Author Interview with M.J. Moores

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!

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  • 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.

 Time's Tempest - Official Book Cover

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?”

 

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  • 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

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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!

Author Interview – Ellison Blackburn

Hello everyone and welcome to this week’s fabulous Author Interview! It’s Friday, it’s December, and it’s time to talk to Ellison Blackburn! First, though, I would like to thank you all for your participation. When I started this segment,I was afraid we wouldn’t have enough authors participating to last through September. Now look at us, into December and more to come! I couldn’t be happier with it. I hope you feel the same! 

Now that I’ve gushed about you a bit, let’s see what Ms. Blackburn has to tell us!

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  • What name do you write under? Is this a pseudonym? Do you use more than one name when you write?

Ellison Blackburn, it is not a pen name—rather a variation of my real name and so far I have only used this one.

  • Tell us about the first time you realized that you were an author or were going to be an author.

Last year, my husband and I were just talking about our careers and this idea popped into my head, “In hindsight, …” and Regeneration X was born.

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At the very beginning when I started writing Regeneration X, I wasn’t even cognitive of it becoming a novel. The characters just took over and it evolved into a ninety-thousand-word story.

  • What genre(s) do you write in, and why?

Literary, Visionary, and Medical/Science fiction

Science Fiction allows me to be a part of a world of my own making, and one that incorporates the past, present, and future of my imagination—a skewed reality. Regeneration X, book 1, is rather on the soft science fiction side as the technology doesn’t exist but the advanced world is not as apparent through the protagonist’s viewpoint.

Regeneration Chronicles have/will have multi-generational characters and could be classified in a variety of ways—Literary / Medical / Visionary / Science / Contemporary / Psychological / Women’s / Young Adult Fiction. There is also a touch of urban fantasy. It’s complicated.

Cross-genre tomes are almost always more interesting (for me anyway). This sounds like a lot of fun!

  • What genres are your favorites to read? Why?

I often find myself leaning toward historical fiction and romance when looking for something to read, that or science fiction of the Harry Potter more so than the close encounters kind.

  • Tell us about your two all-time favorite characters: 1 that you wrote and 1 that someone else wrote.

Cassidy McCrae, from my upcoming second book in the Regeneration Chronicles, Progeny. Cassidy is my imaginary best friend, supportive with a realistic backbone, and complex herself, but has a way of simplifying things for everyone else.

I have loads of favorite characters. They vary as time passes and I discover/meet new favorites. Most recently I’ve discovered Diana Gabaldon’s Jamie Fraser from Outlander. Beyond his incredible sex appeal, he is a fantastically intriguing character.

Jamie Fraser is one of my favorite characters as well. His evolution over the series is amazing, but his charm and humor remain throughout it all. 

  • 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?

Yes, I’d be willing. Regeneration X requires the reader to delve into the concept of altering life choices already made and then dealing with the good and bad that comes with those new choices. A large part of the main character’s personality is internalized. It would be interesting to see this translated to film. I also think the current cinema offerings could use a mental film like Regeneration X. Psychological films do not always need to be thrillers do they?

Definitely not! In fact, some of the most intriguing (and down right mind-messing) movies I’ve seen were psychological non-thrillers…and scared me more than the thrillers.

  • How do you handle writer’s block?

I keep on keeping on at it. I try to write a little bit every day. Once that first sentence is down, my flow usually builds. I haven’t therefore experienced a block and I can’t really say it exists until I do. I have however boxed myself into a storyline and had to find my way out.

  • What inspires you?

In life, writing inspires me; in writing, travelling provokes fresh ideas.

Perfect!

  • How do you respond when people ask what you do, then make that face if you say, “I’m an author”?

I don’t say I’m an author when asked about my profession per se. I wish it were, but I’m not there yet. Authorship is something I fell into. For now it’s not a career insomuch as it is an act of personal fulfillment.

If it is what you love, then maybe it should be on the resume too? 😀 Sometimes the joy a hobby brings can help create your career in ways you could never have imagined.

  • Finally, tell us where to go to find you

Website: http://ellisonblackburn.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/ellisonblackburn

Author Central: http://amazon.com/author/ellisonblackburn/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ellis_blackburn

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ellisonblackburn

Google+: https://google.com/+EllisonBlackburn-Author

Thank you so much for sharing with us today Ellison! I think I can speak for our readers in saying we look forward to seeing more from you. 

