Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Shadows of Morrow by A.C. Haury: Interview and Excerpt


What inspired you to write your first book?

I have always been a writer, since I was a young child so the book was always inside of me, somewhere. I came up with the idea of Shadows of Morrow over nine years ago, but I was working on other projects. This year I decided to get serious and finally pen the novel that was in my head. The book has evolved greatly in the years since I first came up with a character profile for Jack and Tristan Morrow.

How did you come up with the title?

I played with several different working titles, and finally, in last weeks of editing, I chose Shadows of Morrow. Morrow is the family that the novel focuses on, and their shadows are the lies and the pain that have shrouded the family for decades. The Shadows of Morrow are as much a part of the story as the characters themselves.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Absolutely. The most important thing in life is family. Cherish and protect your loved ones, be careful who you trust, and never underestimate the strength of a woman.

Is your story realistic?

I believe this is a very realistic fiction mystery novel. I have been told by many readers that the characters are very lifelike and the story is believable. I take pride knowing that my readers care deeply for the characters I’ve created and feel as if they know them personally. There is no greater compliment, in my opinion.

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

No. The events in Shadows of Morrow are complete fiction.

What books have most influenced your life most?

Wow. Where should I start? Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey, Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, Jennifer McMahon’s Promise Not to Tell, Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, Edgar Allen Poe’s complete catalogue of works, and more. There are so many to choose from.

What book are you reading now?

Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Definitely! Kimberly McCreight’s Reconstructing Amelia is outstanding. I highly recommend her work.

What are your current projects?
I am working on a novella called Harbinger House and the follow up to Shadows of Morrow, The O’Mara Vanishment.

Do you see writing as a career?

Absolutely. It is my passion. My love. Writing is what makes me happy. What better career is there than one that makes you feel complete?

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

No. I am pleased with how Shadows of Morrow turned out and I cannot wait for readers to enjoy my work.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

My grandmother loved to read, and she cultivated my love of literature at a very young age. Saturday afternoons, when the cartoons were over and before our movie nights began, she would encourage me to write short stories. The imagination can take you so much further than any remote control ever could.

Who designed the covers?

I designed them myself on my computer. I obtained the cover photograph from fotolia/andreiuc88, tweaked the fonts and coloring, ensured the measurements were accurate, and sent it off for production. I am very pleased with how it turned out.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Editing! My joy is writing and editing is my least favorite part of the process. A necessary evil, though.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Yes. Believe in yourself. Do not dull your words for fear that others will be shocked or misunderstand your meaning. Allow your passion to paint the page with beautiful and meaningful words. Don’t try to fit in. Be yourself and stand out. That is what indie writing is all about. The power of self-expression.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

I hope you enjoy my debut novel Shadows of Morrow! Please feel free to drop me a line on facebook at A.C. Haury.

Some secrets should just stay buried. On the day Tristan Morrow is born her mother goes missing, prompting an investigation that produces no solid leads. Fast forward 15 years, and the Morrow family still doesn't know the truth behind Catherine Morrow's disappearance. When 15 year old Tristan is required to write a biography on her mother for a school assignment, she learns the truth about her mother's fate, and she is hell-bent upon finding out who was responsible for her death. But when Tristan herself goes missing too, everyone is suspect, even her own father. ​
Set in rural Fox Hollow, PA, "Shadows of Morrow" unravels a web of lies, deceit, madness, and corruption. Can they crack the case before Tristan meets the same fate as her mother? And who is responsible for the disappearances? There is much uncertainty as the investigation unfolds, but there is one thing that is certain: Tristan Morrow holds the master key to the entire riddle.​

Shane shook his head in contempt. Mr. Kendricks saw his reaction and loudly called across the room, "And be sure to hand it in this year so that we do not have to be in each
other's  company  for  a  third  year  of  English  104!"
Kendricks continued to read off his clipboard:
Havlang, Cora - Grandmother Jefferson , Christina - Sister Kaplan, Ian - Uncle
Morrow ...
From the center of the room three exasperated voices rang out, "Which one?" Kendricks turned around and peered down over his glasses a.this students, Tristan, Thomas and lllake, before turning his eyes back to the lisL

Morrow, 13lake - Uncle Morrow ....

Tristan and Tommy began to form a 'w' on their lips when Kendricks loudly proclaimed, "Thomas...Father.''

