Hello, Morton! Welcome to my blog, congratulations on the publication of your debut novel, and thank you for stopping by for a chat.
How did you come to be taken on by the award-winning independent publisher Choc Lit?
I entered Choc Lit’s Search for a Star competition in 2016 with my novel The Girl on the Beach and unbelievably I won! The win was made even more special because I’ve had a Choc Lit ribbon (it was wrapped around a book I won in a giveaway) hanging above my desk for many years and love the books they publish. It’s a dream come true to be published by them. My book came out on 24 January 2017.
Tell me about your novel?
The Girl on the Beach is a contemporary romantic suspense novel set in a fictional seaside town.
The initial spark of inspiration for the story came from a school art competition run by a friend who owns an art gallery. When I later saw a news headline (I won’t tell you the subject, because it would be a huge spoiler), the two seemed to merge in my mind and the theme for the novel was born.
I quickly decided on my heroine, Ellie Golden, who is an artist with a troubled past and a teenage son, who she is raising on her own. The hero, Harry Dixon, is a bit of a mystery and provides the question which the book seeks to answer – Who is Harry Dixon? We meet Harry when he takes over as headmaster at Ellie’s son’s school.
The book was great fun to write. I wanted my heroine to be a survivor, sparky with a ‘have a go’ attitude.
Future ambitions writing-wise?
I have been asked to write a series of books based in my fictional seaside town of Borteen and featuring some of my readers' favourite characters from The Girl on the Beach. I also have some aspirations to write historical novels. I have three in draft set in WW1, the English Civil War and 1066.
I would love to see my books as paperbacks and maybe audiobooks. As with all authors, it would be lovely to have one of my stories made into a film one day.
Five favourite novels –
Starting Over by Sue Moorcroft
Star Gazing by Linda Gillard
North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
Wintercombe by Pamela Belle
Five favourite holiday destinations –
Grasmere, Lake District
Woolacombe, North Devon
Llandanawg, North Wales
Five other favourite things -
Researching family trees
More about The Girl on the Beach by Morton S. Gray
Who is Harry Dixon?
When Ellie Golden meets Harry Dixon, she can’t help but feel she recognises him from somewhere. But when she finally realises who he is, she can’t believe it – because the man she met on the beach all those years before wasn’t called Harry Dixon. And, what’s more, that man is dead.
For a woman trying to outrun her troubled past and protect her son, Harry’s presence is deeply unsettling – and even more disconcerting than coming face to face with a dead man, is the fact that Harry seems to have no recollection of ever having met Ellie before. At least that’s what he says …
But perhaps Harry isn’t the person Ellie should be worried about. Because there’s a far more dangerous figure from the past lurking just outside of the new life she has built for herself, biding his time, just waiting to strike.
Morton lives with her husband, two sons and Lily, the tiny white dog, in Worcestershire, U.K.
She has been reading and writing fiction for as long as she can remember, penning her first attempt at a novel aged fourteen. As with many authors, life got in the way of writing for many years until she won a short story competition in 2006 and the spark was well and truly reignited.
She studied creative writing with the Open College of the Arts and joined the Romantic Novelists’ New Writers’ Scheme in 2012.
After being shortlisted in several first chapter competitions, she won the Choc Lit Publishing Search for a Star competition in 2016 with her contemporary romantic suspense novel The Girl on the Beach.
Previous 'incarnations' were in committee services, staff development and training. Morton has a Business Studies degree and is a fully qualified Clinical Hypnotherapist and Reiki Master. She also has diplomas in Tuina Acupressure Massage and Energy Field Therapy.
She enjoys crafts, history and loves tracing family trees. Having a hunger for learning new things is a bonus for the research behind her books.
Website - www.mortonsgray.com
Twitter - https://twitter.com/MortonSGray
Facebook Page – Morton S. Gray Author - https://www.facebook.com/mortonsgray/
Purchasing links for “The Girl on the Beach” at http://www.choc-lit.com/dd-product/the-girl-on-the-beach/