Time for another Tuesday Chinwag and the week is the wit of Morgan the Quaid! This writer extraordinaire writes novels and comics and music and notes on toilet walls. He just doesn’t stop, he’s a writing machine. Come meet the machine Tuesday night.
TRANSCRIPTION BELOW (text may contain errors)
Voice Over (00:00:03):
This show is sponsored by the Comics
We hope you enjoy the show.
Leigh Chalker (00:00:25):
Good day and welcome to episode 21 of the Tuesday chinwag. My name is Lee Chalker, creator of Battle for Bustle. For those of you watching first time or just want to play along at home, the show’s based on six prompting words, questions, who, what, where, when, why, and how. Basically, sometimes we get through them, sometimes we don’t because we just do a whole lot of talking about stuff in between. So this evening I’m very happy to have this man on as a guest. He’s a champion of mine and we’ve seemed to have run into each other here and there for quite some time now, and he’s well known around the place. And let’s get I want to know most of all why he gets up so bloody early in the morning. But here’s our guest, Mr. Morgan Qua, how are you buddy?
Morgan Quaid (00:01:14):
Hello, hello. How you going? Dude, great to be here. Pleasure to be on the Tuesday. Chinwag been watching with interest, so it’s great to be on here and just great to chat with you, dude. We don’t get the chat enough, so this is great.
Leigh Chalker (00:01:26):
Oh, mate, it’s good to have y on mate, and thank you for those kind words. So it’s heaps of fun, mate. I always get to Tuesdays if a chin wagon in my household now, mate. So it’s part of the fun, I guess, the comic books, getting to meet people and other creators and stuff and hearing what drives them. And good day to everyone watching and thank you. Keep your comment, comments and statements, whatever you want. Swing ’em in. We’ll do our best to answer all of them. Righto Morgan.
Morgan Quaid (00:01:57):
Leigh Chalker (00:01:58):
Hard and fast mate. Hard and fast, right? Yeah.
Morgan Quaid (00:02:06):
Okay. I didn’t think at the start it would just dive me that far down into a
Leigh Chalker (00:02:17):
Morgan Quaid (00:02:17):
Conundrum but it’s a bigger question than that little word might be. Well, okay, so I’ll start with I was born at a young age in the city of Melbourne, Australia. Grew up typical sort of middle class, lower middle class, that sort of thing. Loved sport when I was younger, loved getting involved in basketball was the main thing. But basketball, cricket, footy, volleyball, anything that, anything running at a ball I would be interested in. I still am, except these days it’s more of a shambling breaking down, slowly aching,
Leigh Chalker (00:02:58):
One quick sprint and you’re out for the day. That’s right. <laugh>
Morgan Quaid (00:03:02):
Sucking in the big ones.
Leigh Chalker (00:03:05):
Morgan Quaid (00:03:07):
On the sideline as I did actually, there was some work thing that how work they do, this forced fun thing in the corporate world where it’s like every now and again, okay, we’re going to do a sports day genius idea. So this whole place I worked did a sports day turned up at the park and me being the jokester, they’re throwing the footy around and everything and I’ve still a backpack on full of stuff and I’m running up thinking, yeah, throw it to me, throw it to me, throw it to me. I have never in my life gone a t like this, but I just fall head first into the dirt, legs of kimbo, everything going around face against the dirt, completely missed the ball as well. I pride myself on being able to catch a footie. No, and that was the most embarrassing thing until another dude that was playing soccer with us had a heart attack. He didn’t die, but he did have a legitimate heart attack and then someone broke their ankle. So people forgot about whole Morgan
Leigh Chalker (00:03:59):
Play. Yeah, yeah. Well <laugh> note to oneself, don’t go to Morgan’s Christmas parties, anything could happen <laugh>,
Morgan Quaid (00:04:09):
Anything to do with ball sports we just avoid that stuff now. Yeah. So I was into all that sort of stuff and then pretty early on started reading anything sort of fantasy. So Robert Jordan stuff a lot of the Shinara Chronicles kind of stuff, Terry Brooks sort of stuff as all saying mm-hmm The old sword and board, dungeons and mayhem and goblins and all that sort of stuff. Oh yeah, just loved it. All of that imaginative world stuff and anything to do with sci-fi. Things like June were a little bit later when I was a bit older, but got into it really young and then just started writing really early really actually, I’ve got a story that I found the other day written on pencil, on old line paper, and I dunno how old I was, it would’ve been about maybe 11 or 12, something like that.
And I’ve written this story and it’s so weird. It’s terrible that the grammar’s shot, it’s just repeating the same stuff over and in just a different way. But reading it, I just think, yeah, yeah, I would totally write that. That’s completely me. Even at that age, you could just see the things that interested me and being able to use words in certain ways and all that sort of stuff so that, so writing and reading were really, really big early on and anything that was imaginative and strange worlds and weird and wonderful stuff absolutely fell in love with it, but weirdly not comics it no, I had no one in my life. It sounds like a sub story. There was, had the little boy a comic. Yeah, my dad didn’t really read stuff, my brothers didn’t get into comics so the closest I got was kind of like your Garfield sort of thing when I was a little bit younger.
Tons and tons of Garfield and those sorts of ones. But yeah, never got into comics until way later on. What was the first question was who? Okay, so let’s return to that question because I forgot where we were going. So there’s this interesting thing when you are younger, you’re full of beans, you you’re full of life and all the rest of it. I would just run all day and if there was a basketball hoop around, it doesn’t matter what time of day or night, I would just be there 8, 9, 10 hours, whatever or surfing or whatever else. And then you get to your teens and everything’s awkward and you are uncertain about everything and you’re in love every other Tuesday and then you’re out of love every other Wednesday and then you’re going on and all this sort of stuff. And I had a lot of religion mixed up in that when I was younger.
So heavy family was heavy into Christianity and all that sort of stuff. So all of that trauma and then your twenties and then you’re trying to sort stuff out. It’s this weird thing being in my forties, it’s like you reach this little, for me at least this little plateau where I kind of just think I really know who I am. I know what I love, I know what I love to do, I know where I want to be and what I want to be doing and enjoying. I dunno quite how to get to where I would like to be, but I’m happy with the kind of journey and I think I’ve never been at that stage at any other time in my life where, sorry, it’s not that it’s emotional. I was bringing up dinner, apologies for that
Leigh Chalker (00:07:42):
Morgan Quaid (00:07:43):
Case people think I’m putting on the waterworks, it’s just
Leigh Chalker (00:07:45):
Morgan Quaid (00:07:47):
Pulling a burp.
Yeah. So there’s this weird thing at the moment where I’ve never been clearer at what I want to do, what I love doing, which is of course writing and creating and making things and recently helping people make their things and showing people how I’ve done it and what works and what doesn’t and all that sort of stuff. So yeah, who I’ve never been sure at than I am now of the who I am and what I’m about and all that sort of stuff, which is kind of really, really exciting. Then there’s that little thought in the back of your head that’s like, dude, if you knew this 20 years ago, how much easier would that last 20 years have been? If you knew this, you could have. But I put that thought out of my head because
Leigh Chalker (00:08:34):
Yeah, I mean it’s our journey though. Christianity in Garfield, the Morgan Quaid story. There you go. That’s it. Is the journey that we go on. And I can see that you’re happy because we’ll get to it a little bit later, but to bring you do a podcast called the occasional podcast with Morgan Quaid and you do a couple little videos here and there, motivational sort of stuff for people that maybe feeling a little bit down on their craft and all that. And it’s good you said that because you posted one the other day that was expressing how happy you were at the moment with what you’re doing and stuff. You little step by step videos, we’ll come back to that with your riding and stuff like that and your belting out going at it. Your upbringing was similar to mine quite a religious upbringing church and religion and stuff like that, which seems to be a frame of reference in our works and stuff like that. Yeah. When you decided to obviously you went through your teens and school and uni and spy and Kids and stuff like that.
Morgan Quaid (00:10:03):
Leigh Chalker (00:10:05):
Now in the past you’ve told me that you’d never stopped writing during that period. You’d always had things, novels, that sort of stuff. Had you always taken it seriously even though you weren’t sure about yourself and you probably would’ve had some opposition out there perhaps back in the younger days because we had a similar, I guess timeframe. You and I have covid hit and let’s get our stuff out and yeah man, you were coming left and center with stuff, novels, comic books, the whole thing. So yeah, what kept you going and writing mate? Was it a sense of comfort? Was it a sense of joy?
Morgan Quaid (00:10:58):
Yeah, it’s more like a cross between demonic possession and therapy. So in the times, there have been times of stretches of six months or so where I haven’t written and the focus, so I do a lot of music stuff as well, and that’s a good creative outlet. So when I’m not writing as much, I tend to go towards music. So there is an outlet but when I’m not writing, I’m not happy and I’m miserable. So the trajectory was trying to realizing I need money, I need to support my family in it. So I’ve got to find a day job doing all that, being miserable in everyday job that I had at that time and then thinking, well, I want to write, so I need to write, which means back then we’re talking 20 years ago or so I need a literary agent then I need to get a publisher, then I need to get a deal, then I need to really outperform on that book and then I need to, little did I know starting off in that little journey that the chances of getting any of that happening is so minuscule and it’s incredibly depressing and it’s a real kick to the teeth when you’re not ready for it and no one prepares you for it.
