Saturday, January 24, 2015

Dorothy K. Morris, Author & Equestrian

Residing in Arizona, USA, Dorothy K. Morris has penned six books that comprise The Mockingbird Hill Series, an intriguing insight into America’s Colonial 18th century.  Morris expounds, “It is, indeed, my heritage. When most people think of the Colonial South, they think of King Cotton. Seldom do they think of rice. Glaberrima Rice/African rice was the product that made South Carolina the richest colony and Charles Town the wealthiest city. Rice from Asia came much later.”

Not only is Morris a talented author, she also is a freelance writer for the Expert Beacon, writing about classical horse training. She is an avid horse-lover and in the process of reschooling an off-the-track Thoroughbred.

Welcome Dorothy!

What is the premise for your Mocking Bird Hill series?
The first four books of the series were set in the time between 1848 and 1868, and they were written to show how people endured and survived just before, during, and after the war. They were not about battles and generals. The stories were about people.  In the fifth of the series, I wished to learn and show how it all came about…slavery…rice…Carolina colony.  The sixth continued with that theme into the development of that colony.

Who is your favorite character in this series?
I cannot say which character is my favorite in the series. I may have a favorite in each book. In each book I introduce new people and new situations. Even though a series, no one book is like the other. The heroine throughout the first four is Margaret O’Donnell. In the last two, one of my special characters is Fulani.

Is your storyline/background based upon your personal experience?
These are historical novels and they are based in part, not on my own  experience, but what must have been the life of several of my ancestors who helped to settle the colony and Charles Town.

What are you currently writing?
I am currently working on novel #seven which will be a follow-up to Tally’s Nook, #six. The working title is SABRICE.

Where do you like to write? 
I like to write at my desk at home.

How do you maintain thoughts and ideas?
I have no problem remembering my thoughts and ideas; however, most of them come right as I am typing. I do not use an outline for any of my books and often I have no idea where the story will go until it comes into my mind as I write. I think that is called channeling a story. It is as though I see a story unfold and I write what I see and hear.

Who is your favorite author?
Again, it is difficult for me to choose favorites. There are so many, but I do favor James Michener and Victor Hugo. I choose James Michener because he writes such beautiful prose and Victor Hugh because he covers so much background that helps us to understand his character.

Do you have advice for novice writers?
My advice for novice writers is that they do not censor themselves. I advise that they complete their rough draft before ever editing or correcting. I think that novice writers often write a chapter and give it to someone to read, hoping for encouragement. They then get involved in the assessment. Writer’s block often follows. Do Not Edit. Do Not Allow anyone to read what you have written until you have written at least two rewrites and you believe it is basically the story you wish to tell. The story comes from the right brain. The rewriting and editing come from the left. Going back and forth continually chapter by chapter, or page by page can really frustrate the right brain and again, writer’s block follows.  Just get the story down the way you want it.

List 10 things about yourself that your fans may not know...
I think my fans know the important things about me from the author’s blurb on the back cover. One thing they might not know is that I enjoy finding horses that are either spoiled or untrained and finish off their training. Then I like to find homes for them with good riders. Right now I have a Thoroughbred gelding, 8 years old, that was trained at the track when a two year old, but never entered an official race. For years he stood somewhere untrained. I have had him since September 7, 2014 and he is in his last two weeks of ground school. He is a beauty and needs a rider who understands and loves the Thoroughbred temperament. I think he would be excellent at dressage. 

Dorothy with Stevie's A Star (aka Cimarron), OTTB

Connect with Dorothy…


Anonymous said...

Fascinating interview. Love the sound of books so going to check them out. Writing a book with includes a memoir from War of 1812 - admire those that can write historicals. And great credit for the re-training - too many racehorses are thrown away.

Dorothy K Morris said...

Greetings, Mr. Clarke.
Thank you for your comments. I hope you enjoy reading my books as much as I enjoyed writing them. We do learn so much while researching for historicals.