Sunday, 8 December 2013

Author Special.....Teresa F Morgan

Today I have the pleasure of introducing Teresa to the Novel Cafe. A huge welcome and thank you to Teresa for taking the time to tell us about her journey to becoming a writer and publishing her debut novel 'Plus One is a Lucky Number.'

I sometimes feel like I’ve cheated with writing. Don’t all writers from the age of about five know that they want to write? No, not me – I wanted to be a dancer, or TV make-up artist...

This is the journey of my debut book, Plus One is a Lucky Number. I truly believe that if I can get a book published, anyone can. But you need to work hard at it and persevere. You need to write, read, and own a thick skin. 

As a child, I used to write letters regularly to my cousins and pen friends, or would get the urge to want to write something down but would end up writing my name repeatedly, practising my signature (or doodling), so maybe it has always been in me, but I didn’t start writing until 2006.

My son was coming up for a year old in the winter of 2005 when I discovered a forum for a fandom of a favourite TV show. This led me to start reading fan fiction, and from there I started to write some of my own, too. A ‘virtual’ friend (who I met through the forum) convinced me to join a private group where you could post your stories and gain constructive critiques. This helped me improve my skill – my punctuation was horrific back then! And that was it, I was addicted. Yep, it was all my friend’s fault. She even had me competing in NaNoWriMo in 2006 as a mere beginner.

Most of the time my stories contained romance and received positive feedback, providing me with such a great warm fuzzy feeling, and then sometimes the critiques were harsh and I would cry – literally! This gave me great strength (after a good sulk and some sobbing privately), helped to improve my story telling and prepared me for the real world of writing – and rejection.

In 2009, I wanted to find something that could work around my two young children and I enrolled on the Writers’ Bureau Comprehensive Writing Course. This opened my eyes to the different avenues of writing, how to contact editors (the course covered non-fiction as well as fiction), helping me with presenting my work, researching and I made a few more writing buddies along the way.

Spurred on, I entered the Mills and Boon New Voice competition in 2010, submitting the first chapter (and the only one written at that point) of The Wedding Favour. Although I was unsuccessful in the competition, I continued writing the story and posted the second chapter onto my blog (which I had started that year too – The Wittering Woman). That urged me to finish the novel, and at the RNA Conference in 2011, I had a ten minute editor slot where I gained invaluable advice.

I met loads of published and wannabe writers at the conference and learned about the New Writers’ Scheme. On the 1st January 2012 I sat ready at my PC to send off my application at one minute past midnight - and I got in!

The Wedding Favour was finished and edited, ready for submitting to publishers, so I concentrated on writing a second novel to send to the New Writers’ Scheme that summer.

Dedicated to doing everything and anything writing related, I joined my local RNA (Bath & Wiltshire) chapter group. We meet roughly every six weeks in Lacock, a beautiful historical village in Wiltshire. Living in Weston-super-Mare, I can safely say I travel the furthest – but it’s worth the long drive.

During the submitting in 2012, The Wedding Favour received positive feedback from publishers but it wasn’t enough to get accepted. This year, still a member of the New Writers’ Scheme, and with a few life changing dramas going on and a lack of actual writing, I sent The Wedding Favour off to the scheme. I hoped a full critique would help me edit the novel for re-submitting to publishers.

In June, a fellow RNA Chapter member shared her news about receiving a call from Harper Impulse – Harper Collins’ new Imprint. Even though I hadn’t received my feedback from the NWS (I did wonder whether to wait), I decided to grab the bull by the horns and sent my manuscript to Harper Impulse.

A few weeks later, Charlotte Ledger emailed me, wanting to give me a call. Luckily, I was sat down at my PC or I might have fallen. At the time I had four boys in the house (two of them weren’t mine) and I knew the minute the phone rang all hell would break loose, and my attempts of sounding professional would be flushed down the toilet as fast as my 6 year old could shout, “I need a poo!”

I received a two book contract (not one! Still in shock over that, too) and The Wedding Favour had a name change to suit its genre, becoming Plus One is a Lucky Number. It was published 29th August 2013, fulfilling my dream of becoming an author. *insert big smiley face here*

My eldest son, who once upon a time declared literacy boring, (imagine 9 year old going on 15 type voice) has lately enjoyed writing his own stories. So maybe he carries my genes to write. We will see. And maybe I always did have it in me from a child...


  1. Thank you for having me! :) It was fun to do. I was wondering if you were going to tell me to shorten it or something ha ha!

  2. Great blog, Teresa. Caroline x

    1. Thanks Caroline. I'd forgotten I'd done this one lol!

  3. Great post, Teresa. 'Boring' (in the same tone) is currently my 6 year old's favourite word! I'm so glad I was completely alone when I got the call from Charlotte. Anything embarrassing she heard on the phone would ahve been entirely my fault!

    1. Yes, I never really got 'the call'. It was done over email. Charlotte was obviously eager to talk to me, and with her first email I didn't want to jump to conclusions... but yeah, you know how it is in a house full of kids when the phone rings. All of a sudden they want your attention lol!