Name: J. Morgan Woodall.
Where are you from: Birmingham, Alabama
I am happily married to my childhood sweetheart. I can honestly say she is the woman of my dreams. She is my muse, my de facto editor, and my inspiration for most of the female characters in my books. We have two wonderful stepchildren who are going through their teen years (fun fun). I work a full-time job which takes up a lot of my time. When you throw in trying to balance a family life and an already demanding career, unfortunately writing sometimes falls way down the priority list. But that’s what makes it so special to me, because my writing is a precious commodity to me and I don’t take for granted. I cherish the time and effort put into it just as much as what comes out.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I just released my first book, an erotic novella entitled “The Devil in The Detail,” in February. So far, I’m very pleased with the feedback I’ve received on it. I was very apprehensive about being a male writer in such a female-dominated genre, but I can honestly say it has been a wonderful experience. Everyone I’ve interacted with has treated me fantastic!
In May, I plan on releasing my second book, a full-length novel, “Like A Fox on The Run.” I’m very, very excited about this project because I think it is truly unique in that it crosses several genres, including science fiction, fantasy, romance, and of course erotica. I also feel it’s unique, due to the fact it will be set against a Deep South backdrop. I don’t know many sci-fi-fantasy stories there are with a down-home Southern flavor. It’s kind of a Dukes of Hazzard meets Blade Runner deal.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
Oh, I started writing way back in junior high. I would write little stories about space adventures and such. I even started a few “novels.” They usually never got past five or six pages before something else caught my interest, usually a member of the opposite sex.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When someone read my first book and said, “You know, you really have a talent for this.”
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I love fantasy of all kinds. I was reading a book of short stories about succubi. And every one of the stories basically went like this: succubus seduces man, has sex with man, steals man soul, and man dies, forever damned. Every single one. And I’m thinking, Damn! This concept could use a little originality. So, I wrote TDITD. I think most people who read it are pleasantly surprised at the ending. Certainly, they never see it coming.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I would describe my writing style as “layering.” I look at a book like a portrait. First, I do a rough sketch. Then I go back and add color, filling in a hole here, adding a tree there. Then I’ll go back and do it again and again, always trying to add substance, making a weak part stronger, a good part better, trimming away what no longer fits until I have the book I want.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Well, of course I thought it would be a great title for a book about a sexy-she-devil, but at the same time, I also thought it was appropriate for the story. We’ve all heard the phrase and know what it means. In the book, both the main characters learn things aren’t always cut and dry, and sometimes, the surest of plans go awry.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
No matter how bad you think you are. There’s always someone just a littler badder.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Not one bit!
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
I would have to say there have been two books that have had a profound impact on me. The first would be “A Sparrow Falls” by Wilbur Smith. It’s an old, old book. A friend of the family bought it for me when I was around twelve. I guess they thought it was an Allen Quartermain-type adventure novel from the cover. Obviously, they had no idea it was as adult-oriented as it was. Let’s just say, a lot of the “mysteries” about women were answered from many a night reading that book in bed, mouth agape and eyes wide open.
But that’s not the only reason it had an influence on me. Smith is a great novelist who can combine almost every element into a novel. Intrigue. Adventure. Passion. Romance. He’s very good at weaving all of this into a wonderful tapestry. Of course, he’s been doing it for fifty years.
The second book would be “Boy’s Life” by Robert R. McCammon. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve read this book cover-to-cover. I’m sure most kids today in this video game and cellphone world wouldn’t appreciate it, but if you grew up like I did, where you actually had to go outside to play (gasp) and interact with your friends, it’s a wonderful read. Even though I didn’t grow up in the era that the book was set in, its message is timeless, in that the world as a kid is a magical place, full of wonder and extraordinary moments. But the magic doesn’t last forever and when it’s gone, it’s gone, never to return, and that’s something to be mourned.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest and who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
As previously mentioned, I’ve been a lifelong fan of both Wilbur Smith and Robert R. McCammon. To me, McCammon is the South’s Stephen King. When I read his books, I can vividly see the picture he paints with no effort at all. It’s like looking through his eyes and seeing what he sees. To me, that’s a great gift, and one I’ve tried to emulate.
