Wednesday, May 22, 2013

So who the hell is this guy?

Taking a page from one of my absolute favorite authors, Brian Keene. If you haven't checked him out, I highly recommend doing so. Click HERE to visit his site and tell him I sent you. He will more than likely say, "hey, how are you? Thanks for dropping by. Who the hell is Charlie Morgan?"

Well here's the answer for the newer folks.

My name is Charles Glenn Morgan Jr. I'm 28 years old, I live in a small corner of Western North Carolina and I scare people for money. For the past ten years I have been a volunteer fireman for Green River Fire and Rescue - Station 13 (pretty appropriate, don't you think?) I was raised by my father, grandmother and great uncle on our farm. Living in the rural south, you are going to grow up hearing all sorts of ghost stories and legends. I can remember my grandmother telling me about a place, not far from the house, called the "Devil's Footprint." I've actually heard of a couple of these footprints. One is said to be a place where nothing will grow. The other is supposedly an actual footprint in a stone that looks rather demonic in nature. I've never seen either and had to use my childhood imagination to conjure up the required imagery. Perhaps that's where my interest began with the world of horror. It was then fueled by my father who grew up on healthy doses of Shock Theater. I spent countless hours watching scary movies with him. I still do today. One of my favorite haunts was a little video store called Video King which was owned by Pam Travis. At any given time you could probably find me floating around the center of the store in the horror section looking for the scariest thing I could get my hands on. The store is gone now. I can't begin to tell you just how much I miss it.

Naturally the time came when I began to create my own tales of monsters. I can't tell you how many stories I wrote and thought they were the scariest things around. At some point I got my hands on a typewriter, then they really started to churn out.

After picking out my favorites, I put them all together, drew a cover of a horned beast hovering over a cemetery, packed them into an envelope and shipped them off to a publisher. I just knew my collection "Tales From The Demon" was going to be a hit! I never heard back from the publisher. Sadly I had sent the only copy of the stories. I wish I had kept them. It would be nice to see them again and travel back to that point in my life.

In junior high, after an argument with an English teacher, I was asked what I wanted to do when I grew up. My answer was that I wanted to be a writer. The teacher laughed and said in a voice that could shatter paper, that it would never happen.

Four years later, I was published for the first time. Several times, in fact. I had found a publisher looking for poems and had to try my luck. You can imagine my shock and the thrill when I got that first letter saying that my poem, Black Hills, had been accepted in a book called From The Mountaintop. For the next month I strutted around in an over-the-top display of manliness with a permanent grin on my face. After a while, I moved away from writing. I would still pen the occasional story here and there but it was never seriously sought after at that point.

The next few years were spent dating, raising hell and being a typical teen in a small town. On May 23, 2003, I was on my way to work when I got out of school. I took the back way through the country and suburbs because the drive was peaceful. I was within sight of town and the mall where I worked when a drunk woman (with her 13 year old daughter) pulled out from Forest Lawn cemetery, fishtailed into my lane and hit me head on. I wasn't seriously injured but I took a hell of a hit. The accident even made.the paper. This was my first real close call, but it would not be the last.

May 23, 2005. Two years later to the day and one day after my grandmother's birthday. I had bought her a necklace as a gift. It was a mother's necklace with the birth stones of my father and I. The day before her birthday, she had joked and tried her best to get me to give it to her early. Finally I caved. She had said jokingly that she may be dead the next day. I brushed the comment off and handed over the loot. Little did I know her prediction was accurate. She just missed it by a day.

We had to go to the grocery store. She decided to drive and off we went. We just made it through the deep curve passing Lake Summit when a speeding car slammed into us at around 75 mph. When I awoke, I was facedown in cold water with no memory of what had happened. I was the sole survivor. My grandmother had been killed along with the man who hit us. I came away with a broken back, eye socket and nose.

The following years were rough as hell. The pain in my back kept getting worse and working a regular job became less and less feasible. Then, like an old friend, the writing came back. I wrote as a way to occupy my mind and it became my therapy. I decided to pursue publishing again. Within a few months, my first short story "Isolated Incident" was published by Knightwatch Press for the Rhonny Reaper's Roadkill Cafe anthology. As time passed, more stories came. My first novelette, Sticks and Stones, was about overcoming the pain of a failing marriage to an unfaithful partner (with bloodthirsty monsters thrown into the mix). It went on to become my first international best seller, topping out at #19 in the US for horror (just behind Max Brooks' World War Z). It even won an award.

Today my time is still spent writing. I have a few lined up over the next few months, including the possible collaboration with one of my literary heroes (no details yet. Not set in stone).

My time has also been spent talking with someone very important. Earlier this year, my short zombie story, Birthday Wish, was picked up by Robber Ant Productions and is currently in the stages of pre-production. All I will say right now is that I've read an early draft of the script and am as pleased as can be. It was initially supposed to be filmed as a short but things may shift towards a feature. You'll see details as they come in.

Well that's me in a nutshell. You can find links to my books in the section above. If you are new here then stop by my FACEBOOK PAGE and say hello. I always welcome meeting new people, especially horror fans.

And as always, to the junior high English teacher.... fuck you.

- Charlie

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