Category Archives: Exposure
Wordslinger first began in December of 2011 as a monthly series of writers’ essays for the Bookish Temptations website. In this column, Morgan explores the many elements of fiction and offers tips on how to get the most out of the proverbial pen. After three years, Morgan wrote his final Wordslinger post last month, but we’ve decided to take a walk down Memory Lane and re-post the column here. The pop culture references may now appear dated, but the writing advice is timeless. Enjoy!
Originally posted on the Bookish Temptations website, December 17, 2011:
**Introduction by Jennifer Locklear**
During the closing months of 2009 as my husband was beginning work on his first original story, I discovered the world of Twilight FanFiction. It was the first time I had read stories online, and as my time in front of the computer screen began to increase (significantly), he took notice.
When I explained how I was spending all my free time, he took an interest in the fact that not only were people posting stories online but they were also able to receive immediate feedback from readers. I introduced him to several of the stories I was reading, and within a few days our lives took an interesting turn as he began to consider posting a story of his own.
One evening after I arrived home from work, my husband announced he had begun writing his own FF. He asked me to read what he had written that afternoon and to let him know if I thought it was worthy of posting.
What I read blew me away and I immediately signed on to be his beta. I had to see where his story would take me.
Morgan Locklear quietly posted the first chapter of his epic turn of the century tale on Valentines Day 2010. To our delight, Bella Voce quickly earned readers because his profile page acknowledged that he was writing with an extra pen in his pocket and many females in the Fandom wanted to see how a man wrote our beloved Edward and Bella.
Although I knew he had a talent for music and songwriting, his skills as a storyteller took me by surprise. Not only did Bella Voce include ornate imagery, depth of character and an interweaving of history, Morgan continually amazed me by writing several thousand words each and every week for the better part of two years.
Now that Bella Voce and its sequel, Brutte Parole, have been completed, Morgan is looking forward to returning to that original story he started a couple of years ago. But thankfully for those of us who are fans of his work, he won’t be leaving the Fandom anytime soon.
Putting the Y in Twilight
with Morgan Locklear
The experiences I have had as a man in the female dominated Twilight Fandom all started because I’m a reader. I think that if a man does not read for pleasure he stands little chance of understanding the Fandom. But even as a reader, Twilight was nowhere near my radar despite the fact that I had already enjoyed the Mortal Instruments series.
The Twilight Saga (I hate that it’s called a saga by the way) is a decidedly female oriented story, as evidenced by the first person narrative from Bella. Therefore, it is seen by most men as another romance novel and rightfully so.
I saw the first film and still had no desire to pick up the book (although I did like the casting and the music and Billy Burke was a riot). Also, I knew that Robert Pattinson was a star right away. At the time, I did not remember him from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (and when my wife told me it blew my freaking mind), but I could tell that the kid was the kind of actor who, like another beautiful Robert, could end up directing one day.
I am referring to Robert Redford. He was a gifted and popular young actor who looked too good to be respected until he proved himself with a career rich with wise choices and an unfaltering self-identity.
Pattinson will be up there with the likes of Tom Hanks in everyone’s eyes by the time he’s forty. I will even risk a few words about the very polarizing Kristen Stewart. Even though she is not my type, she is beautiful. But before I jump off the wooden actress bandwagon I would like to point out that she was cast, like Robert, because they shared many social traits of the characters they played.
So, was she stiff or too good? DON’T ANSWER YET!!! I can tell that I haven’t convinced many of you who are determined to hate her and that’s cool, but please listen to one other argument:
Keanu Reeves was a Shakespearean stage actor in Canada who was regarded as the best of his age. (Not kidding). After a small role in a movie (filmed in part in my sister’s car on the Oregon coast) he was cast as Ted “Theodore” Logan in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.
He played his part so convincingly that he found himself only being cast in similar roles. Has he had some bad movies? Of course. Has he proven that he is way better than we all thought? Yes. Don’t believe me? Watch The Devil’s Advocate opposite Al Pacino.
I think Kristen has some things to learn, but that’s why we are called human BEINGS. It’s because we are never done “becoming” who we are. Don’t believe me? I’ll tell you what, I’ll put all my eggs in her new Snow White movie. I can tell she is trying to prove something just like Rob did in Remember Me. And, like Rob, she will turn in a stunning performance.