Under Tommy's breath, he mumbled, "There's a project I won't be handing in!" Tristan turned around in her chair, scolding her brother, "You have to! If you fail this class again, Dad is going to have a fit!"

Morrow, Tristan - Mother
\Vhen the words escaped his lips, Tristan did not quite know how to react. Pale as a ghost, she dropped her pencil onto her desk. She had a 98 average in Kendrick's class. She'd have to manage somehow. Quickly, her arm shm into [he air, in an atcempt to catch Mr. Kendrick's a[tention. Kendricks , seeing her raised arm, protested with sheer agitation. "Miss Morrow, can't this wait until after class?" He said her last name as if it was the name of a particularly nasty disease. "It has to do with the assignment," explained Tristan. Agitation clear on his face, Kendricks replied "Very well. What is it?" Tristan explained, "I believe that there must be some kind of mistake. The person you assigned me... I have no way of contacting them."  Suddenly, Kendricks face changed. Something hidden came to light on his typically smug face. Tommy thought he saw the teacher release a smirk. Kendrick replied, I guess that is where your inner investigator will need to take charge."

Kendrick immediately diverted his eyes back to his clip board and by doing so, effectively closed the conversation.

Piedmonte, Cole - Mother
"But-" protested Cole.
"Mother, I said," interrupted Kendricks firmly.
As Kendricks continued to distribute the rest of the assignments to the class, Tommy tapped his younger sister on her shoulder. She turned around to see her brother with an emotion on his face that she once thought was foreign to his heart: concern.

"Don't do it," said Tommy. "I have to. He's not going to like this one bit," replied Tristan, worry clear on her face. While her brothers were given relatives that play an active part in their lives, Tristan's assignment would not be quite so easy. It just so happened that Tristan was required to write her assignment on her mother; someone she never knew. Tristan's temper, still quite heated as she attempted to work on the assignment, showed no signs of wavering.

Heavy footsteps in the hallway, more than one set, jarred her concentration. "Tristan!" called a deep voice from beyond the solid bedroom door. Hoping to ignore the interruption, Tristan continues to glare at her computer monitor. The voice is now joined by another. "Open the door!" Tristan begins to growl under her breath. "Is one
her. Against her greatest wishes, a smile formed across her face as she remembered her school uniform that was drenched unforgivingly  after being left outside during a particularly brutal  rain storm.

"As much as I hated you that day, this is not about that. You have a brain of your own. You do it," quipped Tristan. Tommy stared back at her, "I have to think of a thousand  words  to write about  Dad. Do you know how hard that is?" Tristan smirked at her older brother and pinched his cheek, ''I'm sure you'll manage... and you Shane! I would love to be able to write an essay on Aunt Bridgette. Give me a break! You better hold some interviews and get your quotes!" Doing her best impression of Mr. Kendricks, Tristan pushed her nose into the air pompously, and spoke in her best snooty voice, "This is where your inner investigator will come into play!"

Quickly, Tristan curned on her barefoot heel as if to bid the pair adieu, as a boisterous banging sounded from the kitchen, a floor below. \Vooden spoon against metal pot, the clattering noise repeated over and over again. As the drumming song ceased, the loud cry of a female's voice called from the first floor landing.

"Dinner! Get it while it's hot!"

A.C. Haury is a Philadelphia-based novelist, freelance writer, SEO specialist, and online marketing strategist, who has been writing professionally for over 10 years. She has been published on many high profile websites such as Yahoo! News, NBC News, SF Gate, Investopedia, The Globe and the Mail, and many others. She is an award winning freelance writer who was the recipient of the Yahoo Contributor Network's Rising Star Award in 2011, as well as frequently being among the platforms 500 most prolific writers. In 2013, she published a small collection of poetry titled Scarlet Awakening, as well as her debut novel titled Shadows of Morrow. She has a variety of projects upcoming, most notably her next novel titled The O'Mara Vanishment, which is slated for release in early 2014.

Haury lives in Philadelphia with her husband and children. She is a fervent supporter of the arts, especially unsigned authors. She is a classically trained musician who loves listening to a wide variety of music beyond the classical arena, including Mumford and Sons, Florence and the Machine, the Beatles, and more. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with family, travelling, reading, and of course, writing to her heart's content.
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