Books, Life, Self-publishing, Uncategorized

West Midlands Attending Author: Laura Morgan



1.Can we start with your name and where you’re from?

I’m Laura Morgan, originally from Essex but I now live in the West Midlands.

2. Most authors love reading, is this true for you and if so who was/is your inspiration?

Oh absolutely. I love reading anything dark and powerful. I found there was a real gap in that market a few years ago and that was what inspired me to write my first dark novel. They say if you can’t read the book you’re trying to find, then you have to write it, and that’s exactly what I did!

I do have a few big influences though. JR Ward is one of my all time favourites, as is Pepper Winters and Colleen Hoover.

3. What genre do you write in or do you cross over into many?

I’m one who crosses over. I have a dark paranormal series, a contemporary romance duology and a crime novel coming out soon. I also write dystopian science fiction under another pen name too. I just write what comes to me, regardless of genre.

4. If you could take any character from someone else’s book and make him/her your own creation who would it be and why?

I’d have to say Rhage from the Black Dagger Brotherhood. I’ve always had a thing for the bad guy with a heart and he was the one character who stayed with me long after reading about him. I’d love to take him and make him my own. To pop him in my worlds and see what happens!

5. When did you first start writing?

I’ve always made up stories since being a child, but I only started properly writing them down around four years ago. I hadn’t even realised that coming up with stories in my head wasn’t what everyone did. I figured it was the norm to conjure up characters and storylines, but got the shock of my life when I realised that wasn’t quite the case. That realisation gave the push I needed to finally put pen to paper.

6. Do you plan every inch of your books or do you just let the words flow?

Both really. I plan some, usually at night while I tell myself a story to fall asleep. Then the next day, I type up what I came up with and then some more.

7. Who is your favourite character and why? (your own character)

My favourite character has to be Cate, the Dark Queen in my Black Rose series. She’s dealt some pretty bad cards in the first book and is pushed in directions she doesn’t want to be, but then she finds her strength and turns it all around. She becomes a force to be reckoned with and I absolutely love her for every moment of it.

8. Was there an event in your life that triggered a particular book, or even a scene in a book? If so what was the book and what was the event?

Not really. There are a few real moments I have added along the way. Secret scenes only those who know me really well will spot, but most of all I will see a real-life scenario and ask ‘what if?’ That’s what makes it into the story rather than a real event as such.

9. Are you working on anything at the moment? If so can you share any tasty morsels?

I’m about to release a new story called Rough Love. This one is a modern day tale of both the good and bad in our world. A world where love can conquer all, but at the same time the monsters can also win a few of the battles along the way. It’s a contemporary crime with elements of romance, but fundamentally it’s a mystery and a dark one at that!

10. What one piece of advice would you give to someone starting out?

Don’t get too swallowed up in sweating the small stuff. Just sit down and write. Blurt out an initial draft and don’t give up. It’s better to have a rough draft you can work on a million times than nothing at all.

11.What do you do when you’re not writing?

I love to sing and am part of the Military Wives Choir, through which I’ve had some great opportunities to sing with famous artists and even go on the radio with the amazing Chris Evans. I’ve written poems and songs for them as well and hope to have even more input as time goes on. It’s something I hadn’t thought I’d love so much when I started out doing but now couldn’t live without!

12. What is the hardest part of the whole writing, editing, marketing process for you?

The marketing. I’m too nice and don’t like to bombard people or shove my cards under anyone’s nose I find. I’m awkward like that, but I guess it comes with the territory or being a loner who sits in front of a computer for hours on end talking to imaginary people lol!

13. We all have those friends or family members who make sweeping statements about our writing or the process, which is your particular bug bear?

Because I write romance, the amount of people who tell me random stories about their lovelife is unreal! But then they almost always follow up their story with a, ‘but don’t put that in your book!’ Really?! I think you fail to comprehend the complexity of the writers’ imagination if you think I’m going to put you in my next book 😉

14. What is your idea of happiness?

Being able to write and do what I love for the foreseeable future. I truly love what I do and would adore being able to write full time. My family are incredibly supportive and it’d also be amazing not to have to sacrifice my family time so much.

15. For this one I want you to showcase your creativity by painting me a picture, with words, of your ideal setting to write in.

I love to sit down in my nice and warm writing cave with my coffee brewed to perfection and perhaps a biscuit or two for dunking. Next, it’s on with the writing playlist and I choose whichever one ties in with my current piece of writing. With (ideally) no distractions, I then close my eyes, focus on the story, and begin to type. The words are then not simply black and white symbols on a page, but the narration of the movie playing out in my head. They flow perfectly and only stop when I say so…

16. What makes you laugh/cry?

I’m a sucker for love. I cry at the sweetest of stories and the heart-warming ones. Laughing wise, I’m like a twelve year old. A good fart joke or someone falling over will get me giggling every single time!

