What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?
I’m Marsha A. Moore and am originally a Hoosier, born in Terre Haute, Indiana. Today, I live in the Tampa area with my husband. We moved from the Toledo, Ohio area three years ago, so I’m still learning to be a Floridian. We love it here! The change has been a wonderful adventure. I like being outdoors any day I choose, whether I’m kayaking, hiking, or cycling. I love the water and aspire to be a beach bum. I write chapters for my book on our dock or at the beach. Inspiration from nature fuels my writing.
Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
As early as I can remember I’ve always been driven by creativity. In college, I wanted to pursue Literature and Fine Art, but my parents encouraged me to study Biology, so I might eventually find a reliable job. That was fine, since I liked that subject also. My compromise—a Biology major and an English minor. I wrote essays as a fun break from my full load of Science. Yes, weird that I thought writing essays was fun…still do!
When did you first consider yourself as a "writer"?
I didn’t aim to be a fiction author. My path evolved to this end. Years after graduating, I worked as a rock music reviewer just for fun. During that time, I was inspired by some of those experiences and tinkered with fiction. Initially, I wrote fiction based on the world of rock music. Through a lucky happenstance, a man who worked for a major book publishing house read my first attempts at fiction, which were posted on a music forum. He repeatedly encouraged me to submit my creative writing. Over time, I came to believe him and did. After that, a new world opened up and it’s been a wonderful time.
Do you work another job as well as your writing work?
I write full-time, but my hobbies often transform into part-time jobs. I recently enrolled in a yoga teacher training program. I want to take my practice to a deeper level. Beyond personal gain, I’m eager to see what paths open to me that will allow me to share this wonderful way of life with others. I’m keenly interested in working to help those in need of rehabilitation from injury or illness. I’ve taught high school for seventeen years and my parents were teachers, so teaching is a natural part of my life. I gain from giving.
Who is your publisher? or do you self publish?
I have some books released by a publisher, MuseItUp Publishing, and others self published.
How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
I plan a new book or series for many months while I’m writing another. Once I begin the actual writing process, it takes about three to four months to have a draft ready to give to my editor.
What can we expect from you in the future? ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
I love epic fantasy and will likely do more in that subgenre. I especially enjoy reading magical realism, mythpunk, and mythic fiction—all subgenres that sit on the border between fantasy and literary fiction. I expect my writing will shift in that direction over time.
Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
I’m currently finishing up writing the third Enchanted Bookstore Legend, Lost Volumes. I’m expecting a September release for that book.
What genre would you place your books into?
What made you decide to write that genre of book?
I like the complexity of fantasy, the feeling of being transported into another world. However, most fantasy books are written for young adults. In my reading, I longed to find more fantasies written for adults. The element of romance I include is far less about adding sex than about adding deeper connections between the hero and heroine, allowing them to be more three-dimensional and work with more complex issues.
Do you have a favourite out of the books you have written? If so why is it your favourite?
I am in love with the series I’m presently writing—the Enchanted Bookstore Legends. It’s a blast to write all the interwoven subplots, clues, and red herrings that will be unwind slowly in later books. The scope of an epic fantasy written over a series of five books is something I’m really enjoying.
Do you have a favourite character from your books? and why are they your favourite?
This is a truly epic tale with a large and wonderful cast of otherworldly characters, including many talking animals. My main characters, Lyra and Cullen, must attempt difficulties that stretch their abilities over numerous quests. But, my secondary characters often bring laughter and lighten their loads, or encourage their strengths to persevere. I’m in the middle of writing the third book, so by now the personalities of my secondary animal characters really shine and they feel very real to me. I’m especially fond of my dragons, but one type stands out as a favorite—pseudodragons.
Pseudodragons are not true dragons. They are much smaller, being only three feet long, including their tails. In my legends, we get to know the pseudodragon Cullen keeps as his wizard’s familiar—a typical role for this species. His name is Noba, and he is a tiny burgundy-colored pseudodragon who has a heart of gold that makes people melt.
