Jason (J. Lloyd) Morgan has the distinction of being our only male fiction author.
But don't let that fool you as The Hidden Sun is filled with both adventure and romance.
What is your favorite line, scene, or character from one of your books and why?
The scene at the beginning of chapter 10 in The Hidden Sun. It consists of Garth showing off his latest tree sculpture to Governor Eadward. When the governor asks Garth what it’s supposed to be, Garth says, “It’s ‘joy’!” Eadward counters, “You can’t sculpt joy.” Garth motions to the tree again and says, “But I did.” I chose this because not only is Garth one of my favorite characters, but the whole scene was my way of expressing to people why I was writing a book.
Why do you write in the genre you do? I write “Medieval Fiction” (not to be confused with Fantasy) because I want to tell stories where people are faced with challenges they can’t solve with magic or technology. I believe this helps the reader connect more with the characters. In addition, who doesn’t love stories about castles, princesses, heroes and villains?
What are you working on next? If all goes well, The Waxing Moon (the follow up to The Hidden Sun) will be out in a couple of months. I’ve completed a book based on the works of musician Chris de Burgh called The Mirror of the Soul which I hope will see the light of day by the end of the year. In addition, I’ve written a rough draft of a book a little out of my normal genre based on my LDS mission experiences. It’s not your typical “best two years of my life” story—especially when you consider I was hit by a car in small village in Mexico and tore up my knee to the point where I couldn’t walk. It only gets wilder from there. Lastly, I’m roughly a third of the way done with the third book in the Bariwon series (The Hidden Sun, The Waxing Moon) called The Zealous Star.
Do you map out your stories beforehand or do you let the characters direct the story? I do a little of both. I have the characters clearly defined in my head. I have a destination (plot) they are supposed to reach. How they get there is the “magic” of writing. I place the characters in the setting and see what they do. More often than not, they do the unexpected. I’ve found that makes things more interesting.
In one word describe the best thing about being an author. Freedom
In one word describe the worst thing about being an author. Waiting
When did you know you wanted to be an author? In 4th grade. My friends and I wrote “The Chronicles of Space Adventure”. I fell in love with creating characters, settings and plot lines.
How do your beliefs shape how/what you write? Despite all the “trouble” that happens in my books, I always try to convey a positive message in the end. I don’t use bad language, sex scenes or graphic violence because I think you can write a compelling story without those.
What's the last book you finished? A Woman’s Power. It may sound strange that I’d read that since I am a man, but I was asked to read and review the book for my blog.
What's on your nightstand now? A copy of The Hidden Sun and a draft of The Waxing Moon. I’m going through the draft and comparing things to my first book for consistency.
Which author (dead or alive) would you most like to have lunch with? Gregory Keyes. He’s been the most influential author to my writing style. His ability to interweave storylines and his pacing techniques are things I’ve tried to emulate.
Book you read that you wish you hadn't. Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell. I was given the book as a gift. It’s supposed to be a classic, right? Well, it was depressing and disturbing. I can’t even look at the cover without shuttering.
Book that changed your life. On a spiritual level, The Book of Mormon From an author’s perspective, I’d have to say Battlefield Earth. Yeah, yeah, I know. The movie was realllllllly bad. In fact, I wonder if the person who wrote the script had even read the book. It’s a long book—600,000 words I believe. I’ve read it a dozen times over the years. It never ceases to amaze me how that long of a book can be so well paced.
If they were to make a movie of your favorite book, who would play the leads and why? I actually posted a blog post back in November about this very question. Check out the full post here. I’ll only mention two the characters here. For The Hidden Sun, Rayne would be played by Alex Pettyfer and Sunshine would be portrayed by Bridget Regan.
Not only do they look the part, but they have the personalities that match how I envisioned the characters.
Book you most want to read again for the first time. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis--the first "real" book I ever read--and it was magical.
What book would you give to a child? Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney (all the way to the moon and back!)