17. You’re stranded on a desert island and you can take three men/women who would they be and why? This can be practical or purely sexual in nature.

I’ve got a serious fan-girl situation going on with a singer/writer called Corey Taylor so he’d be first on my list for shooting the breeze, singing together and having some fun (he also comes across as a hilarious guy.) After that, I’d have to go with some eye candy—the one and only Tom Hardy. He’s a great actor and has been the inspiration behind many of my leading men so he’d have to come along to keep on inspiring me 😉 Then, I’m thinking some more eye candy and my other inspiration, Henry Cavill. He seems so nice and gentlemanly, but also like he’d fun and perhaps let me ogle him while he’s swimming and hunting 😉

18. What is your most annoying habit?

I don’t think I have one really? My hubby might tell you differently though, but I do know I can be quite annoying with grinding my teeth at night. I sometimes wake myself up with the noise it’s that bad, oops!

19. Please tell me about your books? For each one please send a pic (kindle cover would be perfect)

I have quite an extensive collection now! The Black Rose series is my dark paranormal collection. They have angels and demons galore, and of course all the dark deeds you might expect given the setting. I cover controversial and taboo subjects, as well as the age-old concept of balance between the worlds of light and dark. I drag the reader kicking and screaming through both the good and bad in this and other worlds.

My contemporary romances Forever Lost and Forever Loved are set in the real world, but one just as dark in its own way. You have hookers and gangsters, but also the story of a young woman who’s overcoming her own history via their world. Plus, you have a hot alpha lead you cannot help but fall in love with haha!

With my science fiction, I wrote from another perspective. One of a futuristic society where the human race is no longer in charge of the earth. Following an alien invasion, the series begins with the story of a young woman who has been brought up under their reign, but she has a bright future ahead of her, if only she can overcome the obstacles in her path first.

  1. Lightning round
    Tea or Coffee? Both! Earl grey tea for me though, if you please
    Cash or credit? Cash
    Cats or Dogs? Dogs – I have a furry friend who sits by my feet as I type
    Beach or Mountain? Beach, but always in the shade otherwise I melt haha
    Summer or Winter? Winter
    Sweet or Savoury? Savoury – I’m a crisp monster
    Early riser or late riser? Late riser for sure!
    Morning or Night? Night
    Christmas Tree – real or fake? Fake
    Sex – Lights on or off? On!

    Thank you very much for taking the time to answer these questions.
    Please leave Facebook, Twitter, Website links so we can check you out further.

Books, Life, Self-publishing, Uncategorized

Advent Calendar Teaser – The Storm Creature

There are twenty-one days until Christmas and for each of them I will be sharing a short teaser from my novelette ‘The Storm Creature’.


Tune in tomorrow for the next instalment or if you can’t wait then you can pick it up on Amazon.


Print copy: £3.50/$5.00

Kindle: 0.99

At eighteen, Lucy had everything going for her: a supportive family, a rapt audience, and her dream of becoming a published author about to be realised.
A single moment in time on a dark, rainy road changes things forever.
That was then, but this is now. Lucy has suffered through eight years of haunting visions and thoughts with every raging storm thanks to a tempestuous storm creature who torments her. What does the baleful creature want with Lucy? Will the troubled woman ever be able to let go of the past and forgive herself?
Or will she sacrifice everything she holds dear?

Reviews so far:

5.0 out of 5 stars Small story…Big impact, 20 Aug. 2016
This review is from: The Storm Creature (Paperback)
This is the second book I have read from Maria Gibbs, and what a great story it is.
I have to be honest that it was nothing like I expected it to be…but saying that I loved it nonetheless.
The Storm Creature tells the tale of Lucy – an author who’s life turns upside down in the blink of an eye.
What this book does is make you think.
Maria Gibbs has certainly packed a large punch with a short story, and I will certainly be recommending this book to everybody.
5.0 out of 5 stars Atmospheric and suspenseful, March 17, 2016
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This review is from: The Storm Creature (Kindle Edition)
This story had a great opening and hooked me in immediately. It was well written, easy to read, and the evocative descriptions created a creepy and intriguing atmosphere. I enjoyed reading the story as it unfolded, telling the tale of Lucy’s tragic past and how it has affected her years later. I especially loved the huge unexpected twist at the end. This story goes to show how one tiny mistake can drastically alter so many people’s lives. This was a fantastic paranormal short story and I found it to be an engrossing read. I really enjoyed it!
Lesson of the story – never try to use your mobile phone while driving ……
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fantastic and Compelling Short Story, July 5, 2016
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This review is from: The Storm Creature (Kindle Edition)
The Storm Creature is just a short story, but what a thought-provoking and fascinating short story it was. I haven;t read anything from this author before, but I guarantee I will be checking out more of her work in the near future.
The Storm Creature focuses on the mental suffering and delusions of a young woman who is riddled with guilt over being the survivor in a car accident, she felt she was the cause of.
The writing is superb and the tension is well created by the Author. I won’t give any of the plot away, but this was a stunning, little tale. I know it was a short story, but still, I couldn’t put it down for a second until I knew just how it played out. Well done to the author!
5.0 out of 5 stars You many well shiver as you experience this stormy short., 15 Mar. 2016
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This review is from: The Storm Creature (Kindle Edition)

