Today we’re talking about her Painted Lady Inn mystery series that she co-writes with her husband.
You can also click here to watch the interview on YouTube.
Transcript of Interview with Morgan Wyatt
Alexandra: Hi Mystery Readers, I’m Alexandra Amore. And this is It’s a Mystery Podcast. I’m here today with Morgan K. Wyatt. Hi, Morgan.
Alexandra: How are you today?
Morgan: Oh, I am well. And yourself?
Alexandra: I’m good, thanks. Let me introduce you to our listeners.
Morgan Wyatt started writing in first grade when she was dissatisfied with the mundane endings of the reader stories. She writes romantic suspense under the names of Morgan K. Wyatt and Morgan Kay. Morgan and her husband pen cozy mysteries under the combined name of M. K. Scott.
And that’s one of the books I wanted to talk to you about a bit today.
I’m curious about what it’s like to write with your spouse? Can you tell us a bit about that?
Morgan: Well, first of all, we’re still married.
Alexandra: That’s a good sign.
Morgan: He’s the grammar hammer. And he is often the voice of reason. In one of my books he told me I was having someone think too much as they were falling because they would have hit the ground before they could have…he did the math and he told me they would have hit the ground in 4.5 seconds and they cannot have had those internal conversations.
Alexandra: In that time. I think I saw him describe on your Amazon pages that the physics expert or…
Alexandra: Yeah. And so how does it work?
Do you do the first draft and then show it to him? Or is there a bit of a back and forth?
Morgan: We usually go chapter by chapter.
Morgan: Because if I make a little faux-pas or I make like a really big mistake, like no, he couldn’t have done that while driving the car with one hand. It’s like, “Oh really?” It’s good to get that corrected before I go like five or six chapters longer.
Alexandra: Right. Okay, and so you go chapter by chapter.
And does your husband help you to figure out what the story is or is he really there for feedback, and as we said physics experience?
Morgan: Well, he does a lot of different things. He’s also the grammar hammer. Even though I’m an English major, he’s better at grammar.
He also does that, but he also does a lot of the male dialogue. You know, when I’ll try to have the men have these big long convoluted convoluted reasonings or discussions, he’s like, “No man talks like that.”
Alexandra: I bet that’s valuable feedback for sure.
And so you guys have a new cozy mystery out?
Morgan: We do. Well, it’s out on the 30th.
Alexandra: Oh the 30th of?
Morgan: We have a brand new one, it’s a follow-up to…oh dear, I’m blanking here. What is the name of my own book?
Alexandra: Murder Mansion.
Morgan: Murder Mansion, yeah. It is called Drop Dead Handsome: When High School Reunions Can Be Deadly.
Alexandra: Oh, cool. Okay.
This is a series you’re calling the Painted Lady mysteries?
Alexandra: Okay. And the main character is a woman named Donna who’s a nurse. Is that right?
Morgan: She’s an outspoken nurse. She needs to really work on her small talk and charm.
Alexandra: Oh, I like her already. And she’s, in the first one at least she’s a, she’s kinda pulling this Bed and Breakfast together.
Tell us a little bit about her journey to get to that point. She’s 50, is that right?
Morgan: And she came to a turning point. She has; she works really hard at work. But she has a secret life where at home she’s creating all these wonderful dishes. And she’s quite a good cook. And she’s quite a wine fan too, so she knows all of the different wines that go with the food.
She has decided her secret dream is to open a B & B and showcase these talents. She just feels like maybe she didn’t have a life she wanted to. But she thinks she can make other people happy, which she’s unaware of how hard of a job that is, making other people have a good time.
Alexandra: Oh I bet.
Do you have any experience with running a bed and breakfast to draw from?
Morgan: Well, I was a maid once.
Morgan: My daughter runs a hotel and tells me all the wonderful travel horror stories.
Alexandra: Oh, fantastic. So you’ve got a little bit insider information there.
