Posts Tagged ‘strong heroines’

The Morrow Secrets: More 5 Star Reviews for Gothic Fantasy

June 4th, 2014

The Black Hound5.0 out of 5 stars

Haunting gothic tale, 1 Jun 2014

This review is from: The Morrow Secrets (Book One: The Morrow Secrets Trilogy) (Paperback)

This haunting gothic tale about the Morrow family and the secret hidden within the family history is a book worth while reading. The main character Tallitha Morrow is a fearless, head strong girl that will not take no for an answer. Together with her little brother Tyaas she decides to unravel the family secret. In order to do this they embark on a magical, dark and dangerous journey through an underworld kingdom with strange and terrifying creatures.

Although the book is mainly written for young adults, anyone who likes a well written, imaginative and adventurous gothic tale will enjoy this book.

Caedryl, Lapis & Muprid5.0 out of 5 stars

A brilliant sequel! 2 May 2014

Shadow of the Swarm (Book 2: The Morrow Secrets Trilogy) (Hardcover)

This is the second of Susan McNally’s Morrow Secrets books – the first one came out last year – and it’s just as good as the first one. It’s centred around the same main character and she’s joined not only by lots of the other characters from the first book but by new ones too. They’re all brought brilliantly to life and have more fantastic adventures. I don’t want to give anything anyway but there are some new locations that are unlike anything I’ve encountered before – spooky gothic indeed. Read it!

5.0 out of 5 stars

The Entrance to Startling CavesA Fun Read for Everybody, May 31, 2014

This review is from: The Morrow Secrets Trilogy – Book 1 (ebook edition) (Kindle Edition)

There are many things to admire about Susan McNally’s book, “The Morrow Secrets,” which I picked up last week. First, I love that the protagonist is a strong female character with many dimensions to her personality. That’s something sorely lacking in speculative literature and I’m glad to see it addressed in McNally’s writing, which addresses this without coming across as heavy-handed. Second, I like that while this book seems especially geared towards YA readers, it has a “certain something” that makes it a good, fun read for everybody. In that sense, it reminds me of the Harry Potter books, though McNally’s story and writing style feel unique. I enjoyed the illustrations, as well, and I’m anxious to read more of McNally’s work!

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The Morrow Secrets Trilogy: Book One – Out in Paperback

August 22nd, 2013

The Morrow Secrets

First Book in the Gothic TrilogyThe Morrow Secrets

4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

The Morrow Secrets is out in paperback on 3rd October 2013 on Amazon with 20 fabulous illustrations.

To pre-order your copy click below:

The Morrow Secrets

ISBN-13: 978-1782260356

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Posted in books for 9-14 year olds, Fantasy Trilogy, Gothic Fiction, Gothic Influences, Spooky, Supernatural, The Morrow Secrets, Uncategorized | Comments (0)

How to Create Great Characters in Your Book

August 7th, 2012

I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again. You have to write the book you want to read otherwise it won’t be fun and will feel like very hard work. So choose the subject you’re really interested in, that grabs you each morning and makes you want to get at that computer and begin typing. For me it was writing an exciting children’s fantasy adventure story, with strong female characters and a wealth of strange creatures. I had to create my own mythical world where some very odd things happen. A beguiling mystery with secrets to be unearthed. It’s only when you find your genre, the one you want to inhabit and have to inhabit that your characters come alive.

The Morrow Sisters, Edwina & Sybilla experimenting with their perfumes.
The Weird Morrow Sisters, Edwina & Sybilla

These characters begin to inhabit your mind… You can imagine them and their reactions in many different circumstances and how they will react. I know what Marlin, the sly old shrove will do in any situation and I know how Ruker the brave Skink will react.

I believe once you really know these characters, the dialogue flows easily between them. That’s not to say that you don’t need to re-read your scenes time after time, because you do. I can always improve a passage by re-reading it, often speaking aloud and listening to how the dialogue sounds. Is it natural? Is it too verbose? If it is then cut it.
Character continuity is very important. If Neeps (one of the Skinks) has blond hair when he is first introduced into the story… he can’t have brown hair later on ( unless he’s dyed it!) Keep cards with all your characters idiosyncracies, then you don’t have to keep going back to find them in your book. The colour of their eyes, the way they walk and their mannerisms are all recorded on your index cards. ( XYBS5SCSVMWU)

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Posted in Being An Author, Best Children's Fiction, How to Write a Children's Novel, Supernatural | Comments (0)

Dark Gothic Fiction; Great Review for The Morrow Secrets

July 19th, 2012

I just had a great review for The Morrow Secrets on UK Amazon. Whoever you are thank you!

The Strange Morrow Sisters, Edwina & Sybilla

A Dark Treat

You know you’re onto a good book when you start reading it just to get a general feel of the book – only to look up and find it’s been 4 hours since you did anything except read and you have work in the morning. It’s an even better sign when you decide you don’t care much for work anyway and just carry on reading.

That’s exactly what ‘The Morrow Secrets’ is. The first of what looks set to be an incredibly gripping series centred around the adventures of Tallitha and her brother Tyaas as they treck into strange uncharted lands to discover even stranger truths and secrets.

What really stands out about this book is that despite the general consensus being that it’s a children’s novel – the book is unabashedly dark. Not dark in a gratutiously scary way that would dissuade younger readers, but in the same vein that pioneers like Tim Burton and the ‘Series of Unfortunate Events’ have managed to captivate adults as well.

This book is a hugely important addition to that genre and I honestly can’t wait to see what comes next in what looks set to be an epic series.

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Gothic Fiction

July 15th, 2012

I love all things Gothic and this has been one of my main inspirations for the book.

My dreams are often of exploring large rambling houses, like Winderling Spires,

Esmerelda in the Seance Room

finding unknown staircases leading to hidden floors and secret rooms….

When I was small my favourite TV shows were The Addams Family, The Munsters and Bewitched. I adored the fanatstic, kooky characters with peculiar charactersistics, particularly Gomez, Morticia and their strange children. I read Dracula as a student and was terrified, barricading my room at night in case the Count discovered where I lived..
Winderling Spires is a fantastic, exaggerated take on all the gothic houses I have dreampt of living in. The characters are a reflection of the weird house with their bizarre idiosyncrasies and unusual names, coming from a dynasty steeped in secrecy, betrayal and sinister powers.

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Self Publishing Tips

June 18th, 2012

After many hours, glitches, taking the book down and starting again, my book is loaded on Amazon!

To other budding authors – Do not under estimate the work involved to get to this place – the rewrites,

Ruker, the Skink in Hanging Tree Islands

the editing, getting the format ready to upload onto the Amazon site.

But at last I can see The Morrow Secrets on my kindle…. all my words, my story, the characters and Luke’s great illustrations…. and that’s what I aimed for, now I just want people to enjoy reading it and to blog me!!

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Self Publishing Tips

June 13th, 2012

Self publishing is so much work… and don’t let anyone tell you it isn’t! Almost as much as writing the book!

Tallitha & Benedict in the Mausoleum

I have learned a lot! I thought I was ready to publish The Morrow Secrets about two weeks ago but there were so many things to sort out.. indentation, getting the illustrations aligned, sorting chapters, getting the text to look right on the kindle….But I’m nearly there and hope to press the button next week! Then what will happen? Who knows but it’s been the best fun writing this story and at least my book will be out there. Traditional publishing takes too long and the editors want you to make changes to suit their market… which I wasn’t prepared to do….at least this is the story I wanted to write and hopefully people will want to read!


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