As for new authors, I like James A. Corey’s Expanse series. It pulled me in immediately. Normal, everyday people living and working in space. Finally, someone writes a sci-fi novel that a working man can appreciate. I mean, do we really think that everyone in space one day will be a princess or a knight? Or that we’re going to colonize space and not need people who get their hands dirty? What a novel concept!
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
This is my pen name that I use due to the nature of my writing, to keep from offending certain members of my family. I come from a very conservative, religious family in the heart of the Bible Belt, so most of my family doesn’t know about my work, with the exception of my wonderful wife and sister-in-law, both of whom are great beta readers.
I want to brag here, just for a second. I hear a lot of authors complain about how their families never take any interest whatsoever in their work. I have to say I am truly blessed in the fact that my wife is not only my biggest fan, but also my greatest critic. She pulls no punches when she gives her opinions on my work, letting me know what she truly thinks. My next book coming out, Like a Fox on the Run, was actually supposed to be my first. But she hated the ending of it so much, I went back and completely redid it, from start to finish. Although it was a lot of work, and a slight blow to the old ego, in the end, it made it a much better book in my view.
Outside of my family, I would like to thank two special people. First, I would like to recognize fellow author, Tamikio L. Reardon. Miss Reardon is a writer’s writer, just the consummate all-around good person and supporter of authors everywhere. The forums on Facebook that she sponsors helps open up so many avenues of opportunity to new authors like me. She was the first author I ever friended and it was through her groups that I found my way into this wonderful online world of resources for rookies like me. Any time I’ve ever had a question about anything, she’s always answered, honestly and kindly. You hear a lot about how authors support other authors and a lot of times I’ve felt a lot of that was just talk, but Tamikio, she walks the walk!
The second person I want to thank is my favourite beta reader, the wonderful Miss Beth. She is a wonderful young lady and an avid reader who had a big hand in helping me with TDITD. As a male author delving into a genre so often geared toward women, I really felt at a disadvantage. I knew it would be crucial to understand how a woman sees things. I know how a man sees a situation, but a woman is not going to see it the same way. Beth allowed me to see through a woman’s eyes with frankness, honesty and clarity. I took her feedback and used it to hone the manuscript into a much better book.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Gosh! I would love to answer this question in the affirmative! I sure hope so! I guess my next couple of books will tell that tale. But whatever may happen in the future, I am happy to know that, so far, I have accomplished what I set out to do. I have written a book, published it and people have read it. That is a great feeling!
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
A lot of the feedback I received on TDITD has centered on readers wishing they knew the fate of the two main characters, more specifically, would they fall in love? I wished now I had wrote a full novel instead of a novella, but being my first foray into this genre I can now say I was a little apprehensive about plunging headfirst into uncharted waters. I was a tad bit afraid of investing too much time on a full-length novel only to find out I totally sucked at writing erotica. Of course, hindsight is always 20/20.
But hey, there’s always sequels …
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I think I started writing to hold on to a piece of my youth, to pay homage to all the childhood and teenage fantasies I had treasured. I was afraid as I grew older, I would eventually forget these precious little mental movies that had been such a big part of my life. I’ve always had a great imagination. Even from my grade school days, I’ve always been this Walter Mitty kind of dude, who imagined himself in all kinds of great adventures … a suave, handsome hero rescuing some beautiful (and grateful) girl from unspeakable evil, saving the world, being some famous space adventurer. So, my head has always been full of stories. When I got into my twenties, it occurred to me that I could either keep them to myself or share them with the rest of the world. I think natural tendency is always to play it safe. I could just keep them all locked away in my mind’s attic or put them on display for the world to see. Maybe people would like them, maybe they wouldn’t. There was only way to find out.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
From “The Devil in the Detail”
Somehow, and he wasn’t real sure how, he had managed to talk her into coming back to the hotel with him. At least, that was what he kept telling himself. However, a part of him wasn’t so sure his gift of gab had all that much to do with it, especially after that ludicrous Vampirella comment. The more he’d thought about it, the more it seemed the opposite had occurred. He couldn’t shake the uneasy feeling that she had chosen him, not vice versa.