And then there weren’t, back then there weren’t many places you could go to. How do I find out? And that’s part of the reason for the stuff that I’m trying to do with new writers now is because where do you go? No one will tell you just how to do this stuff and how hard it is and that the hardness of it is actually part of the whole process. So you should learn to enjoy it because even if you’re going through the hard stuff, that’s actually you’re doing writing, you’re doing the thing you want to do, which is great but that period was a lot of ups and downs and a lot. So I’m one of those guys that will discover something new or exciting or new idea and I’ll try it and I will throw 150% at it for as long as I can sustain that, which was usually a short period of time.
And I will just, so give you a classic example for a while there. I kid you not, I thought, you know what? Hip hop producer, that’s what I’m going to do. I don’t really understand hip hop but I can certainly put tracks together. I’ve worked with tons of indie musicians, so I’m going to give it a shot. So in a year I produce 300 and I don’t produce, I put together 360 tracks in a year. So it’s more than a track a day, learning the craft, putting it all together, all the rest of it. Did it for about two years, hustling, trying to get people trying to get money, the whole thing and all the rest of it. Dismal failure, I think partly because a year and a half into it, I’m thinking I still don’t understand what makes a really good track versus an ordinary track.
I know what I like, but I have no idea what these guys are talking about. It makes no sense to me, but if that gives you an idea, so I’ll just run really hard. And it was the same with novels. So I wrote a lot and I dove in around about maybe 2000 rejection letters later. I sort of thought, this isn’t working, I can’t go down this route. Like there’s a barrier you can’t get through. So then I thought, well, let’s go. At that time, self-publishing, there weren’t great options. It was expensive, it just wasn’t set up the way things are now. So it was a hard road and really it then got to the point of I was still writing all the time because you have to, like I said, it’s like a form of exercising the demons inside. I need to get this stuff out. And there’s a therapy sort of side of it as well, and it’s incredibly enjoyable, but it’s something I have to do. So I was still writing, but there wasn’t really, I didn’t see a path or a channel to, am I ever going to get read? Is anyone ever going to see this stuff? Am I just writing for myself?
And then walked into comics, et cetera, in Brisbane just on a lunch break from my day job that I was not enjoying. Walked in and thought, oh, I’ll have a look around, see what fun things are in here. And just saw the image catalog down there and all of this other sort stuff. I saw Chu was the first comic series I saw incidentally. Got to in interview Rob Guillory on my podcast, which was an amazing pleasure because he was the first artist that I saw that drew me into indie comics. Anyway, so
Leigh Chalker (00:15:28):
Whack at list, tick,
Morgan Quaid (00:15:30):
Leigh Chalker (00:15:32):
Morgan Quaid (00:15:33):
Went in there with not really a pocket full of cash, but a wallet walked out with no money and a big bag full of every, and just start it from there. And then my first thought was, this stuff is amazing. I can’t believe the breadth of stories that you can tell with this medium. My second thought was, how quickly can I turn my novels into comics? And then I just started doing it and made every mistake under the sun. But that was what really turned me onto comics and this different medium, and again, the ups and downs, all part of it. The first contract I signed was a terrible contract. It buried my first comic and hamstrung me. So for two and a half years three years actually, I couldn’t release anything I was producing, but I couldn’t do anything because of this contract, fear of repercussions.
If I moved on another project because of the stipulations and I really, really bad deal, it really messed me up in the head and I didn’t know what I was going to do. It was in the end, it was my wife that just said, well just move on, don’t worry. What’s the worst that can happen? Go for it. So you’re saying before how it was like there’s nothing from me, and then all of a sudden I’m like, here, here’s my 50 things that I’m doing. It’s because they were already being done. I just had no outlet for them.
And that kind of brings me up to today where I’m writing novels, doing comics, writing even screenplays now for indie films, short stories, the whole, so it’s amazing. It, it’s that thing where you think I, okay, so I would love to be doing this and getting paid a lot of money for it. I would love to be doing this and nothing else. But in lieu of that, if I think if I had everything I wanted, what would I be doing? I’d be doing what I’m doing now. I’d be doing the same stuff. So I’m doing the thing, which is amazing.
Leigh Chalker (00:17:32):
Sometimes you do have to have a little bit of reflection like that. Hey, so Trav dog, had you ever submitted to any writers magazines or pulp fiction type books for stories? Travs Curious?
Morgan Quaid (00:17:46):
Yeah, so I submitted to literary journals. They are, I think they’re called Fancy Highbrow, kind of fancy stories. I got a few stories in the big issue, the magazine they sell on the corner to help homeless people and all that sort of stuff. Had three stories in that. So yeah, I did do a bit of that. What I found though was the biggest mistake I made, which is what you and I remedied around about the same time is I’m writing stuff and I’m doing stuff, but my face isn’t out there. No one knows who I am. So that was the big change. It was getting over that hump and realizing I’ve got to connect with people and I’ve got to get my face out there and I’ve got to promote and all that stuff because I was doing those little things. But no one, if someone read a short story of mine and they thought, oh, that was really cool, and they try and find me, they’re not going to find me.
Which means what’s the point that it’s just, that’s lost. So that’s when I started doing a lot of work on, if you search for my name, you will find me and you’ll find my stuff, which is the easiest thing to get people together. So I did. I just didn’t find a lot of joy in it, even though it was great to get something accepted and you think, oh, this is amazing. Then you get it in the post and you look at it and you think, ah, that’s great. And then you’re done. <laugh>, you’re done. There’s nothing more. It’s like, well that, oh, okay, that was it Then no, no one called me up and said, I saw this thing and we want to fly you over to America to be on all the chat shows because you’re clearly a genius. Nothing.
And I still do that now there’s a couple of anthologies. There’s this one creepy cover. Look at that creepy night Terra short story for that one Horror, a story for that one and another one that’s come up, which is really cool. It’s a mono verse I think it’s called. It’s a, it’s the idea is it’s a black and white world and only certain objects are color and they have a certain significance. Really, really cool idea. Yeah. Anyways, so I’ve done a few like that, but it’s now a question of time. It’s not having enough time to do a lot of that is makes it hard.
Leigh Chalker (00:19:55):
And Alex major has stated, I’m jealous. I hate showing my face in public Ask Sizzle how long it took him to get a photo of me. Indeed.
Morgan Quaid (00:20:07):
You’ve got such a beautiful face, dude.
Leigh Chalker (00:20:08):
Oh mate. Hey, it shines with joy and radiance. Alex’s head my mine’s just big enough to put a billboard on it. So he’s one up on me there. Hey. But you’re right about the whole getting your face out there thing. I wasn’t a hundred percent comfortable with it either, man, but because of my location in far north Queensland and stuff and the logistics are getting to conventions and doing things like that, it can be nightmarish. And yeah, there was just a point I guess last year where I just thought, I’ve really got to start. Hey, I’m Lee, how are you? Yeah, I think that just letting people see who you are and what you’re about is also helpful in the nature of things. Even though we are both creators and this is something that I didn’t realize until I guess last year. There’s also that you do have to get yourself out there. There’s that marketing, there’s that pushing your product. And that’s part of the game really, isn’t it mate, as well? It is.
Morgan Quaid (00:21:33):
And none of us like to do it. It’s very rare to find someone that, and I was the same. I was completely resistant to the idea. That’s why you didn’t hear from me for 10 years when I was producing stuff. But no one knew I was, yeah. Cause I didn’t want to get my face out there and it’s intimidating and people are going to just slag me off and what if on YouTube or that sort of stuff, I make a cardinal error and it’s forever there. And all of the people that I admire are going to look at it and just go, this is terrible. And one of the lessons that I’ve learnt from the young folks who
Leigh Chalker (00:22:10):
Morgan Quaid (00:22:11):
By and large I despise because they’re young and I wish I was <laugh>.
One of the things that they’ve taught me is, and honestly this came out of the hiphop experiment that I had, they do not care. They have no shame. They will stick their faces anywhere and they will promote and they will shout at the top of their voice. My thing is the greatest thing in the world. Now it goes the other way where it’s like, dude, you’ve been doing this thing for two weeks and now you’re lecturing me on how I should do suck eggs or whatever. So there is a lot of that, but it did, there’s two things. So that sort of showed me and made me think, well, hang on, if they can do it, surely I, I’ve got a bit more experience. I’ve got something to give. The other thing was though, years and years ago when I was at college the academic dean at the time was a good mate of mine.
And I lectured for a time in Semitic languages, believe it or not, it was very short. It was one term or something like that. But I was doing my honors. So I’d finished my undergrad and I was doing my honors and I said, can I actually lecture to these guys because I’m only one bit ahead of them? And he said, no, no, no, you only need to be one level ahead. So if you are honors, you can lecture undergrads. If you are PhD, you can lecture anyone below that. And that for some reason, that stuck to me with me. And I thought that that’s so true because I’m, what I’m not saying is I can tell you the truth about everything and how to do everything. What I am saying is I’m just a bit ahead of you and here’s all the mistakes I’ve made and all the stuff I’ve seen. Maybe if I tell you this will help you not make those mistakes and you can do better, which is very different to I know everything. So that kind of helped that whole thing of, and you forget what you’ve been through as well and you forget all the stuff you’ve had to go through and even the life lessons and everything and getting a bit of age with it and a bit of maturity hopefully. Although not too much, am I right?
