Thursday, August 20, 2015

Next to Her is number one on Amazon

eldercare

My short story Next to Her just hit number one in the Parenting & Relationships category on Amazon and number two in the Eldercare category. What a great way to start the day!

What do you mean you don't have Next to Her yet? Get it here: Amazon US / Amazon UK 

book on eldercare

Monday, August 17, 2015

Avalon is now out in paperback!

now out in paperback

Hi, everyone!

Avalon's book is now out in paperback!

So for those of you who still don't have a Kindle, now's the time to get your copy.

You can find it on all the Amazons including Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon CA, Amazon FR, etc. Other retailers will follow soon.


Reviews on Avalon:

"OMG, I love this book!!! I laughed, I cried, I even shook my head at Avalon's behavior! This author has such a way at making the reader feel every emotion she does! I love this story and highly recommend it to every cat lover out there! Bring tissues!" (Terri Berg)

"I'd give Avalon seven stars if Amazon would allow it." (Roger M. Woodbury)

"This book pulls at the heartstrings and conveys expertly the idea that a relationship with a pet can be as intense and meaningful as the relationship with another person." (K. Berry, author)

"This is a must read for anyone who loves cats, or animals in general. A fantastic story worthy of five GOLD stars." (Frank Cozzari, author)

"Avalon is a story of true love and the sort of relationship many people never find with another human, much less a cat. Avalon has put his oversized kitty prints all over my heart and I guarantee he will steal yours as well." (Elle Ay Esse)

"This is not just a 'cat story' - it is an account of a true meeting of souls, a partnership beyond that of human to human." (Diana M. Hockley)

"Avalon by Vanessa Morgan is one of the most moving books I have read." (Amy Palmer)

"It is a deeply intimate portrait of two damaged individuals who find themselves through each other. To be sure, there is humor. The kind you don't find amusing at the time but laugh at much later and quite loudly. Avalon deliberately throwing up on Borat the guinea pig every time he felt a hairball rising. Avalon eating everything from hot peppers to plastic bags. And ultimately, Avalon the movie star." (Cat Jones)

"I didn't expect how emotionally powerful her story and connection to her pet would resonate with me." (80 Shades)

"I felt the love and emotions between her and Avalon deeply. And, yes, I wept!" (M. Hartwell)

"Because of her writing skills she makes this story more encompassing than a person/pet tale. This is an expression of love, well-spelled." (Grady Harp)

"This is not an ordinary story because their relationship was deeper than any I have witnessed." (Marla Martenson)

"Avalon is touching, inspiring, and left me in tears." (Cayt Landis)

"This story made me cry. But I smiled through the tears and when I finished it, I hugged my dog and my cat, gave them some special treats, and when we snuggled together at bedtime, I felt whole." (Laura Thomas)

Read more reviews on Avalon here.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

On the film set of Next to Her

clapperboard

Last Saturday was World Cat Day. Is there a better way to celebrate that day then by shooting a short film starring your own cat?

The film in question is the adaptation of my story Next to Her, the tale of an elderly man, Maurice, who visits his dying wife at the hospital. A shared lunch is all they have left, but his wife's thoughts drift off towards the ghost of her cat, Avalon, whose picture sits on the bed stand 'next to her'. As Maurice gets frustrated with his wife's behavior, the fine line between nurturing and torturing is easily crossed.

When the producers of Next to Her asked Vincenzo De Jonghe if he wanted to direct a film for them, he initially said he only wanted to make a film about an elderly couple suffering from dementia. “That's exactly what this script is about,” they said. With such a coincidence, Next to Her couldn't go wrong :-)

What about some behind the scenes pictures of the film set?

Anna-Maria De Schepper played Yvonne. In real life, she's a beautiful and energetic, but she was fabulous as a demented old lady. She said she found inspiration in the movie The Notebook for her part in Next to Her.

anna-maria de schepper
anna-maria de schepper
on the set of avalon
old lady in wheelchair
avolon

Luc de Ruelle headlined as Yvonne's husband, Maurice. He, too, is different from his movie character.


luc de ruelle
luc de ruelle
vlaamse acteurs
belgium actors
old man peeling potatoes

The director and crew at work... 


vincenzo de jonghe
wim mijten
set pictures avalon
film crew
on a movie set
on the film set next to her
vincenzo de jonghe
vincenzo de jonghe
annelies de nil

Next to Her was shot on location in a home for the elderly, Het Heiveld, in Sint-Amandsberg, Belgium. The lady whose room we occupied for the day asked director Vincenzo De Jonghe what the story of Next to Her was about. As he was telling her the plot, she suddenly started to cry. "That's exactly the story of my husband and I," she said.


het heiveld
het heiveld

A few set pieces...

life is a wonderful journey
film set
old record player
props avalon

Miscellaneous...


avalon notes
avalon screenplay
movie monitor
avalon lighting

Next to Her will probably be renamed Avalon (not my idea, I swear) and it will be part of the movie anthology Follow: Love, Life, Ghent. It will premiere at Film Fest Ghent in October, 2015.

You can find the story on which the film is based on Amazon US, Amazon UK, Amazon FR, Amazon NL, etc. Of course, you can always read Avalon's adventures on other film sets in his memoir.

belgian short film

Friday, July 3, 2015

Exciting book and movie news

book signing event
Signing session after a screening of Un homme bien (A Good Man)

Lots of exciting things happening, guys. LOTS of exciting things. 


NEXT TO HER 

In half an hour, I'll be off to yet another film production meeting. If everything goes well, my short film script Next to Her (which you can read here) will be filmed this August. It'll be part of an anthology, but will also be available separately. Thrilling, right? Of course, Avalon will have a BIG appearance in the film. 


