband, some years later.  Magnus lived in Glasgow and was the star guest of honour at the weekend event.

I was also whipped quite dramatically, on the beach, at one point, IIRC.  In a set piece of drama.  Funniest part of that, was that 'the women' were sent on to the battlefield, to collect the swords and valuables from the dead.  As I, in costume and character, bent down to pick up a sword from a fallen warrior, a loud stage whisper of "Touch that sword and you're dead meat." emanated from the dead body.  I left it, and pillaged on...

Although my favourite memory, is that off two off-duty fireman, from different Viking groups, claiming they knew the best, and safest, way to set fire to the boat for the flaming funeral bit (which I don't think they've ever allowed again).  Both of them arguing the other was dangerous, and they knew how best to safely douse a boat in petrol and set it alight on the beach whilst pointing out the other 'eejit' was a moron.  :-)

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Radio Blog Interview

On launch day, I did this radio blog interview.  We did it on Skype, over two sessions, as internetz is unreliable at my end.

Enjoy.  :-)

Friday, 15 April 2011

Interview With Me

Tracey has a lovely site, that's very well laid out and gives a really good showcase to her work.  It's worth a good look round, especially if you have your own website and are looking for ideas on how well to do things.  I'll have to work up to something that good.  :-)

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Lucifer's Stepdaughter & Moonchild - update

As Changeling is now live, and I can reveal more of the other two, these are the proposed new blurbs I'll be putting up.  Please feel free to comment on the language etc.  Lucifer's Stepdaughter is a very interwoven narrative, and I've tried to cut to the core, in order to give the right tone.  And blurb writing is such a new skill to me, I'm happy to have feedback and try to make it better.  :-)

Lucifer’s Stepdaughter

Cadiz, February 1991   Having spent months searching for Kin, Helene has found nothing and no one.  One afternoon she glances out of a cafe window and finds a young vampire gazing back at her.  Marron is everything Dreyfuss was not: weak, destitute, female.  They travel together until ghosts rise up and split them apart.  Helene carries on through Europe, using Marron’s introduction to meet others but it is clear that none trust Dreyfuss’s Changeling.  In Paris, Lucifer’s Stepdaughter welcomes her into the Vampire Caverns with open arms, but intrigue and artifice are everywhere.  Sensing danger Helene travels on, seeking out the Lord of the Rivers.  He supplies her with answers, but none are to her liking: she must make her own future, as do they all.  Despite everyone’s best attempts, the ghosts rise again, and once more she moves on, alone.  The call goes out, the vampire world put on alert: Dreyfuss is in Paris and he wants his Changeling back.  Under the rules of the Kin, she must return, but to what?  And why Paris?  

And who will help her resist, when to do so is to invite death?


Turin, July 1994  In the aftermath of the Moonchild ceremony, Helene is disappeared and the vampire world in flux.  No one knows quite what happened, and exactly what the cost was.   The dead have been buried and rumour and panic constantly sweep through the communities.  Everyone is confused and uneasy and the shadows whisper that she is gone and that nothing will stop the rise of the raging covens in the New World.  Paul Jordan holds Vincenze to him closely.  He has lost too many, too often, and he fears the darkness may finally swallow them all.   They live their lives in hope that she is alive, that all is not lost.  One summer’s evening, as they return to their parked car, they find a note.  They have only a few hours to get to Geneva to meet the one who wrote it.  They drive like the wind... 

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Interview With Me

Oh, thanks for that everyone, that was great fun!  Almost as much fun as launch day.  One wonders how we'll all develop using the online communities and spaces in order to connect over writing and writers.  I know Alan enjoyed it too and I do think it was a clever idea of his.  He just did it you know, without telling me, and I take that as a compliment.

His actual interview of me, is on his blog today.  Do check it out if you are interested in the process and techniques of writing. Very intelligent questions that caused me brain strain at points.  He gives a nice little round up review of Changeling at the end.

"This is a very smart, well-written novel. It delves deep into the psychology of both the abuser and the abused. It contains graphic scenes of physical, psychological and sexual abuse that will upset those made queasy by portrayals of torture. But as Morgan explains above, this isn't splatterpunk. It's purposeful. So if you can handle that, you won't find a much better vampire tale than Changeling. My tastes lean a bit more towards minimalism than maximalism, but here's the main thing: I think that fiction should both entertain and make you think. It's surprisingly difficult to find novels that do both.Changeling does."