At eighteen years of age Lucy is following her dreams. Her first book is published ‘As Dreams are Made on’ which has been warmly received. Her family are supportive, she is happy, with a wonderful life ahead of her.

Then one dark and stormy night, as Lucy makes her way home, along the quiet wet, winding country lanes, one tiny decision she makes, sees her dreams washed away in the lashing rain.

Eight years on and Lucy has turned into a recluse, her family once close, barely know how to deal with her. She now lives alone in a small cottage in the woods; barely ever does she venture out, and she hardly ever sees anyone.

This troubled young woman is tormented by the events of that stormy evening and is constantly taunted by the presence of the ‘Storm Creature.’ Lucy is petrified by thunder and lightning but this crazed creature revels in it. She dances in the lashing rain, as the author says ‘… laughing and spinning, her arms waving like an Indian goddess… possessed of multiple limbs.’

Maria Gibbs has a wonderful way with words, almost lyrical at times. Check out the opening lines:-

‘The rain danced against the pane of glass, wild and wicked until the tempo changed, curling and writhing into a beautiful sensual rhythm.’

The atmosphere is set so you become embroiled within the story, you may well shiver as you are drawn in, experiencing the stormy nights with the rolling thunder. I sat tense on the edge of my seat wandering what was to come next upon the turn of the page. I was not disappointed.

For a short story this psychological thriller sure packs a lot in, with unexpected twists as you near the end. I don’t wish to share anymore because it is a story you need to experience for yourself, and in my view the author certainly does make you experience every event.

5.0 out of 5 stars Quite thought Provoking, 1 July 2016
This review is from: The Storm Creature (Kindle Edition)

The Storm Creature wasn’t quite what I was expecting, but it’s a poignant story that made me think more about life. It also reminded me that it is never too late to change your mind.

Maria’s words show us that the way we see things is not always as they are in reality. Sometimes it’s good to take stock before it is too late. It’s not a happy story, but it teaches us to be happy and to dance in the rain.

5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Story, 10 April 2016
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This review is from: The Storm Creature (Kindle Edition)
OMG this short story was amazing. Once I started reading this book i couldn’t put it down. Thank you to the
author, looking forward to reading your next book.

Very Highly Recommended.


5.0 out of 5 starsFive Stars, 29 Mar. 2016
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This review is from: The Storm Creature (Kindle Edition)
Loved reading this book, the words flowed beautifully with a gripping storyline.
4.0 out of 5 starsDeath has more than one victim, April 15, 2016
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This review is from: The Storm Creature (Kindle Edition)
A nice little story that’s almost a character study.
A moment’s thoughtlessness, an accidental death and so many lives are changed forever. Lucy’s life is shattered in a single moment, but it’s the slow disintegration of her being that keeps the story moving.
It seems the person least affected by Adele’s death is Adele.
5.0 out of 5 starsreminiscent of James Herbert at his best. More please, 24 May 2016
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This review is from: The Storm Creature (Kindle Edition)
Another impressive vignette from Ms Gibbs. A creepy tale masterfully told, reminiscent of James Herbert at his best. More please.

5.0 out of 5 stars Meaningful, 19 July 2016
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This review is from: The Storm Creature (Paperback)
Fantastic short story, creative, easy to read, well written and meaningful. Thoroughly enjoyed reading this and the unexpected twist at the end look forward to more by Maria Gibbs.
5.0 out of 5 stars Could not put it down, May 30 2016
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This review is from: The Storm Creature (Kindle Edition)
Excellent! The story grabs you right at the beginning and keeps you guessing right up to the end.
4.0 out of 5 stars Open the letter Lucy…, 25 July 2016
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This review is from: The Storm Creature (Kindle Edition)
Lyrical prose which suits the character of Lucy who loves writing and for whom writing becomes her only escape from the terrible event that can never be atoned for. An emotional rollercoaster that propels you towards a shock ending. But I did expect to hear Adele’s story; perhaps her tale will turn up as another story by the author. This is a poignant story, because such tragedies do occur and we have all wondered how we would cope and empathise with Lucy, yet at the same time we are willing her to reach out to others, to open the letter….
4.0 out of 5 starsBeautiful!, April 1, 2016
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This review is from: The Storm Creature (Kindle Edition)

Having read “As Dreams Are Made On,” I was really looking forward to another beautifully written novelette by Maria Gibbs, and that is exactly what I got! This author has a wonderful talent at both storytelling and writing in her own unique way.

