Today it's my pleasure to interview Barbara Morgenroth, author of Bad Apple (Book One), a Mature Young Adult book.
Word Count: 39,000
Cover Artist: Photo by Aleshyn Andrei.
Cover design by Barbara Morgenroth
“You tell and next time you won’t even be able to crawl away.”
Neal Marchal lived with this threat for the next eight years. When she finds her neighbor murdered, she knows who did it. The why is the secret the family has been keeping forever. The reminder to never reveal the secret is her limp.
She rebuilt her life and now Neal has everything to live for—music, performing and a growing affection for the young man who pulled her to safety.
Then Joe comes home. Neal knows Joe’s going to finish what he started 8 years ago because she told. But this time Neal vows the outcome will be different.
BARBARA: I was involved in a murder and it took me years to be able to make sense of it. When I did it was a natural reaction to want to write about it.
SKY: How did you come up with the title?
BARBARA: I was standing with my neighbor watching him press apples into sweet cider. The book was originally titled Sweet Cider. After many rewrites, it became bad apple. They always say one bad apple spoils everything. I guess that could be said to be Joe. Or maybe someone else in the book.
SKY: Tell us about your book cover and how it relates to your story.
BARBARA: The first cover I created was a photo I shot of a bad apple. I quite liked it. Then someone who was selling a lot of ebooks advised me to put a gun on the cover. So I took a photo of my shotgun and used that for the cover for a brief while. Then one day I found this current photo and I thought it expressed Truly’s caring and protection of Neal so well. The young woman in the image seems so vulnerable, and Neal is when Truly meets her. I think it works very well.
SKY: Are you currently working on another story? If so, we’d love some details.
BARBARA: I have just finished Bittersweet Farm 2—Joyful Spirit. My next project will be Bad Apple 4—Parked. Everyone has been very patient while I cleared my schedule to write the final book in the series. It should resolve all the loose ends.
SKY: What sources do you use for research?
BARBARA: After the murder, the police gave me all the files and the confession of the murderer so that was very helpful. I also was able to go through the house of the victim and touch everything, read his address books, the mail he had kept, the photos her treasured. All the disparate parts finally became a whole, completed puzzle.
SKY: How long have you been writing? How long have you been published?
BARBARA: I sold my first book to Atheneum when I was 24. It was published when I was 26. So that’s quite a number of years now. I loved making the transition to digital and am beyond happy to be my own publisher. This is the best time in the history of the world to be a writer.
SKY: Do you write books in series? If so, share a bit about the series you currently have published or are coming soon.
BARBARA: Bad Apple is a series. Bad Apple 1. Burning Daylight is 2. Rise is 3. I love being able to have the space and time to follow characters as they live their lives. If you do a standalone book, you wind up choosing just the moments to write that impact the characters then. With a series, you can seed the story with foreshadowing that will be used in a later book. Many readers enjoy a series because they get as invested in the characters as the writer does. They want to see what happens next and so do I.
SKY: Great interview, Barbara! Thanks for joining me.
About the Author
Barbara was born in New York City and but now lives somewhere else. By now, she thinks of herself as a country girl and knows more about gardening and animals than how to ride the subway.
Starting her career by writing tweens and YA books, (and did the cover photography for her first two books published by Atheneum so continuing to do the covers to her ebooks is predictable), she was actually aiming at the small screen. Television seemed like the perfect place for her even if she had no clue how to get there. Life is funny and often presents opportunities. Advice--Grab Them! Through a neighbor, Barbara wound up getting an introduction to a lower honcho at ABC and an audition to write for them. Her hopes were more than dashed, they were disintegrated, evaporated, demolished when ABC couldn't find a place for Barbara on General Hospital. (No Luke and Laura in her future!) To ease the crushing disappointment, Barbara wrote “In Real Life I'm Just Kate” about a 17 year old girl who becomes a star on a soap opera. That became an open sesame moment and shortly thereafter Barbara became the last headwriter for NBC's daytime serial, The Doctors, where she was ordered by the network to kill Alec Baldwin, shooting him not once but twice. With two different guns. From different directions.
Ah, good times.
You can read the book that started Barbara’s television career as the Kindle YA ebook, “Just Kate”, now with a substantial tweak because living life made her smarter.
You can also read about some could-be-hers-could-be-rumors experiences gleaned during Barbara’s stint in daytime television in the Kindle romantic comedy, In Under My Head. Barbara is a recipient of a Writers Guild of America Best Writing Award for her work on One Life To Live.
Whether you're looking for a Mature YA or a romantic comedy, Barbara has a book for you!
Visit Barbara's Website ~ Facebook ~ Amazon Author Page