She now stood at the sliding glass door leading out to the balcony of his king suite, high on the fifteenth floor of the Conquistador, the posh, new high-rise hotel overlooking the Gulf. Out on the water, the lonely lights of ocean-going ships and small craft blinked their forlorn presence through the dark and stormy night. Lightning raced across the horizon, its orange-white forks illuminated the heavy clouds that formed the leading edge of the nasty-looking front moving inland. It would be raining within the hour, a hard driving rain, with the wind coming off the water, battering the glass like a wailing banshee, mournfully announcing someone’s demise.
“It’s going to be a beautiful storm,” she remarked, surveying the ocean. “Do you enjoy a good storm?”
He shrugged. “It’s funny … when I was a kid, I used to love playing in the rain. Running around in it, stomping in mud puddles, getting soaked to the bone.” Standing at the dresser, he raised the lid on the bucket of ice and dropped two cubes into a tumbler. Reaching for the half-empty bottle of Crown, he filled the glass with whiskey, contemplating what she’d said before turning back to this ravishing but strange woman he’d just met a few hours before.
“Y’know, as I grew older, the more it seemed like getting rained on was some kind of sin, something to be avoided at all costs. Raincoats … umbrellas … anything now to stay dry.”
“Why is it that adults are discouraged from the same fun and laughter that they were allowed to enjoy as a child?”
“Part of growing up, I guess,” he shrugged, after a thoughtful pause. “You’re expected to be responsible, mature … all that bullshit. If you aren’t … people don’t take you seriously.”
“Restrictive, puritanical views!” she scoffed. “Imposed upon you by the same oppressive hypocrites who burnt innocent people at the stake in Salem!”
He chuckled. “I didn’t figure you to be a member of the local First Baptist Church. Not that I’m all that religious myself.”
“Oh, you seem to have gotten the wrong impression of me.” She had a mischievous twinkle in her captivating eyes. “To the contrary, I’m quite religious!”
“Ah! Of course!” He nodded knowingly at the backdoor reminder. “When I did go to church as a kid, we had this ol’ fashioned hellfire and brimstone preacher.”
“Ewww, reminds me of home.” Her face twisted in revulsion. “And not in a good way!”
“Uhhh, yeah … right!” He gave her a condescending smile. “Anyways, the ol’ parson used to always say the devil was in church every time the doors were opened.”
“Not my department, really,” she shrugged. “So, I wouldn’t know, although I’ve gotten to know many a man of the cloth quite well through the centuries.”
She smiled wantonly, and for the first time, he allowed himself to consider the outlandish notion that she just might be what she claimed. Indeed, she had a distinctly devilish look to her now. But even with a definite, diabolical bent, she was still as alluring as ever, maybe even more now. Those eyes … Good God, so blue they’re almost transparent! It was somewhat unsettling. They drew him in. Made him want to lose himself. She had a small, slightly upturned nose, like the hot comic MILF Blondie. Her full, luscious lips were so red they reminded him of a juicy ripe fruit … forbidden fruit maybe? Seemed somehow fitting. Her raven-black hair hung thick and wild down her shoulders, like that of a witch in season. The tight, form-fitting, red dress clung to every perfect curve of her body. Its neckline plunged low, all the way to mid-stomach, and the two milky white breasts were barely contained by the tight, stretched spandex that accentuated shamelessly erect nipples. The little red number was a sin in itself, ending just barely below her ass … long enough to cover the bottom of those exquisitely rounded cheeks and short enough to make even the most pious man want to look twice. Out of the bar and now back in his room, in much better light, he realized just what a stunner she really was.
Could it be possible?
“That whole vampire thing earlier … I was outta line,” he apologized, turning his glass up and downing a generous portion of the whiskey in it. “You really are a beautiful woman. No bullshit.”
She didn’t answer, but instead reached down and unlocked the glass door. Sliding it open, she looked back at him and smiled. “Come. Sit with me on the balcony.” With a bat of unnaturally long eyelashes, she added, “Please.”
