Lara Morgan is the author of The Rosie Black Chronicles, a YA dystopian trilogy set in a future Australia, and the epic fantasy series for adults, The Twins of Saranthium. She was the winner of the 2003 Australian Women’s Weekly Short Story competition and has had books published in Australia, New Zealand, Germany and Turkey and ebooks anywhere Amazon allows it. She loves travel, tea and stacking books in wily ways so she can fit more on her bookshelf. She can be found procrastinating in local cafes if her children allow it and lives in Geraldton with her husband and two sons.
1. Tell us about your recent publications/projects?
I have two young children so writing has taken a back seat for the last few years and my most recent publication was Redemption, back in 2016. Its the third and final book in my fantasy series The Twins of Saranthium and was released as an ebook only by Harper Collins under their Escape Publishing imprint. It took many years to actually complete that book. I wrote the first section before I had my first child in 2012 and finished it after I had my second in 2014 while finalising the edit on the third book in my YA series. I had quite a delay with the Twins series as my first publisher and I parted ways in 2011 before the third book was released, and it took a little while to find another publisher to take the series on. My agent eventually found Escape, who is an ebook only publisher, and they republished the series with beautiful new covers and I was finally able to have the third one published to complete the series. Luckily I still had a few readers waiting and wanting to know what happened! Since then I have been a full time mum so time for writing has been short and I haven’t managed yet to produce a new book. I have though been working for the past 8 years with some film producers on getting my YA series Rosie Black made into either a film or tv series. I even had a go at adapting the first book into a screenplay which was a great exercise in a different style of writing and made me feel I was still keeping my hand in. This year though with both my children now full time at school I am finally working on some new projects so hopefully in the next two years I may be able to get something out.
2. What has been the best publishing or SF community experience of your career so far?
There’s a particular thing about the SF community that I have always felt is special and that is the camaraderie between the writers and also the fans. SF creators are such a generous bunch of people. I have been very quite on the publishing front in the last few years so to still feel like a writer I am part of an online chat group of other SF writers from all over the world and I always feel supported on there if I ask a question or participate in talking about certain issues in publishing or writing. No matter how successful most writers in the SF community become the vast majority of them never forget what its like not be and it feels like everyone is treated equally. Perhaps it’s a genre thing, an us against the vast behemoth of ‘popular fiction’ or simply a like mindedness, I’m not sure but people I’ve chatted to or asked questions of have on the whole been supportive and humble.
3. Which recent Australian/NZ work would you recommend to international fans interested in expanding their Antipodean spec fic knowledge?
I have been reading mostly middle grade and YA books over the last year, but as we all know adults can also enjoy a good kids fantasy!
I’ve been loving the Jane Doe series by Jeremy Lachlan. Jane Doe and the Cradle of Worlds came out in 2018 and the second one, Jane Doe and the Key of Souls was released this year in February. Jane is a fabulous character, as are all the main characters in the books, and I just loved the story and mythology Jeremy created. I’m really looking forward to more work from this author.
Also, the Stella Montgomery mystery series by Judith Rosell. These are books I would have loved as a child with old houses, fabulous creatures and mysterious happenings. The third book, Wakestone Hall, came out in 2018 so they are sort of recent and I adore the wonderful illustrations Judith did for them as well.
And WA local AJ Betts’ books Hive, and Rogue (which was released last year) set in a future Australia, post apocaplyse. I’m such a fan of those, such beautiful fully realised characters with a truly unique idea. I cried when it ended. But in a good way.