Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I’m what I call an accidental writer. I didn’t start out to be one. I was an interior designer when I was approached about writing a magazine article, and guess what? I was hooked. I wrote many articles, short stories, but never tried a fiction book. The first book in the Silver Sisters Mysteries series, “A Corpse in the Soup,” written with my real life sister Phyllice Bradner, was named Best Mystery Audio Book by USA Book News. Since then I’ve written and published 14 books with two more ready to go. The 4th Silver Sisters Mystery will come out this year, and besides writing funny mysteries, I’ve now co-authored 3 true crime/abuse victim memoirs for some amazing women with one more just beginning.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My latest book, just submitted to our agent, is the true story Incest, Murder and a Miracle. Cheryl and Rob Cuccio are amazing people. Sixteen year old Cheryl’s name was all over the media back in the late 80s. A victim of her father’s sexual and physical abuse, she hired a school mate to murder him in order to protect her 8 year old sister from his advances. As a youthful offender, she served a short sentence and became an upstanding citizen. In 2012 her high school boyfriend and protector, her husband of 25 years, suffered a fatal heart attack and was dead for 43 minutes. The courage that Cheryl developed over the years, and her vow never to be a victim again, spurred her to beg doctors to continue trying to revive Rob. They gave her 10 more minutes after pronouncing him dead. He came back to life after 8 minutes, and today is back to work as an oncology nurse. You can’t make this stuff up.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Just that I often work late at night into the morning hours, and I never set limits or requirements for myself as to page or word counts per day or week. When things are flowing, I write until I have exhausted everything in my mind, sometimes hours. When I don’t have inspiration, I walk away from the project to get a fresh approach.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
I love the sarcastic humor of Robert Crais and his Elvis Cole novels and the wonderful location descriptions and plots of MIchael Connelley.
What are you working on now?
Monster’s Shadow, the true story of Jenn Carson, daughter of the serial killer, the San Francisco Witch Killer. Jenn speaks frankly about how the children of killers suffer although they have committed no crime, and how it made her an advocate of and counselor to these children.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Twitter, Facebook and www.morganstjames-author.com
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Don’t give up, believe in yourself, and make sure you have taken enough workshops or classes to hone your talents. Attend conferences and network. Most of all, don’t submit a manuscript before it is ready.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Learn how to write point of view.
What are you reading now?
The Last Testament of Bill Bonanno (former boss of the Bonanno Crime family)
What’s next for you as a writer?
Finishing the 4th Silver Sisters Mystery, Diamonds in the Dumpster, and then I never know what new project will grab me. However, when I begin a new project, I post to Facebook and my website.
What is your favorite book of all time?
That’s really a hard question. I have so many books that I have adored. I’m an avid reader and generally read at least 2 books a week, so I would say I love mysteries, thrillers and stories with solid humor.