So yeah, that helped because I thought, and then there was also this other thing, and I dunno if anyone else does this, I’m sorry, I don’t want to offend anyone or trigger anyone’s feelings or whatnot, but I have this thing that I do, and I dunno why when I get stressed about stuff or I feel nervous or I feel like, oh, I’m just about to put a video out on my channel and it’s a little bit edgy or people are going to absolutely hate it or whatever. And then I just go back to the bottom line, which is, all right, 60 years. 60 years, what are you going to be doing Morgan, in 60 years? You’re going to be dead. All right, so what does it matter? Then? I’m not going to be around, what do I care? It’s we’re all eventually going to become one glorious part of dust and stellar, whatever.
So for some reason, that really calms me down because it releases all the press because I think it doesn’t matter what I do or what I don’t do, because there’s always this fear in the back of my head, you’re not doing enough. You’re not doing it quickly enough, you’re too old, you’re never going to make it anywhere because it’s too late. You wasted your opportunities. They’re all the voices. So the way I quiet them is, but another 60 years, I’m dead. Another 200,000 years, we’re all gone. So it doesn’t matter. Everyone I love is going to be moved on in another 150 ideas. So it’s fine. I dunno why that works, but it really does for me. It
Leigh Chalker (00:25:35):
Really does. No, I think what is noticeable too, man, is as well as having to get yourself out there, it it’s, I’ll terribly honest with you, man, I come down here probably 20 minutes, half hour before I pop on and I pace backwards and forwards and have a cigarette because I get really nervous, man about talking to people on these things. But at the end of the day, you’re a hundred percent right mate. It’s about fun. Have no regrets. Represent yourself as best as you can, and representing yourself well is a fairly good indicator of what the your work is about. I think the beauty of the chinwag is you can see the passion. You can get a bit more of an idea of the road that people have traveled because everyone’s got a different story, mate. And that’s what I love about it. Not everyone has just, it’s there.
What’s sped saying? Make comics because you’re going to be dead soon, I reckon. Now says, I know you’re in the background. Peter Lane had something just pop up before, mate, can you flick that back up? So Sky’s cabin library. You definitely have to get yourself out there. Having said that, we have so many platforms to do it now, we may as well use all the tools at our disposal, and that’s 100% Pete. So I mean, just to veer off a little bit into that anyone that watches this show comics in particular has many shows for a week that are all open to anyone that the shows to promote your work. There’s tonight Chinwag Friday night drink and draws where new people are encouraged to come on and draw and meet, get a foot in the door and talk the jam, the artwork, and learn lessons, teach us lessons, teach. It’s all a whole cycle of learning. And feel free to reach out and come on. So
Morgan Quaid (00:27:39):
Don’t forget people and subscribe. It helps the channel, it helps sizzle, it helps Lee, it helps everything. So, and subscribe. Strong armed friends, get them to do it as well. <laugh>,
Leigh Chalker (00:27:54):
Pick a weapon. Hey mate. So you, you’ve been right and you get to Covid coming along and you bring out what, you’ve sent me a copy of this, and I love this comic because have, you’ve got a few quas amongst your work you’re reading when you’re reading your stuff. But tell us the journey of Idle Thuggery because that is a great story and that’s one that I think should be shared, mate, if you don’t mind letting us all know about that one.
Morgan Quaid (00:28:41):
Yeah. And thank you. Because you are one of the only people that has a read it and B, well, it likes it because you’ve read it, I suppose other people haven’t read it. Yeah, so this is, I think my first foray into comics. I think this was the first so before the version the latest version that’s out now is about three iterations of this thing. The first one was I was working, and a friend of mine happened to say, this is before I moved into comics, they happened to say, oh, I’m a bit of an artist. And I looked over and had some of their stuff and I thought, ah, it’s not too bad. So I said, look, I’ve got this short story thing. It’s a really small idea. Maybe you could just put some artwork in it. So it took three months or whatever.
She did some art, put it together, and I put it in a little book and printed it. Didn’t know what to do with it, but I put in a little thing, it wasn’t a comic, it was a little short story with some pictures, but it was basically the story of I Idle Fery, which is essentially a young man loses his job walking down the street at night, gets mugged threatened by a knife, gets his wallet taken, and as the assailant is leaving a door, the back door to one of, to a nightclub sort of opens, smacks him in the face, drops him to the ground, and these very clearly well put together villain type characters all walk out. And one of them has a gun, two of them, these big hefty thugs, and they’ve all got suits and all that sort of stuff. And the guy with a gun points it at this character, this guy, and he’s freaking out like this, I just got mugged and now I’m going to get shot by a villain of some sort.
And then the guy stops and says, Frankie, Frankie, is that you? And he recognizes him because he’s a schoolmate from when they were little Tykes at school. And so the whole story is around, it’s a superhero slash villain story from the perspective of someone who becomes a henchman and what that looks like and the struggles with that and how he climbs the ranks as everyone around him dies. And there’s a bit of a price thing too. So in this world superheros, superhero abilities come at a price and your lifespan is sort of reduced significantly if you do this sort of stuff. So yeah, it’s a lot of fun. But I just, because I’m not a big one for the traditional superhero genre just because it’s been done so many times, I find it hard to write that sort of stuff. But then I thought, I’d love to see a story written from the perspective of the, oh, that’s
Leigh Chalker (00:31:21):
Dave, guys read it, mate.
Morgan Quaid (00:31:23):
Yeah, yeah. So I love that idea of turning it on its head and looking at it from the perspective of a lowly henchman and what that would look like. So yeah, that was my first comic. The version that you’ve got the, it’s 11 by 14, two big, thick card paper. Again, first comic, I didn’t ask anyone what to do. I didn’t find so people,
Leigh Chalker (00:31:49):
And at this point, you weren’t aware of anyone else producing comics or communities anywhere in Australia. You just got it in your head. I’m doing this thing, man.
Morgan Quaid (00:31:59):
I didn’t even ask think to go find someone. So if I was doing it now, I would find this community here and just start asking questions to people and watching podcasts and listening and absorbing and all that sort of stuff. Now I know all the people to ask, but now it’s like, well, now I know a lot more than I did then back then I didn’t. And there’s a lot of fear as well. There’s kind of like, I don’t know what goes on here. And in my mind, I’m just producing a book. It’s just a different format. So that first version, incredibly wordy because I basically took it from a mini novel or a novella and just transplanted it. So many words, way too many words. The speech bubbles out of whack. The lettering is wrong, the sfx are all wrong, everything is wrong. But the story itself, I really liked the story and there was some okay, artwork and all that sort of stuff, but it was really the first time I had something in my hot little hand that was a comic of some sort. And then from there it was working with different artists, learning how to do it, and then actually starting to meet other comic creators and realizing, oh, there’s a way to do this. There’s a proper way.
Leigh Chalker (00:33:15):
Yeah. Well, you went down you’ve like what I would describe self-funding through Kickstarters and Indiegogos and stuff, which you’ve become hugely successful at. Men Projects. Kick Bum, no dramas there. There’s Morgan everywhere. <laugh>, what was, because you’re also I, I’ve had the opportunity to be friends and be on live streams with other people from other countries and stuff, particularly America and things like that. And there’s a huge population of indie creators over there too. Men. Yeah. With your live streaming and stuff, did you find that a lot of those guys that, obviously your mates with George and Sam and things like that. Yeah. Did you find that as you, with the live streams and with talking to these people and just chewing a bone, you found easier ways, and then you’ve created a little trans transpacific, I guess, a network of people to have a yarn to about things that may bother you as well. Have they been helpful to you on this journey?
Morgan Quaid (00:34:34):
Yeah, they definitely have. And to be honest, there were probably two things that really helped. So a lot of the work that I’ve done in music I’ve worked with indie indie musicians all over the world, and that that’s been for 12 years or so. Now by necessity, you are meeting people overseas that you never physically see, you never talk, but you are having a relationship with them. There’s also a, it’s a business kind of thing as well, but you get to know some of them and work with ’em for a long time. So I had that, and then all of a sudden I was doing the same thing with artists which was similar, but different, but it’s the same sort of thing. So that helped because I just got to know, you get comfortable with working over a distance and all that and trust, building trust and all that.
You also, you get burnt a lot. You lose a lot of money, you make a lot of mistakes, you learn all that sort of stuff. But there is the benefit of it honestly, and I know I’m on his channel, but shout out to sizzle and com x, because this was the real kickstart to realizing there’s so many people that are involved in this and that we all want a community and we want to learn from each other and talk to each other about this sort of creative stuff. And we want to have a place to go to talk about it and just lean on each other for stuff and even support and a few things like that. So that was the biggest thing, and that was also the biggest thing to letting go of the, because you feel like, so the analogy, anyone that’s a musician will know this.
