Wednesday 16 January 2013
Author Interview: Abeni Morris and Folami Morris
About the Authors:
Folami and Abeni Morris are a sister-sister writing team. Together they wrote (and rewrote) The Exemeus series, somehow managing to accomplish it without murdering one another. Despite their tendency to finish each others thoughts and stick up for each other constantly, no, they’re not twins and thus deserve their own individual bio.
Folami grew up in the tiny city of San Mateo Ca, where nothing ever happens and no one ever leaves. She went to Xavier University for undergraduate, getting her B.A in physics and her B.S in Biology. After graduation she returned to California, to live in an even smaller city, where even less happens, Antioch Ca. During this time she escaped the monotony by hanging out with her imaginary friends Hyalee and Dephon, and by writing the Exemeus.
She finally escaped to Queens NY and now realizes that quiet and tiny aren’t so bad.
As luck (and logic) would have it, Abeni grew up in the same tiny little town as her sister, then she too escaped to the tinier town of Antioch. She has yet to leave. She received her bachelor’s degree in early childhood development from Cal State East Bay. She is the mom of two amazing kids, who swear that they deserve a percentage of the book proceeds and a ton of the credit. At least she raised dreamers.
Do you plan everything or just let the story flow?
We plan everything. We make sure that later there are connections to previous story lines or conversations. It helps us to connect everything together and to make sure we’re setting up themes for later.
Do your characters ever want to take over the story?
Yes, definitely. This story wasn’t supposed to concentrate on Hyalee nearly as much as it did. She just had so much to say. Luckily, it made the story better.
What is your favorite food?
Anything with a shell, we are both seafood fanatics.
Are you a morning person or a night owl?
Abeni: A night owl
Folami: I’m both, I rarely sleep. So I love the night when everyone is asleep and the morning before everyone wakes up.
Where do you dream of travelling to and why?
Abeni: Brazil, because I’ve heard that their carnival is amazing.
Folami: I would like to go to Tahiti, I heard that it was beautiful. Also it has amazing beaches.
Do distant places feature in your books?
Yes, Egypt and the Bermuda Triangle. We tried to make the story travel beyond American borders.
Do you listen to music while writing?
Sometimes, we love to listen to upbeat music when we write adventure scenes. We listen to slower songs when we write sadder scenes. Music sets the mood for us to write.
Could you tell us a bit about your latest release?
What have you learned about writing and publishing since you first started?
It’s hard,especially, the advertising and promotion. Publishing is just as hard as showbiz.
Is there anything you would do differently?
Abeni: I would have made sure that the first two chapters were more intriguing.
Folami: I would have given a little more thought to the setup of book two, because there are a few problems I’m currently encountering with writing it.
Who, or what, if anything has influenced your writing?
Abeni: Mrs. Poole my fifth grade teacher.
Folami: Mrs. Poole did not have the same effect on me. My writing didn’t change until Mrs. Gardner in the ninth grade. She really taught me about critiquing my own work and making sure that my writing is coherent.
Anything you would say to those just starting out in the craft?
Abeni: Believe in your dream and just keep trying and writing. Eventually, something will work out if you believe in it enough.
What are three words that describe you?
Abeni: fun, outgoing and creative
Folami: Positive, imaginative, and unique
What's your favourite book or who is your favourite writer?
Folami: Demons at Deadnight
Blurb of your latest release or coming soon book
YA Fantasy Romance
Hyalee Smith is dead, she just doesn’t know it yet.
Her short life was devoted to love and to hate. Love of the man who stole her heart, hate for the man who stole the world. Murdered by the government she swore to destroy, fate has given her another chance to make it right. But to save the planet, she needs the help of the most powerful mystic the world has ever seen—unfortunately he hasn’t been born yet.
In a world where fear is the only currency, Dephon has committed the ultimate crime: inspiring hope.
His only goal is to make it safely through ninth grade, but on a post-apocalyptic Earth run by the Treptonian government, it isn’t that simple. Heir to a legendary power, Dephon Johnson is the only threat to the government’s rule. And on Trepton, all threats must be eliminated. When hundreds of assassins are dispatched to neutralize him, Dephon is forced to fight back. His only chance of survival is to enlist the aid of the greatest warrior the world has ever known. The only problem is, she's been dead for 13 years.
Singleton stopped the vehicle and hopped out. “Come on,” he said, leading the way through the brush. What else could I do? I jumped out of the car and followed.
Smoke was billowing through the air, and it took me a few moments to realize I seemed strangely immune to any effects of the fire. Singleton had stopped inches from the flames.
“You’re way to close!” I shouted--and I had to shout to be heard, because the fire was roaring. “You’re going to burn to death!”
He turned and looked at me, and without looking away from me for a second he took a deep breath and stepped backward into the flames.
For a moment I couldn’t move, couldn’t say anything. It came to me in a flash that he had decided he didn’t want to live if we couldn’t be together. Was he insane?
“No!” I screamed as I rushed forward. I had no idea what I was going to do, but I had to do something. I loved him. I could survive without touching him, seeing him, hearing him, but I couldn’t live without knowing he was alive. I ran frantically toward the flames, trying to locate him in their glowing embers.
Instinctively, I knew what I had to do. I thought cooling thoughts, water-filled thoughts as I yelled his name, my voice cracking to be heard over the deafening noise of the inferno. A strong hand reached out, grabbed my wrist, and pulled me into the fire.
Thank you Folami and Abeni, good luck with your books!
Books and Tales will be closing in January 2018.