Read below for more about Morgan Busse and her books. Follow the link to connect with the author. And definitely click on the Goodreads link to enter the giveaway for Daughter of Light and Son of Truth.
Thank you, Morgan, for being a part of Rebel Book Reviews and allowing me the opportunity to read your books.
Morgan L. Busse writes fantasy for the adult market. She is the author of the Follower of the Word series, including Daughter of Light, Christy and Carol Award finalist. Morgan lives on the west coast with her husband and four children. You can find out more about Morgan at www.morganlbusse.com.
RBR: 1) What became the driving force to write an allegorical fantasy novel, much less a trilogy?
MB: When I first began writing, I didn't know anything about themes, allegories, even genre requirements. I would just write as the story came to me. So I never planned an allegorical fantasy, or even planned on my book becoming a trilogy. Daughter of Light was originally a stand alone until I was halfway through the book and realized there was a lot more to the story. Many of the spiritual aspects of the Follower of the Word series just came to me as I wrote. I didn't plot any of it, which is why I think the themes and spiritual components come across as organic and not preachy.
RBR: 2) At any point did you become afraid of the unbridled truth that you were displaying through your characters?
MB: Yes! Many times I would fall to my knees and pray, "God, help me write this!" When I first started writing, I shied away from the stronger, more emotional scenes. To write those scenes would be to open up my own heart and share hidden parts of myself. It was Jeff Gerke, my editor at the time, who encouraged me to go deeper. And as I grew as a writer, I knew that to really tell the story, I needed to expose those dark corners of my characters: their temptations, their fears, their weaknesses. But I couldn't have done it without God and without people like my husband and editor pushing me toward the next level.
RBR: 3) Each character has a role to play, each plot a thread in this tapestry; how did you keep it all straight to prevent gaps or repetitions?
MB: I've had the luxury of working on this series for almost ten years, so there is something to be said about letting a story marinate with time. I also keep a lot of notes, maps, and time tables. I am also a logical person, so as I write, I am constantly comparing the scene to the bigger picture of the story: does this scene add to the theme? Develop the character? Add to the plot? Foreshadow a future event? Plant a clue that will be revealed later on? Sometimes I don't even realize I am doing that until I'm reading a later draft and realize how one thing ties into another. That is the magic of writing!
RBR: 4) Any kind of speculative novel requires a certain breed of writer, we have to have a love for this genre. Have you always known that this would be your first kind of novel? Do you consider any authors as inspiration?
MB: I have been making up stories for as long as I can remember, stories about unicorns, and magic, and other worlds. I would have my toys enact my stories or I would get my brother and sisters to act out the story starting with the words, "Let's pretend..." And considering I was raised on J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Madeleine L'Engle, and other such writers, it's not a surprise that a seed for that kind of story was planted inside of me.
However, I never thought about being a writer. It wasn't until after the birth of my second child that I needed a creative outlet. My husband said I should write and after walking into a Christian bookstore and discovering there were hardly any Christian fantasy or science fiction (they had one Frank Peretti book), I started seriously thinking about it. Then on a trip to Seattle, I had this idea about a woman who could see inside people's souls when she touched them and started writing Daughter of Light.
I have such a creative imagination that I don't think I could write anything that didn't have some kind of fantastical element to it. That inner child inside of me still whispers, "Let's pretend..." and off I go, although the stories I write now are a bit darker than the ones I came up with as a kid.
RBR: 5) Your novels show that God can and will use a variety of people for His purpose. At any point did you falter in your choice of characters? Because I have to tell you, many things dealing with the families of these characters made sense once the truth was revealed. Was it emotional writing about their decisions to follow the Word?
MB: When I write, it's almost like these characters are real and telling me their story. When I started writing Daughter of Light, this man stepped out of the shadows after assassinating another man and shared with me his story. Caleb was cold and evil, but deep inside had this fear that he would pay for what he had done. At first I was shocked. Was I really going to write about a man like him? But I had to write about Caleb just so I could know what happened next!
Then Nierne stepped onto the pages. She shared with me her childhood (which you will find out more about in Heir of Hope), and how she became a scribe and secretly desired security and love. I saw her storyline and knew she would experience anything but security and love.
I sometimes wonder if that is how God works with us. He sees our entire story and knows what is best for us, what will make us stronger, and how we can have the most impact on the world. But it's not what we would do with our lives. In fact, I think we would run the other direction if we knew what God had in store. But in the end, all the pain and all the hurt actually brings about peace and love, not just for us, but for all people God brings into our lives.
So yes, it is very emotional to write those scenes where the character has to make a decision to follow the Word. Every scene that moves the reader I have probably cried over. And Heir of Hope is full of scene that are going to make the reader cry (so have your tissues ready!).
I asked Morgan for some favorite quotes from her books. Here they are and to me, they contain such impact, especially after reading the books.
~"Because...Nothing worthwhile in life is free. When it costs something, that item becomes much dearer. Yes, the Word could have saved all of mankind by just His words, but instead He chose to heal mankind in a different way, by taking on the hurt and darkness Himself. And in doing so, we realize just how dear we are to Him." Balint, Daughter of Light.
~"Love gives, despite the cost." Son of Truth
As promised here are the links to connect with Morgan Busse and the links to enter the giveaway for her two books. This is a trilogy that I highly recommend for young teens, young adults, and adult young at heart! Thank you so much, Morgan, for sharing your story.
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MorganLBusse (@MorganLBusse)
Daughter of Light: https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/128799-daughter-of-light