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Cheeky Sod!

Ya know, you can bring the cow to the barn, but it can't milk itself!  And I know how many of my lactation readership, are pissing themselves at that one!

A certain Cowboy Jim, by the name of Alan Ryker, has just called me out!  All because he was too darn macho, to work out that a milking cow is going to be in a might of a predicament, if they ain't milked!  (Yes, I hear you spluttering.)

You can't help some people, ya' know.  Instead  of taking it on the chin, he's declared war.  I can only wonder how my words will be mangled by him, tomorrow, when he posts an interview with me.

Needless to say, he didn't declare war until AFTER he had the copy.  Perfidious yank.  And he thinks I'm insulted that he's upset that I knew more about lactation than he did!  Oh, I can hear half of you choke on your coffee.

Well, as I said to Mister Ryker, on his blog, BRING IT ON.  As well as that comma, btw.

Midnight Cowboy Versus the BM Godmother

I know who's gonna win.... 

A Review... of my launch party!

Isn't this lovely.  Someone who came to online launch party, blogged about it.  :-)

It will only take a minute of your time.  But it's so nice...

Thank you for stopping by Ellie, and being so polite about posting your survey.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Launch Interviews & Somesuch Things

I'll add to this entry as we go on through the day.....  :-)

Kipp Poe interviews on the Art of Writing

Fangopedia Interviews on Changeling and Vampires Influences

Kathleen Valentine Parlez's Moi!

R.A. Evans asks me 7 Deadly Questions

Changeling Is Now Live

Buy The Book:   Amazon UK      Amazon USA      Smashwords  

Thank You For All Your Support

"The only thing worth writing about is people. People. Human beings. Men and women whose individuality must be created, line by line, insight by insight. If you do not do it, the story is a failure. [...] There is no nobler chore in the universe than holding up the mirror of reality and turning it slightly, so we have a new and different perception of the commonplace, the everyday, the 'normal', the obvious. People are reflected in the glass. The fantasy situation into which you thrust them is the mirror itself. And what we are shown should illuminate and alter our perception of the world around us. Failing that, you have failed totally." 

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Chapter 4, Changeling

This is the final sample from Changeling.  The entire first four chapters are now here, for everyone to read.  They are also available to download as a PDF, free, in exchange for a tweet, here.

Chapter Four

Her back was once more against the door, her legs, aching and cramped, brought round in front of her.  How could she have let herself go all floppy, all silly and stupid, to lie down and cry, hoping she would die from the pain of it…?  How could she?  The anger burned in her mouth.  She was a stupid cow.  She was a complete fool and no matter what she was going to get out of this.  The voice approved, told her that was a good thought, she should hold on to it.  It wasn’t all she needed to hold on to.  Sitting up had released another sensation in her body.  Her bladder was bursting.  The dark was once more around her, her body once more wedged against the door, and the need to go was suddenly with her.  Strong, insistent, as if she had been ignoring it for some time.   Now what was she going to do?

His finger lightly stroked the switch, pulsing, sensing, judging.  Stand up little bird, stand up for Daddy...

The more she thought on it, the worse it became.  It soon blotted out all but the pain in her back, even her throat became less demanding than the pressure, the actual physical pain that was starting to build in her groin.  It was absurd to her, totally surreal, that of all things to concern her, pinned as she was on the side of that door, she was being driven wild by the need to pee.  Even the voice agreed that this was silly, stupid, ridiculous.  What could they do?  She and the voice thought it over.  They both came to the same conclusion, the only sensible conclusion there was: she should pee.  Let it out, get rid of the pain and concentrate on the door.  Sitting up there, in her brain, full frontal: an idea.   It wasn’t an appealing idea.  Sensible yes, appealing, no.  She changed her mind, arguing with the voice: it was a terrible idea?  The voice, she discovered, was somewhat of a fair weather friend: it didn’t answer her back.  It had gone away, gone in the now grinding pressure of holding herself in.  It was no good, she was going to have to move, sitting here on the hard floor wasn’t helping.  She was going to have to stand up, leave the door alone, and try and work out where she was.  She dimly realised that not wetting herself, crumpled on the floor, in the dark, was more important to her than holding onto the door.  She didn’t understand it, but there it was.  She took a deep breath and scrambled awkwardly to her feet.


