Author name: Michael J Moore
Books: After the Change (YA) (published by MKM Bridge Press 2019); Highway Twenty (Horror) (published by Hellbound Books 2019); Secret Harbor (Literary/Thriller) (to be published by Black Writing in June 2020)
What’s your story and how did you become a writer? I grew up an hour north of Seattle, in a small town called Mount Vernon, Washington. As far back as I can remember, though, I’ve always had an infatuation with bigger cities and horror. When I was in the fourth grade. I remember writing a short thriller, and the school librarian was so impressed that she encouraged me to enter into some young authors contests. I never did, but I wrote periodically after that. All my English teachers pushed me to pursue writing and in the back of my mind, I always planned to. It wasn’t until a few years ago, when I was twenty-nine, that I realized that writing wasn’t just something I was good at, but what I needed to be doing. So I wrote my first book After the Change and I’ve never looked back. I’ve since landed three book deals through different publishers, two of which will be released this year, one of my books was adapted into a play, and was performed in Seattle last year and I’ve had more than a dozen short stories accepted for publication.
How do you balance your work with other demands? With great difficulty. Being a writer and a Father and a husband has all sorts of demands. I just try to make sure I write two thousand words a day and when that’s done, I concentrate on my other responsibilities.
Name one of the happiest moments in your life: The happiest moments in my life were the birth of my two daughters, Gaby and Jazi, closely followed by my current horror novel Highway Twenty being placed on the Preliminary Ballot for Superior Achievement in a Novel for the Bram Stoker Award.
What’s your approach to writing? Are you a “pantser” or a planner? I am definitely a “pantser.” Writing is such a personal and intimate thing, that it’s hard to say where my process differs from others’. I do most of my first draft work in longhand, which I imagine is becoming less frequent these days. I don’t work from an outline. I know some authors do, but it has a negative effect on my creativity. I find the story’s able to play out more organically and less predictable if I don’t plot it too heavily.
Could you write in a café with people around? I could definitely do my marketing and answering of interview questions in a café but I could not write my two thousand words in a café as I need silence. I used to write with the radio playing but I guess old age has affected me and I can’t anymore. Where do I actually write? It’s the most bland, little room you could imagine, with white walls and a tiny wooden desk–two feet, by two feet. It keeps me from becoming distracted during the long hours I spend in it, and allows me to retreat into my real writing space, which is the part of my mind where the stories get stuck after having found their way in.
Have you ever written dialogue in a second language? If so, how did you do it? No I haven’t but I’d like one day to write a book in Spanish given my Latino roots. I would be delighted however if my books were translated into other languages by a translator. What an honour!
What’s your favorite book and what are you reading now? I’m a huge fan of Stephen King. My favourite book is one of his called Joyland. As for what I’m reading now – once again it’s another Stephen King book called The Outsiders.
What’s your favorite way to read a book: hardcover, paperback, eReader? I only read books in paperback. My children love ebooks and my wife likes all formats except hardcover. I’d have to say that hardcover is the least favourite in our family.
Do you think print books will always be around? Absolutely, I’d like to think so. When the internet was invented, the postal services feared that they would go out of business yet they are making just as much profit as ever. The same with movie theatres when Netflix became popular. I feel the same way about print books. There will always be a market for them.
Would you ever read a book on your phone? I wouldn’t read a book on my phone but my wife and children would. I know my wife does a lot of waiting around for the children and so she often reads short stories on her phone if she’s forgotten her devices.
What’s your go-to device? iPhone, Android or something else? My go to device is my tablet. I use any form of tablet I can get my hands on. I write on the tablet too if I’m not at home. I’m not a fan of a certain brand.
How long could you go without checking your phone? I’d say as long as it takes to write two thousand words. So much of my marketing is done on Twitter and Facebook that the phone becomes a part of me as it’s portable and more relaxing to work with.
Do you listen to audiobooks? If you do, what do you do while you’re listening? No, I don’t listen to audiobooks. My wife used to when she was pregnant and I know she does now. Both of my published books After the Change and Highway Twenty are available on Audible and my wife has listened to both of them.
Do you like using social media to promote yourself and your book? If so, what’s your favorite platform? Social media is a necessity, whether we like it or not. I use mostly Twitter and Facebook but am present on the others too.
Awards/special recognition: Honorable Mention in the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future contest; Preliminary Ballot for Superior Achievement in a Novel for the Bram Stoker Award 2019
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