You walk into any music shop in the world, any music shop in the world, and you will within the first 10 seconds feel about that big, you will feel like the least significant person in the world. If you are going to go and buy a guitar or something and you walk in and you say, oh, I’d like to buy that guitar, the dude, the very trendy dude with lots of hair and the big earring things and will walk over and go, yeah, man, I’ll show you. And he’ll plug it in and he’ll start doing these amazing riffs that are better than anything you could ever do. And you are just sitting there like a kid at school, waiting for the principal, watching him as he’s shredding. And then maybe he’ll give you the guitar to actually try, even though you are a customer. So you <laugh>.
Thanks. True picture. Yeah. Yeah. Well, the fear is that a community like the comics and writing in general is going to be the same. And that people that have been doing it for years are going to be arrogant, standoffish. They’re going to think, who is this upstart? What does he think he’s going to do? All that sort of stuff. So there’s a lot of fear initially, and the best thing about what sizzle’s built and all of you guys and working together and all that you just realize how many people there are that are willing to talk, happy to talk n n not looking down at any new creators at all. It’s such a good atmosphere. And I don’t know, there are a lot of areas where you don’t get that. So just experiencing that really, really helped. The other thing that I did for a while, as a bit of a ploy to try and learn as well was I was reviewing comics for a while and just opened it up to Indie.
So fyi, if you want free comics, free digital comics, set up a website, put a little thing there that just says, I will review your comics for free, just email ’em through here and you will get boatloads boatloads of comics because we’re all desperate to get our stuff reviewed and to get positive publicity and everything. So that was great. It taught me a lot. It taught me a lot about what worked and what didn’t with the composition of the stories and everything. And it just connected me with a bunch of people, particularly overseas as well. And so that helped. So some of those guys that they will contact me out of the blue, even though I don’t do reviews anymore, and they’ll say, Hey, can you help me out with this? And I’ll help ’em push something, or whatever it might be. So it was all of that sort of stuff, but the real lynchpin was sizzle, thank you. Sizzle and Coms and the community and all of you guys just, yeah, that was really the impetus, I should say.
Leigh Chalker (00:38:48):
Well, it’s happy to that you’re here, mate, and very similar feelings from me towards the comics community as everyone knows as well. And that’s why I really do try and encourage people to pop on because you never know what you’re going to learn. I mean, Morgan, I still, I’ve talk about this sometimes, but it still blows my mind, man, that I’m meeting people that I was reading their comics when I was 14 and 15, mate. I think to myself on a regular basis, I must be tripping. But it’s a awesome experience, man. And please do, as we’ve said, plenty of shows to come on and get yourself out there, get known, have a chat. We’re all friendly. So yeah, feel free to reach out now. Sky’s Karn, library’s back. It’s such a fantastic and welcoming community for sure. And there you go. That’s three out of three.
Yeah. So mate, with Isle Thuggery coming out and then yeah you’ve got M that’s come out and then, my God, you had that. The name escapes me. Sorry dude, you can fill me in that giant comic book series that had eight issues or something in it, the kickstarted not long ago you had, that’s the one hugely successful mate, one of your novels. Am I correct in seeing this picked itself up a little gong not too long ago? Tell us about that. Amongst the journey, you’re doing comics and you’re still flicked out a novel. It got you like a little award. What was the story there?
Morgan Quaid (00:40:38):
Well, so a couple of things. The first thing, and actually again, this goes back to sizzle. So I’ve been writing for years and I’d convinced myself what I write is urban fantasy or fantasy science fiction with maybe some horror elements. And then I think Sizzle was talking about one of my comics and he was saying, yeah, so it’s this horror comic. And I said, no, it’s not horror. And he said, yeah, yeah, it is, it’s horror. And then I sat back and thought and thought, oh yeah, I write horror. For some reason it just didn’t never occurred to me. I don’t know why. Maybe because it’s not the traditional sort of knife, knife sort of horror stuff. Anyway, so that kind of really twigged something. And I thought, oh, I do write horror. So anyway I had a number of novels and they’re with publishers.
Publishers are great, but they’re limited with a lot of things. So you can’t just go to the publisher and say, Hey, can you give my book away for a week because I want to promote and just give it away. No, can you just change the cover and I’ve got to update some words in it. No, it’s going to cost you money, it’s going to take time and all the rest of that. So there are limitations with it. So what I decided was a year ago, two years ago ago, I decided I’ve got to do a new series and it’s going to be horror ish, it’s going to be horror and it’s going to be self-published because it’s got to be something that I can control and promote and push as much as I want. And also I can give it away and I can use it to, and immediately I’m thinking it’s got to be a series because I can give away the first one to hook people on the second and third and all that sort of stuff which is classic how you sell novels is series.
But writing four books in a series takes a lot of time. That’s a yes. And I mean, don’t need to talk to you about time. If anyone knows about the investment of time in a project, you are the master of that. So I started writing, eventually came up with this amazing idea that just really worked. The book is called, the series is called The Seven Hungers. Oh Artworks, nice words, too many words. So that’s the series and it’s kind of world ending stuff with investigation and all this sort of stuff. And the whole idea with the seven hungers is basically there’s seven layers. They’re not hell levels, but there’s seven sort of dimensions or areas beneath our world. And each of the sovereigns or rulers of those areas is trying to come up to the next one because there’s something very nasty down below that’s gobbling up from the bottom down. So they’re all trying to come through, and it’s about this sorcerer who is, he’s an exiled sorcerer because he did bad things but they have to pull him out of exile and basically get him to solve this issue because something has erupted into actually Brisbane, Brisbane city and it’s started Take over the world. Have
Leigh Chalker (00:43:43):
You spent too much time in Brisbane city Morgan,
Morgan Quaid (00:43:49):
The Queen Street intersection with Albert? So anyway, that’s where it happens. It’s actually because I go through there all the time on my way to the comic shop. So yeah, that whole thing happens. So anyway, it’s really cool. One of the cool ideas though is that the sorcerer is kind of possessed by sovereign, one of the rulers of these realms that tricked him into going right down to the bottom, to the seventh le level and then her way back thinking, I’m just going to kill him off when I get to the world, and then that’s it. I’m going to take over. The problem is there’s a blood price that needs to be paid every time you move from one level to another level of some sort of mystical thing that needs to happen. And her blood price was, she has to keep him alive at any costs.
So she desperately wants to kill him and take over earth, but she can’t kill him because her blood price, the only thing that keeps her there is that she’s got to give him alive. If he dies, she goes straight back to, anyway, it’s a whole thing. Anyway, so I got really excited. The first book was just went very quickly and then I thought I got to write the second, then I write the second, started promoting the first, then I got onto the third. It sounds like it was quick and easy, but the longer you go, the harder it gets. The third was very hard to get through. The fourth was even harder to get through. I’m halfway through the fifth and it is stalled for about four months. I’ve actually started writing another novel because it’s like, man, we’re at the point now where it is really hard to remember what’s happened and it’s really hard to surprise readers with this stuff. But the third book in the series was the one that won an award for the horror category, and which is unexpected and really cool.
It’s weird because it’s the third one in. So the one that I think is the best one, and it’s the real cracker of a book, is the first one. People resoundingly love the second and third more than the first. They don’t hate the first, but they read the first and they read the second and third, but they love the other ones, which is really weird. You just don’t know what’s going to resonate with people. And I realized one of the things, this is where the horror thing comes back to it. So one of the things I discovered last year, I think it was early last year, was that I have this condition called a Fantasia, which is getting a bit of publicity now, but no one knew about it a couple of years ago. And it’s basically, you have no visual imagination. So I close my eyes and you say, think of an apple.
And I just see black. I don’t see anything. If you say, think of an apple now in the back of my head, I still see nothing. And I had no idea that wasn’t normal. I had no idea people can actually see things. I thought people were just being figurative when they said, imagine your happy place. And I shut my eyes and I think, well, with words you mean because I can’t see anything but this. And to give you the most poignant example so my mother passed, I think five years ago now. I can’t remember her face visually at all. I cannot remember details about it. Now I would recognize a photo of her, and it’s not like I can’t recognize, but I can’t bring that to mind. My wife who’s upstairs at the moment, she’s just in the next room. I can’t picture her face at all. So if for any murderers out there if you are wanting to commit a heinous crime, you need me as the only witness because I will be terrible at describing what happened with, because I can’t visualize it. Was it a man? Yes. Was he tall? He was a man. Did he have blue eyes? He
Leigh Chalker (00:47:32):
Had eyes. So that even that’s with memories as well.
