Learn more about Christopher D. Morgan. He's the author of the PORTALLAS series of novels. He's actually a pretty interesting character, although you wouldn't realise this to look at him (without the face paint, that is). Here is some BIO information about him and his books. Click on the video to learn more (see here for the extended version of this video or here for the bloopers and out-takes version)
|What do you do for a living?||Hmmm. Well, the way I make money is in IT. I've been been doing this for the past *cough* 30 years or so (has it really been that long already?).|
|What else do you get up to?||Well, probably the one thing that takes up most of my time is the volunteer work I do in the community. I'm very involved with a local community group here in our suburb in Victoria (located in Melbourne's South East about 40k from the city). I also serve on the odd committee here and there and from time to time. Another favourite pastime of mine is visiting schools and talking to children about literacy, writing and what it's like being an author.|
|Do you spend a lot of your time writing?||Sometimes. I can go weeks or months without writing but then a sudden burst of creative energy explodes and I write very quickly.|
|Have you travelled?||Oh yes, extensively. I've lived and worked in England twice (which is where I grew up), The Netherlands, The United States and now Australia. Back in 2002, my wife and I sold our house in Jacksonville, Florida, and we spent about 18 months (over the course of about two and a half years) backpacking around the world - unemployed, homeless, transient bums, as I used to call us at the time. I think the current tally is 43 countries and 13 states in America. Still plenty of the world left to see yet, though. I have an extensive catalogue of photos and travel hournals which you can find here|
|Family?||Yes, I've been married for nearly 30 years and have 2 wonderful children in primary school. I also have a large, extended family.|
|Interests?||Writing, education (I run a small education supplies company called Bounce Learning Kids), mathematics, science, civics and computers.|
|Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?||Hmmm. That's a good question. Retired might be nice.|
|TV & movie likes and dislikes?||I enjoy pretty much anything to do with Star Trek and have spent endless hours watching all the TNG, DS9 & Voyager series (we don't talk about the Enterprise series. Shhh! Let's pretend those don't exist). I'm also a big fan of Star Wars and generally enjoy anything relating to cosmology, science, mathematics or natural history.|
|Who are your heroes?||Wow! There are so many to choose from but I would go with the great names in science and mathematics, such as Newton, Einstein, Hawking, Bohr, Mendeleev, Galileo, Euler, Euclid, Darwin, Kepler, Copernicus, Heisenberg, Feynman, etc.|
|Do you have pets?||Yes, I have 2 cats and an aquarium full of fish. I don't count the flies, mosquitoes or spiders.|
|Where did you grow up?||England, but I'd lived in several countries and am currently living in Australia.|
|What's your favourite book?||Hmmm. That's tough. I really enjoyed Spycatcher, by Peter Wright.|
|Who is your favourite author and why?||Another good one. I really admire JK Rowling and the inspiration she provided to so many children to pick up a book and read.|
|What made you want to write a novel?||Although I never enjoyed writing much when I was a child (mostly because there were no keyboards back then and my handwriting was terrible), I have since developed a love for it. I think it's a great communication medium and, for me at least, a really good way to express myself. It was only recently that I decided to try a full-length novel and the trigger was nothing more than the realisation that it's something that I haven't yet done but always had a desire to give it a go. So glad I did!|
|Where did the inspiration for PORTALLAS come from?||The quick answer is simply from thin air. The idea just came to me. It wasn't fully coherent at first but developed as I got more and more into it.|
|Have you written any novels previously?||The books from the PORTALLAS series are the first full-length novels I've written, although I have done other types of writing.|
|Why do you write?||Writing is a great way to escape the everyday life. It's also a great way to be expressive in a way that's personal and safe. I get a real kick out of hearing how others have enjoyed my writing, which spurs me on to want to do more.|
