August 26, 2014

Guest Post: Megan Morgan—How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Fall in Love with Love

By Megan Morgan

I became a writer at fourteen. ‘Became a writer’ sounds as though I burst upon the literary world, educated and adroit, with a masterfully-penned bestseller in my hands. This was not the case.

You’re going to laugh. It’s okay.

I was ‘that’ teenager, the Gothy, morbid one that loved horror movies and horror novels. Anything scary and scream-y and bloodcurdling, I was there. I was a fan of the top horror writers at the time–Clive Barker, Anne Rice, Tanith Lee, Stephen King–especially Stephen King. That was why, at the tender age of fourteen, I decided I would be the next Stephen King. Nay, Stephen King times ten.

contentimage-9781783338436smallThis was quite the delusion of grandeur, to claim I would be Stephen King’s nemesis, especially since I hadn’t so much as written an entire short story up until that point. But hey, it gave me a place to start.

For most of my teens and adult life, I wrote horror–apart from a brief spate in my early twenties when I became uncharacteristically religious and decided it no longer lined up with my world views. Then I wrote sci-fi and fantasy.

One thing I definitely didn’t write was romance.

I was caught up in the notion held by certain literary echelons that romance and erotica are not ‘real writing.’ That, despite holding for decades the largest share of the bookseller’s market, producing more titles, authors, and bestsellers than any other genre, raking in millions in revenue, and having books made into movies and translated into all languages, romance is the bottom of the literature barrel: the dregs, the scum. The fluff no one takes seriously.

For me, who tried in vain to keep romance from leaking into my work (and stomping my foot when it wouldn’t go away), it was a case of the lady doth protest too much.

The literary world is still full of people who don’t believe romance and erotica have any merit. We will probably never change these people’s minds. However, we can laugh at them. Laugh, because, they’re either floating on a sea of delusion or drowning in a lake of double standards.

Love and sex are everywhere, in everything. Why do romance and erotica writers garner ridicule for putting it center stage?

Love seeps into every form of entertainment we consume–movies, TV shows, books. Love stains every ‘proper, respectable’ archetype, from the bitter action hero who goes on a rampage to avenge his wife’s murder, to the warlord who saves the princess, to the misunderstood villain trying to save his family. In real life, it’s even more intense. Most people spend their lives in pursuit of love and sex: find a partner, find a mate, find someone to grow old and have children with. People move mountains to protect the one they love. Life is a romance novel. If you’re lucky, life is an erotic romance novel.

Three years ago, I finallSBSy gave in. I became a real writer. I discovered in the process I’m much better at writing about matters of the heart and matters beneath the sheets than I am about vampires. Oh, wait–I still write about vampires, they just get it on now. As vampires should and would.

I haven’t given up horror though, as I write urban fantasy as well. Same flavor, but with a little dash of love and sex, the stuff I always tried to keep from creeping in.

I’m sorry, Stephen King, it looks like we won’t be fighting to the death after all. However, if you want to go, Nora Roberts, come find me.




Megan Morgan is a paranormal romance, erotica, and urban fantasy author from Cleveland, Ohio. Bartender by day and purveyor of things that go bump at night, she likes her fiction scary and sexy. She’s a member of the RWA and trying to turn writing into her day job, so she can be on the other side of the bar for a change. Currently published with House of Erotica, she is also the author of a three-book urban fantasy series coming soon from Kensington Press.


Website: http://www.meganmorganauthor.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/morgan_romance

FB: https://www.facebook.com/megan.morgan.author

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  • Post authorLiz Everly

    Welcome to Lady Smut, Megan and thanks for the fabulous post!

    Reply to Liz Everly
  • Post authorMadeline Iva

    Welcome Megan! Any tips about how to write an authentic bartender or bar back?

    Reply to Madeline Iva
    • Post authorMegan Morgan

      Hi Madeline! Thanks for asking. I’ve been a bartender/server for a loooong time, so I can definitely tell you a few things.

      It really depends on where your characters are working. If it’s an upscale, fancy bar, the bartender will probably be more well-spoken and congenial, and probably have some flair (you know, tossing glasses and shakers around, looking cool). They’ll know more complicated recipes and the drinks will be complex (and expensive). If it’s your typical corner bar–well, if you’ve ever been in one, you know! Tough, sassy, funny, looks like she’s having a good time even when she’s sweating her butt off, taking shots with her regulars. Bartenders deal with a lot of nice people, but they also deal with a lot of jerks who become bigger jerks when they get some booze in them. Depending on the environment, you might have a bouncer or manager to back you up, but sometimes you’re on your own. You have to be hard-nosed.

      Bar backs are a godsend in a busy bar. They work hard and quick, and they’re well-organized. They tend to most often be male, I’m not sure why. It’s a very physical job.

      The service industry seems glamorous on the outside, but it’s kind of a PR nightmare on the inside. You have to have a tough skin, both dealing with the public and with your coworkers–a lot of bars and restaurants have a very un-PC, rowdy, overtly sexualized working environment. It’s not a place to work if you can’t take a joke or get easily offended. There’s a lot of alcoholism and drug use, a lot of late nights, a lot of people sleeping with each other. It’s kinda like college.

      But service industry people are also some of the most fun, loyal, happy people you’ll meet. They form tight bonds with each other and have each other’s backs. You also make a lot of money–which is easy to spend, since you always have cash in hand.

      I hope that helps. If you’d like to know anything specific, just ask!

      Reply to Megan Morgan
      • Post authorMegan Morgan

        Whoops, I meant to say ‘HR’ nightmare!

        Reply to Megan Morgan
      • Post authorMadeline Iva

        That’s REALLY helpful, Megan! Thanks so much.

        Reply to Madeline Iva
  • Post authorLiz Everly

    Reblogged this on Liz Everly and commented:

    Guest Post: Megan Morgan—How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Fall in Love with Love

    Reply to Liz Everly
  • Post authorElizabeth Shore

    Great post, Megan. I’m with you in the horror spirit. I LOVE Stephen King, and even made a special trip to Bangor, Maine just so I could stand in front of his house and have my picture taken. Such a dork.

    But I do love the horror genre and admire the other writers whom you’ve cited in your post – including Clive Barker and also, I would add, Dan Simmons. I’ve toyed with the idea of writing horror but so far I’m sticking with romance. You have to write what you love, and since romance and horror are “the ones” for me, that’s what I’m sticking with.

    Reply to Elizabeth Shore
    • Post authorMegan Morgan

      I would totally do something dorky like that! Hmmm…time to start planning a trip to Maine.

      Definitely, sticking with what you love makes it better. All the horror I wrote was pretty awful–probably because I was denying myself my true calling.

      Thanks so much for the comment!

      Reply to Megan Morgan
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