Have you been writing for a long time?
My writing journey started in middle school with the power of poetry. I was a very shy child, so much so that I had trouble verbally expressing my feelings, but I also had an overactive imagination that wanted to be shared. I did a unit in eighth grade on poets with a grand teacher and it opened up a genre I was not familiar with, one that I used to start getting my feelings out and learn the thrill of creating something with merely my mind, heart, a pencil, and notebook. My first collection, A Sweet, Little Dream, my stepping stone, has my poems, short stories, and more that I crafted in middle school and high school. Fallen Star Dust, the book for this tour, is my second collection, focusing on my college and first few years in education works.
Professionally, my first book, Spirit Vision, was published over four years ago on my mom’s birthday on December 17th, 2013, but I started writing on it as a freshman in high school.
What inspired you to start a writing career?
I had one loud, over the top, challenging language arts teacher: Mr. Banger that began this whole ordeal. He would go into rants so passionate that his bald head would turn red. He was not afraid to talk straight with us and he was tough on his grading. One day, out of the blue, for that was how he rolled, he declared he was going to write a book. We dismissed it, like several of his other declarations. He came to me and told me, “You would be a fantastic book character for my novel Straughan!” I laughed at this after I jumped out of my seat, but his eyes were so bold, so bright, so full of sincere honesty that it triggered the question in me: “If he can write a book…Why can’t I?” He still supports my dreams to this day as a dear friend and I go to speak to his classes every year to show every student they have a light, a talent to share, and to never give up: Mr. Banger and I believe in them.
It took me four years to complete my manuscript and four to find a publishing company. I received 40 rejections before I got my yes with Paper Crane Books. I never gave up for I wanted to hold this precious work, with the characters I cherished like children, in my hands.
Is this book a stand-alone, or part of a series?
Fallen Star Dust is a collection of poems, short stories, scripts, essays, and other literary works, so it is stand-alone. However, it is the second I have ever compiled and I plan to compile a third one in two or three years.
I do have a young adult paranormal mystery series, Spirit Vision, that is on its third book. I plan to do six in all.
Why did you choose this genre?
I wanted to share another collection to show my readers how I have grown as a writer from my first collection, A Sweet, Little Dream. Working as a teacher, I never want my students to give up on their dreams, no matter how far out of reach they seem. These collections are made with that in mind. I never imagined I could be a professional author as a teenager, but I wanted to be. I am so glad I saved these first works, these writing that helped the timid by voice me express myself and fuel my imagination. You never know what could happen, so save and treasure your dreams. Plus, I like seeing how my writings have changed to fit different situations, and take trips down memory lane.
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Never give up and know that someone always believes in you: me. I have so many people who support me and their strength shines within me, a light I want to give back to others. Do research and find author groups. I am in one and it is one of the best therapies I have in my life.
If you do not know what to write, write about what you know, what you love, and let your pen or typing fingers fly. You will be surprised the story you will share, the one always inside you.
About the Book
Title: Fallen Star Dust
Author: Morgan Straughan Comnick
Genre: Collection (Poetry, Short Stories, and more)
When I reached the point where adult life began to make its presence known right after high school graduation, I looked to the sky. I hoped to see a shooting star that would light my way and I wished that it would leave a trail of star dust behind to remind myself to stay young at heart. Thanks to writing, the enchantment of youth has never left me. In the next chapter of my life, I began college to follow my dream of being an educator. I developed my career, found out who I was an independent being, stopped hiding my passions, figured out my role in my lifelong relationship with my now-husband, and realized that it was okay to question the world. There was darkness that needed to be seen as well as the light. The poems, short stories, scripts, essays, and other works in this second collection are my everything: the shoulders I cried on, my joys, my bravery when the road became too twisty or too safe. It led me to a waterfall of creativity. That fallen star dust gave me the drive to become who I am today: a teacher, an author, a nerd, and a person of morals, love, and magic.
Educator of young minds by day, super nerdy savior of justice and cute things by night, Morgan Straughan Comnick has a love for turning the normal into something special without losing its essence. Morgan draws from real life experiences and her ongoing imagination to spark her writing. In her spare time, she enjoys doing goofy voices, traveling to new worlds by turning pages, humming child-like songs, and forcing people to smile with her “bubbliness.” It is Morgan’s mission in life to spread the amazement of otaku/Japanese culture to the world and to stop bullying; she knows everyone shines brightly.
For more information about Morgan and her works, check out her website, which also have links to all her social medias: http://morganscomnick.com.