AVALON 

Talking about Avalon... His book is my most popular and best-received one to date. It has been listed as one of Amazon's best-selling cat books almost constantly since it came out. Of course, with Avalon as the main character, I didn't expect anything else. Lots of blogs have been talking about Avalon lately. Too many to mention them all, so here are a few favorites: 


A GOOD MAN 

Un homme bien (the French film adaptation of my vampire story A Good Man) continues to thrive at festivals. Recently, the film was screened at the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival in India, the Flanders Week in Gdańsk (Poland), the Independent Days 15 Filmfest in Karlsruhe, Germany, and the Shamiana shortfilm happening in India.


DROWNED SORROW 

Horror author Stuart R. West interviewed me about my supernatural thriller Drowned Sorrow. It was one of the best interviews I've done in a long time. Read the interview here.

Also, this is the last day to enter for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card, a signed copy of Avalon, a cat collar, and a selection of cat toys. Enter now before it is too late.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Visiting the Eau d'heure lakes

romantic lake europe

This past weekend, I visited the Eau d'heure lakes in Belgium as part of a press trip. Though the lakes are situated in my own country, I had never heard of them prior to this trip. 

Yet, with its five lakes and 600 hectares of national park, it's one of Belgium's most beautiful places of interest. 

The reason the Eau d'heure lakes are not well known, is that the area has only just recently seen a steep rise in tourist attractions. Hotels, seminar rooms, holiday villages, and recreational activities pop up at a rapid pace thanks to the support of the local and European authorities. 

During the press trip, I had to opportunity to try out some activities at L'eau d'heure. Here's an overview: 


hiking trails belgium

Recreational activities at the Eau d'heure lakes 

Aqua Golf 

The Plate Taille lake is the only place in Europe where you can play Aqua Golf. Contrary to a normal game of golf, the player has to get the balls onto floating islands. Great fun. 


aqua golf
aqua golf

Crocodile Rouge 

Crocodile Rouge prides itself on being a bus that can drive on land as well as on water. Only nine of these vehicles exist. The Crocodile Rouge took me on a trip on the Plate Taille lake, but I'd say it's more for kids than for adults. 

You can find more pictures of and info about Crocodile Rouge here.


plate taille lake belgium
lakes in belgium

Natura Parc 

If you're adventurous, you may want to do a climbing trail at Natura Parc. There are different tracks and levels, but the 'erolienne' trail in particular is a must as the giant rope slides will take you over the Plate Taille lake for a magnificent view. 

During the summer, Natura Parc organizes a night-time climbing experience, coupled with a BBQ. How awesome is that! 

You can find more information about the Natura Parc here


natura parc eau d'heure
natura parc eau d'heure
henegouwen toerisme
belgium fun activities for tourists

Hiking and biking 

The majority of the tourists go to the lakes to hike and bike. I explored the banks of the Plate Taille lake by foot and soaked up Belgian nature at its best. 


eau d'heure lakes belgium
belgium hiking trail eau d'heure
boats on a lake
woods belgium
best of belgium

Barrage de la Plate Taille 

Belgium biggest dam, the Barrage de la Plate Taille, is the only one whose interiors can be visited. I discovered its underground corridors, its turbine pumps, and enjoyed a 360° panoramic view from 107 meters high. A guide taught me about the history of the lakes and the dam's past and current uses. 


barrage de plate taille
dam eau d'heure
dam corridors
belgium viewpoints
lacs de l'eau d'heure
biggest dam belgium

Aqua Centre 

No holiday is complete without a visit to a swimming pool, right? The Aqua Centre of the Eau d'Heure Lakes has recently been renovated and has a slide and spray park for the kids and a wellness centre for the adults. 


aqua centre eau d'heure

Kayak 

Ever since my childhood trips to the Ardennes, I have loved kayaking. The Eau d'heure lakes lend themselves perfectly to unwind once more on the water and to revel in the beauty of the surrounding shores. 


kayak belgium
kayak eau d'heure
best lakes in europe
belgium beach

Where did I sleep? 

I spent the night at Golden Lakes Village, a holiday resort with newly constructed holiday homes surrounded by water and greenery. 

The holiday homes of Golden Lakes Village belong to private investors. They have the opportunity to purchase completely furnished houses without paying VAT. Golden Lakes then rents out the homes for them. A great idea, don't you think? 

What I loved most about the Golden Lakes Village homes? Their comfort and large balconies that lend themselves perfectly for apéritifs and breakfasts in the sunshine. 

You can find more information about the Golden Lakes Village here.


l'eau d'heure
golden lakes village
weekendje weg henegouwen

Where did I eat? 

Croco BBQ 

Croco BBQ offers basic food such as toasted sandwiches and all-you-can-eat BBQ. Its terrace overlooks the lake and the dam. 


BBQ l'eau d'heure
croco BBQ

Tri Marrants 

Tri Marrants is the place to be for quality food. Meat lovers will love the giant portions, but the cook also does his utmost to please vegetarians like myself. And how to resist dinner with such a beautiful sunset view over the lake?


tri marrants
belgium best views

Aqua Centre 

The Aqua Centre's restaurant is an easy option for pizza and other comfort food. 

Disclaimer 

My trip to the Eau d'heure lakes was sponsored by www.lacsdeleaudheure.be (general information), www.goldenlakesvillage.be (purchase of holiday homes), and www.ardennes-vakantievillas.be (rental of holiday homes). 


What do you think of the Eau d'heure lakes? Any activities that pique your interest?