I have been friends with Morgan for quite some time now. She’s fabulous–both as a person and as a writer. I’m so delighted to introduce her to you, so without further ado . . .
Morgan Keyes grew up in California, Texas, Georgia, and Minnesota, accompanied by parents, a brother, a dog, and a cat. Also, there were books. Lots and lots of books. Morgan now lives near Washington, D.C. In between trips to the Natural History Museum and the National Gallery of Art, she reads, travels, reads, writes, reads, cooks, reads, wrestles with cats, and reads. Because there are still books. Lots and lots of books.
Many thanks to Di, for allowing me to visit and tell you about my middle grade fantasy novel, Darkbeast. Due to the generosity of my publisher, Simon & Schuster, I will give away a copy of Darkbeast to one commenter chosen at random from all the comments made to this post by 11:59 p.m. EDT tonight.
In Darkbeast, twelve-year-old Keara runs away from home rather than sacrifice Caw, the raven darkbeast that she has been magically bound to all her life. Pursued by Inquisitors who would punish her for heresy, Keara joins a performing troupe of Travelers and tries to find a safe haven for herself and her companion.
Darkbeast is a special book for me, a return to my novel-writing roots. Like Di, I started out writing traditional fantasy novels. In fact, we both had our first novels published by Roc. We shared an editor, and we learned the ins and outs of the publishing world at the same time, in the same way.
Those early novels were like the books I read voraciously; they were the stories I loved in my heart of hearts. I could not imagine writing any other sort of tale.
Until I found that the market was shifting. And my Very Very Dark, Very Very Grim Traditional Fantasy Novel For Adults could not find a publishing home.
After a bit of consternation, I tried writing something else – urban fantasy. See? Di and I continued to have a lot in common! I’ll see her Horngate Witches and raise her a few series of my own! Okay. Our professional paths weren’t identical. My urban fantasy was a bit lighter, a bit less violent. I tended to joke a little more, and the romantic undertones of my stories were somewhat more prominent. [And really really fun to read, I might add --Di]
But then, I found traditional fantasy stories arguing for my attention once again. Like Di digging deep for her Crosspointe Chronicles, I started to hear Keara. I thought about darkbeasts and godhouses, Travelers and great theatrical competitions. I wrote Darkbeast.
When Di and I met over a decade ago, I never would have envisioned the shapes of our careers. I never would have predicted the different publishers, the varied editors.
But looking back, I can see that everything makes sense. Di and I both want the same thing. I’m putting a lot of words in her mouth by writing this post, and she might chime in to tell me I’m totally, completely wrong. But in the end, I think it comes down to this: We authors tell the best stories we can, in the most interesting ways possible. And right now, the best story I can share is about a twelve-year-old girl who finds herself alone in the world because she chooses to save the life of her best friend. [Di says you are not wrong, and it's a good story and I'm glad you told it!]
What about you? Have you changed the type of story you read, over the years? Are you willing to follow authors from genre to genre, or do you stick pretty close to home?
Morgan can be found online at: