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Title: Guild of Immortal Women
Author: David Alan Morrison
Publication Date: November 2014
Two bodies are discovered on the grounds of “The Bastille,” home to a coven of witches who belong to the Guild of Immortal Women. The bodies have strange characteristics, so what follows is a combination merry and sinister romp through ancient history. Medieval times are brought to life through a massive Tapestry adorning the mansion’s walls where the characters — animals and humans — emerge through tears in the fabric.
It is up to Detective Matt Mathers and social worker Lynn Swanson to solve the murder-mystery while dealing with the strange world of magic, Guardian Abbey’s amnesia from her past lives, and the devilish mission of Robert and the Doctor to create an immortal heir through the laboratory.
Foreword Reviews‘ 2014 INDIEFAB Book of the Year Award Finalist
Q: What is the story of how you came up with the idea for GUILD OF IMMORTAL WOMEN?
In 2007 my father died. We had been estranged for most of my life and we had just spent the last couple of years rebuilding a relationship. I went to my best friend’s house to do some healing and she reminded me of the book idea she had told me about years before. She convinced me to write it as a way of grieving.
Q: How did you pick the women who would be Immortal?
Holly wanted Joan of Arc to be Amelia Earhart and had always been set on Eleanor as the head of the Guild. As for the others, we literally sat on the phone - me in Seattle and she in southern California - and searched the internet for the most interesting women we could find. I was surprised at the lack of information on famous females of ancient times!
Q: What was the hardest part of writing your books?
Editing! That answer is easy - it's always the editing. As writers we put so much of our life and soul into these written pages! Many of us slave over specific words or phrases for hours. None of that matters in editing. If it doesn't work for the story or pacing, out it goes. Books are so much like turkey at Thanksgiving - one knows about the preparation of an eloquent meal, but when you have to face the heat of the kitchen yourself....oy! Another story.
Q: What project are you working on now?
Once TRAVELS WITH PENNY and GUILD are out into the world, I'd like to take a short break first. I feel pretty ragged about now...signings, book festivals and so forth take a lot out of you. When I'm back at the keyboard, I have another work, ANGAKOK, with Booktrope, that needs some attention. Tick tock!
Q: What is the most interesting part of your daily life?
Wow. Good question. I never saw myself as having a particularly interesting life. But, then again, "interesting" is relative, isn't it? My day jobs are a sign language interpreter, instructor at a community college and theatre director. I like to think that just by showing up I get a full plate of drama and entertainment.
Q: What is your writing process like?
I've always been one of those people who sees entire scenes in my head. As soon as a scene appears, I try to rush over to the keyboard and get it down. The problem is that the scenes don't always appear in the correct order. I see the end of a book (or play, as I'm also a playwright) first, or the dramatic climax first. Every so often I write down the scenes on index cards and lay them on the floor to see what piece of the story is missing. Maybe this is why editing is so difficult.
Q: So you don't pre-plan your work?
Not usually, no. I follow the age-old advice of "write with the end in mind" as well as my characters, but not much else. I've found this style has pros and cons - like anything - but for me it works. I set out with my characters' having a goal, some personality quirks and things they are afraid of. Then, I just throw obstacles at them. It easier with something like TRAVELS, as it was a memoir and I didn't have to invent anything. If you knew my family, you'd understand. Once I got over my anger at them, I learned to see them as an entire lifetime of entertainment value.
Q: What advice do you give new writers?
Write. Write what you see. Write what you feel. Somewhere, somehow, someone is going to love your stuff. But always remember - someone is going to hate it as well. Ultimately, you need to be satisfied with what you're doing.
Q: Any last words?
Yes. Make sure to have a life. Let your art flow from your observations of the everyday; don't lock yourself away in some dark, dank place with a bottle of Jack Daniels and a laptop. We are on this Earth to engage with our surroundings; to love and experience this great thing called LIFE.
Dave Morrison (CI & CT, NIC-A, SC:L, NAD-5). Dave received his A.A. in ASL/ENG Interpreting from L.A. Pierce College in 1989. In 2000, he obtained his M.A. in Theatre Arts from the University of Kentucky. He has interpreted in a variety of venues, from the courtroom to funerals to underwater conservation forums. As an actor, he has been seen on stage, TV and film. He is currently an adjunct instructor of Drama at Skagit Valley College and works with local theatres as a director, actor and instructor.
Excerpt from my book review:
Very cool premise and adventure surrounding the Tapestry and the Immortal Guild charged to protect it. I loved the idea of it being a gateway between different periods of time. I wanted so much more of this. I loved meeting the few characters who come out of the Tapestry briefly. I had hoped to meet more of them after the Faire. I think there is a lot of fun potential for subsequent books, and I hope more is written with this series. However, there was little to no character development, which I hope the author explores more in subsequent stories.
I loved all things in this book related to the Tapestry and the tasks of its Guardians. I appreciated that the author gave Abbey a strong faith in God that was respectful in how it was written. I also enjoyed exploring Abbey's questions of what makes her who she is as a person even if she cannot remember her past. There are a lot of great elements of this story.
Interview and giveaways courtsey of:
Just released December 2016: "The Forgotten" volume 2 "Heir of the Heretic"
Reviewed and awarded the
2016 Indie Editor's Choice
by the Historical Novel Society.
Long listed for the Historical Novel Society 2017 Indie Award.
Goodreads profile at: https://www.goodreads.com/JElse