Thursday, 7 April 2011

Burden Kansas, A Review

Burden Kansas, by Alan Ryker

Burden Kansas is a novella, not a novel.  For those who don’t know the difference, this is important.  Some would say the defining feature of a novella is the amount of words it contains – usually between 15 and 40 thousand words.  Which makes it a short novel or a long short story, if you reckon by word count.  However, the defining element in a novella is that it is a concise work, that is punchy and to the point.  It is a style of story writing that is both condensed and sleek.  Like quicklime.

Burden Kansas fits this description very well.  The story of a Kansas cattle rancher who is dealing with some heavy life burdens as his cattle are being mysteriously slaughtered by some wild animal that feeds and bleeds, yet appears to have opposable thumbs.  The vampiric nature of the predator is dealt with quickly and cleanly, but the narrative really opens up in the characters and back stories of the small town that’s being hunted.  Keith, the main protagonist, is a rancher who’s had a hard life, and has complications that are haunting him far more ruthlessly than what is feeding off the cattle.  His story, and the vampire story, run head into each other, and he has to battle one out against the other.  The vampires are revenants, happy to feed off cattle in the dark and hide under the soil when the sun is out.  Into this animalistic lifestyle, an accident creates a vampire with intelligence.  Keith’s life gets even more complicated.

It’s a bloody rip roaring tale that gallops past quickly.  An easy accessible read, with enough characterisation to keep it interesting and realistic, and enough intelligence to lift it out of the stereotypes.  The writing is as clean and smooth as the copy, and the storytelling cinematic in its structure.  This could be a film or a two-part television drama with ease.  For my tastes, it was slightly too clean, and I’ve have liked a little more detail, but that is entirely personal: there is nothing missing in terms of the structure or the style.  At just over 30 000 words, it sketches out a whole community and deals with the narrative effectively, entirely as a novella should.  I did like the transition elements of the vampire storyline, between animalistic and then onto intelligence, and the shorthand helps it all out here: you just go with the flow. 

My only beef is a tiny one, in that you can’t have a huge herd of dairy cattle going without milking, and not have the entire county know about it within hours.  For a narrative set in cow country, there were precious few cows.  And if that’s the only quibble you have, then you know you are in for a good read.  Highly recommended if you are looking for a light bite of horror, with a side dish of vampire.   Excellent value at 71 pence! I look forward to more from the author.

Buy This Book         Read Alan Ryker's Blog          Twitter            Facebook
Amazon UK
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Monday, 4 April 2011

The Second Review!

I read Changeling with two simultaneous brains. My right brain, emotional, reactive, horrified and full of dread. I identified with Joanne as a woman -- I felt the fear every woman feels on a cellular level of being taken, raped, dominated, and abused. I sympathized with her reactions to physical and psychological torture. I agonized with Joanne, I understood her struggle to survive; her decision whether or not to want to stay alive. When she finally escapes from Dreyfuss’ clutches I found myself shouting RUN TO THE HOSPITAL YOU DUMB BITCH! She doesn’t but....well, I won’t give it away.

But I am also a mental health professional, so I couldn’t help but also view the characters and the story with my left brain: clinical, rational, logical. It is also for this reason -- my profession -- that I don’t generally read horror fiction. I see enough true-life horror in my work that I am not entertained by it anymore. That being said, Changeling was like a scary roller-coaster ride, and I did enjoy it. Dreyfuss is a vampire, a mythical beast, far enough removed from reality that I was able to be carried along by the story and by Joanne’s transformation.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Interview With Me

I'd just like to say thank you to David H Burton for doing a really good interview with me - great questions - this past week.

If you have the time, please click the link to thank him for his time:

David writes a wide range of dark fantasy/horror books, and many of you might like to peruse his lists.  I'll try and set up an interview with him, soon.  Seems obvious to share out information on on horror writers out there, now I think on!  :-)

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Paperback Cover

After a lot of tweaking, this is the final final version.  Honest.  :-)  Thank you for all your help.

