Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Morgan Shamy - Knight of the Cosmic Table!

We at The Cosmic Laire have pulled up a chair to a very special guest today. She's a powerful blogger who, I kid you not, makes flowers grow and bloom wherever she walks.

Encouragement can be hard to come by at times, but I tell you, this woman is literally an encouragement factory. Anything she says is sure to lighten the mood and give empowerment the soul, no matter what state one's spirits may lie. And so, for being such a positive influence throughout the Blogosphere, it's only fitting that I should dub thee, Lady Morgan Shamy - Knight of the Cosmic Table!

MS: Holy crap! Encouragement factory? It only seems that way because I align myself with people who will be successful regardless, so it gives me a good image. (It’s all about knowing your camera angles) But I do have to say, becoming a Knight of the Cosmic thingy has been my dream since I heard about it. I’m absolutely honored, though worried I might get an ego after all of those lovely compliments! (Look what happened to MadMan Koopmans)

DPK: Oh, there's plenty of de-motivational techniques I can tell you about after our interview, to keep that ego in check. ;)

The first time I met you in person was at a tavern (or what people these days call "bar and grill"). Red Rock, right? Fun gathering! I know the group planned to go somewhere else, but, c'est la vie. What do you like best about getting together with other writers?

MS: Och! Aye, ye dinna need to remind me of that supper fiasco. Er… *clears throat* Sorry, I was getting into the whole Knight thing. Though apparently I’m a Scottish Knight. ;-)

It’s amazing to connect with other writers because I think all our brains co-exist on a different plane. We “get” it, without having to even talk. Though there’s nothing better than writer’s talk. Writing can be a very lonely occupation, because really, it’s up to us to get it done. But having support and associating with other writers really can make the difference in making it or not. (And it’s fun to connect the voice to the online friend. It’s so weird!)

DPK: Absolutely. I spent a good part of my life with most people not "getting" me because I have always been a storyteller, in one form or another. Starting a blog and tapping into that is beyond wonderful and very helpful.

I understand you landed an agent after sending only ten queries (please correct me if I'm wrong), with a story about dancing! Congratulations, for one. What is this wonderful book of yours called? What can you tell us about it?

MS: Oooo… my favorite thing to talk about! And yes, I only sent out ten queries for this last book. I was pretty set on one particular agent and when I got an offer from her I was beyond delighted.

The book is titled, Danse Macabre, and it’s pitched as a YA Black Swan with Paranormal elements. The whole story stemmed from the idea of wanting to create something very Phantom of the Opera-esque, but with a ballet twist. I was a ballerina my whole life, so it’s a world I’m very familiar with!

DPK: A YA Black Swan? Paranormal? ... Where do I pre-order!

Now that you are a Cosmic Knight, what does being a "knight" mean to you, in real life, the blogosphere, or elsewhere?

MS: Gosh, aside from feeling beyond special that I get to be numbered among the Cosmic elite?

I think being a Knight means you’re brave. It means that even though you’re afraid—that you have doubts whether you really can attain what you hope to achieve—you go ahead and try anyway. You sit down at the computer night after night even though the words on the screen are a jumbled mess and you don’t know if they’ll amount to anything—you do it anyway.

A Knight takes the leap and puts himself/herself out there, even if it means some hardship along the way. This whole writing process really is about facing your fears. Facing yourself head on and pushing yourself beyond the limit.

DPK: Absolutely! It's not something I had thought of when I started the writing journey, but it does indeed take bravery to keep at it. Just think of those moments of doubt as random encounters that need vanishing.

If you could go to any place, real or fictional, where would that be? Why?

MS: Hmm… I would definitely go back to Nova Scotia. I spent a couple weeks there when I was nineteen. That place seriously has magic in the air—a kind I haven’t felt in any of my other travels. (And I’ve traveled a ton!) There was this little town called Peggy’s Cove, and I can picture myself spending the rest of my days there with a pen in my hand while overlooking the ocean.

DPK: Excellent choice! Haven't been there myself, but I can picture it by the way you described it. That's effective writing in action, right there!

Jedi, Sith, or Scoundrel?

