<><><> Betsie's Literary Page <><><>

Home | Book Reviews | FREE Celebrity Addresses | Celebrities Page 2 | Celebrities Page 3 | Get Reviewed! | Writers Showcase | Major Record Labels | Guerrilla Publicity | Print Magazines | Independent Bookstores | Specialty Shops | Media Contacts | Celebrity Production Companies | Author Friendly Radio Shows | Screenwriting | Screenwriter Agents | Author/Talent - Agents | Advice to Authors | Want your Book Noticed? | Writer's Services | Internet Resources | "How To" Articles | Other Online Reviewers | Newspaper Book Reviewers | Recipes | Movie Reviews | Links | Meet the Reviewers | About Me

Hot Suspense Romeo and Juliet in the Bayou

Title: Backwater

Author: Morris L. Striplin

Publisher: Crystal Dreams Publishing

Genre: Romance/Suspense

ISBN: 1591460050

Paperback; 413pp

Price: 19.50


Rating: Highly Recommended


Backwater is an intriguing romance novel about a young law student, Josh Wagner, who during a visit home bumps into an old school mate, Ellen Pike. Josh and Ellen reminisce about old times and discover that they were made for each other. They spend a passionate weekend together and fall hopelessly in love.


As their time together dwindles, they are saddened. Neither wants to end this glorious time. They decide that this is a great deal more than just a romp in the hay. However, Josh is from a traditional, wealthy family and Ellen, is a poor working girl struggling to save money for nursing school. Realizing that they must soon part, they brand themselves with a symbol of their love. Josh and Ellen say their bittersweet good-byes with promises of when next they meet. Those promises are short lived when Ellen disappears. Josh is forced to face the reality that Ellen left of her accord and he ends up in a sour marriage.


The author, Morris L. Striplin manages to simultaneously keep the reader in suspense regarding Ellens disappearance, while Joshs unfortunate story unfolds.


I truly enjoyed this intricately written fiction, because it reflects on true-life circumstances in which many marry for the wrong reasons. In addition, I was amazed at how well this male author penned romance. I highly recommend this steamy novel full of raw emotions the ending will surprise you!



An Interview with Morris Striplin

To start this off, why don't you give an idea of what the book is about?


  The story begins with Josh Wagner and

Ellen Pike who were the two most popular students in high school before graduation.

A weekend visit home from college brings

a chance meeting between the two who spend

a memorable weekend in New Orleans. After several weekend visits and they have found

true love, Ellen disappears.

  At a party, a pregnant girl uses Joshs

advanced state of inebriation to maneuver

him into thinking she is pregnant with his

child. After enduring years of a loveless marriage, Josh and his wife divorce. The

twins, who are born during the marriage,

make a new friend at school who will

inadvertently solve the continuing mystery

of Ellen's disappearance, bringing the

story to a happy conclusion.


Where did you grow up and was reading and writing a part of your life?


I grew up in a very rural area where the

main industry was farming. Since our

school district was as dirt poor as the farmers, the teachers had few if any

teacher aids besides books, so reading

was emphasized at a very early age, but

the joy of writing did not come to me

until I entered middle age.


Who were your earliest influences and why?


My mother and father were both

schoolteachers.  Watching them struggle

to make ends meet while we lived in public

housing, I was determined to avoid the

teaching profession at all costs. Although

I must admit, helping your fellow man

became a part of my psyche, and I spent my

entire working career as a social worker.


What would a typical day be like for a



When I was employed as a social worker,

which was the case with BACKWATER, I would

begin writing immediately after the house

was quiet and would write until I was

ready to go to bed.  On the weekend, I

would write every chance I could manage. 

After having worked a regular schedule

for so many years, my writing day starts

as my work day did, with one exception,

I take the time out for leisure time

activities like playing tennis or going

to the gym when the notion strikes me,

which I find makes me anxious to get

back to what I was doing when I left off.


How long have you been writing and in what capacities?


I have been writing fiction for over

thirty years, but I have never been

employed in any capacity as a writer.  Everything I have done was with the hope

of one day being published, but I had absolutely no idea what a daunting task

laid ahead. Had I known, I might not

have ever tried.

Which is more difficult to write - Fiction

or nonfiction and why?

Thats really hard to say. They are

very much alike because you have to do

research to do either one to make sure

you are correct in what you are trying to create.  I think fiction is far more fun

because you are only limited by your imagination as long as anything you use

in your story, dates, quotes, geography, historical figures etc., is absolutely correct.  