He followed her outside, where two patio chairs awaited them. The night air was heavy with the scent of saltwater. In the distance, the rumbling of thunder accompanied the lightning, and a steady breeze now rippled the sunbrellas in the pool area directly below. Down at the beach, large, angry waves had begun crashing into the shore, the storm driving the tide in front of it like a herd of stampeding cattle.
She sat down in the closest chair, but he remained standing, making his way to the railing. Leaning against it, he surveyed the panoramic view like a king overlooking his kingdom. During his stay, he’d come to enjoy gazing out over it all. It gave him a sense of freedom to observe the beach scene, the pool, the vacationers frolicking on the surf or laying out, cooking their oiled bodies. He loved to watch the boats race up and down the coast and the paragliders float by. More than anything else, he simply loved to gaze out upon the ocean spreading out toward the endless horizon. Powder blue, tinged white, inside the sandbar, it turned a beautiful blue-green as it spilled out toward the bottomless depths of the Gulf. His favorite time of the day was just after dawn, sipping his morning coffee while he watched the dolphins feed just off the beach.
“I never got your name.” He turned back to her, only now realizing that awful breach of proper etiquette.
“No, you didn’t.” She looked up at him, a sly smile parting those sensuous lips. “Don’t you know if I tell you my name, you gain dominion over me?”
“Ah, of course!” he rolled his eyes. She insisted on playing the game. “The whole ‘I am Legion’ thing.” He wondered how long she would persist with it. Girls like this, no matter how beautiful they were, tended to get on his nerves very quickly. He was a grown man, not some college boy who still read Harry Potter.
“You mind if I get a little more comfortable? These boots are killing my feet,” she changed the subject, as she raised a leg high and held it out in front of her.
“Sure, by all means,” he told her, although it was clear her asking was merely a formality. She began to unzip those garishly long boots, the zippers running full length, from mid-thigh to an inch above the sole. He watched her free her legs from their leather encasements, and felt an immediate twinge in his groin as he did.
Hidden inside the boots, it had been impossible to gauge just how long and sexy those legs were. Now displayed in their full glory, he couldn’t help but admire them. Before him now, liberated from their leather trappings, were a pair of the sexiest legs he’d ever seen. They were perfect and sleek, like works of art. The thighs, well-defined and shapely, were creamy smooth and unblemished. The calves were long and slender, not too muscular, but with just the right curve, as they flowed flawlessly into graceful, dainty feet with highly defined arches and slender, delicate toes. She pulled one of them up into her lap and began massaging the sole of it. It was very un-ladylike, but he had to admit, he found it quite charming.
He couldn’t resist taking a jab. “You know, for a supernatural entity, you sure do have some very human traits.”
“You insensitive males don’t realize what your women go through just to appeal to your basic senses,” she grumbled, as she continued to rub her foot vigorously. “Uncomfortable shoes, tight clothes, restrictive bras, cosmetics, and hairsprays. You should appreciate them more than you do.”
“Mmmm hmmm …” he answered absent-mindedly. In pulling her foot up to tend to it, the hem of her dress had slid up past her crotch, exposing a very racy pair of thin, red panties. He found himself now captivated by the sight of them. By far, this wasn’t the first time he’d gotten a free shot, yet as much as he hated to admit it, there was just something about this girl that was different. Maybe it was all this hokey-ass spook bullshit. Maybe it was the fact she was so damned sexy without really having to be. Even without the red dress and “fuck-me” boots, she exuded a confident, quiet sexiness like no other woman he’d ever seen. Even sitting there awkwardly rubbing out her throbbing toes, she was hot to watch. She knew all too well what she was and what she did to men. And he was a man like any other. He couldn’t deny the feelings running through his head and his groin; he’d grown completely hard just watching her work the soreness out of her feet.
“You like what you see?” Her head dropped down into his view, as she gave him a knowing wink. “And I thought you were a gentleman.”
“Did you now?” He was slightly embarrassed at the fact he’d been busted gawking like a teenaged schoolboy, but he tried to save face with a rakish smile. “You may be disappointed then.”
