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Tee Morris

 

Biography

Tee Morris has been writing adventures in far-off lands and far-off worlds since the fifth grade. Inspired by numerous volumes under the Choose Your Own Adventure title and Terry Brooks' Shannara series, he wrote many short stories of his own.

“Long before there was an Internet, I was exchanging stories with a pen pal. We based our episodic adventures off the short-lived television show, Voyagers!, and featured the two of us performing heroic deeds while solving problems in history. It was good fun. My short stories centered around daydreams...that featured the author. These ego trips will probably never see the light of day, but they served a purpose. I explored expression through writing.”

Tee Morris as Figaro

Tee Morris
in the title role of Figaro
with Classika Theatre

click on the image of Tee
to view his cast of characters

Tee continued to develop his writing style (along with the sense-of-humor that permeates it...) with an original satirical piece, Forensics: Why Bother? which won him the title at the 1987 Mid-Atlantic Forensic and Debate Invitational. His writings eventually made their way on stage at James Madison University where he received his degree in Mass Communications and Theatre. His first published work was in 1990 when during a semester in England Tee covered London's Poll Tax Riots for JMU's newspaper, The Breeze. The article showed that he could write serious pieces as well as humerous flights of fantasy. Still, Tee never considered writing anything more than a fun departure from his first love—theatre.

“I always saw myself as an actor. Still do. And while I continue to enjoy the new and exciting experiences that my writing has introduced me to, I do miss taking the stage. I try to find excuses to bring in that theatre training and I don't believe that chapter (pardon the pun) of my life is completely closed. Besides, I learned a great deal as an actor, and it prepared me for what was to come with my writing. My acting has also given me an advantage to writing dialogue, creating characters, and setting locations and moods. That is what acting, and writing, is all about. That, and creating a good story.”

Tee would pick up the pen and punch the keys of his first Mac when The Maryland Renaissance Festival invited him to participate in their Writers' Guild. With one of the largest festivals of its kind on the East Coast as his source of inspiration and research, Tee would write one-act plays that would be historical, educational, and—in some cases—speculative and ficticious.

It was here at the Maryland Renaissance Festival where the character of Rafe Rafton and his debut novel would take shape.

“In my previous seasons at Maryland, I had portrayed an awkward town deputy, an eccentric town inventor, and a verbose actor. Now came the opportunity to play a brash, swaggering swashbuckler. I would still be called on to entertain and get laughs with this character, but playing Rafe Rafton was my chance to adopt that attitude Harrison Ford exuded so well in both the Star Wars and Indiana Jones films. In creating this privateer, I also took a few notes from Errol Flynn in Captain Blood and Tommy Lee Jones in Nate and Hayes.

After my first season as Rafe, I knew an opportunity was presenting itself. I thought it would be for me as an actor or a stage combatant. I truly had no idea what adventure this character would take me on.”

His first work, MOREVI: The Chronicles of Rafe & Askana, a Historical-Fantasy epic written with Lisa Lee began in the most unlikely of places — a chat room on the Internet. Nia’s Tavern was a haven for online role players who combined their various gaming rules and characters to interact between one another. It was here that Tee Morris' Rafe Rafton met Lisa Lee's Askana Moldarin, and the two began work on an adventure that would become the best selling title for Dragon Moon Press and an EPPIE finalist for Best eBook Fantasy of 2003.

"I try to avoid the the usual formula found in the Fantasy genre. I do love the elements of Epic Fantasy because I'm a sucker for them, but the work I create is not 'Hey guys. I've got a magic talisman. Let's go on a quest!' Readers can only hear the story of ‘Gondork the Gifted stops the Advancing Evil of the North’ so many times before growing tired of it. I enjoy a bit of tinkering with history, and creating stories that readers return to for a second or even third go-round. Perhaps that is the highest compliment I receive as an author.”

The best cure for Writer's Block: A Good Smoke

"An Avo is a good smoke, but better amongst friends."
Tee Morris with Ron "Orion" Dauphin

When Tee is not creating something on his Macintosh, he enjoys a good run, rollerblading, martial arts, and putting together new playlists for his iPod. His other hobbies include cigars and scotch, which he regards the same way as anime and graphic novels: "I don't know everything about them, but I know what I like." (And he likes Avo and Arturo Fuente for his smoke, Balvennie for his scotch!) Tee also finds time to relax with his herb garden, using his own home-grown oregano, basil, and dill in various outdoor grilling experiments. He lives in Virginia and continues to freelance as a graphic artist, web designer, and video editor.

Feel free to drop Tee an e-mail at tee@teemorris.com.

 

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site last updated 15 October, 2005
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