Morgan Quaid (00:47:36):
Okay. It goes even deeper. So I didn’t know. So music I do, tons of music. I didn’t realize, when people hear music in their mind and they remember it, they actually hear the tone and texture of the instruments being played. Yeah. Cause I almost hear my own voice humming in my head, the tune,
Leigh Chalker (00:48:00):
Right. Which is
Morgan Quaid (00:48:01):
Maddening now that I know about it, that not everyone is like this. So I can’t, I can hear the melody, but I hear myself harming the melody in my head. I don’t hear the guitar or piano or anything like that. Which is why, part of the reason why comics attracts me and music, because I can’t do anything until it’s there. It has to be on paper, it has to be visual, it has to be auditory or whatever. And then once it’s there, I can shape it and make amazing things and have so much fun, but I don’t bring anything to it immediately. I mean, do you have an idea of things? But it’s weird. It’s not visual, but
Leigh Chalker (00:48:38):
So are you a stream of conscious writer, like
Morgan Quaid (00:48:43):
No. No. I do. So I’m weird. I’m structured to a point. I’m structured, but impatient. So I’ll start writing an outline and I’ll work out of a new book, let’s say. And I’ll work out the basic details of something. Every single book I’ve written, bar one, every novel, I’ve not known the ending when I’ve started. So I’ll discover the ending. As I get to the midpoint, everything gets really complicated. The protagonist life is just hell because I’ve thrown all this stuff at them because that’s what makes it interesting and compelling. Then you get to the halfway mark and you wait and you just keep writing and you wait and you ask all the questions that your characters are going to ask. And you think, how can I answer these? And then sooner or later with me anyway, sooner or later, the penny just drops. And it’s like this clarity of this thing has happened. And that’s the thing that no one knows about. But if they did know, it would tie everything together. That’s my reveal. That’s what I’m going to say to the climax. The, so that journey of discovery is one of the most exciting things about writing that I love. But it’s a lot of it’s born out of impatience as well. I can’t be bothered doing an outline.
Leigh Chalker (00:49:54):
Do you find with obviously with this lack of the visualization ability that you were saying and stuff and recognitions and things, do you find that once you’ve left a book you have and say you’ve got six months in between it, you’ve moved onto another idea because I’m finding this rather fascinating. Morgan, I’ve never come across this man to, has that book sort of left your memory for a time and you just come across it on the shelf and go, oh, have another look at that. It’s half finished, and open it up and start reading it from the beginning. You know what I mean? Can rolling through it again?
Morgan Quaid (00:50:41):
Yeah. So there’s two things with that. So one is I, it’s probably something like 12 months shelf life. So I can leave a book for 12 months not think about it at all, come back, not reading it from the beginning, just start from where I am and everything will come back and I’ll just start writing and it’ll start flowing usually within 12 months. That’s not a problem. If it’s oh, that’s another one we’ll get to in a tick, we’ll
Leigh Chalker (00:51:15):
Get to that.
Morgan Quaid (00:51:16):
So yeah, so I can leave it 12 months and that’s usually fine. But all of the visuals, so I noticed this a lot with the comics. So I’ll write a script and I’ll write descriptions of characters, but they’re very vague on the detail. I might have the color of eyes and hair because I’ve thinking of a particular person, but I can’t see them. So until the artist comes back with the first sketches, I dunno what they look like. So I’m writing a story with characters that I can’t see, but then when the first images come back, then I start to see it. That’s why it’s so exciting as well. It’s like, oh, I can
Leigh Chalker (00:51:54):
Totally understand now, man, your enthusiasm. To see an artwork come in, oh wow,
Morgan Quaid (00:52:00):
It’s amazing. Cause it’s like a thing that I had in my head is now a real thing, but also it’s being visualized in a way that I can’t. So it’s incredible. And then from that moment on, it’s like, alright, that is the thing that I’m imagining now. So when I think about Summer from Shadow’s Daughter, I think about those images that have been done, but again, I can’t remember them visually, so I have to go and pick the thing up. But I know enough about the details. It’s like you can remember facts, but without emotion or, so I can’t remember a childhood memory and remember what something smelt or felt like or, which is a great thing for trauma because I move on very quickly from trauma. Not that I’ve had it terribly traumatic life, but I move on very quickly because I might remember what happened.
But I don’t have the guttural kind of visceral memory, which takes us back to the horror thing. I’m writing these books and then I’m starting to get feedback from reviewers and people that have read them fans and stuff. Oh God, it still feels so weird to call ’em fans. But anyway, people who enjoy reading readers anyway. And one of them gave me a five star, a four star review, right? Four out of five, which is fine but she said the reason why she gave me four instead of five was because she had a bad experience with water. And novel two takes place underwater, and there’s a lot of claustrophobia and it’s kind of a kaulu type thing under underwater. And she said it was so visceral and so descriptive that it made her feel not great, so she couldn’t give it five, which is a weird thing, but it’s also, I don’t feel that when I’m writing it, not that intensely, it’s trying to do that to the reader, but I can’t feel those real horror elements Now if I’m watching a horror movie, I don’t watch horror movies because they’re like, oh my God, look, they’re right at me.
And I experience everything. And
Leigh Chalker (00:54:00):
Yeah, <laugh> almost like every time you’d watch when you’re experiencing it all for the first time. Again, men,
Morgan Quaid (00:54:06):
It’s horrible. It’s absolutely horrible. I don’t like them at all but I can write really intense, dark and traumatic horror because it doesn’t affect me the same way. And I’m learning that, wow, I might not think it’s at that level, but then someone else reads it and it’s like, whoa. Because they’re imagining the whole world and all that sort stuff, which is really interesting. The dreaming thing. So I have a sneaking suspicion, and I’ve been for the last year trying to feel my way around this. I definitely dream. I don’t dream in images, so when I wake up, I can’t remember anything. The way I describe it is it’s like having a black sheet and there are actors behind that sheet acting, and I kind of know what’s going on, but I can’t see any of it. It’s not a great analogy, but that’s how I describe it.
But something that I’ve noticed just on, and this is, I mean, are sci-fi ideas all over the place with this there, just when I’m on the cusp of going to sleep, I’ve noticed in the last few months I’ll be just about asleep. Brain is worrying as usual, tons of stuff going, my own conversational voice going through. Sometimes I will hear a little snippet of music if I’ve been doing a lot of music that day. Or I’ll hear a conversation or something from a movie or TV that I’ve been hearing, and I’m convinced for that split second, just before I go to sleep. I can actually hear it in someone else’s voice, not my voice, which is super weird and super exciting now that I’m aware of it. Cause it’s like some part of me, it honestly feels like something is broken. It feels like everything’s working back there, but I can’t access it. And then occasionally when I’m just about to sleep, something will slip through. I never see anything, but sometimes I can hear something and it’s like, I know that that’s not my voice. That was, I was hearing someone else’s voice. That’s super exciting. Yeah. But that’s what it is.
Leigh Chalker (00:56:06):
That’s in, that’s incredible, man. That’s so interesting to me. Wow, that’s unbelievable. That would with not dreaming. Yeah. Would that give you peaceful sleeps? And is that what allows you to get up at 5:00 AM in the morning to do the majority of your writing?
Morgan Quaid (00:56:30):
Well, I’ll correct you there because it’s four o’clock,
Like to get up for the sun. But no, if anything, I think for me it’s worse because, I mean, everyone gets this. I go to bed and my brain will just wake up. I’ll be dead tired, but my brain will wake up and it’ll be planning, all right, you need to build out these three videos. You’ve got to end the novel this way. Oh, remember you, you’re doing that screenplay with such and such. You’ve got to remember this character. All that stuff will come out. And sometimes I’ll have to get up and write some notes and everything and then go to try to to bed again, just to get it all out. But that’ll happen. And then it’s just conversations in my head, my own voice speaking as other people and me just nonstop, but nothing visual.
So I can’t count sheep as an example. I can’t. And part of me thinks if I could see things, I would just immerse myself in these worlds and then just drift off to sleep. But I, it’s has to be done kind of with sound. It’s really hard to describe. Sometimes there are things that I, it’s lot impressions that I’m getting that’s kind of rapidly go from one to the other. And I’ve had the dream of the teeth falling out. I’ve had the dream with the it’s that really weird one where you are, you start off big and then you get really, really small. I dunno if anyone else gets that one. But anyway, had that one I get the anxiety oh, I’m got that exam and it’s in five minutes and it’s a history exam and I have not studied it at all. And for some reason it’s incredibly important and I’ve forgotten that I’m in my mid forties anymore. So there’s all that sort of stuff that still happens, but I don’t see any of it. Or maybe I do see it, but I have no memory of seeing it and I’m completely shut off from that. That could be the case. I’ve got no idea.
Leigh Chalker (00:58:31):
Does that sneak through any of your work? Have you ever tried explaining that in any of your novels and things? Is that a trope of one of your characters at all? Have you, A lot of writers put themselves in their own experiences into what they’re creating. Have you found that one of your characters has that?
Morgan Quaid (00:58:55):
Not yet, because I only just found out about it last year. So I haven’t, but that I’m definitely thinking through a character or a main idea. And again, the thing that particularly interests me is this new thing I’ve discovered where on the cusp of sleep, sl, some things feel like they’re slipping through because that’s a genius idea for a book. It’s like, okay, what if messages are coming through? And I have to somehow concoct an environment where I’m getting more of those messages because it sounds like it’s really important, but I can’t decipher them. And it could be a whole yeah thing. So yeah, eventually I’ll definitely do that. It is a hard thing to write in a novel as a Oh, and this character has no visual imagination because all it’s going to be is a crime investigator or whatever. Jimmy, come and have a look at the dead body here. Do you remember that case back three years ago? And he’ll just be,
Leigh Chalker (00:59:52):
Morgan Quaid (00:59:54):
It was that weird sign Scrolled in Blood on the wall. No.
