Let’s get to know Kristen Morgen and her beautiful romance story Behind the Glass.
I recently had the opportunity to connect with Kristen Morgen to discuss her novel Behind the Glass and learn more about her! Take a look.
Kristen Morgen: Behind the Glass
QUICK! STATE 5 FUN FACTS ABOUT KRISTEN MORGEN.
I was born in Chicago and I’m a die-hard Cubs fan.
I’m a licensed architect with my own architectural firm.
I’ve lived in Wisconsin, Florida, Alabama, and Connecticut.
I went to college at Auburn University.
I’m an only child.
INTRODUCE BEHIND THE GLASS IN ONE SENTENCE.
Meeting one’s soulmate does not come without obstacles.
INTRODUCE KRISTEN MORGEN AND YOUR FAVOURITE THING ABOUT WRITING ROMANCE.
I live in Connecticut with my husband and two daughters. I’m educated and trained as a licensed architect, and I own my architectural firm. Life is always busy! I’m not happy unless I’m creating something. Whether it’s floor plans for a new house or writing a new love story. As long as I’m exercising the creative side of my brain in some way. I have had an unyielding passion for writing for most of my life and recently decided to seriously pursue a second career as an author of romance novels.
Romance has always been my absolute favorite guilty pleasure and deep down, I’m a true romantic at heart. I also knew that I was more capable of writing romance because I’ve always had such a passion for it. Story lines pop into my head all the time for future novels and so far, they are all romance related! I’m constantly interested in exploring relationships and discovering the little reasons people fall in love with each other while uncovering deeper truths about themselves or life in general.
SUMMARIZE BEHIND THE GLASS FOR US (WITHOUT GIVING SPOILERS, OF COURSE).
The official book blurb does a great job actually.
Rebecca Jordan’s life is simple, disciplined and uncomplicated, at least on the surface. Then she meets a handsome stranger/secret admirer named Michael Vale one fateful late night at a bookstore café. As a focused but struggling photographer with a passion for art, her outwardly happy world is turned upside down during this life-changing encounter when she quickly realizes she has met her soul mate. The undeniable attraction between them and their intense, immediate connection seems picture perfect as they discuss the shop’s local artwork. Until Rebecca abruptly ends the chance meeting with no explanation.
Betraying Brett, her loyal, loving boyfriend is something she can never bring herself to do. Driven by a strong moral code and molded by divorced parents and a tumultuous childhood, she struggles to stay away from Michael, but fate and circumstance intervene, bringing them back together time and time again. As much as she resists, there is no denying her true feelings for him and the simple fact that Michael understands her in a way Brett never has. Michael proves to be everything she’s ever wanted but remains just out of her reach.
Behind the Glass tells the story of Michael and Rebecca’s extraordinary love and the many unconventional stages their relationship must go through. Their morals and their faith in true love and in each other will be put to the test as they learn that meeting one’s soul mate does not come without obstacles.
WHAT MAKES THE SECOND EDITION OF THIS BOOK SPECIAL?
I self-published Behind the Glass in 2014. It received a lot of high praise and had amazing response locally and in the book blogging community. Then it kind of fell off the radar. Real life took over. I kept meaning to get back to it and market it properly, but never made the time.
At the beginning of 2019, I decided to put every spare moment I had into book marketing, social media, reading, and writing. I’m so thankful I did. I pitched my book to publishing houses and I eventually found the perfect fit. My publisher and I made the decision together to re-release it as a second edition with a new prologue and some new content. It’s also now the first book in the State Street Series and there will be more books in the future.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO CREATE THIS BOOK (BOTH EDITIONS)?
Behind the Glass is basically the culmination of a lot of themes that have always intrigued me as a reader. Like many people, I’ve always been fascinated with the idea of love at first sight. Is it real? Can it happen in real life? And if it does, do people really live happily ever after? It was definitely the main theme for the story. As a lover of romance novels, that would have been way too easy. So, what if two people met, fell in love, and were without a doubt, meant to be with each other, but had all the odds constantly stacked against them?
If it truly is love at first sight, then in the end, it has to be a love worth fighting for. I love stories that torture you a little bit. Make you really root for the main characters throughout the course of the story. Characters with depth and complexity have always appealed to me as a reader. I wanted to bring that complexity to this story as a writer. Life is not simple, and neither is love. As Michael and Rebecca’s story evolves, it becomes more about the unbreakable connection between two people. About taking chances together, no matter what the odds.
WHAT WAS THE MOST CHALLENGING PART OF RELEASING THIS EDITION?
