Thursday, October 15, 2015

THE GAL'S 31 DAYS OF HORROR: AMONG THE STACKS: James A. Moore


The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Hello, James.  It's been a crazy busy day for you, so I'm glad you were able to take some time to join us here today.  Welcome :)
            Tell us a little bit about yourself.

James A. Moore:
What I can tell you isn't really that exciting.  I've lived all over the country, because my father left home before I was born and my mother did her best raising six of us.  As a result I developed a powerful love of reading that later became my foundation for writing.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What are five things most people don't know about you?

James A. Moore:
1) I'm a bit of an introvert.  2) I'm a widower.  3) I'm a diabetic.  4) I'm a movie junkie.  5) I also work a full-time job on the side.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What is the first book you remember reading?

James A. Moore:
Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What are you reading now?

James A. Moore:
Mountain Home by Bracken Macleod and Shutter by Courtney Alameda.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What made you decide you want to write?  When did you begin writing?

James A. Moore:
My choices were a) writing or b) fast food clerk.  I liked the idea of writing better.  All kidding aside, I was working at being a comic book illustrator when an editor at marvel comics told me I was a horrid artist and a very good storyteller and that I should reexamine my options.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Do you have a special place you like to write?

James A. Moore:
Mostly in my office, but sometimes I'll take the laptop into my living room for a change of scenery.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Do you have any quirks or processes that you go through when you write?

James A. Moore:
I like to listen to music very softly and I like to be surrounded by my favorite knick knacks.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

James A. Moore:
I absolutely hate outlining my work.  I feel it takes away the spontaneity.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What books have most inspired you?  Who are some authors that have inspired your writing style?

James A. Moore:
Easily the best two books about writing I've ever read were both by Stephen King: Danse Macabre and On Writing.  Both are phenomenal explanations of the process with enough footnotes to keep my library stocked for a dozen years.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What do you think makes a good story?

James A. Moore:
Character.  The rest is secondary for me.  Give me characters I can love or hate and the rest is easy.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What does it take for you to love a character?  How do you utilize that when creating your characters?

James A. Moore:
I like to say that characters are like the legend of the Golem.  When they are working their very best, they have a life of their own.  Make me believe they are real.  You take those same characters, put them in an unusual s situation and watch how they react.  I am infinitely fascinated by the results.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?

James A. Moore:
GAH!  That's a challenge.  Of my recent characters, Andover Lashk, because he faces his world with a great deal of trepidation, but he manages to get through the day and to evolve and learn from his encounters.  That's what I want to be, what I want to do.  I want to evolve and survive.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Are you turned off by a bad cover?  To what degree were you involved in creating your book covers?

James A. Moore:
I HATE bad book covers.  A book cover is a promise.  Make what is inside somehow link to what is on the cover or as a publisher you have failed your audience.  I have a lot of feedback with some presses and less with others.  With the Seven Forges books, I have been asked what I'd like to see and the involvement has been fairy substantial.  I love it.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What have you learned creating your books?

James A. Moore:
That writing is a pleasure, and it can be a nightmare, too.  I love the process, but creating something and then fine tuning it are different beasts.  I am, however, happily addicted to writing.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What has been the hardest scene for you to write so far?

James A. Moore:
Wow.  That's actually a tough question.  I think when I was writing Deeper was, in general, the hardest thing I've ever written because it was an 85,000 word novels that was told solely in the first person and that was by far the largest first person piece I'd ever done.  The story Spirits was also a challenge because it was a very fast piece to write and it was very personal.  The work dealt with grief and I was still recovering from my wife passing away.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?

James A. Moore:
I'm probably the last person that can say.  I have had a few friends say that my fantasy is different because I bring a lot of my horror roots to it.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
How important is the book title, how hard is it to choose the best one, and how did you choose yours (of course, with no spoilers)?

James A. Moore:
Honestly, titles are easy for me.  I just try to think about what the story centers around.  Sometimes I pick song titles because they are fun, like Black Train Blues or Black White Page.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What makes you feel more fulfilled: Writing a novel or writing a short story?

James A. Moore:
Short stories are great because there is a fast sense of satisfaction.  Novels are better, though, because there is a very serious sense of accomplishment when you finish a work that takes a month or more to finish in the first draft alone.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Tell us a little bit about your books, your target audience, and what you would like readers to take away from your stories.

