Romantic Times Convention -- 2005
Who is Morgan Hawke?Um, she’s this chick that writes stories? No really, there’s not much to know; I’m pretty dull and boring. I live in North Carolina, and I have a close personal relationship with my cat, Scratch, and my computer, Ferdinand. I smoke Djarum Black clove cigarettes, and drink Butterscotch Toffee coffee by the gallon. I listen to movie soundtracks while I write, and watch Anime voraciously. No family, so no distractions.
Writing is more than a passion, it's an obsession. The stories crowd into my head. I write them down so I can get some peace. Writing is the ultimate RPG video game.
I was 14 when I began writing as a way to deal with problems at home. I was 17 when I entered a short story in a regional contest. Despite my lousy grades, (I was an indifferent student,) it won the grand prize - and was published. It was my ONLY accomplishment. I decided quite seriously, that writing was what I wanted to do when I grew up.
I spent over a decade on story research -- and learned to loathe the typewriter.
18 years later, (and armed with my very first computer,) I wrote my very first piece of erotica. It was awful, but for some reason the porn site liked it and published it. I wrote a few more - all of them were not only accepted, and 5 of them won Readers Choice awards.
That's when the addiction to writing Really hit.
I started trying out different genres of erotica, (historical, contemporary, paranormal, fantasy, sci-fi...,) just to see if I could do it. When all was said and done, I had 16 short stories and one 60k novella published.
In 2000, Amatory Ink asked for one of my stories for their: Mythic Fantasy Anthology. That was the first piece I actually got money for. Amoret bought and published a small flasher that I wrote on a whim.
In 2002, Suspect Thoughts Magazine published a short of mine that ended up in the Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica Vol. 3. I got the check from BNE3 three months after publication, (a full year after the editor asked for it,) but I was In Print.
I went to the book store, and there I was, up on the shelf. I was able to TOUCH my own name inside a book cover. I cried for a full ten minutes.
In 2003, I offered Extasy Books the small novella that was getting critical acclaim on Literotica and they snatched it up. It sold very well. A collection of 12 of my shorts followed that. Then I submitted my first real novel. The novel "House of Shadows" scooped up 5 and 4.5 star ratings (out of 5,) with the reviewers. It was a complete success, and one of the first books Extasy sent to print. (I cried over that book too.)
My largest novel, an SM Sci-Fi, "Victorious Star", published with Loose Id books, broke every record for sales I ever had.
How long did it take me to get published?
That's hard to say. Everything I've ever submitted has been published.
I have only ever had one rejection: from Tor books, with a personal note asking me to resubmit. I will be resubmitting to Tor as soon as I have written something closer to their lines. The book Tor rejected was "House of Shadows" - which is making me a tidy sum at Extasy. It wasn't what Tor was looking for, but it was exactly what Extasy wanted. That same book won The 2004 RIO Award, 1st place for Debut Author.
Writing has been very, very good for me. I've been living on my royalties - as my only income - since August of 2004. I don't make a whole lot - but it's enough to pay my itty-bitty bills.
As for my jaded past:
-- I have lived in seven states, and spent two years in England. I have been an auto mechanic, a security guard, a waitress, a groom in a horse-stable, in the military, a magazine editor, a professional bellydancer, the copywriter and publicist for an internet porn corporation, a gypsy for a Renaissance festival, and a stripper. (Gee, where do all my ideas come from?)
How many books do I have out now? LOTS.
Why do I write? To keep my sanity.
(I don't know how well it's working, though.)