Category Archives: Interview

Ready to Harvest: A Q&A with William Morris about “Dark Watch and Other Mormon American Stories”

NOTE: I recently posted a shorter version of this Q&A on Modern Mormon MenHere now is the Q&A in full. Most of the new stuff you’ll find about two-thirds of the way down.–SH

Tell us about Dark Watch and Other Mormon-American Stories. What’s the genesis of the project? How long have you been working on this collection? 

A little over two years ago, I realized that I had enough stories that had been published in Mormon journals plus others that I had completed or would soon complete to make a collection of my Mormon-themed short fiction. At the time I had focused my writing more on (not-Mormon-themed) science fiction and fantasy, and this felt like a good project to serve as a coda to my work in the MoLit field. Wrap up in a neat package, put a bow on it and move on. I was interested enough in the idea to come up with a cover concept for it and then it sat for awhile until I finally convinced two family members who have professional-level editing experience to copyedit and from there it was simply a matter of creating the ebook files and setting up the accounts for Amazon, Nook, Kobo, etc.

And, as it turned out, in the process of putting the collection together, I found myself re-engaging with the issues and imagery and experiences that had caused me to write the stories in the first place, and so as much as I enjoy writing science fiction and fantasy aimed at the mainstream market and will continue to explore that part of my creative live, I’m actually not yet done with Mormon literature. I now look at it less as the end of my engagement with the field and more like the beginning of a new phase.

It’s interesting that you call your stories “Mormon-American.” What does that term–or label–mean to you and your fiction?  Continue reading Ready to Harvest: A Q&A with William Morris about “Dark Watch and Other Mormon American Stories”

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A Motley Vision Turns Ten: A Q&A with William Morris

This Month A Motley Vision, the first (and still the best!) Mormon arts and culture blog, turns ten years old. To commemorate the occasion, I sent AMV founder William Morris a few questions about the the blog and how it has evolved over the last decade. 

Here are his answers:

Scott Hales: Take us back ten years. How did A Motley Vision get its start? What motivated you to create the blog?

William Morris: In early 2004 I found out about Times & Seasons from Clark Goble, who I knew from our mutual participation in the Association for Mormon Letters email list. I quickly became a frequent commenter on T&S. It’s funny — I had known about blogs for years because I work in higher ed PR, but it had never occurred to me to look to blogs to discuss Mormonism, especially since I was most interested in Mormon art, and that need was filled by the AML-list.

Later that spring, the the technology behind the AML-list melted down. Apparently, that got sorted out within a couple of weeks, but I never got the news. So I continued to comment on T&S and the other Mormon blogs that were popping up and before long had decided that the bloggernacle needed a Mormon culture blog. I re-found the AML-list before AMV launched, but the limitations of that technology and format were much more clear to me now that I had experienced the bloggernacle so I went ahead with my plans for AMV.

My motivations were twofold: a) I had things I wanted to say and b) I wanted there to be a place in the bloggernacle specifically dedicated to Mormon literature and art.

SH: AMV is a group blog, but it is also your brainchild. How have your interests, personality, and values shaped the voice of the blog?

WM: I think it’s that simple: AMV represents the nexus of my interests, personality and values. It represents the conversation I want to have. And as I recruited co-bloggers, I reached out to the voices that engaged with and seemed to want to talk to me. But I suppose at the center has always been my conviction that culture is important to Mormonism in the 21st century; that Mormon culture needs a radical middle; and that AMV should be a voice for the radical middle. And, of course, that humor should be deployed whenever possible.

Continue reading A Motley Vision Turns Ten: A Q&A with William Morris