James A. Moore:
My best answer for this question (and you are good at challenging questions.  Yes, that's a compliment) is that I want people to have fun with what I write.  My audience?  People who like to read.  I don' really go much father than that.  I want people to have a good time with the tales I tell, even if the tales are dark and not very happy.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Can you tell us about some of the deleted scenes/stuff that got left out of your work?

James A. Moore:
There really isn't much, honestly.  Normally the only stuff I leave out is the stuff that just isn't working.  The one exception was a scene I wrote for a YA novel that was too close to a suicide scene and I didn't even realize that until the editors asked me to change it a few times.  They wouldn't say why, they didn't want to hinder me, but when I thought about it, I realized that it was just too much like an invitation for teens to do harm to themselves.  Basically, a not quite human character planned to lobotomize himself with a .22 caliber gun.  I could see their point, even if they weren't actually making it clearly.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What is in your 'trunk'?  (Everyone has a book or project, which doesn't necessarily have to be book related, that they have put aside for a 'rainy day' or for when they have extra time.  Do you have one?)

James A. Moore:
I have two incomplete novels.  I'll be finishing them ASAP.  One is a weird western with my recurring character, Jonathan Crowley.  It's called Boom Town.  The other is a dark urban fantasy called Fresh Kill.  It's just a matter of having the time.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What can we expect from you in the future?

James A. Moore:
I have new fantasy series starting up after I finish the Seven Forges books, that is tentatively called The Tides of War.  The first book is called The Last Sacrifice.  This will NOT be the feel good series of the year.  I've been asked to finish off the Blood Red series of novels (Blood Red and Blood Harvest) and I have a few surprises lined up.  Among them is a graphic noel, and a few collaborations.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Where can we find you?  (You know, STaLKeR links.)

James A. Moore:
Website ** Blog ** Facebook ** Twitter
That ought to keep folks busy for a few minutes. :)

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
It was great having you here today, James.  
            Before you go, do you have any closing words for your fans or anything you'd like to say that we didn't get to cover in his interview?

James A. Moore:
Thanks to everyone whose been reading my works and thanks for the interview.  It's been fun!


About the author:
James A. Moore is the award winning author of over twenty novels, thrillers, dark fantasy and horror alike, including the critically acclaimed FireworksUnder the OvertreeBlood Red, the Serenity Falls trilogy (featuring his recurring anti-hero, Jonathan Crowley) and his most recent novels, Seven ForgesThe Blasted Lands and the forthcoming City of Wonders.  In addition to writing multiple short stories, he has also edited, with Christopher Golden and Tim Lebbon, the British Invasion anthology for Cemetery Dance Publications.
            The author cut his teeth in the industry writing for Marvel Comics and authoring over twenty role-playing supplements for White Wolf Games, including Berlin by NightLand of 1,000,000 Dreams and The Get of Fenris Tribebook for Vampire: The Masquerade and Werewolf: The Apocalypse, among others.  He also penned the White Wolf novels Vampire: House of Secrets and Werewolf: Hell-Storm.
            Moore's first short story collection, Slices, sold out before ever seeing print.  He recently finished his latest novels Seven Forges and Congregation of the Dead (with co-author Charles R. Rutledge).  He is currently at work on several additional projects, including the forthcoming The Silent Army.

About the books:

Seven Forges 1: Seven Forges
Genre: Epic Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, Horror
Publisher: Angry Robot
Publication date: 9.24.2013
Pages: 389

Captain Merros Dulver is the first in many lifetimes to find a path beyond the great mountains known as the Seven Forges and encounters, at last, the half-forgotten race who live there.  And it would appear that they were expecting him.  As he returns home, bringing an entourage of strangers with him, he starts to wonder whether his discovery has been such a good thing.  For the gods of this lost race are the gods of war, and their memories of that far-off cataclysm have not faded.
            The people of Fellein have live with legends for many centuries.  To their far north, the Blasted Lands, a legacy of an ancient time of cataclysm, are vast, desolate and impassable, but that doesn't stop the occasional expedition into their fringes in search of any trace of the ancients who had once lived there... and oft-rumored riches.

Seven Forges 2: The Blasted Lands
Genre: Epic Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, Horror
Publisher: Angry Robot
Publication date: 6.24.2014
Pages: 390

The Empire of Fellein is in mourning.  The Emperor is dead, and the armies of the empire have grown soft.  Merros Dulver, their newly-appointed - and somewhat reluctant - commander, has been tasked with preparing them to fight the most savage enemy the world has yet seen.
            Meanwhile, a perpetual storm ravages the Blasted Lands, and a new threat is about to arise - the Broken are coming, and with them only Death.

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