Mar 9, 2012

How to launch a series, with Rachel Morgan

Today I am thrilled to introduce you to Rachel Morgan, the intrepid author of the CREEPY HOLLOW novelette series that kicked off with Guardian March 5.  Everything about this project is so classy, clean and professional looking, I was dying to find out how Rachel pulled it all together. (BTW, do stop by her blog. She's got some awesome giveaways going on in honor of her blog tour that runs through March 15.)

But first, check out her blurb:
 1. Receive assignment.
2. Save a life.
3. Sleep.
4. Repeat.

Protecting humans from dangerous magical creatures is all in a day’s work for a faerie
training to be a guardian. Seventeen-year-old Violet Fairdale knows this better than anyone—she’s about to become the best guardian the Guild has seen in years. That is, until one of her assignments—a human boy who shouldn’t even be able to see her—follows her into the fae realm. Now she’s broken Guild Law, a crime that could lead to her expulsion.

The last thing Vi wants to do is spend any more time with the boy who got her into this mess, but the Guild requires that she return Nate to his home and make him forget everything he’s discovered of the fae realm. Easy, right? But Nate and Vi are about to land themselves in even bigger trouble—and it’ll take all Vi’s training to get them out alive.
is this an awesome cover or what?

1. You are hitting your GUARDIAN launch with all social media guns blazing - blog tour, author site, book series site, giveaways - it's an impressive list! Talk about where you've gotten your publicity approach (a mentor?) and how many people you've hired to make it all look so professional and cool.
 Um, I haven’t hired anyone to help with publicity! And I don’t have a mentor either. (But I’m glad you think it all looks professional and cool!) Basically I just watch what other authors do and get ideas from them. The blog tour idea has been going for a while, so I always knew I wanted to do one of those. Then it just came down to what exactly would be happening throughout the blog tour: a “launch day” where I asked a number of bloggers to post about the release of GUARDIAN to get the word out; book reviews; author interviews (like this one); character interviews (those are fun) and guest posts. None of these are radically new ideas. For the book reviews, I didn’t want to only ask writers that I know, so I Googled YA book review blogs and searched for the ones that accepted self-published books. I sent each of them an email and waited for their response. The really scary part was when I then had to send out actual review copies for people to read! I was HONESTLY terrified!

If you want to read some of those reviews, check out this list.

2. Creepy Hollow is a novelette series. Why did you decide to go shorter and what's the word count difference between a novel and a novelette?Wikipedia gives the following information regarding the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America and their Nebula Award categories:
Novel: over 40,000 words
Novella: 17,500 to 40,000 words
Novelette: 7,500 to 17,500 words
Short story: under 7,500 words
The very first reason I decided to go shorter was that, after following several successful self-published authors, I noticed that they all had something in common: a list of published works behind their names, not just a single novel. Okay, great, so I wanted to do that too, but it would take me years to publish several novels. So I figured the easiest way to get several titles out there in a short-ish amount of time would be (obviously) to make them short works. Hence the novelette :-) That then morphed into a series of interrelated stories, CREEPY HOLLOW.

I think it's a great idea - savvy, fun and a good business decision all in one.  

3. So you grew up in South Africa and you're teaching Maths to girls right now. From your use of 'maths' plural, I'm guessing you're not living in the U.S. So where do you live right now? And what influences have you drawn on to write GUARDIAN?
I am still living in South Africa, and we all say ‘maths’ (plural) here! It sounds weird to us to say math with no ‘s’. I mean, how can you teach/learn a single math? What about all the other mathS?! ANYWAY, getting back to the point. For GUARDIAN and the CREEPY HOLLOW series I’ve been influenced by a number of different books and TV series that I’ve enjoyed: Paranormalcy, Hex Hall, Graceling, The Vampire Diaries, Veronica Mars. And as for writing styles, I really enjoy the way Cassandra Clare and Stephanie Perkins write (though the writing voice of CREEPY HOLLOW is way more similar to Stephanie than Cassandra).

Fellow teachers and I have discussed the weird singular title of Math here in the US. I have no idea why we dropped the 's'. It's a bit misleading.
4. Now, tell us how this series is different from other Fae series out there. Why should we buy it?Well . . . I can’t be completely sure (because I haven’t read all the faerie books in existence out there) but I think (I hope!) that the main idea is quite unique: faeries who are protectors of humans. Kind of like guardian angels, but with magic and sparkly weapons and super-gymnastic attack skills! These faeries spend years developing their fighting skills so that when they receive their assignments they can successfully protect humans from dangerous fae creatures, all while remaining invisible and undetected by humans.
This is also fiction that doesn’t take itself too seriously. There’s a time for “serious” fiction, but I wanted to have fun with this series, and I hope readers have fun reading it :-)

5. What's your goal for this series? And your next project?
Okay, if I’m going to be honest, my goal (for all my writing) is probably the same as any other writers’ goal – to magically make enough money to quit The Day Job and be a full-time writer! Yup, that’s my ultimate goal, and I’m holding onto it for as long as it takes to reach it. And as for my next project . . . I am so consumed by the current project (I’m not exactly sure how many CREEPY HOLLOW stories there will be, but at least seven), that I’ve barely thought about the next project!

Wow - seven!? I'm guessing you're a plotter. Thanks so much for joining us, Rachel.
~  ~  ~

Rachel Morgan is the author of Guardian, the first novelette in the Creepy Hollow series. She was born in South Africa and spent a large portion of her childhood living in
a fantasy land of her own making. These days, in between teaching mathematics to high school children, she writes fiction for young adults.

Buy Guardian from

The Creepy Hollow Series

Author Info


Rachel Morgan said...

Thanks so much for having me over here today! And in answer to your last statement... I'd probably call myself a hybrid plotter-pantser!

Carrie Butler said...

Rachel is so fun! I love seeing GUARDIAN get so much exposure. :D

Rachel Morgan said...

Me too! (Obviously ;-) Lol) Thanks for visiting the interview, Carrie!

Anonymous said...

Great interview. I enjoyed it. And I understand about the Math(s). I majored in Math. And, yes, we learned many different kinds of Maths; I just never realized it until you pointed it out. So thanks for the enlightenment. :)

K. Turley (Clutzattack) said...

Love the purple eyes, and I'm always a sucker for fairy/fey stories.

The Golden Eagle said...

Great interview! :)

Interesting point about Math/s. English spoken in the USA has a million little quirks . . . sigh.

Seven? Oh, I'm looking forward to those!

Rachel Morgan said...

Linda - It's silly, this math/maths thing, but yeah!

K. Turley - thank you! I kinda wish I could have purple contacts for a little bit, so I can be cool like Vi...

Golden Eagle - Um... possibly more than seven!

Jessica Therrien said...

YAY Rachel! :) Loving the blog tour!

Rachel Morgan said...

Thanks, Jessica! Hope yours is going well too :-)

Rachel Morgan said...

Thanks, Jessica! Hope yours is going well too :-)

erica and christy said...

Hehe. I teach math too. I can't wait to read these, Rachel. I'm so happy to see you everywhere with this tour! Congrats to you! christy

Rachel Morgan said...

Thanks, Christy :) Isn't math/s great?! Lol, not quite as great as stories, but close (ish!).

Treelight said...

That was a great interview! I just finished reading "Creepy Hollow" today and it's nice to learn more about the author.

Rachel Morgan said...

Thanks for checking out the interview, Treelight :-)