Leigh Chalker (00:59:58):
Morgan Quaid (00:59:59):
Can’t remember any of it. Sorry bro. Which is, that’s not an interesting character. Just a guy. I can’t remember any of it. Okay,
Leigh Chalker (01:00:07):
It mate, it’s a great it really gets you brain ticking, doesn’t it? That whole idea. I could see how that would certainly be something that would be in your process of like, oh, I want to investigate that now that you’ve found out about it. Because super interesting with getting onto another thing because you’re a man of many talents and you are busy, you know, got family work and kids, the whole sort of thing. And you find time to do these things because this interests me about you too, man. Your structure of how you get so much work done, I guess your system that what you’ve discovered for yourself is the best routine for you to produce your work. And what’s the start of your day, mate? You said 4:00 AM in the morning. Do you bounce out of bed, you ready to go?
Morgan Quaid (01:01:23):
Never bounce out of bed. These, I feel like a ball of gristle when I wake up in the morning, sort of rolling out of bed, all tight muscled and never I
Leigh Chalker (01:01:37):
Need a new mattress mate. <laugh>.
Morgan Quaid (01:01:41):
Honestly, it’s been like a decade since I’ve gotten up feeling refreshed. That just doesn’t happen anymore. But no, my son is now 12 and since he was born, well, since he was a toddler he will wake up at four and will not go back to sleep no matter how late we keep him awake four o’clock on the button every day. So that’s why I wake up at four because he’s trained me over 12 years that that’s not do. And even I used to stay up, so my rhythm used to be right until, so wait till everyone’s gone to bed until 12, wake up at six. That was in my thirties. I could do that. Yep. Can’t do that now because I’m going to be waking up at four. But also I need more sleep at these days. So I tend to go to bed very, very early, earlier than earlier than this is now.
I go to bed because now I’m waking up at four, whatever’s happening I will get a cup of tea, have a shower, go downstairs and with a cup of tea. First thing I do is write and it’ll be a novel. I’m working on two novels at the moment, but it’ll be one in particular that I’ll focus on. And I have a technique, which is really works for me. So I’ll work on a novel, then I’ll do social media stuff, answer emails, check all those sorts of things, check YouTube channel and all that sort of bit. So then I’ll potentially write some scripts for some YouTube videos or some other sort of stuff. And then I’ll have usually one or two other projects that I like. There’s a script that I’m writing for a horror, horror film at the moment, and I’ll write a little bit of that a little bit later in the day, usually afternoon or whatever.
But honestly, most days I would write half an hour to an hour maximum if that’s it. So it’s not a huge amount that I do. Some days I’ll write a lot more, but most of the time it’s just constant day in, day out, a small amount that adds up to a big amount. The way I trick myself into doing this is so a philosopher, there’s still around named Slavo, a Slovenian I think philosopher, he’s prolific. He writes so many books, it’s ridiculous. Like three or four books a year and they’re all dense, philosophical tombs. And then I think it was on a documentary, I was watching about him and they said, how do you write so much? And he says, oh, I hate to write. Absolutely hate it. I can’t sit down and write it. Just the thought is so nerve wracking of having to write another book.
I can’t do it. So his technique is in his kitchen or close to his kitchen, he has a little standup table and one of those really old computers with the old C RT screen, the curved screen, really old computer with a, and he has it set up ready to go. And he just says, as he is walking past, I’ll just do a sentence, I’ll just do a couple of minutes. He sits down, starts taping before it, four hours later he’s written six chapters. And so what struck me about that was he really knows his brain and he knows that if he tricks himself into just doing a little bit, he will end up most days doing a lot more than that and he ends up getting the stuff done. So I started doing that with myself because to be honest, the last six months, I can think of maybe one day that I’ve genuinely wanted and been excited about getting up and writing, which sounds bananas with all the other stuff I’ve been saying about how much I love it and everything.
But every morning I do not feel like writing because I’m tired, I’m sore and I’ve got a million other things I need to do and it’s just not, I don’t want to do it. So I discipline myself every day. One sentence, that’s it. That’s all I do. Some days, maybe one out of every two weeks, I will literally do one sentence and it won’t be a particularly good one, it’ll be a crappy sentence. It’s not very good at all. But it does this thing in the brain where it’s like, but I still achieve the thing, the baseline I needed to achieve. So it feels like I have accomplished something, even if it’s minuscule, it’s still getting me towards that goal of the finished novel and all the rest of it. Most of the time though, like I said, you write a paragraph or you write a chapter or you write a, because you just start and then the ideas start coming and it’s the weirdest thing.
This is where I know my rhythm, because if it’s in the morning at four o’clock or 4 35, by the time I get down downstairs here it does not matter how tired and sore I am. My idea factory is working 110% at that time of the day. So I’ll produce gold at that time of the day. If I come in at three o’clock in the AVO and I’ve got three hours to spare, you will get nothing valuable out of me. It will be terrible, terrible stuff, just repetitive garbage. And it won’t be thinking clearly. And I’ll be like, ah, maybe I’ll do this or maybe do that. Very hard to stay focused. So that’s an important thing is when I found the time when I’m freshest in my brain and a lot of the times I won’t even have to think about it at night when I go to bed actually but sometimes I will be thinking about a book plot, other times I won’t.
But something gets worked out while I’m sleeping and then I wake up in the morning and it’s just like, bang, ah, this is it. This is the idea that I need. This is what sews everything together. It just happens. So I think that’s just, that’s the natural part of my rhythm now. But the trick is, and this is what I’m trying to help new writers with, particularly those that have always wanted to write a novel or something like that, but it’s a big task and it’s daunting just one minute a day. I’ve no idea if it’s going to work for everyone else, but that’s what I’m selling people one minute a day. That’s all it takes. It’s that discipline of just do the same thing. And that’s how it works.
Leigh Chalker (01:07:26):
Well, you do have to have that discipline very, most of the people that have been on this show and that I’ve met through live streams and got to talk to, they all have their routines. Whether it’s like yourself early in the morning, some people put the kids to bed mate, and nine o’clock that night they do three or four hours in the night to get everything done. I mean, everyone does find their rhythm for their most productive work. So I mean, I think that’s super helpful, mate, because I think that even I didn’t have so much of a rhythm myself and I’m realizing how important it is because I used to just draw when I could. I used to big blocks of drawing time, but I found myself getting too busy, having to miss days getting frustrated, know what I mean? And then you sort of got to sit down and go, okay, what works for me?
So as I’ve said, I’ve sort of militaristic, give myself big blocks of time to do my drawings and stuff like that. And I think that helps as well, mate, just the routine. Have your days, what you got to go out into the world and then have those moments where you can just put yourself into your work because is, it’s a bit, it’s wood pecking mate, you know what I mean? You just chip chip away you and then before it, it’s like, wow, it’s there, it’s done. And if you let it go, I reckon it can be a bit irritating. You know what I mean? You can start getting a bit of a, oh, I should’ve done it, and you get up yourself and to keep yourself calm and happy, you got to just chip away at these things. But mate, you were talking about just before with teaching new writers and stuff like that with your podcast, I want to get onto your podcast now because mate’s super helpful, super joyful. I would say you, you’re beaming, you, you’re having fun with it too. You know you’re do some quirky stuff. You do like your podcast with musicians and writers and comic book people and film people and stuff. And you’ve got these little self-help tip spots I guess that you put out every of days and things. And that’s the address that people can see that man, it’s a YouTube channel.
Morgan Quaid (01:09:58):
They go YouTube and they look up Morgan the Qua and it
Leigh Chalker (01:10:01):
Morgan McQuaid because what brought you to doing the podcast, et cetera. But what was that about? Did you boom, I’m going to help people, this is all this crazy stuff I’m learning, just get it out there. What got you there?
Morgan Quaid (01:10:18):
It was a, it’s bit of a journey. So I’d been thinking of doing a podcast for a while but didn’t want to do it just because I knew how much time and effort there would be because I didn’t want to do a live podcast. I wanted to do a pre-recorded so I could edit it and make it tighter and all that’s the stuff which is just triples the work involved and it becomes a lot more. And then once I started what I was saying at the beginning, I just go, so I went really, really hard. So I called it the very occasional podcast just so people wouldn’t expect it every week. And then before I know it, I’ve got 30 guests and there’s one a week dropping and all the rest of it. So that happened very quickly but then started to realize I should just be using this as an excuse to try and hunt down people.
I want to talk to <laugh>, which is same thing you were saying, I can’t believe I’m talking to Rob Gilroy who drew Chew and all that sort of stuff. So I was using it for that sort of thing. But honestly I really didn’t at that stage have an idea of what am I doing this for? What’s the end goal other than getting to know people, chatting with them and trying to grow an audience for some re reason. It’s only been recently, it was actually the end of the year that I started thinking because my day job, I actually run a training team and have done that for 20 odd years. So a lot of corporate training sort of stuff. So my life, and as I said earlier when I was in uni, I lectured for a while. So there’s a long history of teaching and training and helping people and supporting and all that sort of stuff. And it just never twigged until a couple of months ago. You really, really, really enjoy that, but for some reason you don’t have that as part of what you do with writing and creating comics and all that other sort of stuff. It just didn’t connect and then ran about the Christmas break or a little bit earlier it started to connect and I thought it, it’s kind of like the perfect storm because I’ve got a channel. So I’ve changed the channel now it’s called right with Morgan but the handle is Morgan.
