Ava Morgyn is a long-time avid reader and writer of young adult fiction. She studied English Writing & Rhetoric at St. Edward’s University in Austin, TX, and now lives in Houston—city with the most rain, best food, and worst traffic—with her family. When she isn’t at her laptop spinning darkly hypnotic tales, she can be found making fairy houses, talking to her crystals and plants, hunting for delicious new vegan recipes, or bothering her dog. She also blogs regularly about the devastating journey of child loss at ForLoveofEvelyn.com.
Her novel, Resurrection Girls (Albert Whitman), releases fall 2019.
How did you get published/find an agent? Do you have any advice?
My road to publishing has been long and winding. The short version is this: I queried like everyone else until I found my way out of the slush pile ... a couple of times. If you want to be an author, my advice is to persevere. Write what excites and inspires you and hone your unique voice. And then be courageous enough to ask important people to read what you've written, over and over again if that's what it takes. And when those people take the time to respond with a personalized rejection and a few nuggets of wisdom, listen and be grateful even though you're disappointed. There is so much to learn. I've been at this for many years, and I am still learning every day.
What's your writing process like?
I am a very finicky writer. I need quiet and as little distraction as possible, which means I'm not one of the cool kids who writes to music. I prefer to write in the morning or early afternoon, and often pause to take little "reading breaks". These days, I typically write on my laptop, and might do that at our dining table, in the recliner, or the sofa in my study. I usually sustain my creative flow with never-ending cups of decaffeinated green or barley tea. Above all else, I must be wearing comfortable clothes.
What do you do aside from writing?
I mom. I mom my kids and their friends. I mom my husband. I mom the dog. When I'm not momming, I read YA or binge watch my favorite shows, hang out with my crystals, talk to the plants in my yard, or take my dog for walk that may or may not include some halfhearted running. If I'm feeling really perky, I might cook something delicious and plant-based. And sometimes, I go for something crafty like wrapping beautiful smudge wands, or making fairy houses or soul collage cards.
Classics like Wuthering Heights, Mists of Avalon, Lord of the Rings, The Handmaid's Tale, The Last Unicorn, or Confederacy of Dunces. But also newer reads like The Foretelling, Vampire Academy, Chime, Born Wicked, and most recently—Vita Nostra. I also read a fair bit of nonfiction. Mostly on subjects like spirituality, metaphysics, or grief.
Favorite movies and television shows?
Practical Magic, The Last Unicorn, The Dark Crystal, The Princess Bride, Sideways, Spirited Away, The Big Lebowski, Braveheart, Elizabeth, Cold Mountain, The Lord of the Rings, The Phantom of the Opera, and a bunch more I'm probably forgetting.
Twin Peaks, Weeds, Game of Thrones (which we affectionately refer to as "Boobs and Dragons"), Breaking Bad, Mad Men, The Office, Dexter, The Tudors, The Walking Dead, Harlots, The Handmaid's Tale, Vikings, The Last Kingdom, Ice Fantasy, The Magicians, and Versailles—to name a few.
I also love watching comedians.
Unicorns and my Siberian Husky, Ari.
Daiya Mac, veggie sandwiches, vegan chili with cashew cream, Masala Lay's, pineapple, avocados, raspberries, fresh cherries, and anything with coconut milk, cinnamon, or jalapenos.
Gemini sun, Aries moon, Sagittarius rising.
What is SUDC?
SUDC stands for Sudden Unexpected Death in Childhood and can occur in children from 12 months to 18 years of age. In late 2017, my beautiful, fearless, and beloved daughter, Evelyn, died this way in her sleep. She was 18 years old and two weeks away from going off to the college of her dreams. We are still working with researchers to try and determine the exact cause of Evelyn's death, but it is believed she suffered from a fatal arrhythmia. You can learn more about SUDC at the website for the SUDC Foundation. You can read more about Evelyn and my experience of grief and child loss at my blog ForLoveofEvelyn.com.