From technical writer to romance author, Caliente Morgan has done it all! She also writes under the names Lady Morgan and Donnamaie White. You can find out more about her at her website, WhitePubs.com
Tell us a little about yourself! Who are you? What do you write?
For over 30 years I wrote technical papers, conference papers, three theses, dozens of seminars, more dozens of application notes and data sheets and user manuals. I ran publishing operations for high tech companies (AMD, AMCC).
During all that time I wanted to write fiction. I wanted to be a writer when I was eight!
I finally started in 1971 by writing a Star Trek Novel that came out with names changed and self-published in 2000. (I am a Trekkie.) The long road from inception (1971) to pubbed (2000) was dotted with writing classes and writing conferences I could get to. I was into writing science fiction. For myself. The web was the breakthrough for me. In 1993 I saw eBooks and eLearning. I wrote two textbooks and one seminar in HTML 1.0—look where we are today!
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I was having a temper tantrum with my kids in the room, fed up with things stopping me from becoming a writer. I was still producing volumes of technical documents. Big documents. Family demands (they were grown!) and just stuff. While stomping around the room I had an epiphany. I have been writing my entire career. I realized, “You idiot! You ARE a writer!”
What does RWASD mean to you?
I have been in one other chapter forever and visited a few others. I like being in a room with women who read and write – as opposed to the men at work who have trouble forming intelligible sentences and can’t document their designs if their life depended on it. I mostly like speakers who bring new ideas, tricks and tips, how to do, and inspire me to run home and do something.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced on your journey to becoming a writer?
I think I said that – WORK. KIDS. I was a high-adventure Boy Scout Leader for 11+ years. Then my younger son got Leukemia. Life will interrupt you.
What attracted you to the genre you write? Why does it speak to you?
I write several genres. Because I’ve been around so long.
Whatever my mood is. I wrote SciFi to start because I was a Trekkie and had met everyone on that show. I wrote Jettison and outlined Kali’s Song and Hellsfire. All three will be re-released.
Then I realized I live for the PBS period pieces (Like Jane Austin – at the time the 5 hour versions) and realized I read a LOT of Regencies so I tried writing them. And have more story ideas then I will ever publish. Three of them came out last year. One came out this year.
I hooked up with Christine Feehan at SVRWA and tried Vampire stories (I have four) – I love her Vampire stories! Dark Eros has a cover and is behind the Italian Vampire.
I also wrote another Sci Fi piece, this with erotic sex all over it. Assembly Line is a novella that will come out maybe in 2017. (OK Sex toy factory on an asteroid…) (HBO ran a piece on the creation of the Real Doll full-sized sex toy. I said – why only female dolls? And there you go.)
And of course I went to the Fremont PD Citizen’s Academy and started writing Hot Cops, to the bemusement of the Captain (female) who ran the classes. Six have been released.
Where is the weirdest place or what is the weirdest thing that inspired an idea?
That would be the ride in the $400,000 anti-terrorism Fremont PD Bearcat SWAT truck and taking note of the internal grab bars while sitting on my hands so I didn’t molest the adorable driver….close call.
Who’s a writer you would do backflips to meet and why?
Met quite a few at RT conferences – I try not to be a fan-girl. If I meet them I try to stay calm and polite. I am a silent supporter of my fav authors. Ann Cleeves (Vera, Shetland), Andrew Camilleri (Commissario Montalbano) – some of my favorites have died. I would have loved to have met Georgette Heyer. As a child I was groomed not to read ANY romance stories. I have been trying to make up for that.
If you could go back 20 years ago, what advice would you give yourself?
Do NOT wait until you are older. MAKE THE TIME.
You may have to put your kids to bed earlier. Or you get up before they do. Have a temper tantrum if necessary. Sooner rather than later.
Tell us about your latest novel!
The next one up is the Italian Vampire. Drako Lanzoni Du sang – the fan club and my son were involved in his name. Fabio’s office approved.
Written for a fan club member who asked me to write her a story while she was trapped in a New England winter. I said sure – but he has to be a vampire! The fan club has been reading initial drafts and going gaga. They have space in their drawers waiting for the PRINT copy. I’m working! I’m working! The office has approved the first draft (The office is Fabio’s manager and agent – I work with him on the fan club). Eric also loves the cover.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
The Italian Vampire
Their fear could be felt as an almost tangible thing. Their fear was justified. But he was well fed. The women were safe from him.
The women stood in the shadows, the night mists swirling about them. They would step no further. He had watched them approach, hesitant, arguing, reluctant. Beads and crosses dangled from their fingers, clicking as they chanted the rosary prayer while they walked. They were near the door to the side chapel. They refused to tread into the dark.
Dawn was coming. The birdsong had not begun, nor would it while he waited, also in shadow. Even the rustling of small creatures had stilled in his passing.
He watched them, as silent as the crypt behind him. They clung to their cloaks, coarse homespun fabric, dull colored. Servants then. All but the one.
The graveyard was silent, except for the rustling of the skirts of the one older woman who broke apart, a rich dark cape clutched tightly around her, swirling about her booted feet, she was carrying a handful of flowers, a small tribute, gripped in her free hand. Her jewels winked in and out from her fingers, and her boots were of supple leather, like his own. She was rich then, and had kept her status.
Her head was covered in the soft fabric of her cloak, and her head was bowed. She walked like she carried the weight of the world, or at least years of it, on her own shoulders. Stooped and somehow broken, she moved slowly forward. There were murmurs from the other women, clustered still in the shadows of the stone wall. Like the others, this woman had a rosary in her hands, the cross dangling from her fingers.
The church was ancient, and so was the graveyard in which they trespassed. But here and there, a newer stone glittered in the moonlight. It was to one of these that the woman walked.
It glittered in the slender moonlight that winked in and out as clouds skirted across the moon, drifted aimless in the night sky.
She came close to the headstone then, stopped and cried out, falling to her knees. She sobbed and laid the pitiful flowers on the flat grave. She touched the stone, but she did not touch the soil it rested on. She whispered a name, his name. She crossed herself and kissed her rosary cross. She murmured prayers. She raised her hands to the heavens. She cried softly.
The other women pleaded for her to return to them.
He would have called to her, but dared not. He wanted to run to her, hold her, and tell her that he was alive, that her son was still with her, still of this Earth.
But he could not because he was not.
Before you go, any advice to give to the new writers out there?
JUST DO IT! Toss all excuses to the wind and just do it. Make the time. Get into a routine. Do something for your career or your writing every single day. Don’t keep letting things get in your way (even family) or you will end up like me – staring at my 75th birthday and wondering where the time went.