And I realized I’ve basically got my own TV show so I can do stupid ads for things that aren’t real. So I did an ad for a cult that I made up that wasn’t real fake ads for my own services that aren’t real services and all that sort stuff just for fun because it’s great fun. I love doing that sort of stuff. So I started doing that and then I started thinking I’ll start putting things out there just to show people this is, because that’s the other thing, the last couple of years I have had people come to me and say, oh, how do you write a comic? And so you sit down with ’em and you chat and everything and you talk and all that and then before it two hours has gone by and you realize, wow, there’s a lot of stuff in this.
I thought it was that much, but it’s actually, yeah, there’s a ton of stuff that they need to know and things that would be good to know. Then I started thinking about novels and I thought it’s, it’s just the same thing. There’s so many things to know and then it’s like you are just an artist. You’re not just a creator, you’re running a business, you’re promoting yourself, you’re a publisher, you are crowdfunding, you’re all of these things. And there are so many people that want to do this, whether it’s just a one off that they want to do for a hobby or they want to start a business or whatever. So such a big need. So I thought, you know what, that I’ve got something. It’s what we’re saying before. I’m not the expert, but I’ve far enough ahead that I can help new people that are wanting to get involved in this and it’s something that I really love and it’s kind of like you use the skills that you’ve got.
So I’m not afraid I’ve gotten over my fear. So I’m not afraid to talk to a camera. I have the gear ready to go. I know how to structure training and how to communicate fairly well. So I’ll just start doing it doesn’t, the quality doesn’t matter, I’ll just start and I’ll see what happens. And then, so that’s where I’m at now and I’m spending the next year basically building that channel and finding out how big is that audience and how big is the need and is is it big enough that I could help them and support myself? And if it is, then maybe that’s where I need to head. But at the moment it’s just have fun. And some of them are so much fun. The editing is, so eight minute video is about five hours of editing. So it is a ton of time investing but I’ve had so much fun with it.
I did. So I’m not even sure which video it is. It hasn’t dropped yet, it drops in another month I think. But there’s this one little bit, it’s a three second bit in the middle of this eight minute video and I think it’s about it’s either self-publishing or promoting your work or something like that. And there’s this little bit, and I grabbed some stock footage of this guy who’s like a detective looking at a murder board and suspects and pointing at the thing and I dubbed over his voice and put this stupid little thing on there and then he’s pointing to the board and then it closes in on the board and it’s my face with a shocked expression. It took 30 minutes to put this dumb little two second thing together, but it made me so happy. And I know that there will be 1% of people that watch this thing that’ll get to that point and just giggle silly when they see it.
And that’s what makes it worthwhile. So it’s this great thing I get to help people, I get to put things and package things into, because one of, so I’m not a guitar is a good example, I’m not a virtuoso. I’m not the best guitarist in the world, I’m not the best musician in the world. I’m not the best writer in the world by any s stretch of the imagination. But I’m very good at compiling things in a logical way that people can understand. So for putting videos together, that’s great that that’s a really good skill. So I’ll use that skill. So I get to do all of that and help people and it’s at that really exciting point now where it’s still a small channel, it’s just starting to grow, but there’s people commenting and I send a poll out and say, Hey, what do you guys struggle with the most?
What’s the thing that you find hardest as a new creator? One of the really interesting things because you read everything through your own mind. So one of the really interesting things is I struggle always at the midpoint. I can start a million projects any day of the week. I’m the best starter in the world, not so good on the middle bit and the finishing, I’m okay, but that middle bit is really rough. That’s where they’re going to die if the project’s going to die, it’s in that middle bit and I just think everyone’s like that. So I started putting videos out saying, Hey, if you are struggling with the middle part of your project, here’s the motivation rah. And then I started getting some feedback and it’s like, oh, most people are st struggling at the starting line then they’re not there. They never get past the starting gate because they’re afraid or they’re intimidated or they just dunno what to do.
Or the idea they have is so massive they want to write another June or something like that. So it becomes so big I can’t do it instead of just narrow down and just do something simple first and then so it’s things like that, that’s like I’m learning more and more about, oh wow, okay, people are different to me and that’s good and that’s something I can help with. If you want to know how to start something, I’m a genius at starting something. If you want to know how to go through that grueling middle bit, all I can do is basically say, here’s the things that I try and bamboozle my brain with to get through it because I really struggle with it too. But yeah, so it’s become this thing that again, it’s only new, it’s the honeymoon period, but I’m really enjoying it and even though it’s a lot of work, it has the hint of one of those things that could be really, really fulfilling and a long term thing. So we’ll see where it goes.
Leigh Chalker (01:18:23):
Well it’s just one of those things too, mate, where you just got to have a crack at it, you, you know what I mean? You can sit back and wonder what could have been, or you can throw yourself into it and see where it might go. No regrets. Yeah, and as you said, in 60 years time, we’ll be pushing up Daisy’s bud, so we might as well have a good old shot at it now. And that’s right, yeah, give it a go mate. You got a new one coming out next month. Crimson Foley, is that what that is? Let’s have a yarn about that.
Morgan Quaid (01:19:00):
That is a really interesting one. A oh well
Leigh Chalker (01:19:05):
Done. And there’s the address that everyone can look at if they want to find Crimson.
Morgan Quaid (01:19:11):
So it’s a d and d inspired story which takes place all the action takes place within a single fantasy style tavern. And there are all different characters sort of sitting down and drinking at this one pub basically. And it starts with the theft of a coin person and there’s an object in that coin purse that’s a ring and then someone goes to try and sell it and then it quickly gets discovered that there’s more to this ring than what people are thinking and there is a peril that is coming and this ring has something to do with it. Don’t worry, there’s no one named sour on, there’s no volcano.
There is something beneath the Foley that is threatening to come out basically. So yeah, it’s d and d inspired. So the characters are kind of those d and d sort of characters. It’s either a genius idea or the most full hearty idea in the universe. I’ve gone to 15 different artists and I’ve picked artists that are, a lot of them do d and d style stuff because the idea is, well, I can try and bring that crowd in and hopefully get some of the comic guys and the d d crowd and then bring them all together for this project. So there’s like every two or three or four pages, there’s a different artist doing the story. So it’s 56 pages, but there’s different artists doing that kind of a certain little what the multiverse of, what is it called? The sizzle.
Leigh Chalker (01:20:45):
Sizzle and dug into the multiverse,
Morgan Quaid (01:20:48):
Kind of like that. But I totally thought of that idea before. Totally. It was unique to me. Anyway, similar sort of idea to try and use different art styles and all that sort of stuff. Fine
Leigh Chalker (01:21:02):
Morgan Quaid (01:21:07):
So for those that are interested that’s a really good way to spend money if you are using different artists for each thing, it’s really good way to blow through a lot of money. This is a very expensive project, but the artwork looks amazing and I’ve been able to get some really top quality artists because I go to them and say, can you do three pages instead of can you do 22 pages? They’re much more likely to say yes. So it’s good in that way. The other thing was I went to a bunch of portrait artists that just do portrait work, but d and d style stuff or fantasy style stuff. So the idea is the second half or not the second half, but the lower end of the book is portraits of the people that have visited the Foley or the characters that are part of the Foley as well. Again, hugely expensive. I was not aware when I started how expensive portrait sort of fantasy artwork is and it is very expensive but great.
Leigh Chalker (01:22:04):
Please tell me you get to keep this artwork. Do they send you the artwork?
Morgan Quaid (01:22:10):
Well, it’s all, I get the digital, so I don’t get any physical stuff but yeah, I get the rights and everything, so I, and it does look amazing. So it’s really, really cool. Again, it’s like that thrill that I get of writing something and then seeing an artist produce it. But times 15, because they’re happening with all and they’re all different styles, they look different. Some are a bit more cartoonish, some are vividly real, some are dark, some are yeah, it’s really cool. I mean haven’t even announced it. I, it’s always like this, at this stage of a Kickstarter before you launch, it’s always like, what extra things can I do? But when am I going to announce it? I’m like, there’s a story. I think if I can get to 200 backers with this, I’m going to release for everyone that backs either a digital or physical version.
There’s another story that takes place, it’s called Trian Hobb. These two little characters, one’s like a little rat mouse character, one’s like a little lizard character and it’s their journey and a little story that happens with them underneath the floorboards of the folley. So while the action’s happening at the top, these two little critters are down there doing, and then it’s going to be in a black and white and it’s a little adventure story. So it’s kind of cool it it brings together a lot of the things I’m interested in and I’ve not done anything with a d and d sort of side and I kind of really wanted to. Yeah, so really interesting. And it has one has best cover I’ve ever had done. The way I take credit for it, I made the money go to an artist to do this cover. No, no, it has an amazing cover.
