I’m glad to participate in Gilbert Morris’ blog tour. I’ve never participated in a blog tour before, but I’m intrigued by the idea. I mean, does anyone even do the physical book signing book tour thing anymore?
Actually I know authors still do book signings but I think the whole idea of a virtual book tour is fantastic. So today is my day to highlight Gilbert Morris and his new book The River Rose: A Water Wheel Novel.
Interview with Gilbert Morris
Mr. Morris, you used to record your stories and then had them transcribed. Are you still using this technique?
Yes, I do dictate all my books. I take the outline and the list of characters, and put each chapter on a cassette. Then I have a lady take the tapes, type them out, and send them to me. Of course, when I get the hard copy, that’s usually when the hard work of revision rears its ugly head! My daughter Lynn, who has written some fine novels, helps me with this stage, for which I am profoundly grateful.
What fascinates you most about 1850s Mississippi?
It was a dramatic time in American history. The Civil War, the rise of modern transportation, the beginning of our industrial growth.
This is the blog tour part. For the book part, see my review of The River Rose.
How did you decide to set your story on a steamer?
When I was a boy, I lived for a time in Helena, Arkansas. The river then was still thick with the sternwheelers, and I would sit for hours on the bank of the river and watch them, and riding on one was a thrill.
When you’re writing a series such as the Water Wheel series, how do you decide which characters to carry over into the sequels?
I usually make this decision before I begin the first novel in the series. Some generational sagas lend themselves to stepping from one book to another, others I like to confine to one book. I have a signed a contract to do a trilogy about San Francisco in the 1850s. That opens up the door for a family to go through:
- The gold rush of 1849
- The rise of rich people and how they are brought down
- The earthquake and how the family survives and strengthens
Do you have a long-term plan for your novel writing?
I am working on three series at the present time. One will deal with the men and women who serve in different branches of the service. Another is the second novel about a young woman, Jordan Lee, who serves in the military, then in the House of Representatives. The work I most enjoy is a series of mysteries featuring a man and a woman—and two cats. I’ve written three of these, and have had a blast! They are my favourite novels. The next one will be entitled Desperate Housecats. And no, I will never retire!