Okay, back to the Fandom…
The only reason I even considered reading Twilight was because I had decided to start writing a small book. Because mine was also written in first person, my wife innocently suggested that I might find the Stephenie Meyer books helpful. I often take advice from my wife – she is smart and witty and has good taste in both books and movies (and men), so I read it.
I gobbled up all four books in a few weeks. As a man, I found the pacing good and the characters effortlessly drawn. There was tension but not too much gooey angst and that was good. My favorite book was Breaking Dawn for one simple reason – it was the first book that Bella stopped constantly bitching about being turned into a vampire.
What can I say, the books lingered in my mind. I became distracted from the book I was writing (a zombie story) and suddenly switched to writing a story about a beautiful young vampire named Bella. She was living in Paris during the 1890’s but had been turned several hundred years before when she was a nineteen year old nun. I wrote a prologue that introduced a human named Edward, who fell in love with her when he attended one of her concerts at the theatre she owned. Bella spied him in the audience and intended to feed on him, only to end up falling in love with Edward as soon as they were introduced backstage.
I showed the prologue to my wife and she suggested that if I write the story as fan fiction I would get feedback and perhaps become a better storyteller.
What a great idea.
When I decided to challenge myself with the task of posting the first chapters even though I only had the vaguest idea of how the story would end, I upped the ante and put myself on a weekly posting deadline. It was the single biggest challenge in my life. (And this is coming from the legally blind father of two children).
During the past two years, I stopped reading other books almost altogether so I could devote my time to writing and now I am anxious to complete reading a few Fandom stories as well as finishing a few hardcovers that are still sitting on my shelf with movie stubs as bookmarks.
Two years later, Bella Voce and it’s sequel, Brutte Parole, are complete. Somehow I also found the time to record an original soundtrack to go along with the stories and I have made literally thousands of friends online.
I can honestly say that it was being a man that probably brought most of my readers at first but like I told my wife, the writing has to keep people coming back for more because the novelty of having a Y chromosome will wear off long before my story is done being told.
I dragged my shy lurker wife into the spotlight with me as she was my very skilled beta and she has since written a short story of her own. We are now working on a story together that I am very excited about. It will begin posting on her FanFiction page (RandomCran) in early 2012.
She came up with this cool idea that takes place partly on a movie set and has some great twists and asked me to write it with her. We have had a good time and I get to write a really bad guy (which I love). It’s called Exposure and it’s one of three things I have planned for 2012 to stay active in the Fandom despite my biggest project being put to bed.
Top Ten things I’ve learned since I’ve been in the Fandom.
1. Women are way more horny than I ever knew about.
2. Strangers are way more generous than I ever thought possible.
3. There are hundreds of unpublished writers on fanfiction.net who could go pro today.
4. Sam Beam (A.K.A. Iron & Wine) is a genius!
5. I’m not the only man in the Fandom (and I’m talking straight guys too!)
6. My wife is a better writer than I am.
7. Seriously, women are waaaaay more horny than I thought.
8. Everyone just wants to be listened to sometimes.
9. T/J means Tweet Jack.
I would like to address negativity as well because not to would be ignoring a factor that has had a lasting influence on me. One other thing I learned is that some people hate for the sake of hating and fighting back will only make things worse, especially when your opponent is anonymous and ignorant.
I was targeted by a hate group last year because I defended another author they were bullying and so they turned their limited sights on me. My thread posts were reposted out of context to make me look arrogant (well, more arrogant anyway) and when I went to their blog to annoy them and play the part of bad guy, I offended other people reading and not just the perpetrators. I thought my tactics were obvious but it backfired and some people wrote me off that day without ever getting to know the truth.
We all know the truth now, that so called group was another fic author and a few followers. But it made a lot of people paranoid and ruined a lot of good fun, so I guess she got what she wanted, (except that book deal).
Yes, it still bothers me that people were willing to bash so many others just because a self-proclaimed hater told them to, but I like to think the Fandom will chase off the next one off together.
Regardless, this Fandom has brought my wife and I closer together than ever before and that alone was worth the trip. But there is so much more that we have gained during our time here. We have friends for a lifetime now, many we have met in person, and we are making more every day.
We have also been a part of many different worthwhile fundraisers and continue to be overwhelmed by the generosity by the people who call Twilight their obsession.
We are currently involved with the Fandom Against Juvenile Diabetes fundraiser and I have just completed a very original story that is told from the point of view of a house cat named Edward (an ECPOV, if you will). It’s called House Rules. Please visit the blog: firstname.lastname@example.org and donate what you can to read many, many wonderful stories from some of the best authors in the Fandom.
Our fifteen year old son has Type One diabetes, and believe me the medical field is close to finding a cure. With your help, it will happen within his lifetime.
I hope this has been an entertaining look at my somewhat foggy view as someone who could have stayed an outsider if not for all the hugs that have pulled me in. From my wife and I, thank you for that. If you do not know us, please find us on twitter and say hello (@MJLocklear and @RandomCran). We are chatty, especially with each other.
And now back to my tawdry little pirate sex romp coming soon: “Arg Isle: Search for the Treasure Trail.”
Happy New Year, Everyone!
We hope your holiday season was a warm and wonderful one. Things were a bit up and down for us, but we did manage to get the Christmas tree up and enjoy some quality family time.
We’re looking forward to several upcoming events as we continue to write our new stories and wanted to share the latest news with you…
We’re thrilled to announce that we’ll be represented at the 2015 Los Angeles Festival of Books, which will take place at USC on April 18-19. While we won’t be there in person, Exposure SWAG will be made available to attendees there. If you happen to be in the area and plan to attend, be sure to stop by the BOOK fri-ENDS booth to receive yours!
On January 10th, we’ll be stopping by the Book Boyfriend Junkies facebook page for an Author Takeover from 1-2 PM. Our good friends at BBFJ are celebrating 3,000 Likes on their page and we’re honored to be included in the celebration. There will be shenanigans and giveaways of all kinds, so be sure to stop by and join in on the fun!
Speaking of 3,000, we’re excited to celebrate a similar milestone of our own. We’re very close to reaching 3,000 followers on our twitter account (@MJLocklear)! We’re celebrating the big moment with a giveaway, and so one lucky winner will receive a signed paperback of Exposure. At last check, we were only 12 follows away from drawing a name, so be sure to enter yours into the running now before the giveaway ends. You can do so here.
We’ll continue to make online appearances to promote Exposure and will be sure to keep you up to date via this site as new developments occur.
Stay Tuned and Take Care,
Morgan & Jennifer
We’re approaching 3,000 followers on twitter and we want to celebrate this awesome milestone!
We’ve opened up a Rafflecopter giveaway and one lucky winner will receive a signed paperback of Exposure when we hit the mark.
This offer is open internationally, so give us a follow, share this post and enter our giveaway.
Best of luck to you and thanks for your awesome support this year!
Morgan and Jennifer
PS We are now on tsu. If you are there too, come over and friend us!
Welcome to December, Everyone!
This time last year, Morgan and I were in the midst of editing our first novel, Exposure, and wondering what 2014 would hold in store for us.
Since the novel’s release in June, it’s been a bit of a whirlwind and we’ve been so happy with how the book has been received. Being accepted into the Omnific Publishing family has been such a joy for us, and having our very first novel distributed by Simon & Schuster has exceeded our expectations.
Yesterday morning, The Book Bellas, posted their 4.5 star review of Exposure. You can also visit their blog to enter a giveaway for the ebook.
This Wednesday (December 3), we’ll be taking over the Book Boyfriend Junkies facebook page at 8:00 PM Eastern /5:00 PM Pacific. We hope you can take a few minutes to join us for some fun. We’ve been looking forward to this event for a while now and who knows what will happen? Be sure to give their page a Like.
On Friday, December 5 at 7:00 PM Eastern/4:00 PM Pacific, Jennifer will be stopping by the Naughty Under the Mistletoe holiday party, hosted by Lit4Ladies.com. With a name like that, you know things may get a little crazy.
Last but certainly never least, you can also join us for more holiday party fun on Saturday, December 13. We’ve been invited by the ladies at Hopelessly Devoted 2 Books to join their Hopeless Devoted does Christmas facebook event. Meet us there at 3:00 PM Eastern/12:00 PM Pacific for an hour of Hollywood holiday fun!
