Monday, December 17, 2012

Interview with Marsha A Moore

What inspired you to become an author?

I didn’t aim to be a fiction author. My path evolved to this end. While growing up I enjoyed reading, and for that reason I followed an English minor college program, actually just for fun along with a Biology major. Years later, I worked as a rock music reviewer. 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 have a specific writing style?

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 Enchanted Bookstore Legends 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.

Do you write in different genres?

To date, I’ve been writing fantasy romance but am shifting toward magical realism, which is the genre of my new series I’ll be working on next year.

If yes which is your favorite genre to write?

I write epic fantasy with romantic elements and will likely do more in that subgenre.  I 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.

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.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Definitely, there is always a theme of reality behind my fantasy. In this series, the theme of compassion is clearly the correct path toward happiness. That’s one I often use.

Is the book, characters, or any scenes based on a true life experience, someone you know, or events in your own life?

Reality always forms the framework of how my characters interact in my stories. Actually, since this is a five-part series and I’m currently writing book four of five, 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.

What books/authors have influenced your life?

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.

I love Sarah Addison Allen’s magical realism. She’s one of my favorite authors.  The way her characters spring off the page while the magical elements seem so natural really influences me.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

I would love to work with Natasha Mostert or Sarah Addison Allen.  They each have writing skills I admire, as I described above.

What book are you reading now?

I’m currently reading The White Forest by Adam McOmber, Peace is in Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh, and Quiet Mind by David Kundtz. I almost always read some fiction and non-fiction simultaneously.

What is your current “work in progress” or upcoming projects?

I’m writing the fourth book in the Enchanted Bookstore Legends. There will be five total. I still enjoying working with these characters, letting them grow and develop. I’ll miss them when the series ends, but I do have a new series planned that I’m looking forward to. It will be more magical realism than high fantasy.

Do you have to travel much to do research for your books?

I don’t often travel for research but do certainly make good use of travel to spark new ideas for settings and characters. Recently, my husband and I took a cruise around Italy, France, Kotor, and Montenegro. It was wonderful and certainly recharged my creativity. I did gain some ideas for fantasy settings at some of our stops. I was captivated by how the narrow maze-like street layout of Venice bustling with people contrasted with the almost eerie silence of the canals while riding in a gondola. I’m sure that and a few others will show up in my next novels.

Who designed the cover of your latest book?

I designed the covers for the Enchanted Bookstore Legends. I combined techniques of watercolor and digital painting to achieve the illustrated look I wanted for fantasy.

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Always a Booklover – 

Lost Volumes: Enchanted Bookstore Legend Three by Marsha A. Moore
Genre: Fantasy romance


When Lyra McCauley learns residents of Dragonspeir’s Alliance are suffering with a deadly plague, she doesn’t heed the warnings of her fiancé, wizard Cullen Drake, to remain safe in her human world. After all, she’s the present Scribe—one of five strong women in her ancestry who possessed unique magic, each destined to protect the Alliance against the evil Black Dragon of the Dark Realm. With Cullen dependent upon Alliance power to maintain his immortality, the stakes are doubled for Lyra.

She leaves her college teaching and puts herself at risk for the community afflicted by black magic. To find a cure, she and Cullen travel into the vile, lawless underworld of Terza to strike a bargain with an expert. Their efforts further enrage the Black Dragon, vowing to decimate the Alliance and avenge the murder of his heir.

Lyra must secure the three lost volumes of the Book of Dragonspeir. Written by the three earliest Scribes, each book contains energy. Possession of the entire set will enable overthrow of the Dark Realm. Following clues into dangerous lands, Lyra and Cullen seek those volumes. His assistants, Kenzo the tiger owl and Noba the pseudodragon, prove invaluable aids. Only if they succeed, will the Alliance be safe and Lyra reach closer to the immortality she needs to live a life with Cullen.

Series Blurb: Enchanted Bookstore Legends

The Enchanted Bookstore Legends are about Lyra McCauley, a woman destined to become one of five strong women in her family who possess unique magical abilities and serve as Scribes in Dragonspeir. The Scribes span a long history, dating from 1200 to present day. Each Scribe is expected to journey through Dragonspeir, both the good and evil factions, then draft a written account. Each book contains magic with vast implications.

Lyra was first introduced to Dragonspeir as a young girl, when she met the high sorcerer, Cullen Drake, through a gift of one of those enchanted books. Using its magic, he escorted her into the parallel world of Dragonspeir. Years later, she lost that volume and forgot the world and Cullen. These legends begin where he finds her again—she is thirty-five, standing in his enchanted bookstore, and Dragonspeir needs her. 

When Lyra reopens that enchanted book, she confronts a series of quests where she is expected to save the good Alliance from destruction by the evil Black Dragon. While learning about her role, Lyra and Cullen fall in love. He is 220 years old and kept alive by Dragonspeir magic. Cullen will die if Dragonspeir is taken over by the evil faction…Lyra becomes the Scribe.

Author Bio: 

Marsha A. Moore is a writer of fantasy romance. The magic of art and nature spark life into her writing. Her creativity also spills into watercolor painting and drawing. After a move from Toledo to Tampa in 2008, she’s happily transforming into a Floridian, in love with the outdoors. 

Crazy about cycling, she usually passes the 1,000 mile mark yearly. She is learning kayaking and already addicted. She’s been a yoga enthusiast for over a decade and that spiritual quest helps her explore the mystical side of fantasy. She never has enough days spent at the beach, usually scribbling away at new stories with toes wiggling in the sand. 

Every day at the beach is magical! 

Author Links: Website: 

Goodreads author page 

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Marsha A. Moore said...

Roxanne, thanks lots for interviewing me today!