FAQ

FAQ

Q: What was your first publication?
A: A book review for Best Sellers. After they published several of my reviews, primarily in non-fiction, I came across a review in my name of a novel I had not read. I thought it was a typo and contacted the editor. Turned out the review was submitted by a person with the same name as mine, and the editor assumed it was me. While they almost always assigned the reviews, in this case they published it because it was on their list.

Q: What inspired you to write about bullying? Were you ever bullied?
A: A combination of three things triggered my interest: The heartbreaking stories of bullying in the news, some ending in suicide; one of my aunts was bullied by her teacher, and my mother believed it left a long-lasting impact; a vicious bully targeted a nice, petite girl in my daughter's grade school, and the principal failed to handle it properly.

I spent over a year in a hostile work environment. The department chairperson, a misogynist claiming links to the CIA, made wild accusations and threatened lawsuits that cowed his superiors. Some suspected he was directly or indirectly involved in the alleged suicide of a staff member who was his main target. Yet she supposedly willed her antiques to him.

Q: You also write about cults. Have you had personal experiences or considered joining one?
A: I know several people who were involved with cults. A student in her forties joined an obscure cult and couldn't see how she was manipulated, something that was obvious to her family. One man appeared to have had turned his life around after joining a cult. But for one successful career woman with a sad childhood, the experience proved fatal. Many years ago, a professor wanted to join the Shakers, but was not accepted since the group was closed to new members.

I have never considered joining a cult. I once met the leader of a tiny cult whose main goal appeared to be control. Some people described him as evil.

Q: Why does your website, morganablue.com, looks odd on some computers?
A: My former site looked the same on all computers. However, I was told that the site would be eliminated unless I upgraded it to a system more compatible with the latest technology. After the upgrade, my site looks like my former site on most computers but an alternate design pops up on others (for example, the word Blue drops below Morgana, which looks weird). The designs can be switched by adjusting zoom or expanding the site. A third design flashes on but only for a few seconds - I have no idea where this one comes from. I had a blog for ten years and two other websites but never encountered these situations.

Q: What are your hobbies?
A: I love to read both fiction and nonfiction and blogging - my blog of ten years crashed. I also like traveling, especially to historical areas. One of my favorite places is the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., which I have visited numerous times. Then came COVID-19, and we had to cut down on travel.

Q: What type of books do you like?
A: I have eclectic taste. My favorite books include Euclides da Cunha's Rebellion in the Backlands, Victor Hugo's Ninety-Three, Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, Wiley Cash's A Land More Kind Than Home, Pa Chin's Family,​ Patrick Goldring's The Broilerhouse Society​, D. P. Mannix's Black Cargoes​, Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Lillian O'Donnell's No Business Being a Cop​, Jorn Lier Horst's The Hunting Dogs, Sharyn McCrumb's Prayers the Devil Answers, and many more. My favorite genres have been classics, mysteries, pop culture, biography, poetry, and sociology. This past year, I've read mainly history, true crime, poetry, and mystery/thrillers.

Q: What are you reading now?
A: I just finished Cirque by Mary Ellen Dennis, an engaging blend of mystery and romance genres set in the 1850s. It touches on the world of P. T. Barnum, with him as one of the characters. I especially liked Dennis's insertion of lyrics and historical topics.

Q: How did you get interested in books about crime?
A: When I was in the seventh grade, I bought Agatha Christie's The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, which remains one of my favorites, and then read all of her books I could find. I enjoyed almost all of them, found several so-so, and one novel I started to read a couple of times but never got past the first twenty pages. I also discovered Sherlock Holmes and Raymond Chandler and branched out to other mystery writers. I became a fan of true crime books after I graduated from college when I read Thomas Thompson's Blood and Money: A True Story of Murder, Passion, and Power.

Q: Which titles would you expect to find in a readers' poll of the best 20 crime/mystery novels of all time?
A: A vast number of excellent mystery novels have been published, and the results would vary with sampling. The likeliest candidates for the list include:
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie, the world's best-selling mystery and one of the best-selling books ever.
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky, considered one of the greatest works of literature.
The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey, a detective novel that sparked reevaluation of Richard III.
The Hound of Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, chosen by BBC as one of the 100 most influential novels.
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie, voted by the British Crime Writers' Association in 2013 as the best crime novel ever.
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, a Gothic mystery.

Other titles competing for the list:
The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth, a thriller about an assassination attempt on French President Charles de Gaulle.
The Deep Blue Good-by by John D. Macdonald, the first book in the popular Travis McGee series.
She Walks These Hills by Sharyn McCrumb, winner of four major Best Novel awards.
T is for Trespass by Sue Grafton, a PI novel of evil intertwined with timely social issues.
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins, written in 1859, reveals the dangerous consequences of gender inequality - a favorite of my English lit professor.

Q: When did you develop a love of reading?
A: As far back as I can remember, I loved books. When I was three years old, Brothers Grimm's and Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales fascinated me and inspired me to read. I read "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" over and over again, and I recall laughing at "The Emperor's New Clothes." My father supported literacy projects and believed that reading is good for the mind and body and promotes a long life.

Q: What advice do you have for parents?
A: One of the best things parents can do for children is to read to them. To quote Albert Einstein (somewhat paraphrased): "If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales."

Encourage children to enjoy books, starting with cute cloth books for babies and then board book and see which ones the child prefers. When giving gifts to toddlers and older children, I include a book with the toy. Promoting reading is now more crucial than ever with so many things competing for children's attention, some having a negative impact.

Other enriching activities include music, art, dance, sports, writing poetry, 4-H, and living history. I was a chess mom (among others) for many years, and my daughter met great youngsters at tournaments, remaining pen pals with several for years, got to travel overseas, and overall benefited from it.

Q: Do you accept ads?
A: No. I do not engage in any financial transaction regarding the content of this site.

Q: Would you critique my manuscript?
A: Although I have critiqued manuscripts for publishers, I do not for legal reasons read unpublished material from individuals.

Q: I tried to contact you but received a "failure notice."
A: Earlier, AOL "lost" an address (even though I'm a premium member) and hours of discussions with them failed to correct it. This month, gmail deleted my account for reasons unknown to me - my husband's gmail works just fine maybe because he rarely uses it. I had used it the day before, and the next day I was blocked. Efforts to restore it failed.

Discard the email addresses I previously listed here. You can reach me on X (twitter) at @MorganaBwrites. I hope to post a new email address in the near future. In case you are wondering, I have not been involved in anything controversial or of national security concern.

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Morgana Blue
In February 2020, two deer arrived before sunset to rest by our patio. When we went to sleep, they were still there but gone by morning. A surprise visit - we live in a fenced-in, urban area across the street from stores.​
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Morgana Blue
Tuuli, age 14, passed away in May 2020. She is greatly missed.
These pansies survived an April frost.
These pansies survived an April frost.
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Morgana Blue

​Laguna Beach, CA, 2021

X (twitter): @MorganaBwrites morganablue2 at gmail dot com

"Arguing that you don't care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different from saying that you about free speech because you have nothing to say." - Edward Snowden