MS: Scoundrel, for sure! (And by "for sure" it's purely because of their outfits). I had to google what they were... did you know there's something called Wookieepedia?!?!

DPK: You know, I've tried to use Wookieepedia before, but that place is a little hairy. *courtesy laugh*

In all your travelings, what's the most exotic (different) meal you've ever eaten?

MS: Blast! I wish I had a really cool answer for this. I have done the snail and octopus thing. Snail? Yum. Octopus? Not so much. Though I can tell you that I did crave dirt and laundry detergent pretty bad during one of my pregnancies...

DPK: I'd definitely put that under exotic! And snails, yum? You're braver than me, I think.

Last question: of all the writerly advice you've heard, what's had the greatest impact on improving your writing, and do you remember where you picked up this advice?

MS: Yes, there was a time right after I shelved my first novel that I was really down. And it was a friend of mine, Ryan Greenspan, who told me something that’s never left me. He said, “Rejection should only be an invitation to get better and try again. All rejection should do is validate that our passion is writing, that writing is our calling. If it doesn’t, then it isn’t.”

I’m so grateful for his words. They gave me the clarity I needed to keep pushing. Because it really is about the journey. There are no short cuts. It’s one word at a time, over and over and over again. And though the process can be agonizing at times, it’s soooo worth it when we finish that book, or nail that sentence, or even find the perfect word. Writing is magic. I’ve found that when I’m really struggling, when I’m having to *really* dig deep to pull the words out of me, is when my best work emerges.

DPK: Exactly how I think of rejection! Kudos for Ryan and his wise words. As we can all see, they've more than helped you along your journey.

Thank you again for stopping by for an interview, Morgan. As proof of your valor, I present this fine badge that you may paste on your blog or make a flag out of it and hang it over your house ... whatever you want to do with it. And welcome to the Cosmic Table!

MS: I'm absolutely honored, DPK! *raises glass to the other Knights* It's a privilege to be among such great noblemen!

 *     *     *

What did I tell you? Isn't she something? The hard part is waiting for her book to come out. When it does, it's going to be all the rage. Now, we have three at our table, but we need more, so I'll be on the lookout for another candidate and present them at the end of April.

Thank you for celebrating Morgan's knighthood with me! Although April will be a busy month with the AtoZ Challenge, I'll still have posts up, starting April 1st (that's no joke). Until then, keep your armor polished and those laser swords charged. Awesomeness is coming!

I'm David, and who's ready to jump through that gate?


  1. Morgan is the sweetest. I agree that writers get it. And I LOVE your new book premise. I can hear Camille Saint-Saens in the background as I read the interview. :) And it ain't the battleroom of MY Enders Game, but it does look dang cool.

  2. Congratulations to Morgan! She is indeed a lovely lovely lady. And she deserves the title of...would it be still Knight or Lady of the Cosmic Table?

  3. How nice to read about your success here, Morgan. That's quite an accomplishment to land an agent so quickly and the very one you wanted. Sounds like there was some "meant to be" action going on. Congratulations.

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    1. She's always seemed a little spacey to me.. (ugh.. not even a courtesy laugh could save that one.)

      Congrat's Morgan, and DPK for finally recognizing her genius. :)

      (I just wanted to edit a misspelling in my post, but now it looks like I said something rude and then felt remorseful.. oh the shame.)

  5. Morgan is the poster child for enthusiasm and encouragement!
    Only ten queries? Very impressive, Lady Knight.

  6. Great interview, gang! Morgan, your book sounds fantastic. :D

  7. Cool interview. Morgan's the best!

  8. Morgan is so fantastic! I love her enthusiasm, and she's really sweet. And her book sounds AMAZING!!! I cannot wait. and of course she's a Knight...

  9. Morgan exemplifies class, dignity, and poise. It's not surprising with the ballerina background she has. It's so weird that as authors, we do spend so much time alone. I guess we don't realize it while the story has us by the jugular. Love the poster for Ender's Game. I looked at the screenshots posted on io9 the other day. Awesome stuff. I just hope it doesn't end up being cheezy (which I think could be easy to do with some of the scenes like the whole killing the giant thing--giants just never look good).

