Tuesday, 30 May 2017

60 Seconds with Margarita Morris

By Gillian Hamer

Margarita Morris was born in Harrogate and studied Modern Languages at Jesus College, Oxford. She visited Berlin when the Berlin Wall was still standing and this gave her the idea for her first novel, Oranges for Christmas, published in 2013. She worked in computing for eleven years, but now writes full time. In her spare time she enjoys swimming, yoga and singing in a local chamber choir. She lives near Oxford with her husband and two sons.
Tell us a little about you and your writing.
I write historical fiction and time-slip mystery/thrillers with parallel but connected historical and contemporary plot lines. I like books with a strong setting. So far I’ve gone for Berlin, Highgate Cemetery and Scarborough. My most popular book is Oranges for Christmas about a family trying to escape from Communist East Berlin after the Berlin Wall goes up.

What’s the best thing about being a writer?
Discovering lots of new things as part of my research. I also enjoy editing manuscripts.

And the worst?
Slogging through the first draft when you’re not sure if what you’re doing is any good. Feeling like you’re never going to get to the end of a manuscript.

Why did you choose indie publishing?
I like the creative control and the satisfaction of running my own business. I’ve enjoyed learning new skills, such as how to build a website.

Do you have a special writing place?
We have a small room in our house dedicated to books. I love it. I write there, looking out onto the garden, watching the squirrels.

Which writers do you most admire?
Charles Dickens, Sarah Waters, J.K. Rowling, Kate Atkinson and Stephen King.

Name one book you wish you’d written – and why?
If I say Harry Potter, people will assume it’s because of its huge commercial success, but I would have loved to have written it because of its wonderful cast of characters and the ingenuity of the plotting.

If you could choose a different genre to write in for just one book – what would it be and why?
I’m already thinking about exploring the crime genre because my books involve quite a lot of crime, but don’t fit easily into that genre.

What 3 books would you have to take to your desert island?
They would have to be big books to keep me going on a desert island, so I’ll say Bleak House by Charles Dickens, Fingersmith by Sarah Waters, and The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber.

What are your future writing plans?
I’m currently finishing up a trilogy set in Scarborough. After that I’d like to try writing a crime series set in Oxford. 

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