Ten Things About... Hanna Morse - An Author Interview

I don't know exactly how Hannah Morse and I connected... I'm sure it was in one of the myraid of amazing Facebook groups that support the M/M community, but shortly after I began promoting this blog, I got a sweet PM from her asking if I read Historical M/M and asking if I'd review a novella of hers.. I said yes to both and you can see my review of High Strung here!  Hannah has been a huge part of our own blog Facebook group - MM & MMM Romance Reviewed and finally had time to sit down for our interview...

Without further ado... let's chat and find out Ten Things About Hannah Morse...

Indie or Traditionally published? - Tell us how this works for you…
I am a hybrid author! My mm romances are Traditionally published, mostly so that they are clearly marked as my (micro)publisher has a distinct style of cover. I really enjoy working with them, the editors have been fantastic and it’s nice not having to be the one to hunt down stock images that work for a mm historical cover. I do get a little stressed over not having the sales data at my fingertips like with my self-released books, but having a hand through the publishing experience is worth it! 

Plot or Pants?  Do you pre-plot your books, use an outline, fly by the seat of your pants or some combination of things?  How do you keep track of characters in a series?  Do you keep a journal of your characters’ statistics, such as hair and eye color, relatives, hometown, etc.
I am such a plotter! I need a clear roadmap, the anxiety of doing something like writing myself into a corner or having to throw out days worth of work would never let me get a single thing done. My outlines are not rigid, I’m constantly adjusting as I write--I’m a linear writer-- or making notes for things like: make sure the cat is in chapter three or remember to coffee motif in chapter ten. It means that my writing sessions are always productive and I never end up just staring at a blank page with no idea what to do next, so I can write stories faster, which I’m finding is a huge part of being an indie author. I end up with a pretty clean first draft and notes to double-check as I edit, so I don’t miss anything. Every writer works out their own system and what functions for them, and I’ve got my system down pat. 

Do you write full time or part-time?  
At this exact moment, I’ve been roleplaying as a full-time author after the hideous pain I’d been ignoring as an ICU nurse struggling to take care of others in the middle of a pandemic turned out to be my gallbladder unaliving itself. My family banded together to give me some time off to write, though my current plan is to go back to work at the end of the year. I have loved being able to get up and write every day while snuggling with my puppies. Maybe one day in the future I’ll be able to make enough from writing to let me retire from the bedside for good and write all the many, many, many ideas in my head! 

Something people would be surprised to know about you
I look like I fell out of a mold labeled: mom and nurse. I’m not kidding, at my last job there were several of us that looked so much alike that once we were all wearing masks and head coverings even colleagues we’d worked with for years kept mixing us up. So nobody would ever expect that I used to competitively achievement hunt in video games (mostly on the XBOX 360). I still have a shelf with 300+ games on it in my living room. I can probably kick your ass in Call of Duty … and Halo … and Battlefield. 

Which character still pops into your mind to visit from time to time? 
Uhhh … *looks at my AO3 account with hundreds of published stories and millions of words* … about that … (Though Elle calls me Morgan-- from High Strung -- when I get too dramatic 😂)

Where do you write?  Do you have a routine? 
I mostly write in my living room recliner with a chihuahua under each arm. Sometimes while also wearing a cat. My writing day routine to breakfast, a little TV while catching up on social media and emails, and then I’ll either write with ambiance music playing or I’ll hop onto my favorite discord server for writing sprints. I do really well with the method of writing for 15-20 minutes, stopping for a 5-minute break, then going again. About every fourth 15 minute period I’ll get up, go for a quick walk, and hydrate. My reward for finishing my chapter for the day (about 3K) is to fire up a video game system and play whatever strikes my fancy. (Today it’s Metroid Dread)

What are your writing goals for the next year?  The future?
I have so many goals and I’m currently planning out stories into 2025. Next year my little mm Regency series will be completed, the second book is under contract and the third is my NaNo project this year. Later this year and well into next I have a seven-book mm DDLB series with a bodyguard twist publishing, along with a wealth of mf stories in anthologies (I love anthologies) along with some shared world PNRs. So many words, so little time! 

What is the funniest scene you’ve written?
There’s a lot of humor in my writing, I’m just wired like that, so it’s hard to pick just one! I did write a scene in an age-gap romance where the older, dominant character ends up making chocolate chip pancakes for his love interest and gets a little fun poked at him for it. That story was my best try at an alpha hero, and I’m not quite sure I pulled it off? 😂 He’s still kind of an adorable dork. 

What’s the hardest part about writing?
For me, the hardest part is the things that come after the writing, the marketing, and being on social media. I have a huge case of imposter syndrome and I’m constantly worried that everyone is going to figure out that I’m not so much a writer as thirty fanfic tropes in a trenchcoat. Or I get anxious that I’m writing too much and will bother people, or not enough, or that it’s all the wrong kind of thing. I know, deep down, that I’m fine, and that my writing is fine, but I’m not very good at pushing it at people. I know that this will get easier the longer I’m around! 

Who’s your biggest supporter/cheerleader? 
My biggest supporter is Elle Bjorlie, who is a fantastic, award-winning writer of (m/f) romantic suspense who is currently querying and is well on the road to being published. She’s also a professional editor, and she puts up with me 😂 Elle has read (and edited) everything I’ve written for years and is supportive no matter what rabbit holes my creativity goes down. We also cowrite (currently there’s a m/f romcom with an agent … cross your fingers for us). I know I couldn’t do this whole crazy thing without her. Thank you so much for joining me on this journey through fandom and publishing and for reading whatever I throw at you! You can find her on twitter as @lbjorlie

What made you decide M/M romance was the genre you wanted to write?  Do you write other genres?
Cw: homophobia mentions

I am probably the only author to come out of fandom where I wrote almost only m/f stories, to then turn around and write mm OF (original fiction). Spite is what really got me going, I read a very everything-phobic review of a Cat Sebastian novel, and when I called the reviewer out they kind of doubled down. Their basic argument was that there had to be a straight sibling in a family because it was unrealistic for them all to be queer. I was, as a queer person, madder than hell to put it lightly. I sat down and outlined the entire Ramsbury Estate series and wrote the first novella, which was a lot of fun and then, of course, I needed to be in the mm anthology from the same publisher … and it’s snowballed from there. I also write m/f and have a ff story coming next year too. Everything I write is capital R Romance, I need my HEA, but I’m not great at sticking to one subgenre, I just like everything too much! 

What is your favorite thing about writing M/M romance? 
I think my favorite part is the types of male characters that I am free to write in mm, which lets me tell different kinds of stories. There’s always a specter of expectations looking over my shoulder when I write mf, that heroes have to be “alpha” and be dominant and have an emotional EQ smaller than their shoe size. I’ve been told several times that “my writing is excellent” and “my dialogue is natural” … but can you please not have your male main character do something like “squeak in surprise” and the female main character needs to teach him how to love. It’s all very toxic. As a queer person, everything I write is queer, even my mf, so being able to be in a (writing) space where I can express that part of myself and tell the stories I want to tell with characters I enjoy, is a really comfortable place to be. (Also the community is the best)

How can we connect with you?
All my current stories and links are here: https://linktr.ee/writesmorse

There are still a few High Strung ARCs available on BookSprout https://booksprout.co/arc/77281/high-strung
If you want to know when I have new mm releases, BookBub is the best place to follow me! https://www.bookbub.com/profile/hannah-morse