“I’m never disappointed.” She let go of her foot, picked up her glass, and drained it. “And do you know why?”
“Enlighten me,” he swallowed hard, as she sat her empty glass down, stood up and moved toward him.
“Because …” Her voice was deep, husky now, as her eyes locked onto his. “I know men’s hearts. Their deepest, darkest desires … the ones they tell no one.” She was in front of him now, her perfume sweet and intoxicating in his nostrils. “The ones they keep in the darkest corners of their mind, where light is never allowed to penetrate.” He looked into those blue eyes and immediately knew he’d made a terrible mistake. Look away! a voice inside him screamed. Yet he couldn’t. There was something in them now, a deadly seductiveness that dulled his senses like a drug. Those pools of sky-blue spoke to him, calmed him.
“I see men for what they are,” her voice was hypnotic, like a mother singing a lullaby to her child. Reassuring. Comforting. Disarming. Mesmerizing.
“Oh, is that a fact?” He wanted the words to come out differently than they did, with a bit of machismo to counter her smugness. Yet, they came out flat, almost robotic, as she stood before him now, a pagan goddess.
“And I give men what they desire. Any man. Any desire.” A light, purplish glow seemed to shroud her now. He should have found that very strange. Yet, somehow, in some way, it didn’t seem all that troubling. He sensed a feeling come over him, much like right after he’d had that one Crown too many. Warm and cozy, but not yet drunk and silly.
“I can be anyone to any man.” She moved closer to him, intruding upon his aura. Her ample breasts were almost touching him. So close! So agonizingly close! Every nerve ending in his body seemed to come alive, as she continued.
“I can be the neighbor next door you’ve wanted for ten years.” Suddenly, a beautiful woman in her mid-thirties appeared before him. She wore faded jeans, an old t-shirt, and sneakers. Her soccer-mom haircut and cat-eye frame glasses did nothing to hide an obvious sexiness that everyone knew was repressed by raising kids, paying bills, and supporting a thankless husband.
“What the fuck?” He was jolted back to reality by this very unbelievable happening.
“Y’know, the one you’ve never told a soul about, but jack off every chance you get, staring out the bathroom window at her working in her flower garden.”
“Noooo, but I can be the cheerleader that comes over to spend the night with your daughter.” The babe next door now morphed into a young girl, maybe sixteen, in a cheerleader’s outfit. Blonde, with young, pert tits, and a face full of freckles, she thrust her pom-poms into the air, the bottom of her top rising, exposing the taut, athletic stomach of a young, unblemished girl. “Y’know the one. She comes over after school and wears her shorts a size smaller than they should be, and you swear she does it just to tease you! Why? Because you actually have the audacity to believe in your egotistical, chauvinistic mind that she’d actually be turned on by your old, decrepit ass!”
“You’re twisted! There’s no wa—”
“Oh! Well, maybe you go the other direction!” The cheerleader instantly aged thirty years or more. “Maybe it’s the hot mother-in-law you sneak naughty glimpses at … all the while telling your wife what an evil witch she is. Yes, the hot, naughty MILF!” A beautiful, mature woman with big hair, double-Ds, and a voluptuous figure now smiled slyly at him. “Or was it your best friend’s mom back in junior high? The one you used to lay in bed and cream your sheets dreaming about. Y’know! The first real woman you actually noticed, laying out by the pool with that huge rack or wearing that cute little tennis skirt that showed off that well-rounded ass and those wonderful, creamy thighs.”
“Stop!” he protested, but it was too weak to be anywhere effective. His head spun, his mind reeling, as his own secret fantasies of youth now marched through his head one by one.
“Oh, I can be a lot more. The new girl at the office you fantasize about bending over the copy machine. Your kid’s hot new third-grade teacher.” Each time, she transformed into the character she described.” Or maybe it’s the older sister you used to sneak peeks at while she got dressed for school every morning. She thought nothing of putting on her makeup in front of you in her bra and panties because after all, she was your sister … Or maybe your first cousin you grew up with, the one who filled out in front of your eyes.” She winked. “Those two are always popular down here.” Her teeth bit down teasingly over her lower lip, and she became the mocking caricature of some ditzy, backwoods country girl. “Yeeehawww!”