  10. Funny interview, luv it:) Also, thanks for the reminder about Ender's Game:)

  11. Morgan totally rocks. I had the privilege to be in a critique bootcamp with her, and I can't wait to read her book when it comes out.

    Scoundrel, huh?

    I can't wait for Ender's Game.

  12. Very nice interview! That's so amazing that Morgan landed an agent after only 10 queries.

  13. Hi DPK and Morgan and you had the privilege of meeting - that's great .. and then of course you can hear the voice over the postings - fun.

    Knights of the Cosmic Table - David you're creating a special table top group here ... I'm looking forward to reading Morgan's book - sounds interesting having that ballet background ... blackout curtain .. cheers Hilary

  14. Great interview! I always love to learn about new people!

  15. Congrats Morgan for becoming a knight of the Cosmic Table! And yes, you are very encouraging and enthusiastic.

  16. MORGAN! er, I mean Lady Morgan Shamy. (; Danse Macabre sounds amazing! I just know your book is going to make it big. Truly can't wait to read it. :D

  17. Great interview! Good luck with the new book!!! :D

  18. I love Morgan! She's so, so sweet and brightens my day! Love her support and encouragement! Go Morg Go! :D

  19. Great interview well done both of you!

  20. Fantastic interview! I agree that there's nothing like talking to other writers.

  21. What a great interview! Funny and inspiring!

  22. Man a meeting of writers would be awesome. I had something like that when I was younger and just getting my feet wet, but it would be so refreshing to just hang out and chat with people who get it. Great interview.

  23. Congrats to Morgan on becoming a knight and getting an agent with 10 queries. That's double awesome. Hope she has good news about a book deal soon too.

  24. To the Fair Maiden: Dave (I've seen *that* pic:) you have made a wonderful choice and Lady Shamy will bring honor and presents to the table ('cos the boys always forget each other's birthdays:)

    To Lady Shamy: Congrats, and I don't know what you mean about MadMan (cackles wildly while dancing with wild Hula skirt) but I am delighted that you have earned this honor :) Can we change your name to Marion now... plaese :)~

  25. super fun interview. congrats to Morgan on her knighthood :-)

  26. I enjoyed Phantom of the Opera; The Dance Macabre sounds just as good.

  27. Gosh, I am going to get an ego as big as Madman Koopmans! ;-)

    Thanks again, DPK, and all these lovely comments have made my day and beyond...


  28. Oh, Morgan is pretty much the coolest! Loves and hugs to ya, sister!

  29. Morgan, that was so fun!!! You craved dirt and laundry soap? Too funny! And I love that thought on rejection--no wonder you're so amazing! :D

  30. Great interview! Congrats to Morgan and the cool upcoming novel. I love that writing advice, too. I've been dealing with some rejection lately, so that spin really helps. Another awesome addition to the Cosmic Table. And yay that Ender's Game is being made into a movie. I hadn't heard that until now!

  31. Book sounds intriguing Morgan! And only ten queries!? You are the very best over-achiever. Glad to see you around...thanks for dragging her out of the revision cave David, with all the cold, we needed a little sunshine!

  32. Morgan is soooo sweet and super encouraging. Great interview, you guys. :D

  33. Great title. The advice: Rejection should only be an invitation to get better and try again,is also salutary, as I let rejection spear me far too much!

    Good luck with your awesome sounding novel.

  34. Lovely to see morgan here. great interview, i love that morgan gets into the whole scottish knight act :)i love that poster of enders game!


    Seriously, though, I've been reading things about space travel (NASA-style) and how they make things as earth-like as possible even when it's not necessary in space (like a table) because it makes the astronauts feel better. And every time I read something like that, I think, "The enemy's gate is DOWN."

  36. This was all kinds of awesome, guys. :D You rock!

  37. I like the sound of Danse Macabre.

    I love Morgan's spirit. Great interview.

  38. Morgan Shamy seems to b a lovely person..
    will see her soon :)

  39. Congrats Morg! Smart man David.... She truly is a positive guiding light in our community! I had the pleasure of citing Danse and NONE of you will be disappointed ... Her style and flair are truly magical!

    I know she will keep all you boys in line... Lol!