Welcome! It’s Friday, Canadian author M.J. Moores stopped by, and I have questions…that must mean that it’s time for another rousing edition of Author Interview Friday! Let’s get started, I don’t know about you but I’m excited to see her answers!
- What name do you write under? Is this a pseudonym? Do you use more than one name when you write?
I made the careful decision to write under the name M.J. Moores. I say “careful” because as awful as it sounds, many readers are still biased toward female authors in my genre. M.J. is my initials and as I did go by that name all during high school it doesn’t feel like a complete ‘cop-out’ to me 😉
- Tell us about the first time you realized that you were an author or were going to be an author.
The ‘big’ moment for me was getting my first set of comments back from my editor. I had paid an arm and a leg for legal counseling before signing on with a small publisher but that just hit the pocket book, not the heart strings 😉 The edit showed me that I had work to do in order to make my publishing date!
- What genre(s) do you write in, and why?
I prefer Speculative Fiction. My first series of books is Sci-Fi/Fantasy with a hint of horror and my next series (for which I’ve already begun book 1) is an Urban/Supernatural Fantasy. I gravitate toward tales of the fantastic because I view reading as an important escape from reality. There’s a reason I don’t watch the news and that same reason applies to the kinds of books I read and write.
Now, don’t get me wrong, knowing and understanding current events and the impact they have on daily life is extremely important – but it’s also very depressing. As human beings we thrive on hope. I don’t get that from the news or general fiction; I get that from allowing myself time to explore “what if” in another context and allowing myself to believe that not everything is doom and gloom – or at least it doesn’t have to be.
- What genres are your favorites to read? Why?
I love YA and Fantasy (and if the two are combined then I’m in ecstasy). I also have a soft-spot for a well-written memoir. Again, these fall into the same reasoning as above – I don’t want to be depressed when I read, I want adventure, excitement, and more than a little bit of wonder. In my opinion, a good memoir is one that shows you how exciting someone else’s life really was/is, even if they only faced every-day challenges. It’s all about perspective and an author who knows how to tell a good story.
- Tell us about your two all-time favorite characters: 1 that you wrote and 1 that someone else wrote.
Oooo… that’s a tough one! I guess I’d have to say Yelena from the Poison Study series written by Maria V. Snider. I gobble up almost anything Snider writes and became completely addicted to this series. Yelena is the epitome of a strong female character – she’s vulnerable and kick-ass. I know that may sound like a contradiction but her inner fire and resilience in the face of adversity, as well as the fact that she never loses her humanity, speaks volumes to me.
As for a favourite character that I’ve written… hmm… I might have gone with the main character, Taya, in my SFF series had you asked me last year, but I’ve discovered a new character – Dray. She’s the lead in my Urban Fantasy series. In some ways she’s like Taya and Yelena but I haven’t figured her out yet. There’s a mystery to her and a real sense of confusion that plays more prominently in Dray’s life than it does in the lives of those other characters (not that there isn’t a lot of confuse there too). She’s got me curious. The “what if’s” surrounding her are at the same time much closer to home and yet much farther away – boy, I do love a contradiction!
- There is a lot of controversy about allowing books to be made into movies (especially when they cut or change large portions of the plot). Would you be willing for your books/stories to become a movie? Why or why not?
Oh, great question! I spent time studying film in university and it has brought me such an appreciation for this medium. Honestly, if any book lover is able to see past the blind love of their favourite book to the reality of what it takes to bring a story to the big screen, they will begin to realize that it’s not about re-creating the book but allowing the essence of it to blossom in a new light.
It’s impossible to sell 7 hr long movies on a regular basis and most books, to be done ‘true’, would take at least that long if not longer. I would totally support a major filming company buying the rights to my book(s) – so long as I got final say on the adaptation 😉
- How do you handle writer’s block?
It is not an affliction that has ever plagued me. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not bragging here. I do get stumped sometimes, but that just means that I don’t yet know enough about what I’m writing to be able to write it. So, I either do more research or go for a walk/do some mundane house chores to let my mind wander and explore the possibilities. Then, when I feel like I’m going to burst for holding so much information in my mind, I write. It’s making use of my analytic and creative side – always asking myself “what if?”
- What inspires you?
Curiosity. The need to know and the need to be realistic – LOL! I know! I write SFF 😉 While I’m not what you’d call a “hard” SF writer, I do feel an intrinsic need to make things believable… even plausible based on the general construct of the world around us. That means a lot of research on my end. For my Urban Fantasy series I’ve done a ton of research on myth, fairy tale and creatures of the fantastic. There’s a clear knowledge base of the unknown and absurd that I cannot ignore. It’s not factual per-se but it brings a core understanding to what has come before. Now, I’m not trying to simply re-hash what someone else has done before me – no… I see how I can add a twist that won’t cause die-hard fantasy fans a heart attack but instead, make them cock their head like a dog with curiosity.
- What was the most difficult scene you ever wrote? What made it so hard to write?
Wow. You know, I’d love to tell you it was a death or near-death sequence or the moment when Taya broke down at the fact that even her own mother didn’t recognize her, but the honest truth is that I live for those high-emotion scenes. No, for me I found with book one in The Chronicles of Xanna, the transition from “home” to “other” was a challenge to write. It was the manifestation of the “call to action” for Taya, my female heroine. You see, the important stuff was all in my head – the “implied” information that feels so natural to us as the writer. I had to find a way to bring the proper meaning and weight to this moment without being pedantic or leading. I was having trouble finding that balance between what I knew was right and what my editor was telling me should be happening. But I stuck with it, because I agreed with her – it wasn’t there yet. Luckily, by the final draft and with the addition of a new chapter I nailed it 😉
- How do you respond when people ask what you do, then make that face if you say “I’m an author”?
Generally I don’t get “the face” until they ask me who my publisher is and I tell them I’m self-published… Even when I was with my small publisher (for a short stint) that happened. I don’t think the general public has quite embraced the idea that there are many Indie Authors who produce high-quality books; and so for me, “the face” equates to “so you’re not a serious writer then.” It really depends on the person asking as to which response I give back. If it’s a friend or colleague from another field then I’ll take the time to explain. If it’s someone I’ve only met recently then I won’t waste my time – clearly they’ve already made up their mind.
- At what point would you consider yourself “a successful” author?
This is a tough one for me to answer but I think, ultimately, it’s when enough readers have discovered me, and buy my books, where I’m make a small profit from my labour (and when I say small, I mean small but better than breaking even). Then, in doing more than simply surviving as an author but actually living and breathing a workable reality.
- Finally, tell us where to go to find you:
I would love to connect with you and your readers on any of the following platforms:
Author Website/Blog – http://mjmoores.com
Facebook – http://facebook.com/AuthorMJMoores
Twitter – https://twitter.com/AuthorMJMoores
Amazon – http://goo.gl/oUS3B9
Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/559531
Thank you so much for inviting me to chat with you today!
Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by! Your answers are thought provoking and fun!
Now for a bit of housekeeping. Next Friday is the 25th and apparently there is some sort of huge holiday going on then?? 😀 As such, I’m not going to posting an Author Interview until the following week. Which means….This segment will return to you in 2016!!
Remember, if you would like to be featured in your own Author Interview then you should give me a shout! I can’t wait to hear from you.
Have a wonderful Holiday everyone!