Monday, November 8, 2010

Interview and giveaway with Angela Morrison author of SIng Me to Sleep and Taken by Storm

Angela is married, has four kids (no cats), loves to write everyday and if she doesn't- gets grumpy. She attended Brigham Young University and Vermont College. She has a list of twenty novels that she want to write. She is a compulsive reader and have to ration herself or else won’t do anything else, including eating, sleeping, interacting with other humans in any way. And writing her own books. She plays the piano and likes just about any song you can sing along with in the car or dance to. She is an advanced NAUI nitrox certified scuba diver, with over a hundred dives under her belt. She, Allen and the kids have dived all over the world--from the Caribbean to the Red Sea to the waters off Phuket, Thailand.
Taken from her website

This interview is based on Sing me to Sleep and you can find my review here
--Can you give us a brief description of Sing me to Sleep in your own words?
SING ME TO SLEEP is about Beth, nicknamed “the Beast” by the mean guys at her school, who gets a high-tech makeover when she lands the solo spot in her all-girls choir. Her amazing pipes get the choir invited to the Choral Olympics in Switzerland where Derek, the babe of a tenor from the famous guys choir from Ontario—just across the border from where Beth lives north of Detroit, has the hots for her. She’s swept away in a whirlwind romance, but when she gets home, her sidekick, Scott, who has always been there for her, is brokenhearted that she’s with Derek. And Derek starts acting suspiciously. He’s got a big secret he won’t tell Beth. And she doesn’t have a clue what to do.

--How did you get the idea for the story? Did you do much research for your book?
My daughter sang with the Junior Amabile Singers when we lived in London, Ontario, Canada. Amabile also has a fantastic choir for guys. When I got to travel with her to festivals around the world, as soon as girls from other youth choirs saw “Amabile” on the back of our jackets, they attacked us. “Are the guys here? Are the guys here?” I always thought the youth choir world would be a great setting for a novel, but I didn’t have a story. Then something tragic happened to my daughter’s best friend in the guys choir, Matt, that inspired me to write and not stop until it was told.

I did have to do a lot of research about Derek's condition. And then Matt's mom, who is a dear friend, read my manuscript and added some corrections and details to give it authenticity. That was such a huge gift for her to do that. SING ME TO SLEEP is all fiction. Derek isn't Matt. But Matt inspired every line. 
--Which character would you most/least like to have dinner with?
Most? Derek--read the book and you'll know why.

Least? Meadow--I can't stand girls like her.

--What are some of your favorite books? Do you still have much time to read?
I love all Jane Austen! Katherine Paterson is my hero. My favorite YA novel is THE BOOK THEIF by Markus Zusak. And no I don't get to read as much as I used to. Reading is fundamental to writing, but when I'm in the middle of a story, if I start reading someone else's story I'm not thinking about mine. When I'm writing, I think about that book all the time, twenty-four seven. In between drafts, I take breaks and read--unless I have another blog full of new friends to meet like today.

--If a fairy godmother told you your life could be like a favorite book for 24 hours, which book would you pick and why?
Jane Austen's PERSUASION because then I'd get to meet Captain Wentworth. He's way more dashing than Mr. Darcy, believe me. Plus, I've spent years and years studying the 19th century for my historical YA novel, MY ONLY LOVE! I could do so much research while I was there.


--Do you need anything to write (music, coffee, etc)? Are there any songs on the Sing me to sleep "playlist-" songs that inspired you or that were playing while you wrote?
I write all my rough drafts on pale pink paper, propped on my feather pillows in my big comfy bed. I must, must, must write my first drafts by hand with a medium point Zebra gel pen. Music helps when I get stuck or to get me into the write emotional state of mind for a particular scene. But I write in silence.

Because SING ME TO SLEEP featured and was inspired by a very real family of choirs with a lot of marvelous CDs, I listened to them tons and tons. And to write those lyrics that are so casually sprinkled all through the novel, I had to listen to all the romantic, diva pop songs I could get my hands on and dissect them. Leona Lewis's CD had the best lyrics by far. I used it a lot. 

The coolest thing about writing about a real, fantastic choir is they've actually recorded two of the songs from the book.  An amazing soprano from the Amabile Youth Singers (AYS) and the combined young mens and men's choirs perform "Beth's Song." A hundred guys serenading you. You gotta hear it. It melts your knees. The AYS--who are famous all over the choir world--recorded, "Take me Home," the song that changes Beth's life. It's gorgeous. I cried when I first heard it. "Beth's Song," is available on iTunes and "Take me Home," is coming soon.

--If you could have any superpower what would you choose?
Flying, definitely.

--Besides writing, what do you like to do in your free time?
I barely seem to have free time since my debut novel, TAKEN BY STORM , published a year and a half ago. I escape  in front of Fox News too much, though. So I've started walking every day. I'm training to join the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation's Great Strides 10K walk next spring. My dream is to have readers in their own communities around the nation join me.

--Is there anything else you want to add or say to your readers?
First, I want to thank Brandi for letting me visit with you today. And I want to invite you all to join me in a crazy new experiment I'm trying. This fall I'm writing CAYMAN SUMMER, the third and final book in the TAKEN BY STORM saga. I just released the second book, UNBROKEN CONNECTION. Penguin decided not to release these novels so I'm writing them solely for my fans who begged me for more from Michael and Leesie. To give back to those readers who've been such an incredible support, I'm blogging CAYMAN SUMMER as I write it. I'm going to share all my secrets--from my sloppy rough drafts to polished chapters. I'd like to invite you all to join the journey at

Thank you so much Angela!

Sing me to sleep trailer:

Taken by storm trailer:

Angela on Goodreads and on Facebook

And now for the giveaway!

I was lucky enough for Angela to send me a signed copy of Taken By Storm to review and feature as a giveaway!

Taken by Storm


  1. Whoa, I've never heard of an author that writes their manuscripts by hand anymore! That's actually pretty cool. Especially that she did so in gel pen! Great interview!

  2. thanks for the awesome contest!! i've been wanting to read this one for a really long time!

  3. Great giveaway thank you very much. This book sounds really good I never heard of it! So glad I found it can't wait to read it!


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