An Interview With… Iris Morland

We met Iris Morland for a coffee to chat about writing, working from anywhere and what it’s really like to be the boss.

Iris sips at a latte whist Beth chose a very naughty hot chocolate with extra marshmallows.

Beth:
Thank you for meeting with me today, Iris, I’m keen to get to know more about you and what inspires your writing. But before that, I’d like to hear about you as a reader. What kind of stories do you enjoy reading?

Iris:
I love fairy tales and Jane Austen. I actually read a lot of young adult. I used to read lots of romance, but now that I write it I’ll admit it’s the last thing I want to read. I’m currently reading Megan Whalen Turner’s Queen’s Thief series and it’s amazing and I kinda hate her for how brilliant of a writer she is.

Beth:
I enjoy young adult books myself, too. Although I do love a steamy romance.

Tell me about how you starting as an author. What kind of books do you write?

Iris:
I’ve been writing since I was a kid, although my first publication wasn’t until I was in my early 20s. My first book I guess would technically be last year when I started writing romance novels, so at the age of 27.

I would describe my books as sexy, emotional, sweet, angsty, character-driven. I like normal people in my stories, and I like exploring people’s emotional baggage. I love angst and I get a weird pleasure from making people cry. Yes, I am evil.

My favorite tropes include fake relationship and marriage of convenience.

Beth:
Hmmm, finding a character and then putting them through hell… I can see the fun in that!

Beth:
How do you come up with the stories you write, Iris? As you like “normal people” in your stories, do you draw inspiration from real life, real people?

Iris:
I draw from other romance authors and books that I’ve read along with my own experiences and experiences of people I know. I also write romances I would want to read in the first place.

No character is solely based on any one person who I know. It’s more that I get a kernel of an idea of a character and then as I’m writing an outline (and the book itself) the character will flesh him/herself out as I go.

I come up with my ideas by using an evergreen trope (or two or three) and then going from there. The one nice thing about romance is that it has the same plot each time.

Beth:
So what’s a typical day like for you when you’re writing?

Iris:
It’s not as exciting as people think! Mostly it’s getting out of bed before noon before going to a coffee shop.

I generally get ready like you would for any other job: shower, makeup, hair, bra, teeth brushing, etc. I get depressed if I stay home in my pajamas every day. I also don’t get much work done during the day at home, so I always have to go somewhere. I’m lucky in that I live in a big city that has more choices in terms of coffee shops and cafes than you could ever go to in a lifetime.

Generally, I write (or get work done) in the afternoon somewhere. Come home by 5 or 6, eat dinner, generally write later in the evening/night. Go to bed. Rinse, repeat.

I tell myself I’ll get up earlier but I’ve mostly accepted that I’m never going to be a morning person. It’s a miracle if I’m up before 10 AM.

Beth:
So that’s a perk of the job, choosing your own hours?

Iris:
Yeah, that’s one of them. I create my own schedule; I have no boss; I get paid to write. Yeah, it’s not too terrible.

Beth:
It’s definitely not. It sound’s perfect! So, if someone wanted to get into writing as their career – an aspiring author – what advice would you give them to get where you are now?

Iris:
Well, depends on what type of writing. If we’re talking indie writers looking to make a living? Do you research. Identify which authors you’d like to emulate and then tweak to make your own brand. Stay focused. Go pee if you need to. And if something isn’t working, try to figure out why and then learn from it.

Beth:
I guess there’s no better way to research than to read! Being your own boss and absorbing the atmosphere in a coffee shop – kinda like what we’re doing now… does that mean you don’t work from home at all?

Iris:
That’s right. You see, my cats like to flop all over my keyboard and don’t really leave me alone when I’m home. I can work anywhere really and I can chat to my author friends online from anywhere too.

Beth:
Staying focused with that freedom in your work must take a lot of self-discipline – especially when you’re the boss. Are you a fast writer?

Iris:
Yeah, I’ve gotten really fast, which is solely because of practice. I can write about 2-3000 words an hour. You can’t get writer’s block when you have a preorder deadline looming!

Beth:
Wow! They’re some pretty quick fingers to type that fast… I’m kinda jealous!

Does that come from having everything planned out before you start or do you have a plan on how the story will flow?

Iris:
I always outline, otherwise I’ll forget what I wanted to write about, and I’ll forget to hit certain moments or bits that are important for the series. That being said, I don’t stick to an outline absolutely. Some bits of the plot naturally shift, but overall I stick with the plot I created earlier.

Beth:
What are you writing now?

Iris:
I’m continuing my series with a book called Dream a Little Dream of Me, releasing in August.

It’s book 4 of a planned 6-book series called The Thorntons. It’s a family-driven, small-town saga that follows six siblings of the Thornton family (shocking, right?).

This book is about Lizzie Thornton and her ex-boyfriend Trent. They had a love affair as teenagers that ended badly. Now, nine years later, they’re thrown together and realize that they’re actually perfect for each other.

Beth:
So where readers can find your other books?

Iris:
I’m on Amazon, B&N, Apple and Kobo – so most places.

Beth:
You’re almost finished writing Dream and Little Dream of Me, what will you do to celebrate completing it?

Iris:
I usually treat myself with something from Sephora or just a bottle of wine or a long nap.

Beth:
Oooh, make up, wine or a snooze – I approve!

Where can readers find you online?

Iris:
My website, IrisMorland.com, or my FaceBook page are best.

Beth:
Thank you, Iris, for taking the time to chat with me today. I’ll look forward to the rest of The Thornton’s series!

About Iris Morland:
A coffee addict and cat lover, Iris Morland writes sexy and funny contemporary romances. If she’s not reading or writing, she enjoys binging on Netflix shows and cooking something delicious.

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Post Author: Beth