Name Hannelore Moore
Age Older than I feel!
Where are you from My family is mostly from Texas. I was a Buckeye, born in Ohio. I have spent most of my life in northern Virginia, right outside Washington DC.
A little about yourself, i.e., your education Family life, etc. After I got my BA in English Lit, I was lucky enough to join the Peace Corps and see parts of the word I never would have otherwise. During my tour, I taught English to junior secondary students in Shakawe, Botswana. Since then, I’ve mostly been a bureaucrat, but a friend inspired me to go for my MA in writing, which got me seriously interested in writing again.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I got my (dental) braces off this autumn! I will have had Thumper, my wild and crazy pup, for six months at the end of December. And my favorite people are coming down for Christmas.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I have been writing forever. I’m thinking I started at six or seven with my take on graphic novels!
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
The feeling has come and go over the years, but I guess I really considered myself a writer in middle school when I contributed short stories to our little mimeographed newspaper. The heroine always had great hair, like Kristy McNichol – which is giving you a better idea about my age.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I remember being at a yard/boot sale, and seeing a romance novel. I started reading it and thinking, “I can do this!” So I started writing my own adventure about a pirate and his lady. I wish I knew where that manuscript has gone.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I think it depends on the story and the narrator. I tend to write longer, more elaborate sentences with my historical stuff, and shorter and simpler if the story is contemporary.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
In my latest book, The Ice Goddess, the protagonist is named Evangeline Grey. She mostly keeps to herself. Her brother tells her that the men in their social circle have taken to calling her Grey, the Ice Goddess. I think I used “goddess” as opposed to “princess” or “queen” because of the flow and alliteration between the words “Grey” and “goddess.”
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Basically, the story is about growing up. I’m pretty proud of this novel, because that theme seemed to show up pretty organically. I have more recent stories that I think are better-written, but the themes have never developed as naturally as they did in The Ice Goddess.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
Well, I always used to say that Evangeline is me, just with a bigger cup size! The uncertainties and insecurities of the main characters are definitely based on me and on people I’ve known.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Not really, since this story takes place in the eighteenth century. Other stories or novels I’ve written are definitely taken from contemporary figures or events.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? A mentor?
Judy Blume is probably my biggest influence. I recently re-read some of her stuff, and I’m amazed at how much I imitate her style. I love Nick Hornby and David Nicholls, too. No mentors, really – although I had some great teachers in my MA writing program.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
The Name of the Wind is open on my Kindle, but I’m having a hard time getting into it. I just read Us by David Nicholls – or maybe it’s more accurate to say I devoured it. Really funny and poignant at the same time.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
No one really new – I tend to stick with the tried and true. I need to broaden my outlook, I think.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
I have a bunch of works-in-progress sitting around: a novella inspired by a short story I wrote on the London riots; the beginnings of a dystopian YA novel; and another historical novel that is almost – almost done!
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
I do have some friends from school who have been incredibly supportive. I appreciate them and raise my coffee cup in gratitude.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Don’t we all? Ideally, I’d like to retire and write full time! But that means I have to finish those works-in-progress now and get them out there.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I am a notorious editor. This is well-known. Yes, there are passages I would trim and language I would tweak. But when it comes to content, I’m pretty happy with the story and structure of The Ice Goddess.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Good question. I would guess from reading great young adult novels and the awesome Marvel comic masterpieces of the late 70s.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Here’s something from The Ice Goddess. Kendall and Evangeline, who couldn’t be more different, yet more perfect for each other, are on their way back to London from Yorkshire. Kendall, who can’t seem to avoid trouble, is recovering from a stab wound, and Evangeline is watching over him in the grim surroundings of her room at an inn.
Why was she thinking what she was thinking? His vulnerability actually aroused her: the poor, unbuttoned shirt barely covering his torso, his teeth tugging at his bottom lip. Never mind the scruffy beginnings of a beard and all that damned hair…
She hovered closer, and when his eyes rose to meet hers – there was no fighting it – she kissed him. He responded with as much enthusiasm as any healthy man would have mustered, his mouth moving passionately under hers, his tongue stirring all sorts of lustful fancies in her mind – and her body. When they parted, their breathing ragged, he looked up at her with such affection that a hot tear coursed down her cheek and dampened his skin.
She backed away, panicking. “Don’t make me need you,” she whispered. “Don’t cast your spell on me.”
He shook his head, his voice gently reproachful. “I didn’t start that.”
“I know. I know.” She turned her back to him, strode to the window. “Kendall – I don’t want to need anyone.”