The only thing I found a bit uncomfortable was that the protagonist of the story is supposed to be the author of another novelette by Gibbs, which makes it awkward when she writes about her own work.

With that said, “The Storm Creature” has a creative plot, executed well through the use of poetically written prose, and really has something to say, which is important when a great deal of fiction nowadays is devoid of meaning. I really enjoyed it and am looking forward to reading “A Lifetime or a Season” next

Books, Life, Self-publishing, Uncategorized

Black Friday Book Sale



Black Friday is a new thing in the UK but sales are not. We have historically always enjoyed the Boxing Day and New Year’s sales and the usual end of season bargains that can be picked up. Where this is different is that this is a ‘before’ sale, a month before Christmas giving everyone a chance to spend their hard-earned money and allowing it to go further. It can also be a chance to buy items that you would normally not have been able to afford, luxury items not part of the monthly budget. Either way we all love a bargain even for those of us who can’t stand the physical side of being in a rugby scrum environment.

As an author I also have a product to sell although it is a sad reflection on where we have come as a society and as an industry that many people believe that I should give it away for free. Let’s put aside for the moment all the long hours I have put into the writing, any research that I’ve undertaken and the agonising over characters that have a mind of their own. I have overheads when I publish whether that be via Amazon Kindle or Createspace print on demand which is available via Amazon.

The three books that I currently have on the market are short stories, novelettes and I have kept the kindle price down to 0.99 whether that be UK or US and any other country that it is feasible to have it at that price and that nets me a tiny profit per sale. The paperback copies are more expensive because print on demand is just that – you want a copy, a copy is printed and sent to you. The big publishing houses can lower prices because they print in bulk and all the retailers want the authors they represent. I haven’t gone down the route of approaching local shops as I don’t think the small books would be of interest to them, however I will look into this once I release my novels but I know this will involve me jumping through more hoops than an acrobat on a training session. The market is small for me and sales are pitiful but I get the most intense satisfaction out of each one. I filed my tax return for my writing and was able to declare a loss – which comes back to my overheads.

I have beautiful covers but they cost money, I am fortunate enough to have the services of a fabulous designer who doesn’t charge much, but £45.00 for one cover is still money I have paid out. I also need an editor (I tried to publish without one to start with I’m ashamed to say, but she has now polished all three for me) she also charges me for her service. Of course she does it’s a business and she needs to earn a living.  Lets call it approximately £40.00 for one novelette. So that is £85.00 that I have spent to package and make it acceptable to you the buying public.

I receive approximately £0.29 for each kindle copy I sell and slightly more for a print copy. In order for me to recoup the cost of my expenditure I have to sell 293 kindle copies or slightly less print. Remember that costing is per book. Between all three of my books I have sold a grand total in nearly two years of 240 copies. So I haven’t even reached the target to break even for one book out of the sales of three.

So when you think that an author should allow you to read their work for free think about the above. I love writing and my dream would be to be able to make a living from it instead of having to work a 40+ hour week to pay the bills and then write when I’m exhausted. I didn’t cover the endless hours of editing and formatting and promotion that goes into this role.

I would love to sell my books at their full price but if the wave of popularity for discounted (but not free) items helps me to sell a few more copies then I will sell the print copies for less for the Black Friday sales.

Why should you buy my work? I’m an unknown quantity and we all like to buy things we know will give us value for money and enjoyment. If we never try new things, read books by unknown authors then how do we know what we’re missing out on. We think nothing of buying a new flavour coffee at well-known coffee chains for £3.50. A short burst of pleasure and its gone, the same price for a book and you get a longer period of enjoyment and you can re-read it. How much do we pay for manicures and pedicures, to get our hair done? We don’t think twice about it because it gives us a feel good factor-so does a good book. You can curl up with it anywhere and it will take you out of your life and place you into the one that an author has created. What we pay for books isn’t a fortune, it isn’t that luxury item it’s affordable. If you want to buy from an unknown author like me, go to Amazon and you can read a sample to get the flavour of the writing.

For Black Friday only my paperback copies will be priced at £3.00/$4.00/€3.30.

Suitable for Christmas or Birthday stocking fillers