Morgan: I have a secret dream of running a B & B. But as I pen the books and my husband reads them, he’s like, “I don’t think I could get along with these people.”
Alexandra: Yes, exactly. I have some friends in Stratford, Ontario who used to run a B & B. And they talked about how much work it was. It was just endless. So, but Donna’s taking this on.
In the first book, Murder Mansion, she finds a dead body in…it’s sort of a rundown house. Is that right, that she’s converting?
Morgan: Yeah, it’s a Victorian mansion but it’s been through a lot of re-inventions. It used to be the VFW hall.
Alexandra: Oh, okay. All right.
Is she working on it on her own? Doing the renovations?
Morgan: Well, she has her brother Daniel, and they’re very close. But he also runs a construction business, so he knows what to do. And he basically advises her own and they spend their free time working on this. But it’s not a lot of money there’s, so it’s like everything is cut to the bone. And she evaluates everything like how much is it going to cost me.
And then, there, of course, there’s a little bit of romantic entanglement. Call it that with detective Mark Teiber.
Alexandra: Yeah. So tell us a little bit about him.
Morgan: He actually comes across as being kind of a gruff, kind of Colombo kind of guy. But he has a heart of gold because when children call 911 cause their pet’s dead, most people would dismiss those calls. But he actually goes, picks up the animal, and takes it to the animal hospital. And he usually ends up paying for the care of the animal.
Alexandra: Aww. So he’s really a good guy. And then, so the second book in this series, you said it’s coming out, is that June 30th?
Morgan: June 30th. I had to rush it a little bit because I had some issues with my editor, that she was ill and then she couldn’t work and then I had to get a different editor. Well, that didn’t work. So then I had to go back to the editor when she got out of the hospital. But I actually had fans contacting me saying, “Why isn’t your book out?” I was like, “Well, it should be. But…”
Alexandra: Wow, what fantastic feedback. It’s always nice when people are waiting for a book to come out.
Morgan: So, it’s on pre-order now.
Alexandra: Okay, perfect. Okay, so I can put it on the link in the show notes to the pre-order. And can we have an image of the cover? Could I include that as well?
Morgan: Oh yes.
Alexandra: Remind us of the title.
Morgan: It is called Drop Dead Handsome.
Alexandra: And tell us a little bit about the plot.
Morgan: The plot is that Donna is open-Donna’s inn has been open a little less than a year and she’s trying to drum up business. Her high school reunion is happening and her brother thinks it will be a great idea to feature an ad on the high school reunion site. But unfortunately, the people that registered to come is everybody from high school she doesn’t want to see.
Alexandra: And so where does the murder develop in the story?
Morgan: Well, the murder centers around a particular, I’m gonna say kind of a high school crush. But he’s a bit of a player, so there are many possibilities.
Alexandra: Nice. Oh, that’s great.
Do you have plans for more from this series?
Morgan: My husband and I have already started on Killer Review which involves a food critic.
Alexandra: Oh okay, nice. So…
Morgan: So we have book four planned, as well.
Alexandra: As well, cool. Okay. So there will be at least four in this series.
Morgan: Probably more. I mean, it’s kind of a premise that gives itself to a lot of different plot lines.
Alexandra: Yeah, I can see that. I mean, with the Bed and Breakfast there would be lots of different types of people coming in and that kind of thing. That’s kind of the perfect location for murder mysteries.
Morgan: And I’ve developed a town in North Carolina called Legacy. Now that I’ve developed the town, I want to use it.
Alexandra: Okay, yes. Yeah, you’re attached to it. And let’s just touch briefly then as well, you have a romantic suspense under the author name of Morgan Kay, K-A-Y, which…yes, it was described as a romantic suspense.
I also saw it described as a romantic comedy kind of in the subtitle. So tell us a little bit about that one.
Morgan: Okay, most of my books, I’m not sure which one you’re talking about there, but my most recent release is called The Bad Decision Legacy. Under Morgan Kay. And that was released May 12th, 2016.
