Welcome to Three Questions with Van Heerling. This is where you get to meet authors, actors, painters and anyone else that is bent toward the arts, but on a more personal level.
Today I welcome Juls Duncan author of the Morgan Koda Adventures Series.
VH: If a zombie virus took over the world, how many days do you think you could last before you were infected? And what would you do to postpone the inevitable?
JD: I would probably die of fright without them touching me. So none of the following would take place. Five years, 1825 days is the answer I came up with. I would hunt down the person(s) responsible for the virus, and do some major butt kicking. The Zombies, however, would have to really work to get me...I would take as many of them with me as I could. But the last bullet I would save…and with my luck the bullet would be a dud and all my carefully thought out plans would go south in a hurry. So in the end I would be—zombie bait.
VH: For what are you grateful?
JD: I am indebted to my family and friends for the support and encouragement they have showed me in writing Morgan’s stories. And I am thankful everyday that Morgan is in my head.
I know that to a non-writer this makes me sound crazy, and I should be in line for the next available straight-jacket, but, without her I would never have become a writer.
VH: If you knew the exact date of your death down to the minute, what would you change about your life starting tomorrow?
JD: Well I could just quote Tim McGraw’s song - Live Like You Were Dying, “I went sky diving,” no way would I ever jump out of a perfectly good airplane, so that one is out. “I went Rocky Mountain climbing,” I like mountaineering, so I could keep this one. “I went 2.7 seconds on a bull named Fu Man Chu,” no way, I’ve been around bulls most of my life, and I prefer to stay on the other side of the fence.
But this really doesn’t answer your question. So Ok, here we go…I would finish Morgan’s story. And I really have no idea how many books that will take. Spend time with family and friends. See the Great Pyramids of Egypt, and the Valley of the Kings and Queens. My educational background is in anthropology. I would see all the great ruins that fill up our world.
VH: Well, I truly hope that one day you will finish your series, and press many footprints upon the ancient sand steps of yesteryear.
Thank you Juls.
Morgan Koda has landed in a world full of magic; now she must survive it. He’s The Dark Emir. He’s deadly and he’s out there waiting for her.
Thirteen years old Morgan Koda has never had an adventure in her life until she hands her letter to a fabled old man. This mythical man leads her into a new world full of adventure, where magic is typical, and danger is the norm.
Discovering there’s an ominous object, a golden mask that has the capability of controlling or destroying a wizard’s power - is one thing. Being hunted because she’s the last in her line with the ability to control it, is quite another. For within the shadows of her new home a horrifying opponent prowls and The Dark Emir will stop at nothing to control her abilities with the aureate mask.
With the prospect of success Morgan travels through time in pursuit of the ancient artifact. Running afoul of a T-rex, a crazed band of war painted natives, and coming across a talking polar bear might seem a little strange. But to Morgan it’s all about the balance of power.
The plant life was much larger. Huge leafs of green flora and enormous flowering plants of reds, pinks, yellows, and oranges surrounding her from three sides. Their blossoms were as large trash can lid.
Morgan slowly turned her head taking in the plant life around her. She had transported the four of them to the very edge of a lush meadow which was miles long and just as wide.
She stared in awe at the hundreds of huge beasts. They had gigantic bodies, long necks and tails, and were grazing throughout the valley.
Morgan had once seen animals like these in a book at her old school. The massive creatures looked like Brontosaurus some had their necks stretched reaching into the very top of the trees eating leaves. While others were drinking from the river that snaked through the center of the valley, many of the other smaller species of dinosaurs were moving around the larger ones. Morgan looked over the animals searching for familiar ones that she could name.
Movement from above the creatures caught her attention, and she did a double take on the sky. There were huge blackish-blue birds with leather-like wings flying in lazy circles over the dinosaurs.
A loud cry from the trees over their heads drew Morgan attention, and she followed the sound up to what she thought was a very colorful parrot with an immense beak and overly long tail. However, when the bird opened its mouth and hissed at her, she saw a mouth full of razor-sharp teeth.
A loud screaming echo wrenched her eyes back to the grasslands. The brontosauruses and the other smaller dinosaurs were suddenly in full flight across the valley. Several sizable beasts were giving chase on their powerful hind legs.
Tristan, Raine, Rex and Sonny on the other hand, were not looking at the creatures charging across the meadow, nor were they staring at the colorful parrot-like bird in the tree above them. They had eyes only for the three massive creatures, which had been slowly making their way into the valley. The sudden appearance of Morgan, her friends, and the dog had caught their attention. One of the brutes had halted in mid-step, slowly turning its ugly head in their direction, and slowly moved for where Morgan, Tristan, Rex, Raine were standing. It observed them with terrifying orange eyes. The beast slowly stalked towards what it thought was enjoyable victims.
It took Morgan a moment to realize that someone was yelling at her.
“Morgan…” The voice shouted again.
“What,” She finally took her eyes of the meadow and turned towards the voice.
“Do you think you could get us out of here...?” Fear clearly etched Rex’s face, but he had yet to lose his since of humor.
“That looks exactly like a T-rex, and to tell you the truth, a T- rex with skin on it - is just plain wrong.”
Morgan turned to where Rex was pointing and saw a vast creature bearing down on them.