“Stop it! Christ in Heaven! What the fuck are you?” A total mask of shock and horror was plastered across his face now.
“I told you from the beginning, did I not?” she admonished him, as she returned to her original form. “At any time … Any … time … did I ever try to mislead or deceive you?”
“No, but …” he stumbled over his words, trying to get them out. “Oh God, you are! You are … a … a … de … a dem …”
“Yes, I’m a demon,” she finished his sentence for him. “In fact, a lot of men prefer to see me exactly as such.”
She transformed again, and this time, it would be no human woman or girl that would tempt him. Before him now, stood something inhuman and ungodly, something out of books and paintings.
She was totally nude now, but her skin was tinted an angry red, as if she’d been boiled alive or horribly burnt. The beautiful, sexy figure was even more exaggerated, the hips a touch wider, the waist just slightly smaller, and the breasts now hung obscenely heavy, with two oversized nipples crowning each. Thankfully, her face had lost none of its beauty, but the eyes were now amber, with slit pupils. Her wicked smile exhibited a pair of razor-sharp fangs just behind those pouty lips. Pointed ears protruded from hair that was even wilder than before, and from her forehead, a pair of small, grayish-black horns now protruded.
If that wasn’t ghastly enough, a pair of leathery, bat-like wings had sprouted from her back, and a long, rope-like tail protruded from the top of her ass where her spine ended. It swished about menacingly now, at the end of it a spade-like tip.
“And before you even ask, no, this isn’t my true form,” the succubus confessed. “But I’ve found a lot of men like the ummm … exotic aspect of it. They have certain preconceived ideas about what things should look like. So, I give them what they want. After all, it’s not my job to disappoint. Far from it! I’m here to please!” Confidence abounded in those reptilian eyes. “And there’s none better than me!”
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Knowing when to stop editing a book. There comes a point when a book can take on a life of its own. I mean if you wanted, you can sit down a write a book and forever add to it to make it better and better. You can conceivably spend your whole career on one manuscript. You have to know when to say. “OK, this is it. Time to move on to the next project!”
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Not yet, I haven’t. I’m still a novice learning the ropes.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Vanesa Garkova. She’s a wonderful person and an absolute delight to work with. She truly does a wonderful job. People are attracted to a book by the cover, and her covers are eye-catching to say the least! I couldn’t imagine using anyone else.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Getting past my religious upbringing.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
That I could write. I may never be famous, I may never win a Pulitzer. I may never get a contract with some big publishing company. But I know I can write. People are buying my book and they are reading it. If you’re not confident in yourself, don’t expect anyone else to be.
Fiona: If any of your books was made into a film who would you like to play the lead?
Selena Gomez could play any lead in any of my books, although I could see Angelina Jolie as a great succubus, maybe because she played the demon mother part so well in Beowulf. As for a male lead, I really can’t think of anyone that just stands out, there are so many good ones out there. I think Chris Evans is a great actor, very versatile. But if I was to ever get that lucky, it would be cool to have some up-and-coming new name to be the lead. Someone who would get his big break at the same time I got mine.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
I think self-publishing is a wonderful thing, because for so many years, only a very, very chosen few got to see their work in print. You can’t tell me that they were the only ones who could write books worthy of publishing. One can only wonder how many truly talented writers fell by the wayside over the years.
Having said that, my first piece of advice would be: Don’t quit your day job. While self-publishing, Amazon KDP and Smashwords have changed the publishing industry, not all of the changes are going to be profitable. Yes, more authors are getting their works out there, but there are still only so many readers. You have more competition now than ever before for their attention in a world where people have almost limitless choices for entertainment. The end result is going to be a glut of books and ebooks. Already we’re seeing the effects on prices.
If you want to write, write because you love it. Because in the end, that may be the only reward you get out of it. I have a good job and I don’t need the income from book sales to live on. Even so, every time a book sells it excites me. Not for the pocket change I make from it. I get excited knowing someone else is going to read what I wrote! That matters more than anything else!
