Morgan James on Characters and his new release Love Conventions (guest blog)


Love Conventions by Morgan James

Dreamspinner Press
Published May 7th 2019
Cover Artist: Alexandria Corza

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Morgan James today on tour for the new release Love Conventions.  Welcome, Morgan!


As I pondered what to write for this blog post, I did some searching. Not soul searching, but topic searching. As I considered the many suggestions, one topic leapt out at me for this book like it might not have for another—How much of yourself goes into a character?

Like many aspects of my writing process and questions about it, the shortest and simplest answer for this will always be “It depends.” For example, the slutty, party-happy competitive hockey player Dante Baltiera from my work Winging It doesn’t have much of me at all. Though his love interest, Gabe, certainly inherited my need for privacy and a low profile.

But when it comes to Love Conventions, the short answer has to be “Quite a lot actually.”

I find it somewhat challenging to craft a character that doesn’t want to lean towards introspection and catastrophizing and away from partying and risk-taking. Well, some of the time.

Sometimes the creative process is slow and aggravating and a struggle every step of the way. And sometimes it’s easy and happens almost without conscious thought.

Ash was like that. Ash was the sort of character who came to me fully formed—well, except for the red hair, or the beard, or the being Scottish, those details were all surprises mid-work that required back editing for continuity. Ash was always a shy giant who wanted a quiet life but somehow stumbled into fame.

And that is me in Ash—shy, quiet, happy to let others steal the spotlight, and yet wanting to pursue a creative career that practically demands one hog it. But it’s not just some of my more introverted traits that Ash took. He also took my love of reading and all things sci-fi and geeky.

From the first page of the first draft, Ash wasn’t just part of the sci-fi world because he’d acted in it, but also because he’d loved it. Ash’s Doctor Who obsession was one of the first character-building details he offered up, and the role it plays in his life has always been a focal point for his character. The fact that his love for the show connected him to family, that it helped him define himself in social spaces, and that it made him feel a kinship with con-goers are all essential to who he is—and as I write it out here, the parallels to my own life grow more and more clear.

Of course, as I ponder this question about my writing, I wouldn’t want to leave Remy (the love interest) out of the equation. Remy is less like me—he is a risk-taker, he’s a “jump in first with both feet and then wonder about the consequences later” sort—but Remy also shares my love of all things geek, and unlike Ash, his personal experiences with fandom culture more closely resemble my own.

But of course, if Remy was also too much like me, then he wouldn’t be a good match for Ash. So, it’s probably all for the best that my answer to the question “How much of me is in each character?” will always be “It depends.”


A happy ending worthy of a TV fantasy… in real life?

Ashland Wells is an actor of sci-fi cult fame but with little direction for the future, when handsome grad student Remy Beaumont lands in his lap at a fan convention. Remy is everything Ash ever wanted and wished he could be—including out and proud. For twelve hours they’re the best of friends. But the convention ends, and saying goodbye to Remy might be the biggest mistake Ash has ever made.

A few months later, they’re reunited on a new production—Ash as an actor, Remy a writer—and though Ash doesn’t plan to let him go twice, being with Remy means going public about being gay. He’s not sure that’s a risk he—or his career—can handle, no matter how great the temptation.

If only they could write themselves the romantic happily ever after they both need.

Dreamspun Desires #81, 196 pages

About the Author

Morgan James is a clueless (older) millennial, who’s still trying to figure out what she’ll be when she grows up but is enjoying the journey to get there. Now, with a couple of degrees, a few stints in Europe, and more than one false start to a career, she eagerly waits to see what’s next. Morgan started writing fiction before she could spell and wrote her first (unpublished) novel in middle school. She hasn’t stopped writing since. Geek, artist, and fangirl, Morgan tends to pass free hours with imaginary worlds and people on pages and screens—it’s an addiction. As is her love of coffee and tea. She lives in Canada with her massive collection of unread books and acts the personal servant of too many four-legged creatures.