Author Spotlight - Steven Moore
1) To start with, could you introduce yourself and tell us a bit about your book?
Hello Shona, and hello to all your readers. My name is Steven Moore, and I’m a 40-something Englishman living in Mexico. My debut novel, I Have Lived Today, was a literary coming of age tale set in 1960s England. It’s a story of a neglected child who escapes the isolated island and his abusive father and goes in search of his missing mother. It’s a dark story with harsh themes, but on his physical and emotional journey Tristan seeks light from the encompassing darkness.
My current series is a far cry from that, though. It’s a lightning-paced international action thriller series, and features real-world events and places but with my main protagonist, Hiram Kane (named after legendary explorer Hiram Bingham, whom his great-grandfather was assistant to when they rediscovered Machu Picchu) inadvertently caught up in the midst of some wild adventures.
2) Would you mind sharing an excerpt with us, or a favourite quote?
This line is from one of the characters, named Tramp, who Tristan meets in my debut. “Live everyday as if it’s your last, and then, one day in the distant future when you look back, you’ll have lived ten thousand life times.”
3) What inspired you to write this story?
I wrote that story completely off the cuff with zero planning, using the NaNoWriMo model (National Novel Writing Month) and quite literally, that’s what emerged. I still don’t know why, and no, it is not autobiographical.
Regarding the new Kane books, I’ve been travelling for a quarter of a century, and have been to and lived in some incredible places and met some wild and crazy people that have inspired my stories. Excepting Tibet, I have either visited or lived in every main location of the proposed 6 book series, including India, Mexico, Egypt, Peru, Japan and, most recently, Bali. I also have a degree in archaeology, anthropology and art history, and those are all heavy influences in my writing.
4) What are you working on now?
Right now I’m working on the editing stage for book 4 of the series entitled, The Shadow of Kailash. It’s set largely in the Tibetan Himalayas, and the main core of the story revolves around human trafficking disguised as the rescuing of Tibetan refugees. I’m loving it, and I believe it will be my best yet.
5) What draws you to your genre? Have you always been drawn to it?
Yes, I’ve always loved reading books of this nature... think Clive Cussler, early Russell Blake stuff, even a touch of the Dan Brown art-based mysteries. I think it’s a combination of all the things I love in my own life; travel, culture, adventure, art and exploration, both mental and physical.
6) When and how did you start writing seriously?
I started writing fiction about 5-6 years ago after meeting my now wife, though I used to write a lot of personal essays. She’s a writer, and on our first date I said I was too. But when she asked me what I’d written, and when I answered rather sheepishly, “Well, nothing really,” she challenged me to write a novel. So I did, and it became my literary debut, published almost 4 years ago.
7) Who/what is your writing inspiration?
I have a few writers I admire. Hemingway, Carlos Ruiz Zafon, Cussler et al, but my favourite book of all time is Shantaram, by David Gregory Roberts. Absolutely sublime writing, and a crazy adventure too.
And I have to mention my wife, Leslie Patrick Moore. She is such a hard working writer, and combined with her natural talent she’s making a big splash in the travel writing world. It also means we get to travel to spectacular destinations for at least 6 months a year. I’m a lucky chap, and as long as I carry the bags I’ll keep getting invited.
8) What do you do if inspiration just won't come?
I rarely have a lack of inspiration, and if I do I just have to look at my photos of all my travels... 53 countries and counting... and new story ideas are everywhere.
9) Which part of the writing process is your favourite, and which part do you dread?
Easily my favourite part is writing a first draft. I do outline a little, but at that stage I can write with total freedom, and it’s probably when I’m at my best. I do enjoy editing, though I am struggling with the current work in progress.
10) What is your number one distraction?
Paying the bills. I’m not yet making enough money to go full time, so I still have to keep up my side line business of editing and content writing, which takes time away from my fiction. I’m working hard to go full time though, so I can focus on my own books.
11) Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I guess I’m a plotter, but fairly loosely. As I said before, I do construct a loose outline, but the finished product rarely reflects those plans. I think in the future though I will lean more towards serious outlining, as it will streamline my process and help me become more prolific.
12) Tea or coffee?
13) What are the most important three things you've learned about writing, editing or publishing (or all of the above!) since you started your journey?
Number one is easy; hard work is paramount. Talent can only get you so far, and without the graft the craft means nothing. A close second is that perfection is unattainable. In other words, knowing when to finish a project is important. Finished is better than perfect, right? Only 3 things? That’s tough. I’d say that we must always be prepared to learn from others. Whether it’s craft, or style, or organisation, or, and perhaps more importantly, about marketing, branding and how to sell books, someone always knows more than I do.
14) What's your favourite quote on writing?
I think I just accidentally penned it above. “Without the graft the craft means nothing” – Steven Moore, Author
15) What is the best piece of advice you've received?
What, only one? Hmm. Two okay? On writing and craft, I’d say it’s to trust myself and my abilities. On marketing, it would have to be, always listen to the experts before making decisions.
16) Where can we connect with you?
Thanks for interviewing me, Shona.
I have an author website, imaginatively named: www.stevenmooreauthor.com
If your readers are interested in a free copy of one of my books, they can go to this link:
I can also be found on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/stevenmooreauthor
And I am often procrastinating on Twitter, at: https://twitter.com/StevenScribe