We’re looking forward to bigger and better things in the year to come. We’re both back to writing. Morgan is working on a paranormal romance set within the New York City subway tunnels, while I’m writing a contemporary May to December romance set within our home state of Oregon.
We’re working hard to make sure these stories can be made available soon and hope you’ll continue on with us in the months to come.
Jennifer & Morgan
This month’s Random Fan is fellow author N. Michaels. Her book, Emerald Eyes, is the first in a series and is now available via Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Emerald-Eyes-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B00GNIOG26/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1415932553&sr=1-1&keywords=emerald+eyes+n.+michaels
Morgan and Jennifer: Tell us a bit about the Emerald Eyes trilogy. And what can readers expect from the second book, Onyx Heart?
N. Michaels: Hello and thank you having me! I’m a big fan of yours. I loved Exposure! 🙂
The Emerald Eyes Trilogy came to me after the market was over saturated with plots that resembled Fifty Shade of Grey. They all had a domineering man and a virginal, naive woman.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy and am a huge fangirl of E L James (I can’t wait for the movie!), but I was bored of reading the same type of plot over and over in so many different books, and during a conversation with one of my best friends, Ella, I told her as much.
Her response was immediate, “Write what you want to read then.”
And I did.
Katherine Slav, my heroine, appeared in my mind and began telling me her story. And then she told me about Eric Miller, and I was hooked.
Katherine is anything but naive, or shy. She’s confident in herself and her beauty. She doesn’t take BS from anyone, and that includes Eric.
Eric is a mystery, even to me sometimes. He’s very guarded and shares only what needs to be known. I’m still slipping through the cracks of his armor to figure him out.
I began writing during the day while my babies were napping and late night/early morning while the house was asleep.
The moment I reached the middle of the book, I knew how to end it. I leaned back in my chair and whispered, “Oh shit!” I grabbed my phone and called my second best friend, Milana and told her about the ending. She listened until the end and then she was tearing up, telling me I had to publish it.
Milana was with me every step of the way, I would write a few chapters, call her and read them to her. If I didn’t write for a few days she would call me to nag and motivate me. “You can’t leave me hanging like this! What happens after Mark enters the suite?”
She was a source of encouragement and support and still is, and for that, I thank her. ♡
After finishing writing Emerald Eyes, the second book in the trilogy, Onyx Heart began to unfold in my mind. I always take notes and write whatever happens at that moment. I even have a few key scenes from the third and last book written down.
My mind will show me the most important moments, like a slide reel, and when I sit down to write the rest just flows and all those scenes come together.
N. Michaels: Where did the idea for Exposure come from?
Jennifer: One afternoon several years ago, I was spending a day at home doing the laundry. Laundry is never my favorite thing to do, but according to the rest of my family I have some talent for it so I own it.
Not surprisingly, my mind began to wander while I plodded through the chore. As I was trying to carry a particularly large and awkward load of clothing from the utility room, I began thinking about what I’d really like to do with the bundle of clothing obstructing my line of sight as I negotiated some stairs.
That’s when I suddenly pictured Shaunna Noble storming out of Kyle Petersen’s movie set trailer and throwing all his clothes to the fans gathered nearby. And as I folded, hung up and put away the clean laundry, I kept replaying that picture and adding more and more elements to it until an entire scene was completely formed in my imagination.
Morgan and Jennifer: If you could change into any animal (and back) what animal would it be and why?
N. Michaels: If we’re talking about a real animal, it would be a black panther.
Reason: I’ve always loved cats, big or small. It’s the first place I’d run to when I’d go to the zoo, and as a child, I used to sneak stray cats and kittens into our home.
But why the black panther in particular?
That’s because when my late grandfather saw me as a baby for the first time he called me, Miegera, which in Russian slang means wild and rebellious woman, and for some unknown reason, the word reminds me of Bagheera, the black panther (black Indian leopard) who is a fictional character in Rudyard Kipling’s Mowgli stories in The Jungle Book (coll. 1894) and The Second Jungle Book (coll. 1895).
If we’re talking about a mythical creature, I’d have to choose the Phoenix (which is actually one of the symbols for my astrologic sign, Scorpio.)
