Friday, June 22, 2012
Christopher Moore
By OFW editor: Katrina Monroe
Published: April 15, 2012

Accomplishment: Author of thirteen novels, including international bestsellers Lamb, A Dirty Job, and You Suck.


Before publishing his first novel, "Practical Demonkeeping" in 1992, author Christopher Moore worked as a roofer, a grocery clerk, a hotel night auditor, and insurance broker, a waiter, a photographer, and a rock and roll DJ. He's drawn on all of these work experiences to create the characters in his books. When he’s not writing, Chris enjoys ocean kayaking, scuba diving, photography, and sumi-e ink painting. He divides his time between Hawaii and San Francisco. We were ecstatic that Chris agreed to sit down and answer a few of our questions, or perhaps he stood, we can't be sure. Either way, he offers unique insight into writing and publishing, and he is the guy from which you buy fucksocks, which we're told are must-haves this spring.


Including Sacre Bleu, you've authored thirteen novels. Has your publishing experience, working with editors, agents, publishers, etc., been mostly positive or negative? What do you find to be the biggest challenge?

My experience in publishing has been about 80% positive. Publishing, like the film business, often has way too many people with input in the mix. Fortunately, they don't have a say in the actual material, the way they do in Hollywood, but dealing with publishers on covers, marketing, and so forth can be unpleasant at times. They all have to have meetings for everything they do, while you can just make decisions. Editorially, my experience has been about 95% positive, with all of my editors helping the make the books better.


Is there such a thing as a “real” writer? If so, what are the criteria?

I think that's a relative thing. If you're writing, you're a writer, whether it's advertising, blogs, or novels. If you don't write, you're not a writer. Wanting to write doesn't make you a writer.


Why have you chosen to write comic fantasy, or, "absurdist" fiction over other genres? Do you plan to write in other genres in the future?

Very simply, this is something I'm good at, and I found I was good at very early on. It's extraordinarily hard to find your niche in the world, writing or not writing, so it only made sense to do what I was good at. I'm not sure I really fit in a genre beyond humor. I'll write about what I'm interested in and let other people figure out what genre it is, but if I'm doing it right, it should be funny.


What was the best moment you've ever had as a writer? The worst?

The best was finishing a passage on my first book -- I'd just written it out by hand, and knowing that I'd just nailed it. I was writing in a diner, I wrote the passage, read it over, and thought, "I've got to show this to someone." I drove to a newspaper where a friend, also a writer worked, and made him listen while I read it aloud. There's nothing better than knowing you got it right. To be honest, that doesn't happen that often, and in those days, I didn't know if I'd ever publish a book, but that feeling was and is incomparable. The worst? Hmmm. I've been pretty lucky. When things get "bad" I keep in mind that I've been able to write for a living for the last 22 years, and it puts it in perspective. I haven't had any gut-wrenching setback, so the worst moment comes on every book, usually when I'm about half finished, when it occurs to me that this a probably a stupid idea and the book is going to be horrible. My wife-like girlfriend of 17 years tells me, "You say that every book." And I always say, "Yeah, but this time it's real. This time I'm going fail and end up living in cardboard box cradling my urine soaked remainders, growling at passers-by, and telling them I used to be a writer." So, you know, not that bad.


What do you see happening or plan to do in the next 5 years?

I plan to keep writing novels as long as I can. I can't predict what the publishing world will look like, or whether novels will even survive as a format, but that's what I plan to do.


Where are you originally from? How does that impact your writing?
 

I'm originally from a factory town in Ohio. I think it may help me create characters that have a sense of both directions in social mobility. I went to school with rich kids and poor kids, of all different races and backgrounds. I hung around bikers and photographers, factory workers and professors. When I create characters I draw on that background, and I'm ever aware that you're always playing without a net, so I have to do my best. (See above, with the living in the cardboard box, fears. )


What advice would you give to beginning writers?

Write, read, and write some more. Look at the writers you admire and figure out why your stuff isn't as good as theirs, then make it as good. This is not a fast process. It will require patience, so learn to have fun with the process.


Christopher Moore was born in Toledo, Ohio and grew up in Mansfield, Ohio. His father was a highway patrolman and his mother sold major appliances at a department store. He attended Ohio State University and Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara. He moved to California when he was 19 years old and lived on the Central Coast until 2003, when he moved to Hawaii. He has written thirteen novels, inlcuding the international bestsellers,Lamb, A Dirty Job and You Suck. His latest novel, Sacre Bleu, was released in the US on April 3, 2012. Check it out. You're sure to be entertained. You can also find more about Chris and his other titles on Facebook and on Twitter, where he offers at least one coffee-spraying status update per day.

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Renée Miller  (OFW Editor)
Saturday, 14 Apr 2012 09:28 PM  

You're welcome...?

 

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Anonymous Guest  
Saturday, 14 Apr 2012 08:30 PM  

Thank you....

 

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