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thanks to each and every one of you who have read my first book. I hope you enjoyed it. I really and truly want to know my readers and hear from them. Interaction is important to me.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Lord, no! I’ve probably read thousands.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I have a very sick sense of humor, so I hate to admit it, but I have a weakness for crudeness when it comes to humor. I love spoof movies and I love comedians who a lot of people would classify as “vulgar.” But, to me they’re often the funniest because nothing is sacred to them. And I like that.
At the same time, I’m also a very sentimental person. I got misty-eyed when Shelby died in “Steel Magnolias.” “Titanic” got to me. (Yes, you got me. I do watch chick-flicks) I still get choked up when the little lamb gets killed in the classic Christmas show, “The Little Drummer Boy.” I have a weakness for animals, especially in movies. Want to piss me off? Kill off the faithful old dog of the hero. I mean, they based a whole movie, “John Wick” on that premise. I cheered every time he killed off one of the bad guys.
Fiona: Is there one person past or present you would meet and why?
That’s easy. Johnny Cash. He was a great American hero for the working man. He never sang songs glorifying bankers or businessmen. In fact, I think he held the rich in a bit of contempt. He sang about the common man, the oppressed, the castoffs and the forgotten. He was a man who had his demons and never shied away from the fact he was all-too-human, yet faith and the love of a good woman saved him in the end. It’s a story I’m all too familiar with.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why?
Here lies a good family man, a good union man, and the last of the Yella Dawg Democrats. He went to his grave never voting for a Republican.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
I used to do a little woodworking, but writing has come to monopolize most of my free time. I still love to read and I also enjoy travelling.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Right now, I’m really into The Expanse and Emerald City. I enjoy action/ adventure movies, sci-fi and crime dramas. I especially have a penchant for mafia movies.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
I’m a steak and potatoes guy, although I’ve tried to eat a bit healthier as I’ve grown up. You can’t go through life thinking the five basic food groups are steaks, burgers, ribs, caramel and cheesecake. Unfortunately, chicken and fish get boring very quickly to me. There’s only so much you can do with them. And yet, I could eat a bacon cheeseburger three days a week and never get bored of it. Go figure. They’re building a rib joint down the road from where I live. It may very well be the death of me.
My favorite color is orange. Always has been. My office is painted “Dreamsicle.” I’m like a mouse. I find myself attracted to shiny. I want things glossy and slick. My wife is more down-to earth, less gaudy. It makes for quite a time when picking paint colors for home renovations.
As for music, I love rock. Not the music that passes for rock today, but real rock. I like a blazing electric guitar and an angry, rebel, outlaw sound. Stuff like Van Halen, Zeppelin, Skynyrd, Guns & Roses and Pearl Jam. I really like a lot of the alt-rock stuff, the stuff you don’t hear on mainstream radio. Kings of Leon, Breaking Benjamin, Better Than Ezra. I always loved Prince, not because I thought he was a great singer (which he was), but because I thought he was one of the most underrated guitar players ever. I’d have put him up against any so-called “virtuoso.” I don’t like rap and I don’t like electro-crap. I’m sorry, but if you can’t sing or play an instrument, you’re not a musician in my book. A performer, maybe, but the two are not the same. The older I get, the more I tend to drift off and listen to country music. It’s ok, a lot of it now is just recycled Southern rock. But eventually, I always end up back on the classic rock or alt-rock station. You can’t escape your roots.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
A rocket pilot.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
No, not yet. I know I need to get one up and running, but I would like to wait ‘til I get closer to LAFOTR comes out. It would just give me more material to put on it. Because the truth is, I’m just really not all that interesting. I would love to say I ski the Alps, surf off Hawaii, and safari in Africa, but the truth is I’m just a normal guy who likes to take stories and put them in a computer. If you’re a nine-to-fiver, working to pay the mortgage and keep the lights on, I’m just like you. I could very well be your neighbor. My kids could play soccer with yours, and we might wave at each other every Saturday while mowing the lawn. And to me, that’s not a bad thing at all.
Until I do get more in line with the 21st Century, you can visit me at
On Twitter: @jmorganwoodall
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