Friday, March 18, 2016

Christopher Morgan ~ an interview and his novel ~ Forestium, Book 1 in the Portallas Series

Christopher Morgan

Bio photo
Christopher Morgan is an author, blogger, IT Manager, graphics artist, businessman, volunteer and family man living in Melbourne, Australia. He spends much of his spare time volunteering for his local community and creates visual learning resources for primary school children, which he markets 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 now 28 years. Christopher quickly learned Dutch and the couple spent 8 years living in the far South of the 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. During his travels, Christopher wrote extensively, churning out a new travel journal every day. He and Sandy settled back in the UK at the end of their travels, where their two children were both born. In 2009, the family moved to Melbourne, Australia, where they now live.

FORESTIUM is Christopher’s debut novel and is the first in the PORTALLAS series.


Q: Are you a morning person, or a midnight candle burner?
A: Definitely the later. I'm typically slow to start in the mornings but that's usually because I'm typically late going to sleep. My days seem to be perpetually 1-2 hours shorter than they need to be, which would cover just nicely the time it takes me to wake up in the mornings.

Q: If you could morph into any creature what would it be?
A: I think it would have to be a bird – one that's agile and can swoop around close to the ground, like a swift or swallow.
            If you don’t mind me asking, why?   
A: For me, it represents the freedom and exhilaration of being able to move through the sky. When I lived in Florida, I learned to fly an ultralight. It was basically a trike with a motor on the back hanging from beneath a delta-shaped wing – the closest thing to being a bird you could get – truly an amazing experience I'd recommend to anyone.      

Q: Bedtime, relaxing so you can sleep sounds. Is your preference, white noise, TV, soft music, ocean waves, forest or meadow sounds, babbling brook, or something else?
A: I actually prefer to watch TV. Most nights, I find myself just hanging on to consciousness until the program I'm watching finally finishes. Fortunately, I have a TV that turns itself off after a period of inactivity, so if I do nod off, the TV will at least switch itself off eventually.

Q: What kind of music do you listen to? Do you have an all time favorite song?
A: I'm a big fan of 80's music, as that's the era I grew up in. When I find a piece of music I like, I tend to listen to it endlessly (much to the annoyance of my wife). Some of the soundtracks in my collection have been listened to over 500 times.


Q: When did you start writing and why?
A: I've written travel blogs extensively in the past and writing is a part of my daily working life (reports, e-mails, etc.), but at 48 I suppose I was quite late coming to the table with tackling a full-length novel – and a series of them no less! It was only very recently that I thought I'd turn my writing talents to a piece of fiction. I had a one of those inspirational moments, where I suddenly thought I might be able to put my skills to good use and see where it led.

Q: Are you a sit down and play it by ear kind of writer, or do you need a structured guideline, or maybe a little of both?
A: For FORESTIUM, it was mostly play it by ear. I had some rough ideas about the general story arcs for the book as well as the overall story arcs for the series, but for the most part, I just sat at the keyboard and took it one chapter at a time.

Q: Do you always know how a story will end when you begin writing it?
A: No. In fact, with FORESTIUM, I agonized about how to finish the book from about a third of the way in. I really had no idea how it was all going to end. For the next book in the series, ARCHIPELAGO, I already have a much better idea of how the book will end but less so about some of the detail about what happens in the middle.

Q: What geographical locations are your favorite and why?
A: With the PORTALLAS series, each new book represents a totally different environment and geography, although none represent real places on earth. FORESTIUM, for example, is a forest-like environment, where the people life from what the forest can provide. I did have some fun writing in other geographies, like mountain ranges, rolling hills, etc., but the forest environment is what prevails. The next book is called ARCHIPALGAO. Can you guess what sort of environment that will be?


Q: What are you working on now? Would you like to share anything about it?
A: I'm a good way through book 2 in the PORTALLAS series at the moment, which I'm calling ARCHIPELAGO. Having said that, in recent weeks, I've been spending a lot of time and energy on the publishing and promotion of book 1, FORESTIUM, which I'm super excited about. Reviews so far have just been brilliant and I can't wait to release it to the world. FORESTIUM is a thrilling adventure of a teenager looking exploring the magical world outside his village for the first time. He meets new friends, makes enemies, overcomes obstacles and has to contend with some of the dark forces of the underworld – all in order to learn the truth about his father, who left for battle many years ago but did not return. This is an itch he just has to scratch but gets much more than he bargained for in the process. He has to make some truly emotionally gut-wrenching decisions and is torn apart inside for having to do so. He sets off to find his father but finds so much more along the way.

Q: Do you have a new book coming out soon? Tell us about it.
A: FORESTIUM should be released in the very near future (perhaps already by the time this goes to press).

Q: How can we find you? Do you have a web page, FaceBook page or any buy links?
A: Having an IT background has meant that I have been able to build a web-site totally from scratch. Feedback from publishers and other industry experts is that it's one of the very best author web-sites around. Take a look and you be the judge. You'll find details about the books, including back-story, illustrations, audio, an interactive map, blog entries, a sneak peak of one of the chapters and more. Check it out here: I also have a Facebook fan page here: I'm also on Goodreads, here:

Q: Are you currently participating in a blog tour? If you are let’s tell everyone where you’re going to be so they can catch up with you again.
A: Not yet, but I hope to be doing so in the near future.

Joshua, a young woodsman, is approaching the age of decision. Despite the tales of his father having died in a skirmish with another tribe, Joshua’s dreams are telling him otherwise. The young man yearns for the truth and decides to enlist the help of his village elder to guide him. Armed with little more than the cryptic musing from the ailing elder, Joshua sets off to find the Oracle with his best friend and an imp, who is travelling the land to find others of his kind. It isn’t long before they stumble into a beautiful and ingenious young woman who is herself on a journey of discovery.

On the way to the Oracle, Joshua comes by some curious magical artefacts. Can these help him to find his father? An evil and malevolent creature of the underworld known only as the Goat learns that Joshua has possession of some of the magical orbs needed to open the Portallas, a permanent gateway that links worlds together. Enraged, the Goat sends his dark forces to thwart Joshua and to prevent him from fulfilling his destiny.

Travelling through fantastic landscapes, the four travelling companions meet strange people and creatures alike, and must use all their cunning and ingenuity to find the remaining magical orbs. Will Joshua find all the magical artefacts needed to open the Portallas and free his father?

PORTALLAS – FORESTIUM is full of twists and turns, as Joshua goes on a veritable roller-coaster ride of challenges that will test his courage and emotional strength.

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