Angela Morrison

In the Yof a treeAngela Morrison graduated from Brigham Young University with a BA in English and holds an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She grew up in Eastern Washington on the wheat farm where Taken by Storm is set. After over a decade abroad in Canada, Switzerland and Singapore, she and her family are happily settled on the edge of the Sonoran desert in Mesa, Arizona. Angela enjoys speaking to writers and readers of all ages about her craft. She has visited over 50 schools since her debut where she involves students in her creative process as they search for the perfect teen heroine and . . . the guy. She has four children—mostly grown up—and the most remarkable grandson in the universe.

Angela’s Publications include:

“I had this cool teacher, Mrs. Graham, who put pictures on the blackboard and told us to write our own story about the picture. She took me and a couple of other kids to a lecture she gave to fellow teachers about her radical new teaching techniques. I got stuck at the blackboard in the back of the room where no one could see me. Rats. But, I got the best picture. A white kitten sitting in a colander of spaghetti noodles. Yes. I filled that chalkboard with an amazing tale. The girl who got to be at the front board just wet her pants.

I grew up, went to Tekoa High School and got to go to a week long fiction writing workshop at Washington states glorious retreat, CENTRUM, where I fell in love with Tolkein, Peter S. Beagle, who called me a true writer, and a blonde boy from Tacoma who gave me a seashell and kissed me good-bye.

I grew up, went to Tekoa High School and got to go to a week long fiction writing workshop at Washington State’s glorious retreat, CENTRUM, where I fell in love with Tolkein, Peter S. Beagle, who called me a true writer, and a blonde boy from Tacoma who gave me a seashell and kissed me good-bye.

I graduated, fled the pig farm for Brigham Young University, and fell in love with Keats, Donne, Eugene England, and a dark-haired returned missionary from Ottawa, Ontario, who I promptly married.

I got to work on having those ten kids, ended up with four fantastic children–Rob, Andy, Rachel, and Will. No cats.

I devoted myself to momness and volunteered at school and church to find outlets for my creative energy. I wrote when I could, published a short story inThe Friend (official LDS kids magazine), and joined the invaluable, Society of Children’s Book Writer’s and Illustrators (SCBWI).

I love my children and loved being home with them as they grew. In today’s world, it is a luxury, and I am so thankful to my husband for providing it. I even love teenagers, and volunteered to teach LDS teens in my home every school day morning at 6:30 AM. BUT, after twenty years of full-time motherhood, divine as it was, I needed more.

The artist inside me was tired of finger paint and play dough. When my youngest son went to school full-time, my artist demanded her freedom. She was weak and sickly, needed massive transfusions and careful rehabilitation if she was going to survive. I went to SCBWI’s big national conference in LA, picked up a brochure for a low-residency master of fine arts program, noticed all the instructors had MFAs from Vermont College, applied to VCs writing for Children and Young Adults program, got in and, WOW, that changed my life forever. (For more of my journey from worn-out mom/wannabe writer to published author and poet, read my TAKEN BY STORM blog.)”

Angela supports the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (CFF) with her book Sing Me to Sleep. I’ve seen that you are a member of Writers Unite to Fight Cancer. You are a great example of a philanthropist. Why do you support these causes and do you support any other charitable organizations? Angela:  I donate to humanitarian relief and educational efforts around the world through the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I often get approached by bloggers for signed books for literacy and other causes. A blogger in the Philippines held a huge auction to give to earthquake victims, and I donated books and critiques. I’m always happy to appear at fundraising events free of charge. WUTFC supports real people whose struggle touches me deeply and wonderful organizations who help them. I’m pleased to give my time to their efforts. I also love volunteering as a guest author at local schools. I visit a few special schools every year, but I need to do more. I recently spoke at ASU’s inaugural celebration of El Dia los Ninos El Dia los Libros.The cystic fibrosis community has a special place in my heart. My dear, dear friend lost three children to the disease. I dedicated SING ME TO SLEEP to her youngest son Matt–to honor him and her incredible faith and resilience. Like Matt, his mom always has a smile on her face. I got to spend the week with her when I was in Canada for SING’s launch and came away inspired. She blesses everyone who knows her. This spring I walked in CFF’s Great Strides. CFF has developed treatments that make life for kids born today with CF healthy and happy–nothing like Matt’s–and they have drugs in development that effectively treat the root cause of the disease. Amazing news. CF research gets no support from the government or even the drug companies. So the CF community raises the funds to pay for it all. You can donate to this year’s Great Strides through the end of June. Why do I donate or get involved? I’m hugely blessed. It’s the least I can do. I always think I should do more. And as a writer, I struggle with spending my life doing something that seems incredibly self-centered, even egotistical. All the self-promo you have to do compounds the effect. The field is so competitive that you end up being jealous of other author’s successes instead of cheering for them. Yuck. I can’t live like that. I’ve decided the only way to keep my sanity is to try to bless others. Time to get out the pom-poms. It’s amazing balm to hear from a reader who’ve you touched or made more aware. I cherish opportunities to give back, mentor or connect. I love landing in a 9th grade classroom and getting them excited about writing. I never turn a request for a blog interview down–no matter how new or unknown the blog is. And I speak at book clubs or libraries free of charge. At events, I usually end up giving away more books than I sell. I always return more blessed than I went, so I continue in debt. Margaret: What is your current work in progress? Angela: I’m polishing up a YA time-travel romantic adventure, SLIPPED. It’s been a mind-bending adventure to write. If you took Mad Max’s great grandson and Jane Eyre’s favorite cousin and plopped them down in Medieval Europe and told them they had to destroy the past to save the future, you get SLIPPED. It starts out in my favorite Swiss castle–Chateau de Chillon! Byron visited it and left his name scrawled on one of the columns, so I had to work him into the tale, too.

Taken by Storm (Penguin/Razorbill) is my ultra romantic debut teen novel about a BYU-bound Mormon farm girl, Leesie, and the aching, to die for guy, Michael, who gets in her way.

UNBROKEN CONNECTION is the continuation of Michael and Leesie’s tempestuous love story. The stunning paperback version is NOW ON SALE!!

Book three in Michael and Leesie’s ultra-romantic TAKEN BY STORM saga, CAYMAN SUMMER,  is now AVAILABLE!! You can still read it for free on the CAYMAN SUMMER blog.

An Ocean atween Us is an intriguing young adult novel and sweeping historical romance. It is the first book in Angela’s WE, GLOVER’S series, a family saga written in first person, coming-of-age narratives, from one generation to the next.