Tanya, who’s the main character, is already on edge because her boss…they’re cutting jobs where she works. And she doesn’t want to be cut, her job cut. And she’s being harassed by an ex-boyfriend who threatens to get her in trouble at work. Well, the humor comes when the, her best friend invites her to dinner to meet some guy that has just broken up with his fiance. Or his fiance has just dumped him and she asked, “So why did his fiance dump him if he’s such a great guy?” “Oh, she just wanted to be a man.” And it’s like, okay. And it kind of snowballs from there.
Alexandra: I noticed in some of your reviews that your reviewers described your books as very funny and sassy at times. And so you obviously don’t have any trouble in writing that sort of humourous vein.
Morgan: It’s kinda who I am. It was like some people write very beautiful, lyrical, evolved sentences. And I’m more of a shoot from the hip kind of a gal.
Alexandra: Yes, yeah. Oh, that’s great. And you do have a series under Morgan K. Wyatt. And I noticed Lover Deception is also categorized as a romantic suspense. And one of the reviewers talked about how the theme of that one was, or could be seen as memory or the loss of memory.
Can you tell us a bit about that and whether or not you feel that’s true?
Morgan: Okay, that was the one I always say I gave my computer away after I looked up all those different drugs. Well, it’s amazing what you can do with mind-altering drugs. And that you can introduce suggestions to people. I played with that theme because the character was working, kind of in a covert operation where she worked for…worked in designing programs and medical pharmaceuticals for the military.
Alexandra: Ahh, okay.
Morgan: So it’s kinda like what she, what she uncovered, what she was working with, was turned around and used on her.
Morgan: Oh okay, got it. She sounds like to be a bit of a Jason Bourne character.
Interviewed: One of the reviewers described her as the character from Bones. And it was ironic because I had never seen that television show. So after that, I had to watch it. Well, I’d like to see this.
Morgan: And so did you agree when you saw it?
Morgan: Somewhat, but I thought it was…I thought it was kind of ironic that I could come up with this idea all on my own, kind of an isolation. But apparently Kathy Reichs had come up with that idea quite a while ago.
Alexandra: Yes, right.
When you write under several different names and several different series, do you ever have trouble keeping the plots organized or straight in your head?
Morgan: Well, I’ve started writing names down well and characters. Because my husband, he’s funny, because I’ll say give me the name of a bad guy, or give me the name of somebody that a woman would like. And he’ll give me these names and I’ll say, “No. I can’t use that. I’ve already used that one. No, I used it in this series. Now somebody will read this series, I know it’s under a different name, but they’ll think, hmmm…wasn’t he having a thing with Nina and now he’s in this book?”
Alexandra: And what about plots?
Do you ever find your plots get confused in your head?
Morgan: I get hair color confused. The plots aren’t so bad but I’m thinking is she blonde or a brunette? I can’t remember. Okay, let’s go back to the beginning of the book.
Alexandra: Right, exactly, yeah.
Do you have a schedule that you write under? Like do you try to alternate books or do you tend to just write what inspires you next?
Morgan: I’m trying to be more organized than I have been. So I outline the books. I actually teach and I find some of that dead time at school, outline outline outline. Oh, you guys are writing a creative essay, I can be outlining.
Morgan: But then when I come home and I’m actually working summer, I try to put in like six hours a day. And I try to ignore Facebook or Twitter or all the little social media things that are lurking on the side. And I usually like to work on two books at the same time.
I try to make them very different so they don’t bleed into each other. Like they’re not getting the same plot lines or the same characters. Like right now I’m working on…you know, it’s fairly complicated. It’s a late historical set in World War I in England, but it deals with druids and fairies. And I write my cozy mystery in contrast to it, which are nothing alike.
Alexandra: Yeah, very different.