It was a very fast process! Because this is a re-release, things moved very quickly. We had to take the first edition off the shelves shortly after I signed with my publisher. We didn’t want to lose momentum, so we moved through the editing process swiftly.
Also, we didn’t want to have it off the shelves for very long before the new edition was available. I wrote the prologue and added some additional content (another 2K words) to the book and went through a full edit with the publisher, tuning everything up. I wanted this edition to be the very best it can be. It was challenging to know when to stop adding and editing and leave it be.
DO YOU RELATE TO YOUR CHARACTER REBECCA JORDAN OR ANY OTHER CHARACTERS IN THE BOOK?
I get this question a lot actually (from friends mainly) wondering if it’s semi-autobiographical and the answer is actually no. I may have a scene or two in my book that comes from something in real life, but for the most part, I have a VERY active imagination and I’m always coming up with new ideas. Inspiration comes from so many different places, but a lot of my characters are in some way at least, based on elements of different people I’ve known throughout my life.
Sometimes I read a character in a book or connect with one in a movie and it will give me ideas for characters in my own books. Sometimes the story also dictates a type of character that is needed for the story line, so it really depends. I really enjoy getting into the heads of so many characters and perspectives.
WHAT WERE THE HIGHS AND LOWS OF RELEASING THIS DEBUT NOVEL?
Writing the novel was the easy part. And I know that sounds insane, but that’s my comfort zone. Any author out there knows how scary it is to put your words, your deepest creative thoughts and stories, out there for the world to see. Just getting over that hurdle was actually liberating.
Learning the publishing world was so much more challenging than I had expected, but it’s been an amazing ride and the more I open myself up to learning about it, the more I love it. It’s a lot of work, whether you’re an indie author or traditionally published, it’s ultimately up to you as the author to make your book successful.
WHAT’S IMPORTANT FOR KRISTEN MORGEN READERS TO KNOW ABOUT THIS NEW EDITION?
After it being on the shelves for 6 years and gaining 90+ reviews, it was a wonderful opportunity to be able improve upon the book, add those things I’ve always wanted to add and really make it the best it possibly can be. We also made the decision to create a companion novel series and make Behind the Glass the first book. I had always planned on all my future books taking place in the same universe, namely State Street in Madison, Wisconsin, so it made sense. It’s basically the anchor in an ongoing collection of books that I can’t wait to share with the world one day.
WHAT WAS YOUR LEAST/MOST FAVOURITE PART TO WRITE OF THIS BOOK?
My least favorite part has always been deleting chunks of the book that I spent hours on, only to realize the story is better without it. It’s heart breaking! But at the end of the day the book is better for it and it’s a learning experience each time. You only get better at writing by writing.
My most favorite part is spending all night until 2 am working on a difficult scene or even just a scene that I’m really passionate about, going to bed thinking it sounds awful, and then waking up the next day with fresh eyes and patting myself on the back because it’s actually really good!
WHAT DID YOU DO TO PREPARE FOR THIS LATEST EDITION?
To be honest, I put these characters and this story to bed long ago. I haven’t written about them since 2014. So I had to really get back into their world again in order to write the prologue. I also went through a full edit and really added some things that were missing in the first edition. It was a fun process and I ended up getting out my old playlist, read most of the book in one sitting and really dove right back into their world and into these characters again. It was a wonderful experience and it was like visiting an old friend.
IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOU WANT KRISTEN MORGEN READERS TO KNOW ABOUT YOU OR YOUR BOOK?
When I began writing Behind the Glass, I did it for me. Plain and simple. With those first taps on the keyboard, I set out to write a love story that I wanted to read. I didn’t worry about what anyone else thought, only that I, as a reader, was satisfied with the end result. I had the general story outlined and knew exactly who my characters were, but it wasn’t until each chapter slowly evolved that I really understood what I wanted to say.
Behind the Glass was definitely a labor of love and something I truly looked forward to escaping into day after day. The experience of this novel, and of any novel I write in the future for that matter, can be summed up in my favorite quote by Toni Morrison – “If there’s a book you really want to read but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”
WHAT’S THE BEST WRITING ADVICE YOU CAN GIVE?
I post Monday Mantras every week to my social media and it’s basically a series of quotes that keep me going as a writer. The main theme is to keep going and have faith in yourself. Don’t compare yourself to others and write your own truth, your own story. At the end of the day, it’s just you and the page and there’s nothing to be afraid of if you keep at it every day. Write your book, hire an editor, get a cover designer, produce a quality product, self-publish or query, but don’t stop. Keep moving forward.
Thank you Kristen Morgen for letting me interview you and to those of you who read this! Share your comments below.
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