After being included in last year's celebrations, I once again talk with Morgan Sylvia about what's new since last year, her work in several anthology collections over the year and some upcoming projects.
Me: Hello, and thank you for agreeing to return! How have you been since last we spoke?
Morgan Sylvia: I'm doing okay, given the state of things. I'm actually pretty well-suited to quarantine, as I'm an introvert and work from home anyway, but it's been difficult anyway. I miss people. I miss concerts. I miss traveling. Aside from that, I've actually been very swamped with work, which has cut into my writing time quite a bit. Now I'm just biding my time until I can get my jabs and get out into the world again.
Me: Among your planned updates was the follow-up to your book 'Dawn,' which was to be book two of a planned trilogy. What updates can you provide about that? Where are you so far in the stages of the series?
MS: Book 2 was already written, but in my edits, I found that I had a lot of things that needed work. It's taken much longer than I expected, partly due to just not being on my game this year. I'm getting pretty close: I have some changes to the beginning and end, and then I just start my nitpicking/polish stage.
Me: You also mentioned contributing stories to various anthologies in various press studios. What has happened to those releases?
MS: Some have come out, and some are on hold. My story Of Marrow And Abomination appeared on Psuedopod last April, which was really cool. They added soundscapes to it that really enhanced it. That one made the Stoker reading list but didn't go any further. Silver Heart was in Wicked Women, from the New England Horror Writers. The most recent was Julia Dream, a punk-noir type piece in Coming Through In Waves, a crime fiction anthology inspired by the works of Pink Floyd. That one is also for a great cause, as it's a charity antho, with proceeds benefiting the Leukemia and Lymphoma society. Another one is waiting on a cover, and two more are on pause. I also had a poem come out in Northern Frights, the journal of the Horror Writers Of Maine. I think that's it.
Me: As well, you’ve also contributed to the celebrated 'Wicked Women' anthology with a high-end collection of writers. What made you interested in joining in the collection?
MS: I've been in I think four of the NEHW anthologies, and they are all solid. There's a super talented community of writers in these parts, and the editors always do a great job with them. We all know each other and see each other, and it's just great to be part of this community. And I couldn't resist the women-only theme for that one.
Me: What was the inspiration for your story 'Silver Heart?' What was the mindset you used to create the story while writing?
MS: That one was (spoiler) a werewolf story, a trope I hadn't tackled yet. I want to do my own takes on all of the 'classic' horror stories. But I also wanted to approach it from a different angle. I did a lot of research on the original werewolf myths. There was also a song that sparked my creativity: Five Man Acoustical Jam's 'The Werewolf.' Those things all went into the blender that is my brain, and Silver Heart was the result.
Me: Given the unfortunate state of the world at the time it was released, what plans did you and the other writers come up with to help with the promotion?
MS: Well, given that all conventions and events were nixed, it had to be online only. We took over the Coffeehouse of the Damned one night and did a bunch of Zoom readings. I also hosted a blog hop with some of the authors on my page. Some of the others have done podcasts and interviews as well.
Me: You also have an appearance in the soon-to-be-released anthology 'Haunted House Ghost Stories.' What can you tell us about this collection and your story included within?
MS: That one actually came out a few years ago. I may have forgotten to update my bio. (Oops.) It was part of the ongoing series of anthologies from Flame Tree Press. They'll put in a mix of classic authors, such as Poe, for instance, as well as contemporary writers. I've been in two of them so far: Haunted House Ghost Stories and Endless Apocalypse Short Stories. They're just absolutely gorgeous books. I want the whole series!
Me: Beyond these projects, what else are you working on that you'd like to share with our readers?
MS: Aside from Dawn, I've got a horror novel in the works I'm itching to get back to. I actually have quite a few works in progress, including a fantasy series, a sci-fi/horror novel and a post-apocalyptic steampunky thing. I like to bounce around and let things simmer while I work on the rest. It's an odd way of working, but it works for me. I also think it's time for me to put out a collection, so that will probably happen next.
Me: Lastly, being that this is Women in Horror Month, what special message do you have for any women out there looking to join in the industry in any capacity as you are one yourself? Thank you again for your time!
MS: I just want to send my love and support to all the ladies out there in the genre. You rock!