Author Spotlight Interview: Iris Morland
Today we’re talking to Hidden Gems reader favorite, Iris Morland, who recently became USA Today Bestselling Author Iris Morland when The Youngers collection hit the list in April. Iris writes contemporary romance and steamy romantic comedies that are enjoyed by a broad audience. It was an honor to chat with her about her path to writing, what she has in the works and to learn more about her life outside of being an author.
HG: Welcome, Iris! Let’s dive right in. How would you describe yourself to somebody who isn’t familiar with your writing yet?
IM: I like to think my writing is fun, full of banter between the hero and heroine. I’m also very fond of swoon-y speeches from the hero, and lots of smaller details about the characters that make them come alive. I love including little anecdotes, whether about a particular hobby, or something important in the character’s childhood, that shows another side to them.
HG: Awesome. Who doesn’t love a swoon-y speech?! So, with that being said, what feeling do you want to leave people with when they finish one of your novels?
IM: I hope people are sighing and filled with happy butterflies. You know, those books that stick with you for a few days, and give you a kick of dopamine every time you think about them? Yeah, that kind of feeling.
HG: Ahh, the best. Nothing beats happy butterflies. Was author always your dream job? When did you take the plunge into becoming an author? Did you work in a different field before?
IM: I’ve always been a writer. I didn’t seriously consider being an author until high school, though, My route to publishing has been rather meandering. Before I worked full-time as an author, I worked various administrative assistant jobs while working on my MFA in creative writing. Suffice to say I hated the admin work and ended up quitting to freelance, not caring if I literally turned into a starving artist-writer. Luckily it worked out and I’m not starving!
HG: We hear the “meandering” path often from authors we speak with. We’re happy you’re sharing your writing with us, and that you’re not starving, haha. Where do you find inspiration for your characters, setting and story lines?
IM: It’s a mix of my own life, the lives of people I know, and mostly my own imagination. Sometimes I encounter a book that has some trope, or storyline, and it inspires me to make my own version (and I’m talking something as general as “enemies-to-lovers romance”). As far as settings, I prefer to set books in places I’ve lived, which is why most of my books are set in or near Seattle, WA.
HG: Fascinating. Washington is a beautiful place to set a story. Tell us a little bit about your writing process. Has it changed since the pandemic? Where and when you write?
IM: Once I have a general idea what a book is about, I’ll outline it. Then I write it, although as I’m writing, some things will change or shift from the outline. But I do need to know where I’m headed with a story, and I need to know what are the main, driving forces between the H&h. Pantsing gives me hives, basically, and to me, is extremely inefficient. The thought of writing 30K words, only to cut them, is difficult to swallow.
The pandemic basically killed my writing mojo, alas. My ability to write is very much tied to my emotional health, and like most of the world, it wasn’t too great last year. I also wasn’t able to write at coffee shops, so that was very hard on my writing. It’s only been after the new year that I felt like I could start writing again.
HG: Speaking of which, congrats on your recent book, The Prince I Love to Hate which released last week! What can you tell us about this story? What type of readers would enjoy it?
IM: It’s a royalty, enemies-to-lovers, road-trip romcom, full of banter, hilarity, and a side of mystery. An American girl, Niamh (pronounced Neev) goes to Ireland to search for her long-lost father, only to meet an actual prince, Olivier. This prince, of course, thinks very highly of himself. They team up, travel across Europe, and try (and fail) to resist their attraction. But there are secrets that are about to be revealed that are going to make things extra complicated for these two.
HG: Oooh, intriguing! And thanks for the pronunciation, I don’t think I would have gotten that. Do you have any other projects in the works? What can you tell us about those?
IM: The Princess I Hate to Love is the conclusion to Niamh and Olivier’s romance, and it will release on June 15. If I tell you anything else, it’ll be full of spoilers…
HG: No spoilers here! We’ll just have to pre-order and wait. Switching gears, what do you like to do when not writing?
IM: I like to cook or bake, binge trashy reality shows like Married at First Sight, read (young adult fantasy is my jam), and dream about traveling again.
HG: Ahh, travel. I’ll admit I got roped into Married at First Sight as well and perhaps follow several of them on Instagram. No shame. Okay so, if you could ask your author idol one question about their writing, writing process, or books, what would it be?
IM: I’d probably ask Jane Austen what the rest of her unfinished novel Sanditon was about. And then what other ideas for future books she had before she died. Sadly, she completed only six novels in her lifetime and died at age 41. (Yes, I’m an Austen fangirl.)
HG: Great questions and I’m learning through your response! This was fun. Thanks so much for your time today! For readers that want to find out more about your stories and future projects, where should they go to connect or learn more?
Thanks for interviewing me! Readers can find me a few places.
If you love to read and leave your honest reviews on Amazon, and would like to get books from authors like Iris Morland for free every day, then sign up for the Hidden Gems ARC program. With over 15 different genres, there’s something for everyone and you’ll only get emails about the types of books you’re interested in. Sign up for as many or as few as you have time and interest for, we’ll keep the eBooks flowing as long as you want to keep on reading and reviewing!