Remember, if you would like to be featured in your own interview and are an author, illustrator, artist, photographer (yes that is an art, yes I’ve been asked specifically), agent, publisher, songwriter, etc. please let me know! We’ll get you set up with your very own feature.

Have a great Day!

Author Interview: Melissa Barker-Simpson

Thank you all for joining us here for another fabulous edition of Author Interview Friday! Today it is my great pleasure to welcome to Melissa Barker-Simpson, author of many genres, into our midst. Let’s get this party started!

  • What name do you write under? Is this a pseudonym? Do you use more than one name when you write?

I write under my own name, and a pseudonym. Though all my novels have an element of romance, I write strictly contemporary romance using the pen-name Nat Hobson (which was my great-grandfather’s name).

  • Tell us about the first time you realized that you were an author or were going to be an author.

Probably the moment I received a copy of my first published book in 2008. It was odd seeing my name on the front. It still feels surreal!

  • What genre(s) do you write in, and why?

My current novel is a fantasy, the one before that science fiction. I also have a crime thriller series, which is what I’m working on at the moment. I’ve always been drawn to science fiction. The first novel I wrote as a teenager was sci-fi, though it will probably never see the light of day!

  • What genres are your favorites to read? Why?

That’s a tough one. I read so many different genres now. It used to be science fiction, but I’m delving more into dark fantasy, and I’ve always been a fan of horror; James Herbert, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and Clive Barker, being among my favourites. I enjoy travelling to new worlds and sharing the journey with intriguing characters.

  • Tell us about your two all-time favorite characters: 1 that you wrote and 1 that someone else wrote.

(1) I’ll start with a favourite of mine – Barry Fielding. He was only ever supposed to be a minor character, but his inherent charm convinced me to give him a much bigger role! He’s intelligent, and funny, and more complex than I realised. He constantly takes me by surprise. Barry is getting his own book later this year (to be published next year), so you can expect to hear more about him soon.

(2) Jack Reacher springs to mind (by Lee Child), so I’ll go with him. I’m terrible when it comes to choosing favourites, so instead of talking myself out of the answer, I’ll move on! Reacher is a military man; he’s tough, but fair, and highly skilled. I don’t think he goes looking for trouble, but it finds him anyway.

 

  • 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?

It would be both terrifying and thrilling to see my characters on the big screen. I enjoy it when books are adapted, interpreted for a different medium, and are able to separate themselves (as much as they can) from the original material. I also enjoy when books, or the essence of them – the characters – are adapted for television. I can see the team I created, Morgan and Fairchild, causing havoc with their own series. But it would be great fun.

  • How do you handle writer’s block?

I don’t really suffer from writers block per se. There are times when I’m stuck with a particular scene, or dissatisfied with my work in progress. At those times I take a step back (some would call it avoidance!). I usually work on something else, until the characters draw me back in and the words start to flow again. I always try to write something.

  • What inspires you?

Other writers; bloggers; my friends and family, and people I meet while interpreting. I find inspiration in everyday situations, and find my mind wandering constantly. I feel fortunate to have so many different characters in my head. They inspire me to tell their story, and connect with others.

  • How do you respond when people ask what you do, then make that face if you say “I’m an author”?

If I’m honest, I still say sign language interpreter when I’m asked ‘what I do’. If I mention the writing, I use the word writer, as opposed to author. The question I dread is ‘what do you write’ or, if talking about a specific book, ‘what’s it about?’

  • Finally, tell us where to go to find you please!)

https://booklaunch.io/mbarkersimpson/thefallen

https://booklaunch.io/mbarkersimpson/changingworlds

https://booklaunch.io/mbarkersimpson/sinsofthefather

https://booklaunch.io/mbarkersimpson/handsofevil

https://booklaunch.io/mbarkersimpson/thefifthwatcher

Blog: http://www.mbarkersimpson.wordpress.com

Website: http://www.mbarkersimpson.co.uk

Email: info@mbarkersimpson.co.uk

Twitter handle: @mbarkersimpson

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/melissabarkersimpson

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/mbarkersimpson

Thank you Melissa! What great responses this week!

Remember, if you or someone you know is an author, illustrator, photographer, agent, publisher, or coffee fetcher who would like their own featured interview here, please let me know!

Have a marvelous day!

