Posts Tagged ‘Supernatural’

Writing Book 3 in The Morrow Secrets Trilogy, “The Dark Spell”

July 1st, 2014

8741_495390240481323_579824652_nWhen I began writing The Morrow Secrets I didn’t have a plan and hadn’t decided that it would be a trilogy but as the story evolved I knew that Tallitha and Tyaas were destined for many more adventures after they reached the dark castle at Hellstone Tors.

My writing style has evolved from those first rough drafts. I am a writer who naturally lets things develop from inside the plot and the characters. Initially I had an idea for a girl trapped in a sinister family, desperate to escape from her strange relations, to unearth the family secrets and to leave the eerie house of Winderling Spires behind … but to go where? Curiosity got the cat… so to speak ( or rather Tallitha) and so the story developed and the characters took over. The whole experience has been a roller coaster journey that I have loved.

I created over 50 characters in Book 1 and this number grew significantly in Book 2, The Shadow of the Swarm. But what would Book 3 be like? What would the characters do, where would they take me? Believe me, I let them have their head and the third book evolved in the same way.

ghostsThe Dark Spell has been more difficult to write than the first two with many changes, tweaks and rewrites. There have been periods of procrastination when the task ahead felt daunting. Magically however whenever I sat at my computer and re-read the last chapter, off I would go, back into Tallitha’s world and the realm of magic and make-believe.

I ask myself, how does this process happen? Where does my inspiration come from? Quite honestly I have no idea other than I love my characters, am inspired by old film stills and my Gothic, fantasy setting.

Perhaps the final book in a trilogy is always difficult to write, or perhaps it’s because I don’t want to end my time with Tallitha and Tyaas, Sybilla, Ruker, Snowdroppe and Marlin to name but a few.

I would love to know what other writers think. I know that G.R.R. Martin has spoken of his mammoth task in bringing The Game of Thrones to a conclusion and he has many more characters than I do.

the-woman-in-black-review-e1353327177531During this process I have written into the wee small hours often obsessing about my characters as I fall asleep. They lead me here and there, down a number of dead ends; plot lines that don’t work; having to rewrite scenes and kill off a ‘number of my favourite darlings’. That was painful and oddly it took a long time to get there but I did it in the end and they have been exercised.

The Dark Spell is almost, almost finished.

My second edit has been gruelling.

The story is dark and creepy; a Gothic fantasy with a smattering of the supernatural, paranormal and the occult; witches and more, ghouls and ghosts and a few tears.

time-of-their-lives-seanceFor those of you who loved the first 2 books in The Morrow Secrets, hold on for book 3.

I promise you won’t be disappointed!

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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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Witches & Ghosts: Writing Book 3 in the Morrow Secrets Trilogy

May 31st, 2014

Dracula's castle  I’ve been busy writing book 3 in the Morrow Secrets trilogy and it seems like it has taken a long time- much longer than books 1 and 2. Is it because I don’t want the adventure to stop? Anyway the plot lines are all coming together and I only have a few more puzzles to resolve, about witches and their spells mostly… these mythical beings are taking over my writing!

Some of you will know from reading my other posts and looking at the website that I’m an organic writer, like GRR Martin – I don’t plot everything from the beginning, rather I have a germ of an idea and I let it grow, develop my characters and I let them rip through the story, leading me on their journey. It’s so much more fun and creative to write like this, anyway I couldn’t do it any other way.


Yes there are ghosts and ghouls, witches and warlocks and a host of strange beings in book 3. Of course I have a title and Luke, my illustrator has designed an exciting new cover, using yet another one of my curious buildings but this time it is a tall, eerie tower, perched on a remote island in the Viridian Sea..

Book Three is titled – ‘The Dark Spell’ – so you can imagine, just like the first two books it is awash with magic and mayhem!


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More 5* Reviews for The Morrow Secrets

December 5th, 2013

More 5* Reviews for The Morrow Secrets

NOW 15% off The Morrow Secrets Paperback on Amazon!The Black Hound

A great Christmas treat for 9 -15 year olds or those who love fantasy Gothic mysteries with spookiness, creepy houses and strange goings on…. Amazon



5* Can’t Wait For The Next Sequel!!!!!!!!!!, 15 Nov 2013

I could not stop reading it when I started, it should be made into a film, it would be great!

5* Thoroughly enjoyable Drew me in from the beginning. Was unable to put it down as I wanted to see what was going to happen next.

5* Spectacular Fantasy

I could not put this book down! It is Gorgmenghast meets Harry Potter, with a female heroine!

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