Sunday 18 February 2018

The Hippo Hangs Out . . . . with Fiona Morgan

Today I’m delighted to welcome Fiona Morgan to The Hippo. Fiona’s debut novel Free was published last February and it’s got some great reviews so let’s kick things off by finding out more about that.

Ava owes everything to Nathan, her boyfriend. Without him she is useless and incapable of independent thought or action. Ava knows this because Nathan has told her, repeatedly, and just to reinforce the point, the occasional slap or punch helps, doesn't it? After all, it is her fault, as she does ‘push all his buttons' and cause him to be so angry.

This seems to be the pattern of Ava's life until she has a chance meeting with Neil, a man who is different, who seems to understand, and she takes the brave step of asking him to help her leave her possessive, abusive relationship. Leaving is never that easy and Nathan's persistence in pursuing Ava is the cause of much mental anguish for both her and Neil, for whom the long-buried memory of an abusive father is brought back into focus.

They are both caught up in uncertainty and physical violence, which test the tender love that is growing between them.

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Well that’s another book added to my TBR!
Now that you know about her book what about the lady behind the words? It gives me great pleasure to introduce you all to Fiona Morgan.

Photo courtesy of Fiona Morgan

Fiona lives in the small town of Airdrie near Glasgow with her husband, Liam, and their two daughters, Erin and Sian.
She works as a deafblind guide/communicator and a British Sign Language facilitator, learning British Sign Language after the birth of her second daughter.

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Did you consider writing under a pseudonym?
I was asked by my publisher if I wanted to be under a pseudonym, and I thought about it for maybe a nanosecond, then decided no way! I worked hard on my books and I want everyone to know that it was me who wrote every last word and that I am very proud of what I have achieved.

What is your most interesting writing quirk?
I think my quirk is when I either look off into the distance or talk myself through the plot out loud. “Would he do that? I think he would. But would he die?” My family eye me with worried looks. I'm not sure if they think I'm losing my marbles or plotting death and destruction... maybe theirs.

Do you often hear from your readers and what do they say?
I'm relatively new to this game, so I don't hear a massive amount, but I did have my first 'You're that author' moment in the ladies toilet at our local pub. We all need to start somewhere and I'll happily start there as the girl raved about how much she loved my book and was waiting, slightly impatiently for my next one. Yip that made my night.

I feel this girl’s pain Fiona. I’m always wishing that authors would write faster but then I remind myself that good things come to those who wait!

What advice would you give your younger self?
I would tell myself to believe in myself! To not listen to all the negative and draining comments around me and do what I want... and that I'm the me there is!

If you could spend time with a character from your book, who would it be and why? What would you get up to?
I thought a lot about this one, and I think I would have to pick Neil from 'Free'. I would love to spend time driving, talking about cars, and then head to his club for a pint or two and, yes to talk about cars more. I do like cars!

Do you have any uncommon/hidden talents?
I'm not sure if it's uncommon, and it's not hidden, but I am a qualified British Sign Language communication support worker, and a deafblind guide communicator. I can communicate in British Sign Language, Hands on Signing (the deafblind persons holds my hands as I sign), and Deafblind Manual (using the palm and fingers of deafblind person hand to spell out words). I use all of these communication methods in my day jobs.

You get a brilliant idea/thought/phrase at an inappropriate moment (e.g in the shower/driving) what do you do?
I get lots of my 'ah, ha!' moments when I'm driving. If I can pull over, safely, I scribble it down, normally on my hand and arm as I can't find my notebook and they are the closest things to me to write on, or I try to remember the main idea, important buzz words that will kick start the thoughts again and get them written down in my notebook when I arrive at my destination and find my bag.

If you were a superhero what would you be called, what would your superpower be and what would you wear?
This is harder than I thought it would be to answer! I've eventually settled on moving things with my mind, telekinesis, although I went through blowing things up, being able to fly, going invisible and many others before settling. For my outfit, I need to go with the leather top, skirt and thigh high heeled boots, and obviously I won't look lumpy in any of it! I think the hardest part of this question is the name. I really struggled with that. I can't have things like Supergirl or Wonder Woman (but I can dream), so I think I'll stick to Fantastic Fiona?


You can find out more about Fiona, her book and connect with her using the links below:

I'd like to thank Fiona for taking the time to stop by today and chat to me. It's been fun getting to know you and finding out about your book.

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