The T-rex had started to run on its enormous hind legs. Morgan, Tristan, Rex, Raine and Sonny stood petrified as the brute suddenly opened its huge jaws, showing long yellow pointed teeth. The whole group drew back as a horrible roar exploded from its gaping mouth.
Sonny panicked and would have run if he could have remembered how. His body was pressed so tight against Morgan’s side that he was about to push her to the ground. His body was slowly sinking en route for the hard packed soil under their feet.
“Get us out of here.” He whispered. Sonny’s pleading chocolate brown eyes were wide with terror.
Morgan tightened her hold on her friends. At the same time as the T- Rex slid to a stop towering over them, that Morgan Blinked.
The T-rex howled enraged as its meal vanished. The creature stared at the spot where its victims had disappeared, then shoved its great head under its abdomen searching through its huge powerful hind legs. The T-rex was utterly confused as to where its prey had gone.
Candy-cane-striped trees, ogres, and chameleon-dragon might seem like an adventure, but to Morgan Koda, it’s all about friendship.
Morgan has unintentionally altered her time-line and that of her world, and she will do anything to preserve it.
As her second school year starts, she must face her adversary, The Dark Emir. He has kidnapped one of her best friends and holds him hostage Demanding the surrender of The Mask of Noesis, and the restoration of their time-line.
By resetting the time-line Morgan risks losing the one thing she has yearned for her whole life. But relinquishing the golden mask will give her enemy the key to controlling her and her world.
Morgan Koda has no intention of doing his bidding, and there’s a little more than magic up her sleeve…
Morgan Koda may hold the four elements of earth in the palm of her hand.
But a little thunder storm might be her undoing.
The island of Edenwiess is under attack from what seems to be a simple storm. However, lighting is striking repeatedly in the same location, over the vast volcano, causing those who are observing to realize that this is no typical storm, something evil is at work.
In order to save the magical world she loves, Morgan and her friends must return to the Island after their school has been evacuated. Not only will she place her life in peril, but those of her friends as well.
Morgan will go beyond the limits of her magic, and discovering the identity of the one responsible for the attack will leave her feeling betrayed.
Juls Duncan is the author of the urban fantasy series, Morgan Koda Adventures. Her books include (Book One) The Mask of Noesis. Note: This novel is going through publisher changes and will be available shortly by Mythic Dragon Publishing.
(Book Two) The Forest of Carren, published by Mythic Dragon Publishing 2012.
(Book Three) The Other Island, by Mythic Dragon Publishing.
Juls Duncan lives in Montana with her family and a yellow lab - Sonny Jr.
She has always felt the need to tell a story, whether it was a bedtime story, as Morgan Koda was in the beginning, or a short story given as a Christmas present for family and friends.
Her education includes a Bachelors degree in anthropology from Oregon State University. Juls is continuing her education with a Masters degree, then a PhD in anthropology from the University of Montana.
How Morgan came to be:
My daughter loved bedtimes stories, but not the typical ones, like Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Cinderella, or Sleeping Beauty. She wanted one of her own, one that we made up. So the character Morgan Koda started more than twenty five years ago as a bedtime story.
My daughter learned that only in a book could she go to different worlds where she could be the hero. My daughter is now in her thirties and is a devoted reader to her own young readers.
In 2006, I remarried and my new husband came with a six year old son. And Morgan Koda came alive again as she had before - in a bed time story.
But this child was different. He wanted his new step-mother to add something new to the story every night. So Morgan Koda grew as my new son did.
When my step-son reached seven years old, he told me that he didn’t need to learn to read, because reading wasn’t fun, nor was it important. So I started writing down Morgan’s story. The one story he enjoyed more than any other. I, however, was a little resourceful, at night when my step-son wanted his bedtime story; I would read up to a really good part. Then I handed him the pages to read. Though tears, fits, and just plan angry outbursts, he learned to read.
In June of 2010, I was arranging my files, and to my great surprise, I found that I had over a hundred pages of Morgan’s story. And just four months later, Morgan Koda and the Mask of Noesis was born. The series now continues with Morgan Koda and the Forest of Carren (Book Two), Morgan Koda and the Other Island (Book Three), and Book Four, Morgan Koda and the Plight of Indy is nearing completion.
"For me, writing is a joyful torture or sorts." ~vh~
“In this life, seek your own answers, and quote yourself for a change.” ~vh~
The muse has tapped my shoulder and my ear is turned toward her lips. I am waiting for her whisper. ~vh~
"The funny thing about life: more often than not it’s laughing at you rather than you laughing at it." ~vh~
"At some point there is a moment when you should give up. I’m here to tell you that today is not that day." ~vh~
“If you are afraid of the truth, never ask a young child a question.” ~vh~
“The frailty of life is most evident at its last breath.” vh
“Prove not to the world but to yourself that you are above your current circumstance.” ~vh~
"Don't be wishful when it comes to your dreams. Take aggressive action in your pursuit of them. Start now with a single step, no matter how insignificant it may feel." ~vh~
"Nothing is more powerful than an unwavering, unapologetic decision to BE." ~vh~
"Strive to be the light in an ever-darkening world. SHINE!" ~vh~
"Think big and then think small. That’s where the details live." ~vh~