Kasper Interviews Author Morgan Bell

Sproutlings: A Compendium of Little Fictions Book Cover Sproutlings: A Compendium of Little Fictions
Morgan Bell
Speculative fiction
Invisible Elephant Press
18 March 2016

Morgan Bell’s Sproutlings is a mesmerising collection of exquisite peculiarities. Welsh and Cornish mythology. Australian campfire tales. Astral and fantastic. The pertinency of forty-three modern authors is punctuated by bites of botanical fiction from Poe, Lawson, Orwell, Lawrence, Wells, Alcott, and Wilde in this tour de force of tiny stories.


Morgan Bell

Morgan Bell is a Newcastle-based author and editor. Her works include the collection Sniggerless Boundulations and the anthology Sproutlings. She is a qualified technical writer, and a resident film and book reviewer at Salty Popcorn. Her story Midnight Daisy was awarded a Story Commendation by the She: True Stories project, with live readings on 1233 ABC Newcastle and at the 2014 Newcastle Writers Festival.  Her anti-travel story Don’t Pay The Ferryman was shortlisted for the Hunter Writers Centre Travel Writing Prize. Her stories The Shift and A Deer In The Shunting Yard have appeared in Novascapes Volume 1 and Novascapes Volume 2.


Hi Morgan, welcome to our Fantasy Sci-Fi Network interview space shuttle. We’re excited to be beaming you up from Australia. Your books have such original titles, that we’re keen to hear all your goss.

If you could only take three books with you through an interstellar portal, what would they be? The Eyes of The Dragon by Stephen King, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, The Magician’s Nephew by CS Lewis
Who would you like to be stuck on a deserted planet with? Melissa McCarthy, Rebel Wilson, Kathy Bates, Will Ferrell, Russell Brand, and Vince Vaughn – all my favourite funny people, I love to laugh
Rebel Wilson is a legend. That sounds like a seriously funny party you’ll be having on the not-so-deserted anymore planet.
Who are your five favourite authors?
Angela Carter, Karen Joy Fowler, Gillian Flynn, Cate Kennedy, Margo Lanagan
List some great books you have recently read: Rain Dogs by Adrian McKinty, An Astronaut’s Life by Sonja Dechian, The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood
What are your writing plans for 2016? This year I am hoping to complete my speculative fiction novel Daughters of Mallory. I also want to get back into some regular short story writing and put another short story collection out.
What was the defining event that made you start writing? I had not written since I was a child, when a joined a writers group in Newcastle that had weekly prompts to write to. I was attempting to take a step back from pub culture and alcoholism, make some non-drunk friends, and do something constructive. I made lifelong friends in the process and have such a broader idea of the human experience from being in the company of people from diverse walks of life.
That was life-changing for you.
What booktube vlogs do you enjoy watching?
Mercedes from [MercysBookishMusings], Regan from [PeruseProject], Ashley from [climbthestacks], Jen from [Jen Campbell[, Jean from [Jean Bookishthoughts], Max from [WellDoneBooks], Katie from [ChapterStackss], Holly from [Library at the Edge of the World], Rincey from [rincey reads]
Who would you choose to read your audiobook? For my short story collection Sniggerless Boundulations I chose Jon Severity for his husky seductive voice. I had always imagined my first novel Daughters of Mallory (still being written) would be voiced by Alan Rickman, so I was particularly devastated by his recent passing. I actually chose Jon Severity because he reminded me a little of Rickman If I went with a female voice I would choose Katharine Mangold, I have listened to several audiobooks voiced by her and love her deadpan style.
How did you go about developing your cover artwork? I engaged a professional illustrator, Tallulah Cunningham ( https://www.patreon.com/Papertigress ), who I found through the editor of Novascapes, Cassandra Page. Tallulah had also done the cover art for Novascape Volume 1 (2014) and Novascapes Volume 2 (2016). We also knew each other through the Newcastle chapter of CBCA (Childrens Book Council Australia). Tallulah sketched two draft ideas based on theme and I chose the more jagged creepy one. I provided a cover template from IngramSpark (with a spine width based on a page amount calculation) and after a few drafts tweaking small details and font appearance I got a final PDF that Tallulah made with Adobe InDesign.
What made you choose to write Spec. Fiction? My participation in the Newcastle Speculative Fiction Writers Group was what really led me to exploring the genre more, and appreciating how much it is loved by others. Group member Cassandra Page made the first anthology – Novascapes: A Speculative Fiction Anthology From The Hunter Region – and it brought so much happiness to everyone involved. I have been a science fiction fan since I was a child, something I had in common with my father, watching Star Trek Next Generation and Voyager and the Terminator and Alien movies.
Quick quiz
Favourite food: Lemon chicken and special fried rice
Silliest saying: This is a house of learned doctors
Best holiday spot: I like Melbourne for the theatre, particularly around Spiegeltent season
Favourite song at the moment: Downtown by Macklemore
Star Wars or Lord of the Rings: Star Wars
Number one thing to do on your bucket list: I would love to stay in an igloo and see the northern lights of aurora borealis

Thanks for the great interview, Morgan Bell. It has been really fun to learn so much about you.

Interviewed by Kasper Beaumont, author of the Hunters of Reloria fantasy series. www.huntersofreloria.weebly.com

Morgan’s Links

Website: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/queenboxi/sproutlings-a-compendium-of-little-fictions-sprout

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SproutlingsAnthology

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29084884-sproutlings

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/queenboxi

Book trailer:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZ4DbjJdoPo

Book trailer 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtQIA4Ifza4

Newcastle Writers Festival 2016: http://www.newcastlewritersfestival.org.au/session/book-launch-sproutlings/



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