G.A.M Morris is the author of Miao-Shan: The Awakening. I thought I’d ask him some questions I had while reviewing his novel.
Question: What was it about Chinese culture that inspired you to write a novel?
Mr. Morris: I have been passionate about both Japanese and Chinese culture since I was about four years old. I first saw it on television while I was living in Scotland, and since then I have fallen in love with the history, art, weapons, martial arts, food, and general culture of both nations. I collect both Chinese and Japanese art and weapons. I also have quite a few books on the subject.
Question: Are you friend with any other authors and how do they help you become a better writer?
Mr. Morris: Yes, I am friends with other authors, but it doesn’t change the way I write at all. I don’t discuss actual writing styles or techniques much with them. The main assistance we give each other is the promotion of our books.
Question: What’s your favorite underrated novel?
Mr. Morris: The Ninja by Eric Van Lustbader.
Question: What was the most difficult scene to write?
Mr. Morris: It’s a toss-up between the two. The beginning where I had to depict the gruesome death of Lei’s parents, the emotional aftermath, and how Lei’s grandmother dealt with it.
Another difficult thing was describing how Lei was able to use “The Void”. In martial arts “The Void” is a crucial technique that all Masters must learn, no matter what martial art. In Kung Fu, Karate, Mu Thai, it’s all the same. I had to depict Lei learning how to use it in a way the general public would understand. To the best of my knowledge, no other author before me has attempted to depict the actual learning of using “The Void”. I didn’t depict it quite in the way I learned it, but I did use the teaching techniques my own Master used when teaching me how to use it.
Question: What is your favorite childhood book?
Mr. Morris: That’s a very difficult question! I began reading fluently when I was 6 years old. My first loves were comic books. Spider-Man and Superman being my favorites. As I grew up I learned to love the darkness of Batman.
Of course, I love Dr. Seuss, one of my aunts introduced me to the Suess stories. My dad wanted me to read the classics, he was afraid comic books were going to rot my brain. I received the box set of The Lord of the Rings trilogy as a gift, and I gave my son the set when he turned 10. All my life books have been a huge part of growing up and being able to pass the love of reading on to my own kids makes life very fulfilling to me.
Thanks so much, Mr. Morris for taking your time and chatting with me!