Author Interview: Christopher Moore

SerpentFor this week’s author interview, I sat down with the author of the upcoming book, The Serpent of Venice (Release date: April 22), Christopher Moore. And by sat down with, I mean I sat down in front of my computer and emailed him the questions, to which I assume he sat down in front of his computer to answer. I’m sure at some point we were sitting down at the same time. Anyhoo! Chris graciously agreed to answer my questions. So without further ado…

Read my Review of The Serpent of Venice

The Serpent of Venice is being released soon, but it’s been finished on your end for a while. What projects are you currently working on?

I’m still working on the stage play of Fool, as well as a new novel, which is the sequel to A Dirty Job. I don’t have title for it yet, but I’m open to suggestions.

Any chance of future Pine Cove books?

Not likely. Pine Cove was my “go to” location for a book because it was based on the town I lived in, Cambria, California. When I was up against deadline and I didn’t have either the money or the time for research, I’d set a book in Pine Cove. I left Cambria ten years ago, now, so I think San Francisco has become my “go to” location.

Which of your books was the most fun to research/write?

The most fun to research was Fluke, I think. I got to spend most of a season working with whale researchers in Maui, out on the boats with them, dining with them. I met a lot of cool people in the marine mammal sciences and got to see a lot of cool animals. Being in the water with singing humpbacks was one of the most amazing moments I’ve had in life. Sometimes, the ones that are really fun to research, however, are really hard to write, which both Fluke and Sacre Bleu were. Fun to research, tough to write, because there was so much source material to take into account.

The vampire books were the most fun to write because they weren’t the vehicles for big themes or big concepts provided by research. They were just funny characters in a great setting and GO! Especially the first one, Bloodsucking Fiends. Great fun to write. Like hanging out with your funny imaginary friends.

 What did you want to be when you were growing up?

That changed over the years. When I was little I wanted to be a sailor (my dad and uncles were Navy guys), then a football player, then an actor, a writer, a photographer, an anthropologist, and finally back to writer.

 What are you currently reading?

I’m reading, Nation, by Terry Pratchett. It’s a kids book set on a Pacific Island in the mid 1800s. I’d just finished his book Dodger, which is the continuing adventures of the Artful Dodger from Oliver Twist, and I liked it so much that my editor sent me Nation. As usual I’m about half-way through a couple of other books. A Place More Kind that Home, by Wiley Cash (I loved his second book, This Long Road to Mercy, so I’m catching up), and an Irish satire called Jude In London, by Julian Gough.

What’s the most bizarre question you’ve been asked about yourself or your books?

Someone once asked me if I was related to Michael Moore, the film director, and when I asked them why they would ask (since Moore is like the 9th most common name in the U.S.) they said, “The baseball cap,” because I was wearing a Giants hat and Michael Moore often wears a baseball cap. As if baseball caps were passed through the genome or something. I just thought it was very weird.

Do you have a question that you wish people would stop asking you?

Yes: “Are any movies being made of your books?”  Because I’ve been telling people no for 25 years, even though most of them have been purchased or optioned for film. And I don’t know why people pay for them but then don’t make them into movies. Also, “Where do you get your ideas?” It’s a stupid question. But you know what they say, there are no stupid questions, only stupid people.

Do you have a dream festival, conference, bookstore etc that you’d like to be invited to?

Not really. I don’t think much about that sort of thing. I get invited to festivals in Italy and Spain all the time, even in Germany, but never in France. I wouldn’t mind going to France more often on someone else’s dime.

What writer, alive or dead, do you wish you could take to an amusement park?

Jeeze. Maybe Jane Austin, because standing in line for her would probably feel like exciting action.

Who are a couple of authors you’d suggest your fans read while they await your next book?

Well, if you haven’t read all of Kurt Vonnegut and Douglas Adams, do that first. After that, you’re always good with an Elmore Leonard. Nick Hornby, too.

Who’s your hero?

Odysseus

What exotic animal would you like to have as a pet?

A pygmy marmoset. They’re cool.

Pre-order The Serpent of Venice

I’d like to thank Christopher Moore for taking the time out of his busy schedule to  answer these questions for my little space here in the blog-o-sphere. It’s been a great honor! You can find out more about Chris, his books, and his tour dates at http://www.chrismoore.com. If you plan on coming to see Chris at his appearance in Atlanta (Sunday, May 4 /Decatur, GA Alfred Uhry Auditorium, Druid Hills High School [2 PM] 1798 Haygood Dr NE, Atlanta, GA 30307), then come find me and say ‘hi!’

What’s your favorite Christopher Moore book? Do you have any questions you’d like to ask Chris, or do you have any suggestions for future author interviews? Hit the comments!

 

 

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The Alloy of Law: A Review

Alloy of LawThe Alloy of Law is the stand-alone(ish) follow-up novel to Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn series. I say standalone-ish because if someone has not read the original trilogy, they may have a hard time understanding the foundational mythos of this world. Law’s story takes place three hundred years after the events of the main series, in a steampunkish world of guns and horseless carriages.

Law is the story of Waxillium Ladrian, a twinborn, meaning he has both allomantic and feruchemic powers. After spending his younger days as a lawman out in the Roughs, he returns to the city to assume duties as the head of his household. But he doesn’t leave the crime and badguys behind. A mysterious group called “Vanishers” is robbing trains and kidnapping women. Wax tries to stay out of it, but he is unable  resist the urge to be a lawman once more, especially when his fiancée becomes one of those kidnapped women.

