Hi there! I’m Morgen Rich. I spend my days writing, editing, and learning. I have a shady past, so . . . don’t ask.
I come from humble beginnings, so I guess that’s where I’ll start this biography. I was born and spent most of my childhood in the southwestern United States, where the horizon stretches for as far as the human eye can see. The star-filled sky above that horizon was what first inspired and prompted me to think about what worlds might lie beyond the one I lived in. The first place I looked on my journey of discovery was in books, and I’m still a firm believer that reading is fundamental to writing well.
Reading has been a major part of my life for almost as long as I can remember. My love of reading has been a blessing, giving me a path to move out of poverty and an isolated perspective. There have been days when it wasn’t such a blessing, though. On the first day of kindergarten, I got a swat for not listening to the teacher when she told everyone to sit down (yes, they actually HIT kids back then). To be honest, I didn’t think she was speaking to me. I looked up from the book I was devouring (I had never seen so many books in one place, and I was intent on reading them all as quickly as I could), but the teacher wasn’t looking back at me, so I returned to my book. Eventually, she lost patience and came over and swatted me, which definitely gained my attention . . . and a spunky five year-old’s ire thereafter. For the remainder of the year, I purposely borked her name and referred to her as Mrs. Rin Tin Tin (her name was a close match). Now, I laugh about the incident, but only because it gives me bragging rights to say, “On the first day of school, I was spanked . . . for reading!”
From that point forward, though, I haunted bookshelves anywhere I could access them—the classroom, the library, even my mother’s “don’t touch these” shelves, where I found an illustrated copy of Paradise Lost. At five, I didn’t understand all the words in the book, but the pictures helped (and I thought they were much prettier after I filled them in with Crayola colors). My love of reading made for a natural leap to writing and to becoming an English major. These days, I’ll read just about anything that’s well-written, including cereal boxes.
My writing heroes are wide-ranging, from John Milton to Edward Bellamy to Octavia E. Butler. I learn something about writing from everything I read, including student papers in college English, Women’s Studies, or Communications courses that I teach on rare occasions. Although I write full time these days, I haven’t been able to quite let go of teaching altogether because I love to see the lightbulb ping on when students have enlightening moments about literature, writing, and culture. That ping is rewarding and addictive.
Friends call me Mo. I’m wife to a bass guitarist with incredible (and I do mean incredible) rhythm, mom to a slew of very cool people, and “grahnmahmah” to five adorable wee ones. I think dogs are the coolest creatures on the planet. Much to our delight and amusement, my husband and I share our home with two Great Pyrenees (Bianca and Tahoe) we obtained through rescue (Shameless plug: Please have your pets spayed and neutered, and consider adopting your next pet from a reputable rescue organization.). I love to garden and remodel (or at least one would think so, given the constant state of change in the environments around me), have traveled to all kinds of neat places, and have lived in around a dozen cities in the U.S. and Europe. I consider family and friends the true treasures of life. Oh, and I dig cowboy boots!
I love to mingle with readers, and I’ve been known to haunt a Con or two. I’ve been roleplaying for longer than a lot of my readers have been alive, and there’s nothing like a good game of D&D or an online/live medieval fantasy roleplay to get my cruelty juices flowing (My first Dungeon Master was brutal, but wow did I learn a lot from him!). Engaging in interactive roleplay is a great way to warm up before a marathon writing session, by the way, and I truly enjoy reading the creative twists other roleplayers inject into evolving stories. The online gaming community is incredibly prolific, and some of the best characterizations I’ve come across have been in that community. My advice to roleplayers who are aspiring writers is to keep roleplaying, even if you can only do it on occasion. It’s terrific training!
In February 2013, I established Bookmite Press, a publishing house specializing in serial fiction. In the next year, the press will be open to submissions. My most recent writing project is an epic science fantasy series set in the Shifting Worlds universe. The first three books of the series (The Staves of Warrant) are being published between 2013-2016 by Bookmite Press.
I hope you’ll give me a chance to get to know you, too, and that you’ll join the conversation about science fiction, fantasy, and all that’s in-between (check out the reader hangout). I’m also keen on connecting with anyone interested in publishing, so do feel free to chat me up. I’m happy to share what I know about publishing with you. You’ll find me at all the usual haunts for writers–Cons, coffee shops, bookstores, libraries, online roleplaying, social media, and . . . erm . . . bars.
Feel free to e-mail me (firstname.lastname@example.org), friend me on Facebook, and follow me on Twitter or Google+. Be sure to sign up for the newsletter in the big black box on the right side of most pages on my website or via the pop-up. I promise not to spam you or share your information with anyone else. As an e-mail subscriber, you do get special discounts, advance notices about contests and giveaways, and what amounts to “special privileges” as my way of thanking you for trusting me with your e-mail address. For a list of all the cool sites related to me and my work, check out the Contact page.
“Awake. Arise. Or be forever fallen!”
– Spoken by the most seductive creature in English literature, Satan in Paradise Lost by John Milton.
My best advice:
“Never stop reading. Never stop dreaming. Never stop learning. Never stop loving. And never, never stop believing those four actions have the power to change the world.”