“I’m well aware of that – more than anyone, I think.”
“Is it possible –?” She traced his name against the condensation on the windowpane, then drew two fingers across the letters to obliterate them.
“Could someone be drawn to someone else – just physically?” Her voice dwindled down in embarrassment as she asked him about this. It was the one reason she had been able to think of last night that might explain her reactions to him; the one reason she would let herself accept, anyway.
Kendall’s reply was casual. “It’s entirely possible. Are you saying that’s your problem with me?”
She turned around, toying with a button on her dress. “That would explain a great many things.”
“What things?” he asked innocently.
She stole a look at him. “The way I – feel around you.”
Kendall hadn’t settled back yet. He half-lay there, braced on his elbows, watching her. “These feelings are all passionate ones?”
She gave him a hesitant nod, then remembered the many times he had cheered her and made her laugh over the past months; the tenderness he inspired in her by playing his lute; the comfort she had found in his arms when she told him she didn’t carry Gregory’s child. All strong feelings, but not necessarily related to passion.
“Are you quite sure?” he asked.
She opened her mouth but didn’t know what to say. Kendall watched her, his mouth slightly opened, too, in anticipation of her reply.
Gilbert walked in then, a tray in his hands. Evangeline let out a breath – she realized that she had been holding it in for a good, long time. Thankfully, Kendall turned his attention from her to the brooding presence of his valet.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Yes! Overcoming doubt! I am so worried that what I write isn’t going to be good enough that I just stop writing. I need to get over that.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Well, as I said above, I think Judy Blume would take that title. I love her work because she usually writes the story from the point of view of a first-person narrator whose observations and descriptions aren’t always reliable. But through this narration, you learn so much about the narrator and supporting characters in a great, indirect way. That’s genius!
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Generally, I am inspired to write about a location after I’ve visited it. Only once did I travel to a place after I started the story — Markyate Cell in Markyate, England – to get a better idea of where Katherine Ferrers, the Wicked Lady, spent her time.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Viola Estrella from 5 Prince created the amazing cover for The Ice Goddess. For Tower Bridge, my first novel, I created the cover myself.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
I wrote The Ice Goddess a while back and only recently brought it to light. What I remember is that it wasn’t really hard to write it at all. Maybe because I was younger then and just writing for the sake of writing, with no expectations of anyone ever seeing it or of it ever being published.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
In The Ice Goddess, the hero’s name is Kendall. His house Cresswell plays a big part in the story, so I learned a lot about architecture. I wanted to do Cresswell justice when describing it. I also, of course, learned more about all the crazy layers of clothing people used to have to wear back in the day. Poor Evangeline!
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
I am so bad at giving advice. I guess I would say don’t let insecurity get you down – I just have to practice what I preach!
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Please, please, please – if you like my book or anyone else’s, let the world know! Spread the word and write reviews. These things mean so much to writers!
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
My dad, the wonderful Wayne Orr, taught me how to read with big, crazy Dr. Seuss books. I think the first, or one of the first, was The Sleep Book.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I have some friends – my office mate, my mad nephew, my traveling buddy, to name a few– who are so funny and understated. They can actually make me cry because I laugh so hard.
Crying, real crying, seems to come more easily than it used to. As I say below in the interview, having dogs has really opened my eyes. I’m more aware of injustice and cruelty than ever before, and that wrecks me.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
I would have been a roadie for the Beatles in the early days. I want to know what it was like to be in that incredible bubble in the early days of their fame. It was probably not very pleasant, but I would want to experience it first-hand.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why?
I learned a lot by adopting my dog in 2000 – most of all, to be patient and kind. If anything, I want to be known as someone who strived to be kind.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies?
I love walking – I just came back from a hiking tour in Yorkshire! I am crazy about music and feed my iPod constantly. And now, I’m addicted to Netflix.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
There’s some really well-written stuff out there. I’ve just binged on Parenthood and now I’m falling for Friday Night Lights. When it comes to films, I love anything British – Richard Curtis’s and Mike Leigh’s works, to name a few, and so many more.
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Yesterday, I was craving takeaway all day – and got my Kung Pao tofu and Curried potatoes! Anything spicy fits the bill! Colors – orange and green. Sounds like autumn, doesn’t it? And music! Ah, music. Baroque quartets up to Taylor Swift. I’m in awe of musical talent, and I’ll listen to anything, although I’m partial to artists from the UK.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I would have been a rock star playing to a sold out Wembley Stadium!
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
Here it is, although it hasn’t been updated for a while:
Here are my Amazon Author pages for US and UK, respectively: