Interview by Brock Eastman
Featuring Heir of Hope
The great city of Thyra has fallen and shadows spread across the land. Rowen Mar, the last Truthsayer, is taken before the Shadonae. But the Shadonae are not who she thought they were, and now they want to claim her as their own.
Caleb Tala, former assassin and prince, is now a Guardian of mankind. Exiled from his country, Caleb wanders the desert in search of his mother's past and clues to who he is. These are the last days of the Eldaran race.
Rowen and Caleb must find their way along the dark path set before them by their ancestors: to heal what was wounded and love where hatred grows. But the road is narrow and the darkness beckons. If either of them fails, all will be lost...
And the human race will be no more. Book three of the Follower of the Word series.
Brock: Morgan Busse is the author of a great series from Enclave Publishing and I’ve asked her to give us some insight into the third book in the Follower of the Word series. What inspired you to write this series?
Morgan: For many years my husband encouraged me to write, but I never saw myself as a writer. Then one day I walked into a Christian bookstore and asked to see their fantasy section (little did I know…). The lady gave me a strange look and pointed to a lone Frank Peretti book on the bottom shelf.
I couldn’t believe there wasn’t any Christian fantasy! My husband pushed me again to write, but I still didn’t budge until a couple months later on a car trip to Seattle I had this idea about a young woman who—when she touched a person—could see inside their soul.
When I arrived back home, I got on my computer and started writing Daughter of Light, the first book in the Follower of the Word series, and I’ve been writing ever since.
Brock: Who are the main characters in the series?
Morgan: The main character is Rowen Mar. After the death of her father, Rowen discovers she is not human, but the last of a race of beings called the Eldarans. More specifically, she is a Truthsayer, with the ability to not only see inside a person’s soul, but reflect back the person’s true nature. Of course, a power like this terrifies the people she is around, causing her to be banished from her village and live her life hiding the mark on her hand beneath a leather glove.
Lore Palancar is the Captain of the Guard and the man Rowen serves under as a guard. It is her relationship with him that gives her the courage to finally follow the Word and be true to who He made her.
Caleb Tala is a prince and a secret assassin. But his past deeds start to catch up to him in the form of nightmares and he is plagued by the realization that someday he will pay for all the lives he has taken.
Nierne is a scribe dedicated to the Monastery and to the Word. When her city is taken over by powerful, evil beings, she embarks on a journey to find the legendary Eldaran race who have the power to save her people.
Brock: Sounds like a great variety. What is something about each character that no one but you knows (Until now.)
Morgan: Rowen loves to garden and enjoys watching things grow (something I hint at in Daughter of Light).
Lore is the last and only son of the Palancar family.
Caleb went on his first assassination mission when he was twenty years old.
Nierne has no last name. When she joined the Monastery order, she gave up any family affiliations she had.
Brock: In a sentence what is this book about?
Morgan: That in darkness there is always light.
Brock: How do you believe this story relates to the lives of readers?
Morgan: Following God is hard. There are times He asks very hard choices of us, and sometimes we don’t understand why He lets bad things happen to us. I wrote the Follower of the Word series as an honest look at what it takes to follow God.
Brock: What do you hope readers take away?
Morgan: Courage to live a life for God and hope during dark times.
Brock: What is your favorite genre to write for?
Morgan: Fantasy. I have a feeling that no matter what genre I wrote in, some kind of fantastical element would make it into my story. Right now I’m working on a Victorian steampunk series and sure enough, a bit of fantasy is woven within the story.
Brock: How many books are planned for this series?
Morgan: Follower of the Word is a three book fantasy series. Heir of Hope, the last and final book will release at the end of March.
Brock: Any certain research required for the book, or is it all from your imagination?
Morgan: Even an imaginary world needs research. A lot of the countries and cultures in my series are based on real world places. This helps make the world feel more real and authentic in my opinion. However, the benefit to writing an imaginary world is I can tweak cultural/political/religious aspects to fit my world, unlike historical fiction where the writer needs to get all of his or her facts right.
Brock: Is it difficult to be accurate to a Biblical perspective or Biblical facts when writing fantasy fiction?
Morgan: I don’t find it hard to be accurate. I am a visual person, and so when I teach, I use visual ideas to help people grasp Biblical concepts. Naturally, that comes into my writing as well. I don’t preach in my stories, I show who God is, what sin is and what it does to us, and what sacrificial love is by telling a story. The great thing about fantasy is you can actually show it. For example, the assassin Caleb is shown the consequences of his sin by dreaming about his hands covered in blood. The only way he can finds forgiveness is by allowing the Word (God) to touch his hands and take the blood away.
Brock: How do you hope parents will use this book with their kids?
Morgan: The Follower of the Word series is for teens and up. For parents who are looking for a fantasy series that will share the gospel and show their teens who God is, this is the series for them. I do not shy away from the darkness, but it is not glorified either. I originally wrote this series to share my faith with my own children and open their eyes up to who God is.
Brock: Are you a full-time or part-time author/writer?
Morgan: I write part-time. As a mother and pastor’s wife, I have other responsibilities and so I’ve learned to take an hour or two a day to write, then I move on to being a mom and wife. I will always have my writing, but I won’t always have my kids, so I want to make the most of my time with them now.
Brock: How long does it usually take you to write a single book?
Morgan: I am a slow writer. Along with that, I am also a mother of four kids, so it usually takes me a year to take a story from outline to finished novel.
Brock: Morgan, do you outline the book, or do you write as you go?
Morgan: I outline the main parts of the story (the beginning, the main plot events, and the ending). But as I write, I discover more stuff and the story starts to come together. However, I cannot write until I know how the story is going to end. That is the target I am aiming for with the story.
Brock: When did you realize you wanted to become a writer?
Morgan: I never dreamed about being a writer. So it wasn’t until after the birth of my daughter and at the encouragement of my husband that I finally sat down and started writing Daughter of Light. Wow, I had no idea how hard it was to write! Next to parenting, it is the hardest thing ever in my opinion! But it is also very satisfying to hold the finished story in your hands and see your heart and soul poured out on paper, and to receive emails from people who were touched by your words.
Brock: Favorite place to vacation?
Morgan: That’s a hard question. It’s a tie between the coast (Oregon or Washington) and camping in the mountains. I love the outdoors and spend anytime I can in God’s creation.
Brock: Favorite season?
Morgan: Fall. I love the colors of the trees, the smells (like apple pie and spices), warm sweaters, lighting up the fireplace for the first time, and the way the air is crisp cold in the morning, but warm by afternoon.
Brock: Do you have a particular drink or food you consume when you write?
Morgan: I drink a lot of tea while I write. Earl Grey is probably my favorite right now!
Brock: Favorite color?
Morgan: Green. Green is the color of life and growing things.
Author Website: MorganLBusse.com
Author Facebook: facebook.com/morganlbusseauthor
Author Twitter: @MorganLBusse
Author Pinterest: pinterest.com/morganlbusse