Sudden Silence

I don’t usually jump genres like this. In fact, I almost never write something that might turn into a science fiction piece. I’ve only written one so far this year because I try to leave that to the experts…but today my prompt took a bit more of a turn than I was expecting so here it is, my friends. An honest to goodness comedic attempt at a quick science fiction piece. I hope you like it!

 

Sudden Silence

Denise woke shivering in the deep dark of midnight. There was something in the silky blackness, something she could feel but not see. Before the woman could decide to be scared, she had to know what was sending goose bumps to pop up on her knee caps. After all, she was a strong woman who didn’t frighten easily. Rising to slide her feet into her soft lime green monster slippers, Denise opened her mouth to call out, “—-“. Nothing. No sound would emerge from her throat, no matter how much she strained to shout. Reaching for her bedside lamp, Denise was immediately thrown into a tizzy when the switch clicked, but the light did not.

Now that she thought about it, there weren’t any stars or street lamps either, and no car had driven by since she woke up. What was going on? Something bad probably, something alien maybe…or something her crazy brother planned out as a prank. That’s it! She groped around on the table until nudging the edge of her thin cell phone, but when she hit the button even the backlight stayed silent.

Now she was madder than a wet hornet and didn’t remember to worry as she marched downstairs, out the front door, and down the street in her oversized football jersey and bobbing should-be-glowing-in-the-dark-but-aren’t house shoes. Counting her steps in the way her friends and brother called ‘obsessive’ saved her from bumps and bruises as she glided through down the street and up her brother’s walkway, hopping up three stairs and dodging her niece’s fairy covered mini-rover. Banging on Joseph’s door, Denise tapped her foot impatiently, the sharp noises startling her in the best way possible and proving that not everything had disappeared from her life.

Inside the clapboard house was filled with sounds as Joseph and Julia woke and stumbled through the house, shouting in pain and surprise as lights remained dark and they tripped over Tabby’s scattered toys. “WHAT?!?!?” Joseph yanked the door violently, peering into the darkness as if he could see who was knocking by sheer stubbornness. “Who’s there??”

“Who is it Jo?” Julia called from mid-way down the stairs, having tripped over more than enough toys in the dark she was refusing to come further without good cause.

“I don’t know ye – oof!” Joseph doubled over in the doorway, an unseen hand having pinched his chest and elbowed his solar plexus. “It’s Denny,” he groaned. “Denise why aren’t you talking? Are you ok.”

In response she stopped his toes and giggled, albeit silently, as she scooted into the house. Julia stumbled down the stairs and met her sister-in-law on the landing, where they lit a tall candle and waited impatiently for Joseph to join them in the wavering ring of light.

“What is going?” Joseph demanded again. “Why is there an electrical outage when there isn’t even a storm??”

“—“ Denise still couldn’t force a sound out of her mouth, so she rifled through the drawers and, coming up with a receipt and a pencil stub, wrote out, “What did you do??”

“I didn’t do anything??” Joseph’s eyebrows furrowed as he tried to make sense of his sister’s odd behavior. “And why are you writing things out? Are you ok nise?”

“— – — —- —- – – — — — – -“ With hands flying, lips moving, and even spittle spraying Denise let her brother have it, all the things she had always wanted to say about how STUPID it was to ask people obviously having issues if they’re ok, how silly his batman shorts complete with half cape looked, and how absolutely RIDICULOUS his pranks were. Of course, no sound came out but having lived with her for all but the first two years of his life, Joseph got a very clear picture of what she was saying to him. “I didn’t do whatever it is that you think I did.” Jo held his hands up in surrender as she silently screamed at him. “I didn’t even pull a prank on the lights.”

“What happened to them then?” Julia asked suspiciously, knowing her husband’s great love of inappropriate pranking.

“I don’t…ooooh.”

“Excuse me,” a short, humanoid figure in hot pink shorts that shimmered over silver skin knocked on the front door and interrupted the family argument. “I hate to interrupt but could you give me directions to the Capitol Diner please? I’m supposed to meet someone there tonight and I’m hopelessly lost.”

Joseph promptly fainted and, though she never regained full use of her voice, Denise was able to bark laughter at her older brother as their visitor thanked Julia for the directions and went on her way, streetlights flipping back on once she passed by.

The three befuddled neighbors were the only witnesses to…whatever it was that had happened, and no one ever found out why the perfectly healthy thirty-something lost her ability to speak.