Ester: Today I’m speaking with Marsha A. Moore. Hi Marsha. Tell me, how long have you been writing?
Marsha: I’ve been actively writing for decades, since early college, but didn’t begin writing fiction until about five years ago.
Ester: How did you get started in writing?
Marsha: Growing up, I enjoyed reading and for that reason, followed an English minor college program, actually just for fun, along with my Biology major. Taking lit courses and writing essays for fun–strange, but true! Years later, I worked as a rock music reviewer for several years and from some of those experiences, I tinkered with fiction. Initially, I wrote fiction based on the world of rock music. That’s very sexual, so the erotic elements came naturally. Through a lucky happenstance, a man who worked for a major book publishing house, read my first attempts at fiction and 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, it’s been a waterfall of new and fun experiences.
Ester: I bet! What genre do you write in and why did you choose it?
Marsha: I love escaping into imaginary worlds of fantasy romance and I’m always world-building, even apart from my writing process. It’s who I am.
I’ve always enjoyed reading/researching fantasy writing through the ages in terms of folktales, myth, legend, and lore. My library of those is constantly growing. I often blend ideas of folklore from around the world into my works. I’ve used a foundation of Chinese lore in my recently completed manuscript, The Enchanted Bookstore: Seeking a Scribe, the first of a five-part series. The forces upholding good in that series are the four auspicious Chinese animals: phoenix, unicorn, tortoise, and dragon. These represent the four elements, fire, earth, water, air, respectively, which are believed to balance our world.
Ester: Wow, you got me interested already. I love reading that kind of thing.
Marsha: In my book, Tears on a Tranquil Lake, just released today, I was intrigued by the legends of the pirate Jose Gaspar, known by his nickname Gasparilla. In the winter of 2008, I moved to Tampa, home of the yearly Gasparilla Festival. That inspired me to create a fantasy with a love triangle between a lovely mermaid, a handsome merman , and a smooth-talking pirate captain.
Ester: Now that sounds interesting.
Marsha: I’m just beginning to plot a new novel based upon spiritual legends of ancient India. This tie to lore and myth is a common thread in the fantasy universe of my books.
Ester: Marsha, what was your first published work and how did you get published the first time?
Marsha: My book, Tears on a Tranquil Lake, just releasing today, February 1st, is my debut. I attended a chat held by the staff of MuseItUp Publishing and was so impressed with their friendly, professional manners, I submitted within the next week and was accepted. My first impressions held up–it’s a wonderful group to work with.
Ester: This is an honor to interview you on your release date with your debut novel. How exciting! What do you find is the hardest part of writing a story?
Marsha: The most challenging is to give up time outdoors. Believe me, being new to Tampa from the Midwest, that really is a hardship! As often as possible, I pack up my writing notebook and head to a nearby beach. My most creative ideas come while there and the writing comes fast. Even if I can’t get away to the beach, I create new drafts outside in the backyard on our dock or patio. The brown pelicans have a lot of personality and make great writing companions!
Ester: I envy your beach time! What publishing house and editor are you currently working with?
Marsha: MuseItHot Publishing.
Ester: Did you get to keep the title you chose for your book or did your editor change it?
Marsha: I have three contracts with MuseItHot Publishing and I’ve been able to keep all three titles.
Ester: Great! Did you have a say in the cover art?
Marsha: Yes, lots of say both before the mock up is created and then after.
Ester: Marsha, what are some of your hobbies or interests other than writing?
Marsha: One of my more interesting hobbies is watercolor painting. I’m creating a couple illustrations of scenes from Tears on a Tranquil Lake. These will be converted into digital images and used on promotional items and contest giveaways. I’ll post that artwork on my website once I have them converted into digital copies.
Also, I love to exercise daily. I do yoga in classes or routines at home five days a week. The other days I’m out bicycling or kayaking. I recently purchased a used kayak–my favorite new toy! We live on a large saltwater lagoon and taking it out for an hour or more is a treat.
Ester: I bet it is and Florida is a great place for bicycling–all flat. I live in the mountains and bicycling is hard around here. Tell me, Marsha, do you belong to a critique group or do you have a critique partner?
Marsha: I like to have critique partners. For Tears on a Tranquil Lake, I worked online with a small group of authors from www.writing.com. Once I got settled after moving to Tampa, I found a fantastic opportunity with the Florida Writers Association. They have nearly 40 local critique groups throughout the state, well-coordinated with guidelines to maintain standards. I attend one of their groups in Brandon, Florida. I like a live group because it allows opportunity for brainstorming, expanding the potential for growth and fellowship. They are wonderful and keep me eager to write more.
Ester: How did you celebrate your first contract?
Marsha: My husband and I had a great time going out to dinner at a nice waterside restaurant on Tampa Bay.
Ester: Do you think a web presence is important for unpublished authors?
Marsha: Absolutely. If the individual intends to publish, developing the groundwork of social networking is essential beforehand. There is so much to do involving work with the publishing company while continuing to write new material, anything done ahead of time is valuable.
Ester: Marsha, I appreciate you taking time to answer these questions for me and I wish you luck with your debut novel, Tears on a Tranquil Lake.
Marsha and her husband live in Florida, where she writes full-time. She quit her high school teaching job before she attempted publishing. Marsha will be attending Dragoncon this fall. You can find her book through the following link:
Tears on a Tranquil Lake