When Sheenah of Paper Crane Books asked if I'd be part of their blog tour for Spirit Vision, I had to think about it - for about a microsecond! :D Considering that they have helped me in the past with blog tours, now this is my turn to repay the favour!
I caught up with Morgan Straughan Comnick, the author of Spirit Vision and asked her a few questions about this book, her inspirations and which Disney villain is the biggest bastard! But before we get to the interview - here's some stuff about the book. Stick around as there is a giveaway at the end!
Check out the rest of the blog tour by clicking on the picture above!
If God gave you a mission, would you answer His call?
The Lord has given Stary, a high school freshman, a mission: extinguish the evil residing in the murderer of two teens—Maren and Umbra. Stary never imagined that her strange visions meant that she was the Spirit Warrior for God and now with her powers activated, she must train to use them and try not to get caught by the murderer who has the ability to hide and conjure up the dark powers from the fallen angel himself—Lucifer. If Stary fails, not only will she lose her life, but Maren and Umbra will lose their entry into heaven and the world will be exposed to the madness of the murderer for the next forty years until the new Spirit Warrior is born.
About the Author
Educator of young minds by day, super nerdy savior of justice and cute things by night, Morgan Straughan Comnick has a love for turning the normal into something special without losing its essence. Morgan draws from real life experiences and her ongoing imagination to spark her writing. In her spare time, she enjoys doing goofy voices, traveling to new worlds by turning pages, humming child-like songs, and forcing people to smile with her "bubbliness." It is Morgan's mission in life to spread the amazement of otaku/Japanese culture to the world and to stop bullying; she knows everyone shines brightly.
Social media links
Morgan, thank you for taking the time to appear on my blog.
First off, thank YOU for allowing me to appear on your blog! :)
It’s an absolute pleasure. :) Can you tell my readers a little about yourself?
A little about me? I suppose starting at the beginning would be useful. I am from a medium-sized town in Missouri where I still live. I have great parents, two brothers, and dogs and cats that I love. I have a degree in Early Childhood education (infants to 3rd grade) and I have taught an array of subjects and grades at my local district and my college’s local summer school program. Currently, I am a teacher’s aide at my middle school in the special education department although I dream of getting my own classroom in a primary grade. I am married to my high school sweetheart. Spirit Vision is my first book. I am a nerd and proud! I try to be a kind, fun, hard-working, and a creative person! That’s me in a nutshell.
(Raises a fist to the *nerd and proud* line!) :D Sounds like you keep a busy life. What first inspired you to get into writing?
I have always been fond of spirits, the spiritual world, and our connection to the unknown and I have liked to write, but I never did consider it a career until my freshman language arts teacher, Mr. Banger, came in, all bold as usual, and declared he was writing a book. We laughed because he made random statements like that, but he walked over for me and told me, “You know, you would make a fantastic book character in my book Morgan!” I chuckled, but it triggered the question that changed my life: “If he can write a book, why can’t I?” With my on-going imagination, most of the plot for Spirit Vision was in my head and the rest was history!
I’m quite fond of spirits myself. Jägermeister and spice rum mainly! XD. Oh, that’s not what you meant? Well now I feel stupid! Ahem, moving on. Who are your favourite authors?
Oh gosh! There are so many! Lurlene McDaniel and Stephanie Meyer were the two who turned me into a reading machine in high school and now, book stories take my money like a vacuum. I also am a huge fan of: Richelle Mead, P.C. and Kirsten Cast, L.J. Smith, Jessica Day George, Susane Colasanti, Deb Caletti, Carolly Erickson, and Rick Riordan, but trust me, there are several others! I also am a huge manga fan and my favourite manga-ka (manga artists and writers) are: CLAMP, Arina Tanemura, Natsuki Takaya, and Bisco Hatori, to name a few.
Do you have any other hobbies other than writing or is that your whole world?
I like to write very much, but I have to have an outlet for my outlet, HA! My hobbies are singing, doodling, acting, walking while listening to music, hanging with my loved ones, teaching, collecting cute things, being random, and, my biggie, Japanese culture (anime, manga, cosplay, anime conventions, studying Japan, and so forth).
Wow, sounds like you have a lot of cool hobbies! Do you have a particular favourite genre to write in?
I do not want to limit myself into one genre, but I do like writing for the young adult age group. I have so many ideas for books, all over the genre spectrum, but I am betting about 90% of my works to come will be young adult. I would like to write a few children’s books and maybe an intermediate/juvenile fiction work as well.
Sounds good to me. I myself am currently trying to write for a more younger audience with my next book. But this isn’t about me! Speaking of books, can you tell us a little about...
Er, sorry about that, Morgan. I’ve been having a bit of a problem with this lately. Think I'm being trolled!
*Ahem” anyway, without giving away too many spoilers, can you tell the nice people us a little bit about your new book Spirit Vision?