If you had to choose to be one of your characters in your book/books which would you be? and why?
Easily I would be Lyra. Reality always forms the framework of my stories. Actually, since this is a five-part series and I’m currently writing book #3, the more I look at this story, the more of myself I see. My heroine, Lyra, is very much connected to me. Even in the first chapter of the first book, the childhood memories brought to her mind by Cullen’s magical tea are actually all mine. How Lyra interacts with her Aunt Jean has been a way for me to work through my own issues with my mother’s failing health. Some scenes intentionally connect to my own experiences, like those, and others surprise me much later when I’m polishing my draft to send to my editor. I shake my head and hope no one other than my crit partners can identify the similarities.
How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book/books?Who designed the Cover of your books?
I designed the covers for my Enchanted Bookstore Legends. I combined techniques of watercolor and digital painting to achieve the illustrated look I wanted for fantasy.
Do you basic plot/plan for your book, before you actually begin writing it out? Or do you let the writing flow and see where it takes the story?
My process begins with a setting I find interesting, somewhere I’d like to spend some time. In writing fantasy, world-building is everything. Then, I create the main characters, appearance and personality. From there, how they will become involved goes hand-in-hand with developing the plot. I do outline a lot, since there are many interwoven subplots in this series. This series is epic in scope, and details would get lost if I didn’t plan. Outside of the key features on the outline, I do allow the in-between progress in each chapter to flow freely, which I enjoy a lot. Some of the most imaginative bits arise that way.
What do you do to unwind and relax? Do you have a hobby?
I relax by creating. I love to draw, paint, and knit. I also enjoy gardening. My active hobbies include yoga, cycling, and kayaking.
Are there any hidden messages or morals contained in your books? (Morals as in like Aesops Fables type of "The moral of this story is..")
Yes. The underlying theme is that compassion will win over evil.
What is your favourite book and Why? Have you read it more than once?
I loved Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift. The symbolism is amazing; the more you read, the more layers you find. Inspired by that, I like to hide things in my stories.
From the present, picking one book is too hard. The Harry Potter series is one of my all-time favorites. Again, the layering of hidden plots, which spin to completion later in the series, really captures my imagination. The last few books that really pulled me in were Natasha Mostert’s Season of the Witch and Erin Morgenstern’s Night Circus. In both of those, magic caused mental effects for both the giver and receiver. I enjoy the complexity of that theme and employ it myself in a very different way. My heroine, Lyra, must learn to mentally control her vast inherited powers as the new Scribe. That is something she struggles to master through the series.
What are you currently reading? Are you enjoying it? What format is it?(ebook, hardback or paperback)
I am currently reading Dragon Keeper by Robin Hobb in ebook format, One Song: A New Illustrated Rumi in hardback, and Yoga and Meditation by Stephen Cope in hardback, and Practicing Sigil Magic by Frater U.D. in paperback. I am enjoying each one. Dragon Keeper is for fun, Practicing Sigil Magic is for writing research, and the other two are to expand my yoga practice.
What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?
Don’t work alone. Use a critique group. I love my crit partners. They’re my best friends. They keep me motivated, cheer with me for my successes, and support me when any hardships come along. My group is local, though the Florida Writers Association. I think it’s extremely important to find a local crit group rather than working only online. We benefit so much from collectively brainstorming how to solve everyone’s writing problems.
Do you or would you ever use a pen name?
I do use a pen name. The last name I use, Moore, is actually my mother’s maiden name, easier to spell and remember. I like it because it still feels like me.
Where can readers follow you?
Your Blog details? http://MarshaAMoore.blogspot.com
Your Web site ? http://MarshaAMoore.com
Your Facebook page? http://www.facebook.com/marshaamooreauthorpage
Your Goodreads author page? http://www.goodreads.com/marshaamoore
Your Twitter details? http://twitter.com/MarshaAMoore
And any other information you wish to supply?
Fantasy Faction staff page: http://fantasy-faction.com/staff-members?uid=38