Click to enlarge.

Chapter 3, Changeling

Next week, on Sunday April 10th, I'll both put up Chapter 4 as the last full chapter sample.. and launch.  Eeek!

*shaking quivering terror*

Chapter Three

The first thing she was truly aware of was a cramp, low in her back.  She wasn’t sure exactly when she became aware of it, how long she’d been listening to her body groan, but slowly, carefully, the awareness that this was real, her back was hurting, she was asleep, or had been, settled in her mind.  It was dark, too dark; that wasn’t helping.  Where was it, that it was this dark?  Not her own bedroom for sure.  Not her lumpy bed and rickety windowsill, traffic noises seeping through with the streetlights.  The bed beneath her was straight, even with her weight on it.  The dark around her, absolute.  She closed her eyes and tried to concentrate on waking up.  Her mouth was dry and filthy, caked with gunge.  As she struggled to push her body awake, to sit up, make sense of the confusion, she flitted her tongue round and round, desperately seeking moisture.  The pain from her back was sharp and fresh as she pulled forward, making her wince.  What on earth had happened that her back hurt so?  The question sat in her mind, trying to make some sense to her.  She fumbled around, feeling the soft bed that surrounded her.  How big could a bed be?  She leaned to the side, reaching for an unseen edge, trying to find an end to this smothering softness.  Her head spun, dizziness almost overwhelming her.  A nausea rose within her, she gagged.  She wasn’t going to throw up, she wasn’t going to throw up.  She certainly wasn’t going to throw up until she had worked out where she was.  She dropped back on the bed, closing her eyes.  She’d moved too fast, the dizziness got worse not better.  She groaned, which turned out to be a worse move than flopping back on the bed.  Her throat felt awful, like she’d swallowed crushed glass.  Hot and dry and raw all at the same time.  As she lay there, trying to control her panic, her breathing, her dry mouth, her head began a wicked beating.  Thrum, thrum, thrum.  If this was a hangover, she didn’t want to think about what she’d been drinking.  Her back had eased slightly on lying back, but when she tried to move upwards, it screamed protest once more.  Fear started to edge out panic: what had she been doing that had hurt her back?  Whatever the answer was, she wasn’t sure she wanted to know about it, not yet. 
Gritting her teeth she forced herself to sit up, sitting straight up on the bed.  The wave of nausea hit again, as did the dizziness.  She rode it out, clutching a sheet to her face, concentrating on not throwing up, not passing out and not going back down into the bed.  The thrumming threatened to split her head open, but she kept on in there.  The feeling of sickness passed, as did the dizziness.  Her back stayed raw and sharp, but got no worse.  As the thrumming finally started to ease off, she became aware of a harsh rasping breath in the room beside her: laboured, dangerous.  She almost screamed, clamping her hand over her own mouth, the noise stopped.  Fear froze down her spine, blocking out all thoughts of her back, her pain, her headache.  She clutched herself tightly, knees automatically raised to tuck under her chin.  The rasping breath started again.  She scrunched her eyes tight shut, tears squeezing out of the edges, and once more clamped her hand over her mouth, anything to make herself disappear.  The noise stopped again.  She held her breath, better to hear the darkness: nothing.  The moment stretched and broke.  She let the trapped air in her lungs out, the movement forcing more pain from her throat, her back, her head.  The rasping started again.  A whimper fled from her throat and was out into the darkness before she could help it.  She again held her breath, this time her hands flying up to cover her head, her chin tucking down, seeking protection from her knees.  The rasping stopped.  As she lay there, tight and curled, awaiting whatever monster was in the room with her, she thought this through.  An idea occurred to her.  Lifting her head, she gasped in some air, once more releasing the bottled up feeling in her lungs.  The rasping started once more.  She held her breath.  The rasping stopped.  She breathed out.  The rasping started up again.  Relief flooded through her, limbs turning liquid; she crumpled once more back onto the bed.  It was her!  The noise she’d heard, that awful rasping breath, it was her own.  The darkness, the silence in the room, it had fooled her.