Spirit Vision is about fifteen-year-old Stary Moon. Her life is fairly normal until she has a dream where a spirit is talking to her, asking for her help. Stary dismisses it, but when her school becomes edgy and there is police tape by the lobby, Stary knows something is wrong. She discovers that the skeleton of a girl was discovered at her school and when Stary sees her, it is the spirit who talked to her in her dream! Stary later meets the spirit, Maren, and her friend and fellow spirit, Umbra. Stary is then told some news that turn her world into a whirlwind of chaos: she is the Spirit Warrior for the Lord and the only one who can help Maren and Umbra track down their murderer and take the evil out of them, allowing Maren and Umbra to enter into Heaven. This leads Stary to an adventure of tracking down an evil murderer, keeping her title a secret to protect her loved ones, training to sharpen her new powers, and dealing with high school life and drama. It has a little bit of something for everyone!
Move aside Buffy! :) Where did you get the inspirations for this?
Like I stated earlier, I have always enjoyed spirits and when I was fifteen, that was the genre I was obsessed with at the time. I also was in love with the Sonic Adventure 2 game for the GameCube, which helped me formulate the relationship and some of the sci-fi elements in my work. I crafted most of the characters on people and teachers in my life and all the locations are based on my school or town; there are so many great characters in the world that we just have to have the eyes to find.
Do you have any favourite characters in the story?
Well, I am fond of Stary because she is based on a braver version of myself! All my characters have a special place in my heart, but I think the one that always makes me giggle is Mr. Tin!
If your book was turned into a film/TV series, who would you get to play the characters. Also, can I have a bit part in it? XD
You can absolutely have a role! The more the merrier! :D
Cool. I’ve been told I play a good corpse. Or maybe that’s just because my acting is a little stiff!
*insert tumbleweed here*
Ahem, sorry, carry on.
Well, I know my dream is to play Stary myself since appearance wise, she looks just like me, but cuter (Hollywood make-up can fix that). For Maren, I would go towards Becca Tobin or Brittany Snow and for Umbra, Taeyang, a member of the Korean Band, Big Bang. :)
Speaking of characters, which, in your opinion is more important – story or characters?
I think characters because they can find stories themselves; we live stories every day, right?
As they say in The Wire, "True dat!" What do you look for in a good story?
I like a little bit of everything: magic, heart, humour, romance, uniqueness, and a topic I enjoy. I am big on character relationship too, romantic, friendship, family, or otherwise.
Now I am sure there are a lot of authors out there that will be inspired by what you've said. What's the best advice you can give to them?
Never give up, keep imagining, keep dreaming, and keep learning. :)
That’s great advice! I can dig that! Ok, now for the important questions. Who would win in a triple threat between a zombie ninja dragon, a cyborg unicorn with nuclear magical powers, and a kryptonian ewok with volcanos for shoulders?
Whoa! Toughie there… I would have to go with the cyborg unicorn! Unicorns are just lovely, cyborgs are B.A., and magical powers give an upper hand. If that wasn’t enough…nuclear power! Yeah, I think we have a winner! Go my mighty Sparkle Pants!
Now, I have to ask. Scar or Frollo? Which of these Disney villains is the biggest bastard?
Ah, a Disney question! Although these two gentlemen (hmm…gentle-lion…?) are surely baddie bads, I would have to go with Scar. I mean, Frollo, in his mind, no matter how sick it was, believed he was doing all the horrid things he did for the Lord, for his faith. Scar was killing for himself. And he was killing his FAMILY for his goals! How twisted! Now, I do not know Scar’s backstory; was he ignored due to his brother’s greatness by his parents? Was he bullied? How DID he get that scar? So many questions (maybe Disney would make a backstory for the uncle of Simba), but still, does that make what he did right? In no way, shape, or form my good word!
Interestingly enough, Frollo was actually voiced by Tony Jay, one of my fav voice actors. He did a lot of stuff with Disney and his voice was badass! It’s sad that he’s no longer with us.
Now we are onto the REAL question of the interview – and this is the real life or death here! The fate of the world rests on this question – why DID the chicken cross the road? XD
To re-enact his favourite video game, Frogger! And to thank you for having me on your site! =D
And so we have now answered the oldest question known to man! Thanks Morgan, it was an absolute pleasure to have you on my blog.
But don't go away yet as there is a giveaway we have to mention now! Click on the link below for details!
Giveaway is open internationally and ends on April 4, 2014. Winning entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen randomly via Rafflecopter and announced on the widget as well as emailed; they will have 48 hours to respond. Failure to respond will result in a new winner being selected. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter, or any other entity unless otherwise specified. Number of eligible entries received determines odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Paper Crane Books and sponsored by both the press and the author. Void where prohibited by law.
Thanks for reading guys! Leave a comment below to let us know what you all thought and be sure to follow this amazing author!
Have a great week!