Name Morgan Hannah MacDonald
Age Old enough to know better, yet young enough to still have fun.
Where are you from
Born and raised a Southern California girl.
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
Well you’ve heard the saying, Jack of all trades master of none? That’s me! I’ve floated through every job known to man. Okay, that’s a slight exaggeration, but close. Right out of high school I worked at Sears Portrait Studio taking photos of children. Then I was the lead singer of a few bands; rock, punk, I even sang standards for awhile. While working my way through school to become a hairdresser, I worked for Lancome cosmetics. Mixed in between I did banking and was a waitress. I worked for Surfer Publications in an office capacity. Through all that I had no idea I was stockpiling experiences to become the writer I am today.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
ICE SCREAM, the 4th book in The Thomas Family series is available for preorder. Publication date is December 20th, just in time for Christmas.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Well I had fantasized about it for years. I am an avid reader, of course.
Then when I learned I had dated a serial killer,(see attached story) I knew there was a book in there somewhere. But it wasn’t until two years later that I actually did something about it.
I was visiting my parents for the weekend and my father asked me what I would do if I ever won the lottery? I told him I would buy a cabin in the mountains and be a writer. He went and got his old laptop computer, handed it to me and told me not to wait. I started writing the book which became SANDMAN the minute I got home.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When SANDMAN, my first published book, began selling on Amazon. It was amazing. I couldn’t believe all the reviews from people who actually liked my writing!
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I’m a panster, I write by the seat of pants. I’m not one to do an outline, so I never know exactly where the book is going.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
The title has been many things over the years; BLOOD IN THE SAND, LIFE’S A BEACH, THE SANDMAN, then finally simply SANDMAN (the name the media gave the serial killer in the book because he buried his victims in shallow graves on the beach.)
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
If there is, it’s simply that none of us really know every aspect of a person’s personality.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic ? All of it. Everyone of books in The Thomas Family series could happen in real life.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
SANDMAN is the most personal of my novels. All the crazy men that Meagan dated were based on real people. I have enough dating horror stories to fill a book. I’ve had reviewers say that all those things couldn’t happen to one person, but they did and more. When they say unlucky in love, they were talking about me! LOL I mean seriously, how many women do you know can claim they dated a serial killer?
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
Thomas Harris’ Silence of the Lambs is definitely a favorite. Up until I read that book, in the late 1980’s, there was no novel that delved into the mind of a serial killer and I found it fascinating. I adopted his style of putting you into the mind of the killer through his memories of childhood for my book SANDMAN.
Patricia Cornwell’s Scarpetta series was a big influence on me. I enjoyed how real her characters and stories are.
Karin Slaughter. Her books have grit and suspense. I think I identify mostly with her work.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Karin Slaughter’s; COP TOWN
Fiona: What are your current projects?
Next up is SPRITS OF THE BAYOU which takes place in New Orleans, featuring a younger Jon-Luc Boudreaux from SPIRITS AMONG US. I love this character, he has a fascinating talent as a psychic medium which he uses to solve murders. He’s also sexy as all get out with that Cajun accent and bad boy background.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Yes, I do believe I’ve finally hit on my perfect career. I will be writing until my fingers no longer work, or maybe longer!
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? Well I hope not since I just finished the rewrites on ICE SCREAM! LOL
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Here’s the synopsis for ICE SCREAM:
YOU CAN’T SCREAM
Somewhere in the vast Alaskan wilderness hides a psychotic monster. His methods are unlike any other serial killer to date. He likes his women cold, frozen to be exact. Once finished with a victim, he displays her like a twisted piece of art.
YOU CAN’T RUN
Special Agent Annie Thomas is on leave from the FBI after the loss of her fiancé, Matt Locklear. She has spent the better part of a year in a one-bedroom cabin deep in the woods. Lately she’s had the feeling of being watched. Maybe her self-imposed exile is getting the best of her. Growing up in California, she’s not exactly accustomed to the long, rough winters.