Has there ever been a time when you wanted

to throw in the towel and give up? And if

so, how did you defeat those instincts?


Like so many other authors, I have

enough rejection letters to cover the

walls of my home, which has been done at

the Jack London museum.  Each rejection

letter was like an arrow through my heart,

bringing on a period of depression I

could literally taste.  Each time I

received a rejection letter, I swore I

would give up and put the idea of being

a writer behind me, and move on. Before

I realized what was happening, Id find

myself sitting in front of my keyboard. 

After a few keystrokes, I was back in my

world where anything was possible.


What is the hardest part about being a



I think everything about writing is

hard. In the beginning, its writing

a story that is good enough and

formatted correctly so the manuscript

can be sent to perspective publishers

and agents. When you reach this level,

theres the difficulty of avoiding a

whole industry that has developed out

of taking advantage of another persons dreams. And finally, the most difficult

of all, finding a publisher who

believes as you do, there is an

audience out there somewhere who

would love to read your story.



Do you have any hobbies? What are they?

How do they enhance your writing?

My hobby is tennis, which I play with

a passion.  Unfortunately for me,

they are worlds apart. I dont even

have a desire to write a tennis story,

my stories developin the fertile

fields of my mind, and the tennis

court is my battleground where only

the strong survive.


Articles and media alike make it sound

as though the only way to rise to the

top is to sacrifice. What do you find

to be good sacrifices?


I find that everything you do is a

sacrifice if you are truly a writer. 

You devote your time, your energy,

and your hopes and dreams in everything

you create. If what you create is good,

the rest is pure and simple luck.

What question do you get asked more

than any other?

Are you going to use your name on

the cover of the book?


Whats the coolest thing a reader has

said to you?


When I read your book I cried because

for once I knew what my Dad went

through before he died. I wish I had

read your book while he was still

alive. She was talking about my novel,


What has been your feedback from

readers? What do they say to you about

their interpretations of your book?


So far, everything Ive been told, or

has been related to me that someone

said, has been downright embarrassing

they have been so kind.  As far as interpretations, my books are

straightforward and tell a story. 

There are no hidden truths or


Do you think that as a writer you are

more prone to watching what goes on

around you and observing behaviors

than most people are?

I dont know about anyone else, but

when I sit down at the keyboard to

start a new story my mind is blank. 

When my fingers touch the keys, I

begin to write. If I have begun to

write a story, I review the last page

I have written, allow my mind to go

blank, and the process starts all

over again. There have been many,

many times when have I read what I

had written the day or even a week

before and didnt remember writing a

single word, only to be amazed at

what I had created


Who are some of the authors you consider

to be "don't miss"?


Im not qualified to answer that question

for many, many reasons. If I had to give

an answer, Id say read the bestsellers


If one were looking to start his/her

own career as a writer, what would you

suggest his/her first step to be?


I have met few people during my

writing career that when the subject

of writing came up, that didnt say

they had a story they could write that

would top any book that had ever been

written with the exception of the

Bible. My response has been, and

always will be. I completely understand

and I have no argument for you. 

 So why dont you write your story? All

you need is a pencil and a piece of

paper. If you can type, you can use a typewriter or a computer, which ever

you can afford. Once you begin, work

until you have completed your

manuscript. Once you have finished,

ask me again.

What kind of movies do you enjoy?


I think movies are like books. They

must be well written, have a good

beginning, an entertaining middle,

and a satisfactory ending. Any movie

that meets these criteria is a movie,

like a book, that I can enjoy.

What is your favorite city to visit,

but one that you wouldnt want to live


I truly do not have a favorite city,

and I am perfectly happy with where I



Whats the strangest question youve ever

been asked in an interview?

The one you have just asked me.


 *LOL I think we may have to discard

this question!


Whats the best part of being a writer?


Knowing all the lonely, lonely hours

I have spent desperately trying to tell

a story I think people would enjoy

spending a part of their life reading,

has become a reality. This humbles me,

helping me to realize there is a far

greater writer than I, for He is the

One who created our universe.

What's next?

Thus far, I have written eight books,

and have seven more underway.  After

all my books have been printed, who

knows? But you do not give up in a

wining combination.



We'd like to take this time to thank Mr. Striplin for indulging us with all this inquisitiveness and wish him a great journey towards success!

Enter supporting content here