CJ: Guys, I cannot contain my excitement about this interview. Today, I’m honored to introduce you to Morgan Gauthier, author of her fantasy trilogy Mark of the Hunter as well as contemporary romance novel Aloha, Seattle. In addition to this, she runs a livestream show, Talk to Mo, as well as a blog on her website. Thank you so much for being here, Morgan!
MG: Thank you so much for having me, CJ!
CJ: As always, before we get started, I’d love to have you tell us a little about your background. What got you started writing, and how have you gotten where you are today?
MG: Well, in addition to being an author, I’m a wife and mother to three littles aged 5, 3, and 2. My family and I live in Tennessee with our three rescue dogs, Potter, Skye, and Bubba.
I started writing stories when I was eleven. Right after college, I wrote and co-produced a couple of my original plays. I realized writing was my true passion and decided to dedicate my free time to writing books. A couple of months before my 30th birthday, I published my debut, Wolves of Adalore, and to date, I have three books available with two more due for publication in 2023.
CJ: That’s amazing! And seriously impressive. I can’t even imagine what it’s like to balance writing with motherhood. When you do get a spare moment, what are some of your favorite things to do when you aren’t writing?
MG: That’s a fun question! If I’m not writing, I’m an avid reader. My top genres are Fantasy/Sci-Fi, Romance, and Whodunnit Murder Mystery. I’m a foodie and it helps that my husband used to be a professional chef for ten years so he’s constantly coming up with yummy dishes. I binge watch Netflix shows, take walks with my dogs, and find organizing my house soothing. I am also trying to learn archery and baking.
CJ: That’s so cool! I also dabbled in archery for a while. Never quite mastered it, but it’s definitely a fun skill to learn. Speaking of archery, I read the first book in Morgan’s fantasy trilogy and was absolutely hooked. What inspired the world of Adalore, and how did you come up with such dynamic characters?
MG: The characters and world of Adalore came to me when I was fourteen and hasn’t left me alone. I wanted to create a vast world that mirrored our own but had the same kind of magic of The Lord of the Rings. I wanted diversity not only in my cast of characters but in the realm of Adalore. I took bits and pieces from ancient and modern civilizations and combined them to create the Ten Kingdoms.
So for example, Numbio, the desert kingdom, has Ancient Egyptian and African Royalty influences; Borg, the western kingdom, has Viking and Medieval influences; The Isles of Myr has Ancient Spanish and Mediterranean influences. Of course, there are seven other kingdoms, so I wanted the world to feel familiar and epic at the same time.
As far as my characters, I am of mixed race; my mother is Puerto Rican and my father is White European. Whenever I read fantasy books growing up, the female characters didn’t look like me. They had blonde hair, blue eyes, pale skin - which is perfectly fine, but I didn’t see myself represented. I also wanted to read books with strong and relatable female characters, hero and villain alike, so I wrote the story I wanted to read.
CJ: Absolutely! You’ve definitely achieved that with the Mark of the Hunter trilogy. And I’ve been there when it comes to not seeing yourself in female characters. Being half Mexican, it’s always cool to see a brunette/darker toned heroine. Without getting into spoilers, of course, is there anything you want to tell us about the upcoming third and final book?
MG: It’s heartbreaking. I know that sounds daunting, but to me, the best endings to a book series tug at your heart. You see characters you’ve grown to love and root for struggle. There are several battles that take place in book three that will have you at the edge of your seat. No one is safe.
CJ: Ahhh now I really can’t wait! You’re absolutely right, the climactic moments of a series should involve struggle for every major character. I’m a little scared for what that might mean, but excited nonetheless!
One of the reasons I’m so stoked to be talking to Morgan is that she’s already several steps ahead of me, both in life and in her author journey. Morgan, what would you say has been your biggest lesson learned during your time as an author?
MG: A HUGE lesson I learned is not being consumed with reviews. Yes, we as authors need them and it’s really nice to read all the positive feedback. It helps other readers decide if they want to read your book or not. But it can be detrimental to an author’s mental health and creativity to be actively reading reviews, especially negative ones. Take the poor reviews with a grain of salt; not everyone will love your books, and that’s ok. There will be more people supporting you than not!
CJ: That is such a huge lesson, and I’ll admit I’m still getting the hang of it. If you could leave one piece of advice for younger writers, what would it be?
MG: Write the story you want to read. Sometimes we as creatives can get so wrapped up in what readers want or what will garner the most attention or the most five star reviews on Goodreads, but if you aren’t being true to the story you want to tell, you’re missing the entire point of being an author. There are readers out there waiting for your book. Be brave enough to share it.
CJ: Yes, yes, YES! Such a great piece of advice, and you’ve shown how true it is with your stories! Now we’re coming to the end of our interview. Morgan, where can people find you?
MG: Instagram: @authormorgangauthier
Tik Tok: @authormorgangauthier
Amazon: Amazon.com: Morgan Gauthier: Books, Biography, Blog, Audiobooks, Kindle
Goodreads: Morgan Gauthier (Author of Aloha, Seattle) | Goodreads
CJ: An ENORMOUS thanks to Morgan Gauthier for agreeing to be here today! I’ve learned a lot from Morgan, and I can’t wait to see what she does next with her Mark of the Hunter trilogy. That’s all for today, but thanks to everyone who read through! Have a great week, and as always, fly safe!