Brian Silverback Silverback I think is the, yeah, God, I wish I was better with names. He did it. You, you’ll see if you go and look at the thing, you’ll see there’s a snippet of it on the front. It is I cannot wait to physically hold this cover in my hands because it is just amazing. So yeah, it it’s really, really good. But for anyone that’s run a Kickstarter before, there is the practical side of will this cover costs. I’m not even thinking it will because of the initial outlay make money, but will it cover costs is the question. So what I’m actually doing is on my channel, I’m putting up a series of videos to teach people about how to run a Kickstarter campaign and how to build a comic and all that while I’m also showing them behind the scenes of this project and with a view to, I do not know if this is going to work.
And it’s like this with every campaign you run, I don’t know, as a bit of fun and also to promote it and all that sort of stuff, but also as a bit of a like, hey, if you’re interested, I’ll show you what we go through because there’s this period, anyone that’s done it, you launch day one, you have a period of elation and then for some people it’s day two, day three, day four, you just hit rock bottom because it just dies. You have a big buzz and then nothing. And then you’re like, oh, I got 28 more days of this and no one cares. And I’m shouting into the void to try and get people here. So it’s a real rollercoaster. Then you finish your campaign and then it’s like, oh, it was successful and it was great. And oh, 30% of the funds aren’t coming because they just can’t pay for some reason or another.
So I don’t get that oh, the postage has gone up because of whatever pandemic or whatever the reason. So it looks like this amazing thing. But then the reality is am I going to cover costs or not? Am I going to make money? And then it’s like, oh, now I’ve got to do all the work and put the books together and send them out, all that sort of stuff. So it’s this amazing journey, but I’m determined to enjoy it and share it to a certain extent with people so that they can kind of see what’s involved. Well, knowledge
Leigh Chalker (01:26:01):
Is power mate. And that’s one of the beautiful things about what you are doing mate, is sharing that knowledge for people. Because mate, there may be people out there that you, a long time ago, just as you said, not sure where to go, what’s the step? What should I be thinking of? Because as you said before it you think it’s just, Hey, I put a comic out. It sort of does. It’s not like that. There’s a lot of stuff that goes into it, mate. Even simple things from getting the page sizes to do your artwork on what I mean, all these sorts of things, which I’ve got to tell you I was guilty of the other day. I made an absolute, oh man, I was loving this Dr. This page. I’ll tell you, I mean even make mistakes, I’ll tell you, I make mistakes. I was going off on this page, two days on this thing, man, never even occurred to me that I’d measured it wrong.
You know what I mean? And it’s like, oh, I’m over it now. But it did provide a little bit of anger and a little bit a few squish, squish, but <laugh> push past that. But mate, as we start winding down into the show, I think I’ve got a pretty good idea and the people do like why you do it. But there’s two little things I ask I will ask so you can emphasize again, why do you do it and what is right now something that pops into your head for that person out there that was like us some years ago, mate, you know what I mean, that wanted to do these things. What’s the one piece of advice that you’d give them to get them started on the road?
Morgan Quaid (01:27:58):
Yeah, so the why is as I was saying before, it is something if I never made a dollar, I would have to do. Because the moment that I discovered that you can invent worlds with words and be the first person to discover those worlds and the first reader of what you are doing I was addicted and that was it. I was done. And I would be, if I wouldn’t with all not writing them down, I would be making them up in my head or whatever the case may be. So and of all of the creative things I’ve tried, it is the thing that no matter how hard it gets, I still love it. And no matter how much pressure I’m under because I’ve signed up for too many projects or I’ve got deadlines or whatever it is still the thing that I love more than anything else in terms of creative stuff.
So someone new to the whole thing, I would say and subscribe to this channel to write with Morgan. Seriously though, I would say find a community like this by all means. Watch everything you can on YouTube or wherever else you can get information, listen to podcasts, but find a community and just ask, start asking questions. How do I start with this? How do I start writing a script? What do they look like? Who do I go to find an artist? Is there a local artist I can work with? Is there, so all the things I didn’t do those. Talk to people, find people. Don’t be scared if you need to. Anyone that appears on this channel, if you’re not sure, come and talk to us. We’re all very friendly, happy, jolly people and we’re only too happy to help. But that would be my advice.
Talk, ask questions, get as much as you can. That doesn’t mean you have to wait to get started, but talk and get involved so that you can get as much as you can so you don’t just fall down pitfalls straight away and you have a bit of an easier time of it because there will be things that you do wrong and there’ll be mistakes and it’ll cost money and all the rest of it, but at least you’ll have a community behind you. You’ll have people you can ask for help and you’ll avoid some of the worst and most costly ones. That would be great
Leigh Chalker (01:30:17):
Advice. Absolutely, mate. And that’s great advice For anyone out there that’s watching and has got the drive to be creative, there’s all steps. We’ve all made mistakes and stuff like that. And sometimes to be for what is it, forearmed is to be forewarned or however that quote goes. So better to be prepared, but we’re all here, we’re all happy. So just a couple of things before we go and I’d like to say thank you mate, that’s you’re a champion and Nick May, excellent insight Morgan, thanks buddy. Danny Nolan, great show guys, I’ll all, I will. I always take away something from Chinwag. Good on you mate. Thanks for watching Now everyone out there, as Morgan said, don’t forget to and subscribe the channel. It helps all of those YouTube algorithms and stuff and gets all these shows out there for people to watch and enjoy.
On the X Shop there’s a book called Sizzle and Doug. Now that’s limited to one to a hundred and all proceeds of that which is made. But first before that, 30 odd Australian independent artists, some first timers through to people have been around for a really long time, have contributed to this awesome little project and all proceeds to that go towards X and X basically these shows, they do cost money sometimes, but everyone involved loves bringing them to you, loves sharing the news and spreading the peace, love, and harmony man and creativity. So go there and get that on the comic shop amongst many other things. There’s about a hundred titles and there’s other shops. Just get into Australian comics anyway, you can rev every owner Indie Jess stat comic show. I mean there’s so many of it. It will blow your mind, man. Now there’s four shows every week on the comics network.
So tomorrow night it’s seven o’clock is the Oz comic Show. Now that I believe Morgan, you’re on there tomorrow hosting mate, aren’t you? So you’ll get a double dose of Morgan and Sue will be there with you and you’ve got Guest is Dan MacArthur and he created the comic book Maros which will be very interesting. It’s an interactive comic book. So I’m interested to see his processes and things like that. So dig deep on that, man. Morgan, dig deep. Yeah, yeah, you got <laugh>, got Friday Night drink and draw up to Nelly, episode 80. My God, can you believe that the guest is Aaron Cassidy. Now he is the writer of Killer Comics and the topic or the character that everyone’s drawing this week is grew. Now you can start drawing now you can send in your drawings to sizzle any time they’ll be shown on the end of the show.
If you were late at all last week or the week before, you can still send your pictures in. We love getting them. We love showing off people’s work and letting the world see other people’s work. So there you go. Art at X Studio for all that art for Friday night drinking draws. Feel free to join in too. Comments and everything. All welcome. And Sunday nights we have the Sunday Spotlight with Peter Wilson and Sizzle. This week’s guest is Australian comic book legend, creator of the Southern Squadron, Dave Dre who’ll be on chatting about his processes and how he goes about things next week. Remember the Tuesdays of the Chin Wagon? Now I’ve got, I’m excited about, oh look, I’m always excited, I’ve got to tell you, but next week there’s a comic book that’s about to drop in the very near future and it’s issued one of eight and it’s called Stellar Lands. Now, next Tuesday night, I’ll be getting to talk to the writer creator of Stellar Lands, Mr. Max Ferrata. So I’ve never met the man. I’m super excited to see what makes that dude tick and follow his journey on how he’s got to hear, but is all of beautiful things, man. So these shows are all available for you. I can subscribe, join Morgan Quaid. Where can we find your stuff, mate?
Morgan Quaid (01:34:38):
You can go to morgan qua.com or you can go to the YouTubes write with Morgan or my handle is Morgan the Qua and you’ll
Leigh Chalker (01:34:48):
Find, all right. Now, mate, just before we go, can anyone can they find your books? Can they text you Messenger, you can buy ’em off, all that sort of stuff?
Morgan Quaid (01:35:01):
Most things are, yeah, I mean you can find me on Amazon and all over the place, but just any, yeah, just contact me, find me on the social media, send me a message and I’ll tell you where you can get it. And if it’s not on the shelves, I’ll get one to you. So yeah, for sure.
Leigh Chalker (01:35:15):
Yeah, rep. And don’t forget to go and have a look at Crims and Folley, which is coming up in another month or so, and that’s latest work. So going on back that. All right, well that’s Tuesday Chinwag for this week. And thank you everyone for watching. Fully appreciate the support that you guys give to me and the Comics Network and all the Australian comic book creators that are out there just plugging away doing their things. So always remember, be cool and community as Unity. See you later. Bye-bye.
Morgan Quaid (01:35:46):
See you guys. This
Voice Over (01:35:47):
Show is sponsored by The Coms shop. Check out coms.cx for all things coms and find out what coms is all about. We hope you enjoyed the show.