Reason: immortality and the ability to reinvent myself over and over again. To know with confidence that even after my fire has burned bright and I’m all but ashes, I will be reborn wiser and stronger.
N. Michaels: If you both could choose only one superpower, what would it be?
Morgan: At first, I wanted to pick invisibility but there’s no way to convince you people that it’s not to watch girls undress, so I’m picking invulnerability. If I can’t get hurt, there’s not much I couldn’t or wouldn’t do for mankind.
Jennifer: I thought of the ability to fly, but then I remembered I’m afraid of heights and realized that power would likely end up being wasted on me. So, instead I’d have to say the ability to see the future. I feel more comfortable when I know how things stand. I don’t do well having to wallow in the unknown.
N. Michaels: What was your first impression of each other when you first met?
Morgan: The first thing I liked about Jennifer was her style. She was the kind of girl who wore a pony tail (or for those of you who remember, a banana clip) and converse sneakers. Her blonde hair had a curly Q thing going for it in the front that always reminded me of Egon’s hair in the Ghostbusters cartoon. She was easy to smile and fun to dance with, and by the end of the night I was in love.
Jennifer: The night we met, Morgan was literally the first person I noticed when I walked in the room. He was exuberant and clearly the life of the party. I was nursing a broken heart at the time and had to be literally dragged out of the house by my friend when she suggested a night out. When she saw that I’d noticed Morgan, she made sure we were introduced within the hour. Once we began talking it was clear that he was intelligent, funny as hell and a swoon-worthy gentleman. By the time I returned home, I knew I’d met someone special.
Morgan and Jennifer: We see that (like Jennifer) you a wife, a mother and work full-time. How do you juggle all of this and find time for writing too? Maybe we could trade time management tips.
N. Michaels: At the time of writing Emerald Eyes I was a stay at home mom. I have trust issues when it comes to nannies and babysitters so I decided to stay home with them until they were big enough to go to daycare. I’m not passing judgment on those who do have nannies and babysitters, to each their own.
Currently, I am working full time (I’m actually typing this while on the bus on my way to Manhattan) and I usually write on the bus and on my days off. My full time job is very demanding and unfortunately, it slowed down my progress with Onyx Heart. I’d like to thank all my readers and friends who have been hounding me with emails and private messages regarding Onyx Heart’s release date, thank you for being so freaking wonderful, patient and supportive. ♡
So how do I juggle it all? I have an amazing mom and in-laws, who love my children as much I do. My husband learned to step in and take over when I can’t. Their help is how I manage to stay sane.
Thank you again for having me and for the lovely questions. I had a wonderful time! 🙂
Over the weekend, we stopped by Agents of Romance and spoke more personally about living with one another as writers. You can read the full post here:
Good Day, Everyone!
In Case You Missed It:
My Book Filled Life has posted an
Exposure outtake. Find out what happened to Heather after she hid Kyle’s remote…
Enjoy and Take Care,
Jennifer & Morgan
La Literati is a show about poetry, books and creative, inspiring people of all kinds. We strive to bring you in depth interviews that illuminate. Every conversation is a story. We hope through our show, the listeners will develop a greater appreciation for writing, reading and those addicting things called book. Join hosts, Tosha Michelle and Jim aka Niles, the constant readers, as they take you on a literary journey of discovery, wonder and the fine art of reading- a Bibliophilia dream. Don’t forget the coffee and chocolate. We’ll provide the Southern hospitality and entertainment.
Author Sydney Logan has just released her latest novel, Soldier On, and is hosting a celebration party on Facebook. I’ve enjoyed reading Sydney’s stories, including Lessons Learned, Mountain Charm, and The Little Drummer Boy (which I reviewed on this blog a few months ago).
And the really good news is this…
I’ve had the pleasure of reading an ARC for Soldier On, and I’m looking forward to posting my review next week during Sydney’s blog tour. In the meantime, I’ll be stopping by the Facebook release party from 4:00-4:15 PM Eastern time this afternoon. I’ll be talking a bit about Exposure, sharing a pic teaser, and offering up an e-book of Exposure as a giveaway prize!
I’d love to see you there so feel free to drop by: https://www.facebook.com/events/1481151402122460/
Looking forward to celebrating this new release!