Tell us a little bit about this one set in England because that seems wildly different than the stuff I saw on your website or on Amazon.
Morgan: Well, that’s probably because it’s under a totally different name.
Alexandra: Another name. Oh my goodness.
Morgan: That book is coming out in August and it’s under the Reina Nor name. And that’s more of your paranormal fantasy, kind of feel to it. But that’s really easy to keep straight because it’s so unlike anything else.
Alexandra: Yes, yeah, exactly.
Do you just write the one series in paranormal fantasy or more than one?
Morgan: I am starting my second series. It takes a lot more thought because I know today I was paging through a book saying do you know there are 230 different kinds of faeries?
Alexandra: Oh, goodness me.
Morgan: I did not. But I had to find the appropriate water one.
Alexandra: Do you like research? I ask that question very often. Do you love it?
Morgan: I love research. I’m sorry, I cut you off again.
Interviewed: No, that’s okay.
Morgan: I know in college, we had to do so much research because it was just required for us. You know, when you’re getting your degree and it’s a requirement?
Morgan: And I researched the entire book for my professor. And I put it in a chronological order and I wrote notes on it. And she was like, “Would you like to be a professional researcher?” and I was, “There’s a job for that?”
Morgan: And now we know it’s writer.
Alexandra: Right, exactly, yes. And you referenced the book about fairies.
Do you do most of your research online or do you use actual books?
Morgan: Truthfully, I get better intel from actual books.
Alexandra: And from the library or ones you have?
Morgan: I usually buy them. It seems like a big expense but not too much. You know, I usually get them used. You know, I’ll show up at a half price bookstore. People give them to me because they know I’m looking for certain kinds of books, like obviously I’m in the druid element now.
Alexandra: Yes, yeah. And your romantic suspense and the cozy mysteries, you said the cozy mystery is set in North Carolina.
Are the other ones, the romantic suspense kind of set in that area as well?
Morgan: Well the romantic suspense, I move around. Now if it’s the Morgan Kay Wyatt ones, the first one Lover Deception was set in Texas. We go into a little bit in New Mexico and the heroine is originally from Louisiana.
Morgan: And this one is set, when I say this one I mean He Loves Me Not, is set in Northern California. And we had spent some time last year in Northern California. And so we can always call that research.
Alexandra: Exactly, yeah. That was my next question.
Do you have to go to a location to set a book there? Or are you comfortable doing it without having been there personally?
Morgan: I did do a lot of research. I probably know more about the what grows and you can plant and harvest in England than probably people that live there now. But I think that you benefit from just going. I know my husband and I…talking too fast…have a couple of trips planned for research this year.
Alexandra: Oh nice. Oh, that’s great. To England?
Morgan: Well no, we’re going to Salem, Massachusetts. Then we’re going to New Orleans. But we’re also going to Amsterdam and India but that’s just his work.
Alexandra: Wow. Love it.
Morgan: We have to go for work.
Alexandra: Can you imagine that you would set a book in India?
Morgan: Well if I set a book in India, it’s so different there than it is here. I would have to set it as an American girl in India.
Morgan: Because I could only experience it that way.
Alexandra: Yeah. Not as a native person from that country. Well…
Morgan: Just like the Bollywood movies have. the American guy come in and reacting as an American guy.
Alexandra: Yeah, right. Exactly. Well, I’ll be interested to hear after your trip if you end up setting a book there. Well, this has been great Morgan. Thank you so much for chatting with me today. So why don’t you let our listeners know where they can find your books.
Morgan: Well they’re all in Amazon, but the easiest way if you’re unsure is to go to my website, morgankaywyatt.com
Alexandra: Perfect, and you’re on Twitter?
Morgan: I am, as Morgankwyatt.
Alexandra: And Facebook as well?
Morgan: Author Morgan Kay Wyatt. I was very clever with these names.
Alexandra: Well that’s awesome. Thank you so much and all the best. Take care.
Morgan: Thank you.