An Interview with Robin Leigh Morgan

Please help me welcome Robin Leigh Morgan to my blog today. Robin will be giving a kindle or paperback (paperback is US only) copy of her book, I Kissed A Ghost, to one lucky commentor. In addition, rather than an excerpt of the book, Robin has given us a blog post on switching genres that I think you, my readers, will find interesting.

I_Kissed_a_Ghost0001_2Tell us about yourself.
I’m a retired NYC civil servant with various job titles, the last one of which was in the Systems Analyst title series. I’m been married for 19 years but we have no children; we have two cats. And if I could live anywhere in the world it would be Hawaii [US] or Bermuda.

How you tell us something about how and why you started writing and anything else connected to your writing you feel my readers would be interested in?
I actually began to write back in June 1995, where until June 2006 I wrote over 450 commentary type items for a community newspaper. Along the way I decided to see if I could write something else. I didn’t own a computer back then, but I did have access to one where I wrote my commentaries, and it was on this computer I wrote about two pages a week. Once I got my computer I began to write what I wanted to be a contemporary romance with a paranormal element running through, but I never seemed to get the sense it would be good enough to be read by someone else. Eventually, someone suggested I write for a younger audience, which how I came to write my first novel, a YA [Young Adult] Paranormal/Time Travel/First Kiss romance entitled, “I Kissed a Ghost.”

As you can see I didn’t really choose the genre I for my first and only book so far to write in, it just happened as I wrote it. When it comes to my actual story writing the ideas are merely ones of my own imagination [think of Gene Wilder singing “Pure Imagination” in his Willy Wonka movie.]

As far as my next book is concerned I’m going to return to writing the romance manuscript I had started many years ago, and approaching it anew with the knowledge I’ve gained along the way in writing “I Kissed a Ghost.” The reason I’m writing it is relatively simple, I’ve always felt somewhat incomplete not having completed something I once had started out to do, and I now want to fill the void it has created in my life.

What is your favorite/least favorite part of writing?
Without any hesitation my favorite part of writing is typing that elusive final period of my manuscript and actually being able to get my book into the hands of people who I hope will enjoy reading.

Now on the other hand my least favorite part is the on-going, almost constant, editing, and re-reads I needed to do.

What advice do you have for other authors wanting to self-publish?
My advice to all aspiring, not just those who wish to self-publish would be to Ever give up living your dream of becoming a writer, as you can from reading about me, I never did. Before you start looking for a publisher or even an agent you MUST have your manuscript edited, granted the editor you select might miss a few minor points, but at least it’s now in a much more presentable condition. Publishers want manuscript which can be easily edited by their own editing staff, without them having to correct countless misspellings and grammatical errors.

How did you come up with the title for your book?
Selecting a title for a book had been a very challenging experience for me; but after racking my brain over it, I decided to merely summarize the premise for the entire story in as few words as possible until I had something which could be used as the title for my book. Hence, since the story is about a girl [Mary] and her kissing the ghost [George] she had living in her house, the story had to be called, “I Kissed a Ghost.”

What did you do to promote your work?
I do what all authors do, whether they’re traditionally published or self-published. I use the same social media networks as everyone else. I tried to have reviews done by individuals who I feel will fair in what they have to say. And I do interviews so my potential readers will be able to learn more about me, my writing, and of course, my book.

All self-pubbed books are rumoured to be shoddily edited. What do you say to that?
The reason I feel that many self-published books this way simply because they’ve only been self-edited. Authors need their books to be edited by someone who knows all the rules of grammar and punctuation. And even though manuscripts have gone through this process, even traditionally published books might still have errors in them, although they’d be less frequently and more minor in what was wrong, such as a comma, instead of a semi-colon.

Do you write under a pen name? Why or why not? How did you choose it?
There’s no way I can deny I’m using a pen name, especially since my screen name on my website, three additional blogs, FaceBook, and Twitter is MyPenNameOnly.
I felt my real name is somewhat ethnic sounding, and I felt uncomfortable using it as an author, I wanted to have a relatively mundane name which had a nice sound to it when you would say it.

Do you or have you belonged to a writing organization? Which one? Have the helped you with your writing? How?
I belong to the R.W.A. [Romance Writers of America] and the S.C.B.W.I. [Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators] both under my real name. Both offer great information regarding being an author. However, I found SCBWI more helpful with some of the legal aspects connected with being an author. They also have discussion boards where you can interact with fellow authors regarding issues or questions you might have.

Why have you become a published author?
I first decided to write a novel primarily to see if I could actually do it. Now that I’m retired it gives me a lot to do; especially when you consider everything after you need to do once the book has been published. I’m currently it the process of writing the contemporary romance I’d started many years ago, a book which I never seem to be able to good enough to consider even self-publishing it. When I retired someone suggested I write for a younger audience, which is how I came to write “I Kissed a Ghost.” Hopefully being a published author will become my second career.

Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do to combat it?
There isn’t an author who hasn’t suffered a few bouts of it. When I wrote “I Kissed a Ghost” I used to stay away from writing anything for it. I wanted to clear my mind from having too many ideas to write at the same time. Now, having learned a lot from my first journey to becoming a YA romance author, I’ve decided to use a totally different tactic. I’m on a brief hiatus from writing my second romance novel, and during the past few weeks I’ve found writing Flash Fiction of five sentence, and around 33 words has helped those creative juices in the little grey cells of my head to really start flow. Some the Kindle version of my book is available I’m going to return to my writing.

Where can readers find you?

Where can readers find your books? Print/Ebook?
“I Kissed a Ghost” can be found on Amazon at: Morgan/dp/1480030031
It is also available on: and
If anyone would like to read several UNEDITED SNIPPETS from my book, you can do so on any of my blogs listed below under the category of “GHOSTLY WHISPERS.” or or [my website/blog]


RLM_image_2Some of us who have chosen to write fiction come from a variety of places. And by “a variety of places,” I’m not referring to a physical location; I’m referring to our writing experiences.

There are some of us who have enjoyed writing since we were children, and each year, by writing something in school, it improved. For some of us, it continued until we graduated college and began working. Some of us entered the work force taking jobs, which required us to write, whether it was procedures, handbooks/manuals, or news stories. But all of these are non-fiction, and each one has a set of “rules” that need to be followed to write something well enough to be acceptable.

As for myself, while my regular job did not require me to write, for eleven years I wrote articles [commentaries/viewpoints] of what was happening in my community and my feelings about it. When I started to write these items, my writing skills were not honed. I didn’t have my ideas organized in a tight manner, although my writing had been informative. By the time I’d written my last item, I’d become quite adept at it.

When I started to write fiction, I somehow drifted to writing a contemporary romance story with a paranormal element running through the storyline, but after almost 9 years I still hadn’t completed it. That is, until someone suggested I should write for a much younger audience, which is what I did, cumulating in my first YA Paranormal/Time Travel/First Kiss romance novel entitled I Kissed a Ghost.

Anyway, making the transition from non-fiction to fiction, I’ve had to learn a new set of rules on how to write. Most of these involved dialogue, showing not telling, where before I just told. I now had to learn about the use of tags. I had to learn not to be overly descriptive of something, but allow my reader to create the image for themselves in their minds. In the beginning I found it hard to break my old writing habits. Now I’m finding myself with these habits essentially gone. The biggest issue I still have and am trying to get a good handle on, is POV [Point of View]. Regardless of what’s happening or being said it has to be in one character’s perspective, and you can’t flip-flop between two characters within a scene. There needs to be a transition from one character to another.

All these things have helped me mold myself into the author I’m today. I’ve also learned there are additional rules within a genre, depending on the sub-genre you’ve decided to write in. These rules apply to the dialogue spoken, which needs to be true to the time period you’re writing in, as well as how your characters are dressed, and their titles, if any, as is the case with the regencies sub-genre of romance novels.

So as you can see, writing is not merely a string of words you put together. There are rules that need to be followed if you’re to be well received by your readers.

If you have any questions, I’d love to hear from you.

I Kissed a Ghost is available on Amazon at:
The Kindle version should become available around April 24, 2013.

If anyone would like to read several UNEDITED SNIPPETS from the book you can find under the category of “GHOSTLY WHISPERS” on any my blog sites: or

15 thoughts on “An Interview with Robin Leigh Morgan

    • THANKS for your comment. The biggest usually occured while two characters were having a conversation, I got accused of “head-hopping.” The problem has been GREATLY disminished now that I’ve got my first YA romance novel under my belt.

    • Angela THANKS for stopping by and leaving your comment. I had been lucky to get it as a screen name – a screen name as you can tell I use on several sites. Besides, it’s the truth – Robin Leigh Morgan is My Pen Name.

    • Hi Juliana – THANKS for stopping by, I published this novel through CreateSpace after getting it edited. I then formatted each page to fit the 6×9 trim I wanted. It was a slow process, and it saved money. When it came to the cover I gave CreateSpace the elements I wanted to be presented, they gave me two options for the second time, and I chose the one you see. And I do love the cover myself as it totally fits what the story is basically about.

      And while I’m answering you, I need to advise everyone that due to a processing problem the Kindle version is now scheduled to be released around May 13th

  1. I read this book and found it to be delightful. Pre-teens and YA as well as adults will love this story, complete with ghosts, paranormal events and a unforeseen twist ending.As a book reviewer I gave this book a 5 star review for creativity and charm.

  2. Dear Robin, I enjoyed reading the interview. I, too, started a first novel, and THEN discovered it was for a middle grade audience. Since then, I’ve fallen in love with MG and YA literature. Can’t wait to read I Kissed a Ghost.
    Best of luck, Sandy
    PS: I LOVE editing.At least we have something to work with in the revision process.It’s the original draft that scares me!

  3. THANKS taking the time to comment. I’ve got entry or two about my editing; such as searching for words like “are”, “would”, “had” which can be turned into contractions; as well as searching for WAS/WERE to make sentences less passive.
    BTW – The Kindle is now scheduled to become available around May 13th[processing problem along the way]

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