Title: Into the Arms of Morpheus
Author: Jessica Nicholls
Publication Date: July 24, 2014
Genre: Dark Fantasy
Sylvia has always harboured a solitary obsession with Morpheus, the Greek God of Dreams. She's brought it with her from her adolescence in a village of Northern England where she grew up, to the university in Manchester where she now studies.
Nyx is the Goddess of Night, and has spent the centuries stewing in an ancient, unrequited love. Not easily pleased, her attention is drawn to a voice chanting its devotion and desire for her, and she seeks the source of it.
She is not the only god playing in the realms of men, however. When the God of Death, and Morpheus himself become aware of Sylvia and this new devotee, the stage is set for the gods to secure their worship, or for a mortal to become one of them.
Q. What inspired you to write this book?
- I love the phrase, ‘falling into the arms of Morpheus’. It’s more exciting than saying ‘I’m going to bed.’ I was disappointed when I searched Morpheus and didn’t find more stories involving him. Another source of inspiration was the genre of paranormal romance, and the concept of obsessive love. I really thought he would lend himself nicely to that. So, I had a go and this is what happened. It’s not a romance (not really, in my opinion…despite the themes) but I like how it turned out.
Q. Can you give us an interesting fact about the book that isn’t in the blurb?
- Yes. Nyx fancied Poseidon.
Q. Tell us about the cover and how it came to be.
- The lovely Mia Darien helped me out with that one. To me, the ‘lone woman’ could be Sylvia standing on a cliff looking out at the sea at dusk in awe of Nyx, wondering about her, but also longing for Morpheus. Mia found the pic, designed the font and coloring. She’s been involved in the beta reading and editing for this story from the beginning so I was very willing to use her services as a cover designer and editor.
Q. Did you self-publish or traditionally publish and why?
- I self-published. I realize that there is a lot of substandard stuff out due to self-publishing. However, I also think there is a lot of cool stuff available now that wouldn’t otherwise get a chance if it wasn’t for indie publishing. I really wanted to do my own thing and focus on the writing, instead of feeling the pressure of pleasing an agent or publishing house. I do realize there is a reason things get traditionally published and why publishing houses/agents are the way they are but I wanted to attempt independence first.
Q. How long have you been writing?
- I have been writing on and off since I was in grade school. I just got the urge one day. When I was writing then I tended towards essays and poetry. I only got serious with stories as an adult.
Q. What tips can you give on how to get through writer’s block?
- Everyone is different. For me, if nothing is happening that means it’s time to get some sleep, do some serious reading, do something else for a while. But not too long, if I come away too long I’m too far removed. The important thing to remember is that there is a reason this idea came to you. Don’t give up. Sometimes though, you do just need a little break.
Q. Who is your favorite author?
- That’s very difficult. I really do love Willa Cather though.
Q. What is your favorite book?
- Of Willa Cather’s? O Pioneers. Really, it just depends what I’m in the mood for.
Q. Read anything good lately?
- Yes. The Wolf’s Hour by Robert McCammon.
Q. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
- I love my kindle. Love it. I also enjoy running (whilst listening to music) or working out in some way shape or form. I have two kids so they tend to take up a great deal of my ‘non-writing time’.
Q. Have you had anything else published?
- Yes. I’ve had three short stories published in three different charity collections. One is a story entitled ‘In Our Nature’ in a paranormal romance collection entitled Here Kitty Kitty - all proceeds go to the Exotic Feline Rescue Center in Indiana. Basically they care for wild cats who have been abused, kept illegally as pets, etc. The second story is entitled ‘A Healing Touch’ in the contemporary romance collection Reaching Out. All of the stories feature military or charity workers as all sales of this ebook collection go to the American Red Cross. The third story is entitled ‘With Our Own Blood’ in the fantasy/sci-fi collection Bellator (this is Latin for warrior). All the stories feature warriors of some description and all sales go to the Wounded Warrior Project. It was an honor to contribute a story to all three of these collections.
Q. What’s your next project?
A. I don’t want to go into too much detail as I’m rewriting a manuscript I completed for NaNoWriMo some time ago. There are elements of political satire and dystopia in it at the moment which sounds odd to me as those are genres I tend to avoid reading (I don’t like reading about the future being all doom and gloom, and I freaking hate politics). When it comes to my reading, I like intense atmosphere, kissing and fighting. I like to think I’m beginning to manage at least some of those with this one to make it an enjoyable story. BUT it’s still a mess and needs a lot of work before it will be novel length and ready for some beta readers. I’ll get there though over the next few months. It’s digging at me.
Jessica Nicholls is originally from Northern Illinois. She lived in Manchester, England for just over ten years where she studied and had her children. She now lives in the Middle East with her husband and two children.
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