Sunday, February 3, 2013

Interview with Folami and Abeni Morris

What inspired you to write this book?

Folami: Ever since I got the idea for this story, I couldn’t get rid of it. I would envision the characters, hear them, I even dreamt about Hyalee once. One day I just had to write it all down.

Abeni: My sister asked me to write the story with her. I don’t know what could be more inspiring than that.

Please tell us about your latest release.

Folami: Our book, The Exemeus, is really about the length people will go for love and for freedom. The character Dephon is being hunted by the Treptonian government, because he inspires hope. To stay alive he needs the help of the world’s greatest warrior, unfortunately she’s dead.

Hyalee, our other main character, has to discover what she’ll sacrifice for love and for duty. Her world is being taken over by a holocaust like dictator, but to save the planet she might have to give up more than she could ever imagine.

Abeni: To me, this book is about two characters on the road to self-discovery. They both have to discover who they are as people in order to survive.

Do you have a special formula for creating characters' names? Do you try to match a name with a certain meaning to attributes of the character or do you search for names popular in certain time periods or regions?

Folami: It really depends. Sometimes we take a word and play with it until it’s a name. Hyalee’s name we saw on a waitresses tag at Chili’s. When we looked it up it meant beautiful meadow in Cherokee.  We thought it was fitting. For other characters, we look up names from different cultures and find out what they mean.  We do a little bit of everything to find the perfect name.

Is there a character that you enjoyed writing more than any of the others?

Folami: I loved to write about Virginia. I am always thinking up snide things to say, but I hold my tongue, because I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. I love the fact that with her I can be totally uncensored. I look forward to writing from her perspective more than anyone else.  

What is your favorite scene from the book? Could you share a little bit of it, without spoilers of course?

Abeni: I have a lot of favorite scenes. I love the introduction of the character Bristol and how you can tell that something is going on, but only Hyalee seems to notice.  And when Mrs. Johnson comes in and is surprised to see him, I love her reaction. I love how there is so much going on in that scene, but it all has to hum under the surface. It was the hardest scene to write, but to me it is the best to read. It makes you want to go on this adventure with Hyalee even more. 

Folami: My favorite scene would be the first kiss. I don’t want to give away any more than that, but the scene shows the importance of perseverance.  

What is the most interesting thing you have physically done for book related research purposes?

Abeni: On Father’s Day, my sister and I drove to 53 Clarendon Heights in San Francisco- the setting for the Johnson house. At the time the house was for sale and it was having an open house, so we left the kids with our parents (we’re horrible children) and visited this 3.5 million dollar mansion in San Francisco.  It was a nice break from reality and it got us on the same page about what the house looked like.

What are your guilty pleasures in life?

Abeni: Eating foods I know my body doesn’t need.

Folami: Unfortunately, mine is Coca Cola. Caffeine practically runs through my blood.

What was the last amazing book you read?

Abeni: Twilight

Folami: Demons at Deadnight, it was literally my favorite read of the past year.  That and Angel Fall. I’m actually going to cheat and list them both as the most amazing reads.

What can readers expect next from you?

Abeni: They can definitely expect the sequel. Our main focus now is making sure the next book is even better than the last.

Where can readers find you on the web?

Abeni: We are on facebook at

Folami: Our blog is

And you can reach us via twitter at

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The Exemeus
Book One
Folami and Abeni Morris

Genre: young adult fantasy

Publisher: Royal  Colours Ink

ISBN: 9780988688605

Number of pages: 504
Word Count: 101,595

Cover Artist: Amalia Chitulesca

Book Description:

Haylee Smith is dead, she just doesn’t know it yet.

Her short life was devoted to love and to hate. Love of the man who stole her heart, hate for the man who stole the world. Murdered by the government she swore to destroy, fate has given her another chance to make it right. But to save the planet, she needs the help of the most powerful mystic the world has ever seen—unfortunately he hasn’t been born yet.

In a world where fear is the only currency, Dephon has committed the ultimate crime: inspiring hope.

His only goal is to make it safely through ninth grade, but on a post-apocalyptic Earth run by the Treptonian government, it isn’t that simple. Heir to a legendary power, Dephon Johnson is the only threat to the government’s rule. And on Trepton, all threats must be eliminated. When hundreds of assassins are dispatched to neutralize him, Dephon is forced to fight back. His only chance of survival is to enlist the aid of the greatest warrior the world has ever known. The only problem is, she's been dead for 13 years.

About the Authors:

Folami and Abeni Morris are a sister-sister writing team. Together they wrote (and rewrote) The Exemeus series, somehow managing to accomplish it without murdering one another. Despite their facial similarities, tendency to finish each other’s thoughts and stick up for each other constantly, no, they’re not twins and thus deserve their own individual bio.
Folami Morris

Folami grew up in the tiny city of San Mateo Ca, where nothing ever happens and no one ever leaves. She went to Xavier University for undergraduate, getting her B.A in physics and her B.S in Biology. After graduation she returned to California, to live in an even smaller city, where even less happens, Antioch Ca. During this time she escaped the monotony by hanging out with her imaginary friends Hyalee and Dephon, and by writing the Exemeus.
She finally escaped to Queens NY and now realizes that quiet and tiny aren’t so bad.
Abeni Morris

As luck (and logic) would have it, Abeni grew up in the same tiny little town as her sister, then she too escaped to the tinier town of Antioch. She has yet to leave. She received her bachelor’s degree in early childhood development from Cal State East Bay. She is the mom of two amazing kids, who swear that they deserve a percentage of the book proceeds and a ton of the credit. At least she raised dreamers.

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bn100 said...

Interesting info about character names.

Folami Morris said...

Thanks Bn100, we like to keep the character name interesting and different.

And thank you Roxanne for having us on your amazing blog.