Interview with Morgan G Farris, author of The Promised One
24 Jan 2018
What can you tell us about your new release, The Promised One?
The Promised One is a little bit different than your typical fantasy færytale, namely because it’s a story that begins after the characters have already fallen in love. So it’s not a “will they or won’t they” story, but rather it’s a journey to rediscover one another after magic comes between an already unlikely love. I wrote it that way on purpose—because I wanted a story of what happens after that first kiss. We tend to glamorize it like everything in love is downhill afterward, and for me I wanted to read a story of a couple that perseveres beyond that initial phase of falling in love.
What’s the last book you read?
The last book I read was Uprooted by Naomi Novik. It is such a beautiful fantasy, centered around a girl who learns that everything she thought she knew about the world was wrong. I love Novik’s style—it’s quick-witted without being too modern. It feels like you’re reading a classic fairy tale.
Who are your literary heroes working today? Why do you admire them?
I am a forever fan of Sarah J. Maas. Her style is brilliant and effortless and the way she weaves intricate details throughout all her books is fascinating. Her Throne of Glass series is such a testament to her growth as an author. (In case you can’t tell, I’m a lover of all things fantasy.)
What’s your favorite thing about writing?
I love creating worlds and then getting lost in them. I love getting lost inside my characters’ minds. I love looking at the world through their eyes. For me, it’s a cathartic experience to put myself in someone else’s shoes and walk a mile with them. I love how my characters continually surprise me. I love when I think I know what they would do, and then they do the opposite. They begin to feel like real people from the past, or from a dream, and it’s a beautiful journey you take with them.
What is a typical day like for you?
I like to say I’m a marketing director by day and a creative by night. I work a day job where I get to flex my creative muscles in a tangible way, but it’s the night where my mind has always come alive with ideas, with words, with scenes and worlds. I do most of my writing at night. Even if I’m not at a keyboard, I’m usually writing a scene in my mind that I’ll later put in words. If it weren’t for the fact that I need sleep, I don’t think I would for all the creativity that blossoms when the sun goes down.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
My parents always encouraged me to be true to myself. They fostered in me a sense of pride in my own brand of weirdness that has carried through my whole life. I’ve never been one to worry about what everyone else is doing, or what’s trendy—I’ve always just pursued what I wanted. I think that has played out in my writing as well. I did not write The Promised One for any particular audience, or because I thought it was a market trend, I wrote it because I wanted to read it. And the feedback I’ve gotten so far has shown me that staying true to yourself is one of the best ways to create authentic art that speaks to others as well.
What scene in The Promised One was your favorite to write?
This is a difficult question to answer! I have a lot, but I think one of my favorite scenes is (spoiler alert) when Prince Ferryl barges in to his brother Derwin’s chambers to find his best friend, Leala, in there, wearing his brother’s shirt. He almost loses his mind thinking that his brother is catting around with their childhood friend, only to realize that his brother secretly married her. I love the scene because I think it shows a true glimpse of Ferryl’s heart. He’s fiercely loyal, he’s protective of those he loves (even to a fault), and he’s also a traditionalist when it comes to love. He holds it sacred, so in that moment, all he can think of is protecting Leala’s virtue. Oh Ferryl. He’s such a sweet guy, he even makes me sick sometimes. It was fun to write the beats of that scene from Ferryl’s perspective—from shock, to rage, to a frozen moment as understanding dawns.
Do you have a motto, quote or philosophy you live by?
One of my all-time favorite quotes is from Charles Spurgeon—I learned to kiss the waves that slammed me into the Rock of Ages. I think there is a beauty in embracing the ups and downs of life, and recognizing that at their root, they are a tool to point us to something much greater than ourselves. I think at its heart, that is the primary theme of The Promised One.
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