As Martinus Publishing has some new contributing authors, I'll be conducting interviews to help promote their anthologies/works. Today, I'm interviewing Owen Morgan, a talented author who contributed the short story The Loyalist Washington to "Altered America." Thank you for taking the time to be interviewed, Owen.
MTI: Starting off, could you tell our readers a little bit about yourself?
OWEN MORGAN: I live in Vancouver, British Columbia. I have a Bachelor of Arts in History from Simon Fraser University. I took to writing about two years ago. I enjoy reading history, science fiction, and fantasy.
MTI: Now, getting down to business; what first compelled you to weave fiction, and what's your favorite type of story to write?
OM: My friends always liked the stories I wrote in high school and university. I have also played a series of role-playing games and one of my fellow players encouraged me to turn my hand to writing fiction.
MTI: Tell me, if you had to pick just one author who has influenced or inspired you, who would it be?
OM: J.R.R. Tolkien. I admire his ability to write a complete world. Not just a group of adventurers trying to complete a quest, but a world with histories, languages, culture, magic, and mystery.
MTI: Your story, The Loyalist Washington, appears in Altered America, an anthology of alternate histories. The fictional accounts in this collection let us imagine what it would be like if something had happened differently at different points in history. Tell us a little about how your story changes history.
OM: A student of history recognizes the size and power of the British Empire. Imagine a British Empire which encompasses the United States. It is difficult to conceive of any alliance of nations who would wish to challenge the empire. Some other differences would be an earlier end to slavery; no Canada; a later start to the European overthrow of Monarchy; and a greater rate of industrialization.
MTI: If you could go back in time and try to change any one historical event (aside from killing Hitler/stopping WWII—almost everybody tries that), which would you choose?
OM: I have no idea how I would do this, but I would present evidence to the government of Prime Minister Asquith of Britain to not enter war in 1914. This war and the Second World War ended British supremacy.
MTI: Conversely, name a historical event that you would never want to see changed/would go back in time to stop somebody from changing it.
OM: I would prevent anyone who tried to alter the outcome of the Battle of Hastings in 1066. The whole history of Britain, the empire, and by extension the United States would be altered and not for the better.
MTI: Shifting back to your writing, can you tell us a little about what you're working on right now?
OM: I am working on an alternate outcome to the Cuban Missile Crisis. I have also finished another alternate history based on Operation Sealion, the German plan for invading Great Britain in 1940.
MTI: Other than your story appearing in Altered America, do you have any other works being published in the near future?
OM: Not at this time. But I do have a couple of titles out for consideration.
MTI: On a lighter note, have you watched any good television lately?
OM: I am not a fan of reality TV, therefore the pickings are thin. The last TV series to catch my imagination was Babylon 5.
MTI: What sort of music do you enjoy?
OM: I listen to Gregorian Chants, Celtic, Chamber, Classical, and Military.
MTI: What are three of your favorite movies?
OM: Star Wars (1977); Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship; and Uncommon Valor.
MTI: You have the attention of potential readers? In conclusion, do you happen to have any words of wisdom to share with them?
OM: With regard to history, I am reminded of Napoleon who said, “History is a lie agreed upon.” While Churchill wrote, “History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.” Alternate history is an exciting area, however, one must bear in mind that we are invariably given a slanted view of history.
MTI: Interesting insights. Thank you for an excellent interview, Owen. Those who wish to check out his story, The Loyalist Washington, can pick up a copy of Altered America.