YOU CAN’T HIDE
Homicide Detective Stone Wooshkeetaan found his best friend’s mutilated body, an image he’ll never escape. For the last year he’s been walking around with a hole in his heart. The Locklear family has reached out on numerous occasions, but their home only reminds him of the years he’d spent there growing up with their son.
It’s the day after Christmas and the first nice day in almost a week. To escape cabin fever, everyone finds an excuse to be outside. Draper’s Pond is filled with the sound of laughing children as they race around on the ice trying out their new skates. Little do they know a dark cloud looms ahead. Two little girls are holding hands and spinning as fast as they can until they break apart. One goes sliding face down into a snow bank. Once she rises, she shakes herself off. A blood curdling scream rips from her tiny throat, silencing the crowd. Directly below her is the body of a woman trapped under the ice; her hands up as if warding off an attack, her mouth open in a silent scream.
Matt’s sister, Dawn, begs Annie to help the Wasilla Police Department find the man who murdered her friend. Annie explains she can’t without an invitation. Not taking no for an answer, Annie must find a way to offer her services without offending anyone. She’s only met the lead detective once, but they do have a connection: Matt. Surprisingly, Stone is eager for the assist. He’s certain this is not the killer’s first murder and wants Annie to help him prove it.
Then the investigation takes a sinister turn. Women begin showing up all over the Mat-Su Valley looking like horrific ice sculptures. Now Annie and Stone are on the hunt for a sadistic killer hiding in a state over twice the size of Texas and largely comprised of uninhabited wilderness. Will they capture this malevolent fiend before he finishes his twisted agenda and disappears, only to start again?
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Karen Slaughter, I love her realism.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I design my own covers and have an artist bring the finished product to fruition.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I do a lot of research, so I learn so many things during the process. With ICE SCREAM, I completely immersed myself with everything Alaskan. As well as delved into the criminal mind for Annie’s character because that is her expertise. I found it most fascinating.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Join Romance Writers of American-RWA. Join a chapter either online or in your nearest city. They have wonderful online classes to improve your writing, as well as a monthly magazine with tips on writing. Everything you need to know to be an author in this day and age you will find in RWA. They help you with every step of your writing career. I wouldn’t be here today without it, nor would most of your Amazon bestselling authors.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I can’t thank them enough. My readers are an amazing bunch, so passionate, bright and funny. I’m very blessed.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Not really, but the first book that made a real impact on me was CARRIE by Stephan King.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I love to laugh so hard that I cry. Playing CARDS AGAINST HUMANITY with my girlfriends does that to me every time!
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
I would love to meet author Karin Slaughter so I could tell her how she impacted my career.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
She made us laugh. Because laughter is the best gift you can give to anyone!
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
The Blacklist, The Good Wife, Madame Secretary, Scandal, Grey’s Anatomy, Nashville, Chicago Fire, Rizzoli & Isles, Blind Spot. To name a few.
Favorite movies; Last of the Mohicans and Practical Magic
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Food? I love eating out. Italian, Mexican, Prime rib.
Alternative Rock,- ie; Foo Fighters, Bush, Muse, Nirvana, etc.
Classic Rock-ie Rolling Stones, Buffalo Springfield , Simon & Garfunkle, Crosby, Stills Nash & Young, Joni Mitchell, etc.
Celtic music ie Celtic Women
Cobalt blue is my favorite color. Whenever I come across glass made in cobalt blue I have to have it.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
Interior Decorator. I love designing rooms.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
I have often been asked where the inspiration for SANDMAN came from. Well, truth is stranger than fiction. It was November 3, 1998. I had gone away for the weekend to the mountains with a couple of friends from work. There had been rumors of snow, so we put the TV on immediately to track the storm. The minute the news came on, there was a story of a trucker who had walked into the police station, slapped a plastic bag on the counter and stated; I think you’re looking for me. The bag contained the severed breast of a woman.
As the weekend wore on, more information became available. They stated that the man had frequented a Karaoke bar in San Clemente. That perked up my ears. Five years prior, I had dated a guy who ran that Karaoke bar. I might have met this guy! Chilling.
