Welcome to author Morgan Wyatt, one half of the writing team behind the MK Scott books. A first for our site!
Describe your favorite writing spot or space.
Currently, I write in the kitchen to keep an eye on our new puppy. When it is warm outside, I move to our screen porch.
Describe your current writing spot or space.
I’m writing by candlelight at the kitchen table. We have electricity, but I don’t want to wake Jane, the puppy.
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
Morning is my best time to write when everyone is asleep, but I write whenever I can. My goal is a chapter a day, but sometimes I don’t make it due to edits, research, and life.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
It takes two months to proof and edit a book, but the actual writing can vary from one to six months. It was very hard for me to write at the beginning of the pandemic. I needed something lighthearted and wrote On St. Nick’s Trail to cheer myself—and others.
How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
I’ve let six books go out of print. My first book has never been published and I have a sci fi that I never finished.
Do you write under a pseudonym? If not, have you ever considered it?
I write under several pen names. Future authors: please pick one name and stick with it. Fast funny story: I was flirting with my husband on Facebook using one of my author names. My mother became very concerned and started stalking the pen name and informed me that I should be concerned. Had to explain it was me, which relieved her.
What comes first for you, the plot, or the characters?
Usually, the characters because they determine the plot to a certain extent.
How do you select the names of your characters?
I often use family names, co-workers, and I even asked students if I could use their names. They were excited to have their names in a book. As a courtesy, they were never a villain. Although, some might have wanted to be a villain.
Other times, I look up popular names for the character’s birth year
What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
It hadn’t been too hard since my husband usually does male dialogue and reactions since he is my co-author. What we have a hard time is getting into the mind of the villain. Watch a lot of true crime shows for that bit.
Can you hear your characters talking?
Yes, especially Max. That dog talks all the time! He has an opinion about everything..
Were you a part-time writer before you became a full-time one? For how long?
I’ve been writing since I was six. I’ve written a lot for magazines, newspapers, and a few online sites. The move to full-length books happened about ten years ago. A school shooting had me retiring early. I’ve been a full-time writer for almost two years.
How much time do you spend on research before starting a book? While writing?
It depends on how much I know about the subject. If the story takes place in an unfamiliar location, I try to take a short trip there. This isn’t always possible—so I plan a virtual trip. Check out the hotels, restaurants, and places of interests, which gives me a general feel for the place. Google Earth helps, too.
I’m researching all the time while writing, too. For example: a character has a certain ringtone to indicates its her mother. This sends me into a ring tone search for the best one.
What kind of research do you do for a book?
I play mystery games, read other mysteries, watch true crime shows, and visit in person or virtually the location. Even my fictional towns are based on somewhere I lived or visited.
As for plots, I play the what-if game taking real-life situations and keep adding to them. My daughter and I were sitting at a booth in a restaurant when we heard a woman plotting how to track her husband’s movements. As a writer, I developed all sorts of motivations for her behavior including murder.
I also bounce ideas off the husband
As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
An eagle or hawk because in the end it’s about seeing the big picture.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Sometimes, I play music I feel is appropriate to the characters or time period to inspire me while writing. I also trial run the recipes and change them if they prove too difficult for inclusion in the culinary cozy mysteries.
What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
Book Brush is an online service that allows you to create your own promotions.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I have five adult children and their significant others, husband, puppy, and a large extended family, which takes up time, especially the puppy. When the weather is warm, I garden. In the winter, I’m still walking the dog, doing lots of Zoom meetings & workshops, and reading. 😊 Since I’m in the kitchen so much, I’m trying out new recipes, too.
Do you ever Google yourself?
I’ve tried and found out my name is somewhat common.
What is your favorite childhood book(s)?
Black Beauty by Anna Sewell and The Black Stallion by Walter Farley.
If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Keep writing. Find your voice as opposed to imitating someone else. There will be people who like your writing. Find them..
What character are you most like in your books?
I am somewhat like Donna Tollhouse from The Painted Lady Inn Mysteries. Donna is based on my mother and folks constantly tell me how much I look and act like my mom. Personally, I think I am more like Nala from The Talking Dog Detective Agency series.
M. K. Scott is the husband and wife writing team behind The Painted Lady Inn Mysteries, The Talking Dog Detective Agency, which is set In Indianapolis, and The Way Over the Hill Gang series. Morgan K Wyatt is the general wordsmith, while her husband, Scott, is the grammar hammer and physics specialist. He uses his engineering skills to explain how fast a body falls when pushed over a cliff and various other felonious activities. Morgan’s daughter, who works at a hotel, has contributed a guest horror tale or two to fuel plot lines along with housekeeping details. Overall, the series are a family effort.