The consequences of this book aren’t nearly as world-altering as the core Mistborn trilogy. In comparison, it is quite mundane. It is an adventure story of robberies and kidnappings. It reads more of a wild west penny thriller, which isn’t bad, but doesn’t have the same depth. The story is fun and exciting—a neat addition to the Mistborn world.

4/5 Stars

Panther Creek Hike

Another weekend, another hike in the North Georgia Mountains. This time Greg and I loaded our backpacks with trial mix and water and headed to Clarkesville, GA to hike to the Panther Creek Falls. This particular trail is a total of 7 miles (3.5 in and the same 3.5 out). It took us four and a half hours. For the first three miles in, everything is pretty simple. The terrain is relatively flat with just some minor rolling hills. There’s nothing too scary, then that last .5 miles to the trail, you are holding on to rocks and roots for dear life, hoping that the mud underneath you doesn’t make you slip and fall 100 feet into the shallow, fast moving creek beneath you. I didn’t get any pictures of the really dangerous part; I was too busy using my hands to hold on for dear life.

It was AWESOME!

It was also a very long trip, which means I took LOTS of pictures (over 100, only posted 92 here).

Enjoy!

Gods in Alabama: A Review

GiAGods in Alabama is a novel written by Joshilyn Jackson about confronting the demons of one’s past. When she left Alabama, Arlene made three promises to God: She would never again have sex with a man who wasn’t her husband, she would never tell a lie, and she would never go back to Alabama. But when an old school mate finds her in Chicago and starts asking the wrong questions, Arlene is forced to return to Alabama and face the past she so desperately tried to forget.

Joshilyn Jackson (bottom right) at the Dahlonega Literary Festival Author Reception along with fellow author Deanna Raybourn (bottom left) and DLF committee chair, Arienne Wallace (top)
Joshilyn Jackson (bottom right) at the Dahlonega Literary Festival Author Reception along with fellow author Deanna Raybourn (bottom left) and DLF committee chair, Arienne Wallace (top)

Gods is witty and heartfelt. There are laugh-out-loud moments and moment that rip apart your insides with anger and frustration. Jackson magnificently relates the story in a distinct way, giving the reader Arlene’s back-story in a series of flashbacks, but telling them backwards. The reader knows the end of the story first, but is left wondering why until the end.

This tale of murder and guilt is quite engaging. I did not want to put the book down, and before I knew it, the story was over. Gods is my first adventure into one of Jackson’s books, but you can guarantee I’ll be reading more of her quirky and charming writing.

5/5 Stars

Purchase Gods in Alabama

Anything Books Can Do, Shop Dogs Can Do Better

A post containing two of my favorite things–Dogs and books. Kudos to Parnassus books and Grace 😉

musing

gracie welcome

Good day. I’m Gracie Coffman. If you’ll pardon me for speaking frankly, I’d like to point out that visitors to our shop have been spending an awful lot of time fawning over books. This book, that book, another book . . . one rectangle after another. We understand, of course. Books have a certain appeal — they smell nice, and some of them are shiny. But perhaps you’ve forgotten how scintillating your canine hosts and hostesses are? I suggest you turn your attention floorward, because this place has so much more to offer than what’s on the shelves. In fact, anything you might enjoy about a book, you can enjoy even more about a shop dog. Allow me to elaborate — 

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February Reads 2014

I’m finally starting to catch up on my reviews, and I’ve now posted all the reviews for the books I finished in February. There were eight books that I finished in February, which brought my total up to sixteen by the end of the month.

How many books have you read so far this year? Hit the comments and tell us!

5-Star Reviews:

Read my Interview with Delilah S. Dawson

4-Star Reviews:

3-Star Reviews:

 

Whisper of Jasmine: A Review

WhisperWhisper of Jasmine is a beautifully written novella by Deanna Raybourn. It is meant as a teaser prequel to her newly released novel, City of Jasmine, but can easily be defined on its own merits. A story of Disney-like fairytale love, it gives off a sense of subtle foreboding.

The devious and delightful Delilah Drummond (the heroine of Raybourn’s previous book, A Spear of Summer Grass) decides to give a party where she’s playing matchmaker among all of her lonely friends. Much to her chagrin though, none of the couples she has in mind wind up leaving the party together. Evangeline Merriweather is hungry for excitement. She meets Gabriel Wilberforce Stark, a charming, adventurous, and mysterious adventurer. Before they even know each other’s names, they are talking of love and elopement.

The story of Peter Pan comes up multiple times in this short narrative, each time supporting the idea of not growing up. Both Evie and Gabriel are childish and impulsive in their love. It’s New Year’s Eve, 1914. War is tugging at the hearts of everyone. Romance in all forms is an escape, the more adventurous the better–the hurried rush is part of the thrill! At one point during their whirlwind night of infatuation, Gabriel tells Evie “Perhaps you aren’t Wendy after all. Perhaps I’m marrying Captain Hook.” To which she replies, “I can think of worse professions than piracy. I might make a rather good pirate. I’d like to see the world, sail the seven seas. I’ve always thought it the most romantic phrase in the world, haven’t you? The seven seas…” They are both clearly deluded and overly indulging in the idea of romance, to the point that piracy–which really involves lots of raiding, thieving, killing, and raping–is contorted and glamorized.

I have so many highlights and notes in this novella, I could write a thesis. The words exchanged between the characters are beautiful, though they leave the reader wondering at their depth. But you still have hope that maybe these two star-crossed lovers have actually fallen in love, that they will have their fairytale life and live happily ever after. And then you read the last page, which ends on an intriguing and clandestine note. Something is about to happen…

…And you have to buy the follow-up novel to find out what!

5/5 Stars

Download Whisper of Jasmine for FREE