After I got home, there was a message from my best friend. She asked if I had seen the story on the news and wasn’t that the guy I’d dated? I laughed. I’d never dated a Wayne. I would have remembered, that was my grandfather’s name. Then she told me his full name was Wayne Adam Ford, it hit me. I did date a guy named Adam, but he didn’t look anything like the guy on the news.
The Adam I knew was sexy, tall, fit and had a neatly trimmed beard that brought out his gorgeous deep green eyes. It had been the winter of 1993 and he wore flannel shirts with straight legged 501 jeans. I love that lumberjack look! The guy on the news was heavier and balding. Of course, I hadn’t seen him in five years and people do change. But I still wasn’t convinced. My friend said that Inside Edition was doing a story on him that night.
So at seven o’clock I sat on my couch and waited. They started the segment with the exact same clip the news had showed all weekend. It was a slow motion shot of him entering a court room in an orange jumpsuit. But this time, when he turned to face the camera, I recognized those eyes. I burst into tears. It was him, it was the man I’d dated! My body trembled, then turned numb as I listened to the frightening tale. He was discharged from the marines for psychological reasons in the early eighties. In 1985 he was arrested for the rape and beating of a prostitute, the charges were dropped due to lack of evidence. That’s when it occurred to me, he was already on the brink of insanity when I’d known him!
In 1994 he’d met a young girl at that same karaoke bar. They’d married and had a child. After the birth, he started to unravel. He’d become possessive, jealous and asked her to do strange things in the bedroom. She divorced him and took the child to live with her mother. He was refused visitation rights.
That was the catalyst that started his murderous rampage. He started picking up prostitutes and hitch hikers at truck stops along his route. He raped and tortured the girls before he killed them, then sliced off a breast as a souvenir.
The camera panned to a trailer surrounded by woods alongside a river. The picture would have been beautiful and serene if not for all the cops parading in and out carrying evidence. They announced his freezer was full of body parts. It seems that one of his victims had her legs, arms and head amputated by an ax. Her torso was found bobbing in the water by a fisherman. They were still searching the Madd River for her head.
In a moment of hysteria, I remembered how overly dramatic the guy had been. If not for the fact that they’d found all that evidence linking him to those grisly crimes, I would have thought he’d confessed just to get attention. Maybe he did. The authorities didn’t know they had a serial killer. He wasn’t even a blip on their radar. So the only way he could get his fifteen minutes of fame was to turn himself in. But the joke’s on him, fifteen minutes is all he got. After all, have you ever heard of Wayne Adam Ford? It is said that there are approximately 50 serial killers active in the United States at any given time. So if in his sick twisted mind he thought he would be another Ted Bundy, or John Wayne Gacy, he was sorely mistaken.
The final twist to this already disturbing story is that I met Wayne Adam Ford on my birthday November 3, 1993 and he turned himself in on November 3 1998. After this revelation, I didn’t trust my instincts regarding men. I didn’t go on another date for over ten years. I’m still single to this day. I guess you could say that this has really messed with my mind!
Now I know it’s a cliché, but it’s true. I never had a clue. The guy I dated was charming, handsome and had lots of friends. We dated only a short time. I questioned his relationship with his ex-girlfriend who was cooking him meals and leaving them in his freezer. He broke up with me because he said I had a suspicious mind. Funny, but I ran into him some months later and we went out to grab a bite to eat. That’s when he confessed he had to stop seeing her because he was still in love with her.
Now, when you read SANDMAN, you will find bits and pieces of these things in the story. I borrowed some facts from his case and mixed them up between the suspects so no one would be able to guess the killer’s true identity.
Morgan Hannah MacDonald writes Romantic Thrillers that are NOT for the faint of heart. She’s held many positions in her life including a teller where her hands and feet were bound while armed robbers took over the bank. Years later she discovered she’d dated a serial killer. That’s when she knew her destiny was in writing, because strange things do happen to real people. She belongs to RWA, International Thriller Writers and Sisters In Crime. She resides in San Diego, California, where she is busy working on her next novel. She loves to hear from readers.
Write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask to be on her newsletter to be informed of her new releases.
Visit her website to view all her books. www.morganhannahmacdonald.com
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