|How did you become so good at writing?||The three most important things are practice, practice & practice (and you have to get the order right!). In my line of work, I have to write e-mails, documentation, reports, etc., so I do a lot of writing naturally. Writing skills develop over time and you get better the more you do it - just like with anything else. When I write, I am always asking myself, who is this intended for? Who will be reading this? I try to put myself into the mind of the person I'm writing for. Also, I've written lots of travel journals and blogs before, so that has helped too.|
|What does the writing process look like for you?||It varies but generally, I lay out each scene or chapter with several, brief, consecutive sentences. I use this as the rough outline for what's to come. Then I take each of these sentences and start writing - filling in the detail. When I've finished expanding a sentence, I delete the original brief sentence and move on to the next. Once all the sentences are gone, the scene/chapter is complete. I'll then do a re-read of the chapter to fine tune it. I may re-read a scene/chapter dozens of times over the lifetime of the manuscript and continue tinkering. It's never truly finished. I write either on a desktop computer or a laptop, but always when there is no background noise to distract me (I'm VERY easily distracted).|
|Where do you find inspiration?||I can't say that I have a specific source of inspiration. Mostly, the ideas come to me as I'm actually writing. Having said that, I have benefited on occasion from discussing various story arcs with a good friend. It can really help to bounce ideas off someone that can think critically - and who isn't afraid to tell me when I'm doing something bad as well as something good.|
|Do you use any specific software to write with?||For the PORTALLAS novels, I use a program called Scrivener on the Mac.|
|How do you fit your writing into your daily life?||It can be hard at times. I have a day job, volunteer work, family life, a couple of small businesses and various other responsibilities that all keep me busy. Finding time to write can be hit and miss but if I'm in the zone and churning out chapters, I make the time. Most of my writing is done in the evenings or during quiet periods in the weekend.|
|How many PORTALLAS novels will there be altogether?||PORTALLAS is a series and there will be multiple books but the exact number is not yet determined. Each new book in the series represents a new world that Joshua and his friends will explore. The first book in the series is called Joshua and the Magical Forest, and is set in a forest like environment.|
|What's the next book going to be called?||Book 2 in the series is called Joshua and the Magical Islands. That's followed by Joshua and the Magical Temples and there will be more to follow after that.|
|What does PORTALLAS mean and where did the name come from?||The word PORTALLAS comes from the word PORTAL. PORTALLAS is the name of the portal that links the various worlds of the PORTALLAS universe together. Joshua was able to open the first PORTALLAS by finding the 3 magical orbs that are present in FORESTIUM, and bringing them together.|
|Who are the main characters?||The main characters are Joshua, Andrew, Sarah, Galleon & The Goat. Each world also has other characters. For example, in Forestium, we find Fable & Florelle. Other than the main protagonists, some characters may appear in more than 1 book.|
|Who do you base your characters on?||No individual character is based on anyone person in particular, but I do draw on my experience with the people I know and have known for certain elements to some characters. I think all authors do this naturally.|
Christopher Morgan is a New York Times & USA Today best selling author, blogger, IT Manager, graphics artist, businessman, volunteer and family man living in Melbourne, Australia. Much of his time is spent volunteering for his local community. He creates visual learning resources for primary school children, which are marketed through his company Bounce Learning Kids. He is also involved in local civics and sits on various community & council committees.
Christopher was born in the UK and grew up in England’s South East. At age 20, he moved to The Netherlands, where he married Sandy, his wife of 28 years. Christopher quickly learned Dutch and the couple spent 8 years living in the far South of that country before they moved to Florida in 1996. After spending 7 years in Florida, Christopher and Sandy sold their home and spent the next 2 years backpacking around the world. Christopher has visited around 40 countries to date.
Whilst circumnavigating the globe, Christopher wrote extensively, churning out travel journals. He and Sandy settled back in the UK at the end of their world tour, where their two children were both born. In 2009, the family moved to Melbourne, Australia, where they now live.
You can read all about Christopher & Sandy’s epic travels on his travel showcase website: http://ChrisAndSandyMorgan.com/
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