Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Brian K. Morris: Give Me Permission and a Word Count

Brian K. Morris is an independent publisher, freelance hybrid author, business mentor, Facebook famous YouTuber, occasional actor, "award-winning" playwright, and former mortician's assistant. A professional freelance writer for over 20 years, Brian has been a full-timer since 2012. 

Tell us a bit about your latest work.

My latest book is The Terrors. It’s a reimagining of the classic Nedor Comics character, The Black Terror. It caters to my love of crime stories, old comic books, and outrageous conspiracy theories while being mindful of the time’s attitudes toward the under-represented.

What are the themes and subjects you tend to revisit in your work?

I grew up on the Doc Savage and Shadow reprints, as well as Superman comics, so I enjoy working with characters who do the right thing, and who use their gifts to improve the lives of others, just because it’s the correct thing to do. Also, that when life gets weird, someone will step up to be a little weirder and fix things.

What happened in your life that prompted you to become a writer?

I grew up in the country in my formative years where I didn’t have any playmates. So, I filled my idle time with comic books and television, back when the latter was still a luxury. 

When I read everything and the four TV stations we could get ran out of cartoons, I started making up my own adventures for my beloved characters. However, I was doing cross-company team-ups before anyone thought of putting Superman and Spider-Man together. Heck, it was before Spider-Man even came around, but that’s another matter.

I loved making up stories and when my mother informed me that someone received money for putting words inside the balloons of my favorite comics, I was off to the races. 

What inspires you to write? 

Sean, you’ve probably heard people say that creativity of any sort is like a muscle. The more you use it, the easier it becomes to use it, right? Well, what if you get to the point where you can’t stop doing arm curls? Not that I do in real life, you see. But I love the act of creativity. I love the challenge of crafting stories, regardless of where the characters originated.

I’ve been privileged to work with some great creators on their amazing IPs like Abraham Snow, Captain Steven Hawklin, Conrad von Honig; or the original Skyman. I’m flattered to be asked to participate in the party. I also get a kick out of mining the Public Domain for properties like The Black Terror or The Blue Circle, or using them to inspire new versions like Vulcana. 

Give me permission and a word count, let’s see what happens.

What would be your dream project?

I can’t pick just one. I’d love to write a Superman story or two, whether it was in the comics or prose. Same with Doctor Who, any of the Doctors, although I hold a warm spot in my heart for Colin Baker’s version. I also wish I could get the rights to an old television series called Sliders. I love alternate world stories and that show and that show was one of my favorites. But I’m going to send out some pitches soon, so I might get my turn with some of my favorite characters from other media.

If you have any former project to do over to make it better, which one it be, and what would you do?

Again, only one? 

I submitted a science fiction story involving the Mandela Effect that never saw print, to my knowledge.I would love to rewrite that story to give all the ideas I crammed into the tale room to breathe. It was around 5,000 words and it needed to be a novella. It was a case of taking everything I knew about the Mandella Effect and trying to stuff it into a story, but removing the plot to make all that nonsense fit.

What inspires you to write?

I openly fanboy over my wonderful friends in the writing community. I love the work of so many of them, that I want to keep working, keep improving, so I remain worthy to stay in their company.

What writers have influenced your style and technique?

You deserve a better answer than the obvious, and that’s “all of them.”

But if I had to pull some names from the mix, I’d say Don Pendleton, Harlan Ellison, Stan Lee, Steven Moffit, Roy Thomas, Richard Sapir, Warren Murphy, Denny O’Neil, Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore, along with my friends in New Pulp…and I’ll stop now because that list will change before I finish this sentence.

Where would you rank writing on the “Is it an art or is it a science” continuum?

When done successfully, I think writing starts out as more a science than an art on the writer’s part. We need to know the rules of grammar, punctuation, story development, etc., or know an editor who does and won’t give a rip about our feelings. And we need to know those rules if only to recognize which of them we’re breaking and why.

I won’t speak for other writers, but I don’t believe I get to call my work “art.” I intend to create entertainment. Anything loftier than that, I leave the categorization to others, preferably several decades after I’m gone.

What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?

Finding time to do the non-artistic parts of my business, mostly promotion of myself and my friends.

As for the creative act itself, the most challenging component is plotting. The story needs to be different from what everyone else has done or is doing, supplying genuine surprises for the reader, and remaining true to the characters at their core. The balancing act for all that is my greatest challenge.

How do your writer friends help you become a better writer? Or do they not?

They most certainly do! Like I said, I’m inspired by reading their work. I love knowing such talented people…and I’d drop names like they’re hot, but I don’t want to leave anyone out by accident. I hope they know who they are because I like to remind them. 

What does literary success look like to you?

That’s a great question… and this is a stalling tactic. 

It’s easy to judge success by financial standards. I make no bones that my ultimate financial goal is to bring my wife Cookie home from her nine-to-five to edit for me, and others, full-time. 

But literary success to me means that people enjoy my work, talk about it favorably, share my work with others, and maybe leave me more reviews on the platform where they bought the book.

Any other upcoming projects you would like to plug?

Get the power strip ready because I’ve got the plugs! #alwayspromote

I’m currently working on sequels to The Terrors and Vulcana: Rebirth of the Champion, as well as some short story pitches for some anthologies that delight me.

Currently, I'm also editing an anthology about one of my creations, Doc Saga, an ageless white shaman. This character first appeared in Pulp Reality #2 from Stormgate Press (#alwaysprmooteyourfriends). The book will contain new stories from Cindy Koepp, Clyde Hall, Paul Barile, Rick Bradley, and Charles F. Millhouse, along with myself. 

In addition, I hope to get my first audiobook out based on my best-selling book, Santastein, with the vocal talents of David E. Laker, as well as one based on The Terrors.

As if that wasn’t enough, I should have a novel coming out in 2024 from another publisher, as well as a series of short stories from another still.

Plus, I’m still doing my blog, “Every Blog Deserves a Name,” for my Patreon friends.

For more information, visit:

www.RisingTide.pub for information on my books, my broadcasting, and how to join my Patreon team, as well as my monthly insider information e-mail. 

No comments:

Post a Comment