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Stark Reflections on Writing and Publishing

Jan 14, 2022

Mark interview Michelle Rowen/Morgan Rhodes about her different pen names, the genres she writes, her publishing journey, and her latest novel, ECHOES & EMPIRES.

Prior to the main content, Mark shares comments from recent episodes, a personal update that includes devastating news of the loss of a writer friend, along with some good news related to his writing, the results of a recent Chirp audiobook promotion, and a word about this episode's sponsor.

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In their conversation, Mark and Michelle talk about:

  • ECHOES AND EMPIRES, Michelle's new alt-world fantasy under the name Morgan Rhodes
  • Michelle's thoughts on the difference between her Michelle Rowen and Morgan Rhodes pseudonyms and the different genres under each
  • Being inspired by Buffy's drama, action, and humor
  • The "fallen princess" phase or theme that keeps coming up in her writing lately
  • The way the covers properly and effectively highlight the genre similarities and differences
  • Michelle's prolific 4 to 5 books a year era when she was writing her paranormal chick-lit style lighter Michelle Rowen books, and how that changed to 1 book a year working on the Fallen Kingdoms titles
  • The lead time on trad publishing and how it differs from indie publishing
  • Getting her first starred review from School Library Journal
  • The challenge of not revealing the many plot twists in her novels when she talks about them with media
  • Getting rights back on some of her previously traditionally published titles and the steps and work involved in re-launching them, including having to re-edit them based on updated "sensitivity" perspectives
  • Michelle's dreams of being a writer (Romancing the Stone) versus the reality
  • Her discovery of the power of plotting (verses pantsing)
  • Advice Michelle would give to new writers
  • Michelle's take on "write what you know"
  • And more...


After the interview Mark reflects on Michelle's dedication to her fans and her professionalism.

Links of Interest:


Morgan Rhodes is the New York Times bestselling author of the YA high fantasy Falling Kingdoms series, and loves to write about the epic adventures of the quirky, interesting characters who inhabit her imagination. She also writes as Michelle Rowen, a bestselling and award-winning author of over two dozen novels. A former graphic designer drawn to sparkly objects and fancy handbags, Morgan lives in Ontario, Canada, where she maintains a very healthy belief in all things magical. Her latest novel is Echoes and Empires, a young adult alt-world fantasy published by Razorbill Books.


The introductory, end, and bumper music for this podcast (“Laser Groove”) was composed and produced by Kevin MacLeod of and is Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0