Author Interview: Jan Morrill

Please welcome this week’s guest author, Jan Morrill!


Creative Characterization: A Workbook – This workbook will give you six different methods to develop characters that will keep your readers turning the pages to see the story through those characters’ eyes.

What are you working on now?:
I am in the final stages of working with Lee Press to publish my first children’s book, Dancing in the Red Kimono (July 2015), a story about the multi-cultural friendship of two of my characters from my historical fiction, The Red Kimono–Sachi and Jubie. I am also working on the sequel to The Red Kimono, which continues the story of Sachi, Nobu and Terrence, from 1957 through 1963.
Favorite quote :
“I want to sing like the birds sing, not worrying about who hears or what they think.” — Rumi
Who is the author/artist that inspires you the most, and why?
My writing has been most inspired by Jodi Picoult. About the time I began writing with a serious goal of being published, I’d been reading her books and was captured by the way she tells her stories in deep point of view–through a character’s eyes. She often tells the same story through more than one character. Sometimes I think with so much techology, we’ve lost some of our ability to empathize, therefore, one of my hopes as a writer is that my readers will see events from a different perspective. There’s no better way to do this than to write in deep point of view, and through multiple perspectives.

If stranded on an island, what one book would you keep with you?
Wilderness Survival for Dummies
What are you reading right now?
Johnnie Come Lately by Kathleen Rodgers and Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri

Reveal one thing about yourself that few people know:
I’m an artist as well as a writer, and sometimes I have a hard time balancing my love for both. The thing that very few people know is, I’m seriously considering putting my sequel aside to focus on art. It’s a tough decision, but that seems to be where my passion is leading me. (See my advice below. Will I follow my own advice?) The only thing that keeps me working on my sequel is that I know I’ll regret it if I never finish it.
Describe your ideal work space…and then tell us about your actual one:
My ideal work space would be an organized, sunlit desk beside a window I could open to the sound and scent of the ocean. My actual work space is not too different from my ideal, except that my desk is not very organized and my window doesn’t open to the ocean.
What advice do you have for other writers/artists?

Follow your passion and live for the moment. Learn from the past, but don’t regret it. Plan for the future, but don’t fear it.
Where can readers find you online?


Artist Website:


Twitter: @janmorrill


GRAVEL: A Literary Magazine Debuts

One of my summer projects has been working on the University of Arkansas’ new online magazine, GRAVEL.  June is the inaugural issue, and I’m so pleased to announce its arrival!

As the official magazine for the MFA Graduate Program, GRAVEL attracts talent from around the globe – both in fiction and nonfiction.  Short stories, poetry, personal essays, memoir, flash fiction… it’s all welcome!  In addition, GRAVEL seeks to publish original artworks and multimedia pieces that showcase artists’ creativity.  If you write, paint, draw, take photos, or have some other form you’d like to submit for publication, please click HERE.

As part of the staff, it was my privilege to meet some wonderful authors through their writing.  Although I don’t typically do this, I’d recommend you read the Contributors page for the brief biographies first.  There are some fascinating individuals, and getting a glimpse into their lives before reading their pieces adds a whole new dimension to the experience.

Some of my personal favorites are:

So grab a cup of whatever gets you going, and peruse this grist for the creative mill.  GRAVEL is here, and it’s paving the way.