Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.

 

 

Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?

Authorially I go by TA Moore, and that’s probably how most people know me. It’s just my initials, my given name is Tammy Andrea Moore. I just didn’t think ‘Tammy’ had the right vibe for crime and dark fantasy, you know?

43 To date, being a normal adult has not kicked it.

Fiona: Where are you from?

 Northern Ireland, a wee market town in County Down. That’s it down the bottom of the hill!

Fiona: A little about your self (ie,  your education, family life, etc.).

I come from a big Northern Irish family who all think I’m weird, but support me in that. I have a BA in Ancient History and a PhD in English, because I couldn’t decide which I loved more. I’ve made noises over the years about going back to study criminology, but at this point I might just steal my cousin’s books now she’s graduated. Over the years I’ve worked as a documentary researcher, a production manager, an arts journalist, and a marketing officer for a couple of literary charities and arts festivals.

Fiona: Tell us your latest news.

My new book Dead Man Stalking, the start of the Blood and Bone series, comes out on September 10. I’m somewhere between excited and terrified, which is my usual state in the weeks around publication. It’s my 10th book with Dreamspinner Press and I’m so thrilled I’m running a month long series of fairly ridiculous competitions.

The blog tour is starting soon.

I’m also getting ready to go to GRL in October. It’s now less than a month away from my flight. I’ll head from Belfast to San Diego to meet my friend Rhys, then we’re going to see The Hu in concert before road tripping it cross-state to Albuquerque. I’ve been told in no uncertain terms that I won’t control the music, but I’m going to anyhow. Pray for…one of us! (I have heinous taste in music–and not just in one genre, I like corny tat across the board–and am slightly tone-deaf so this will be an exciting time for us all!)

Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?

Honest, I’ve always loved telling stories. I used to sit in the back of car on trips and sing terrible, long, mermaid dirges about the plight of a widow and the terrible mermaid related death of her ship captain husband (I was a joy). The first story I remember actually sitting down to tell was about a small piglet adopted by a short-sighted ballet teacher and raised as a ballerina.

It was probably the nicest, least weird story I’ve ever written–and it had a prima piggarina in it.

I probably started FINISHING stories around the time I met the Five. We’re all writers and we started this online writing group that ran for years where we wrote separately and together. It was a lot of fun, and we’re all still friends now. Three of us are in the UK and two in the US, so we travel back and forth and skype a lot. It was writing with them that convinced me that they were way more talented than me, but that I could still do this.

Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I won the Northern Irish Orange Short Story Competition for a weird little story about islanders and resentment. I got to go to London and hang out with the great and good, I was interviewed by the Ulster Tatler, and published in a glossy magazine I still have somewhere. I mean, I’d considered myself a writer before that. I’m of Irish stock, we turn up writers and poets like their was a shortage.

After that I felt confident telling other people that I was a writer, though. My first novel, The Even, was accepted by Morrigan Books shortly after that.

Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?

Spite! I was part of a writing group that met once a week. The first week we met one of the Old Guard told me that I was terrible, basically, and that I should put my laptop away and not try writing again until I had read the entire canon of Russian literature. So I didn’t do that, instead I wrote The Even. It was completely indulgent, broke all the rules he held dear, and he’d have hated it.

Fiona: How did you come up with the title?

Oh lord! Titles are my nemesis. Sometimes I strike unexpected gold, but mostly I go to my friends ‘What do you think of this title?’ and they say, ‘No, try again’. Credit where credit is due, my friend Penny helps me come up with a lot of my titles.

Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?

 I’ve been told that my style is hard to pin down? My Urban Fantasy doesn’t sound the same as my Crime, for example. Honestly, I just write what I want and I tell the story how I think it needs to be told.

As for particular challenges…. I write contemporary romance sometimes? Man, it is hard to motivate characters without a corpse or the threat of an incipient corpse.

Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Very little. I mean, I try to keep my books grounded, even the urban fantasy ones, but the characters are rarely based on people I know and my life is pretty dull compared to my books. Everyone draws on what they know, of course, but it tends to be more a chimera of stitched together experiences than one event directly transcribed. If that makes sense?

Mind you, I am considering a crime series set in County Down, on the Ards Peninsula. That will be the closest to home for me, and exceptionally culchie (country/rural).

Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?

Sometimes! Plenty, which is the setting for my Digging up Bones series, is an invented location but it’s based near San Diego which is somewhere I’ve travelled to quite often. Ceremony, from the Island Confidential series, is another invention but it’s basically based on the Peninsula and just sawed off and pushed out to see a bit. So most of my settings are places I’m familiar with enough that I just need to jog my memory. Occasionally I do go to visit locations to jog my memory or get a sense of how the place has changed.

Fiona: Who designed the covers?

That varies. I’m working with KanaXa a lot at the moment, and she’s awesome. Her cover for Dead Man Stalking is beautiful! I’m in love with it. Mind you, it’s absolutely not what I wanted. I’d given her this very strict outline of exactly the cover I imagined in my head, which she delivered. It was great. Then she sent me this one and it was like, well, guess that’s why she does the art!

Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Agh! What a question. Honestly, there’s themes that mattered to me as I wrote the novel. Identity is always something I find fascinating and questions of recovery and loss. Belonging. I don’t always expect that to be what my readers take from the novel though. We all bring our own stuff, you know? What matters most to me as I write might not be what resonates most deeply with a reader. That’s ok, as long as it gives them something.

Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?  Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?

 That’s a hard one to answer, because there’s so many great authors out there at the moment! Rhys Ford is a perennial favorite, and one of my best friends so I can’t even resent her for being SO GOOD. Her newest book Hellion is out September. I love C.S. Poe’s work and I can’t wait for the bittersweet release of her last Snow and Winter book in September. Camp H.O.W.L by Bru Baker is my go-to reading when I’m writing crime at the moment (I try not to read in-genre while I’m writing). A new-to-me author that I can’t wait to read is Elle E. Ire, her new novel Threadbare is right up my alley. I’ve got it set aside for when I finish my WIP.

Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.

The Five! We’ve always supported each other, encouraged each other, and had faith that we can do this writing malarky. Although I suppose that’s cheating since the Five are family.

The Arts Council of Northern Ireland have been awesome to me, and other local artists, over the years. They provide funding for travel, residencies abroad, and grants to pursue your passion and improve your craft. The various arts officers are all dedicated, passionate, and supportive when you contact them. In a time when funding cuts are vicious, they’ve fought hard to keep providing support to local artists.

Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?

Yes. I do. It has been my career for a good portion of my adult life, although not always fiction writing.

Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

Nope. I’m pretty happy with it. OTHER PEOPLE would probably have me change Took’s name, but I refused then and I refuse now!

Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?

Oh lots. I always find out new things when I start to write something new. In Dead Man Stalking I researched Death Valley, the history of Romania, and the Enochian gospels. Also fire engines!

Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?

Colin Farrell. I’ve been saying that for a while, and maybe one day it will work!

Fiona: Any advice for other writers?

Write. That’s the building block of being a writer. I mean, technically that’s obvious but people get bogged in the IDEA of what they want sometimes. They can see the final version in their head and what they’ve put down on paper/screen doesn’t live up to that vision. So they just chew at that first paragraph or chapter, over and over. Write the story. Write it badly. Write it in chunks. Write all the good bits and plan to come back to it later. Get that first draft down and then you can work toward your final vision, but without a first draft you’ll never get there.

Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

Buy my book! Hah. Honestly, that I appreciate them. Glenn Patterson once said that readers don’t just pay once to read your book, they invest time in you with every page that they turn. I think about that a lot. My readers are all great and supportive, despite my erratic approach to social media, and I am so grateful to all of them for reading my novels and telling me they like them.

 Fiona: What book are you reading now?

I am currently mid-research so I’m reading a book about crime scene clean-up. It’s fascinating.

 Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?

The first book I remember reading was an Enid Blyton novel, The Five do {Something}. Enid Blyton and Diana Wynne Jones shaped a lot of my young mind!

 Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?

Laugh – Anything. I laugh a lot. What else can you do? Cry – Brexit. Anything that involves hurting children or animals.

 Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?

I always like to imagine meeting someone I hate so I can say something cuttingly insightful and leave them to wallow. It is more likely I’d just mutter something under my breath and eat any free food going.

I’d love to meet Patrick Stewart. Star Trek: Next Generation was MY Star Trek, and Stewart seems like a genuinely lovely and thoughtful guy. Plus he has, at any given moment, a pit bull around the place.

 Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?

I make jewellery, not very well. I also like photography, and my google photos is straining at the seams.

 Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?

Supernatural, Revolution, Doctor Who, and Drive Angry – the best bad film in the world.

Fiona: Favorite foods, colors,  music?

Ribs, pink (ironically since it turns out I’m a bit pink/green colourblind), and The Hu!

Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?

I can’t imagine it! I guess tell stories to people on corners.

Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?

At Greggs eating ALL THE SAUSAGE ROLLS. I have coeliac disease and it has been literal decades since I knowingly ingested gluten. Of everything – good bread, pizza, KFC! – it is the humble greasy sausage roll that I miss the most.

Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?

She was Definitely Dead. We Checked.

Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?

www.tamoorewrites.com and I have a newsletter at tamoorewrites.substack.com

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/authors/ta-moore-941

Amazon Authors page USA

https://www.amazon.com/TA-Moore/e/B01LW5ZFD4?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B07GL7DL7C&pd_rd_r=ed58122f-339b-11e9-99c8-2b431271197c&pd_rd_w=EfoE6&pd_rd_wg=fq66F&pf_rd_p=90485860-83e9-4fd9-b838-b28a9b7fda30&pf_rd_r=XGP15DTCX88E9RT1359R

UK https://www.amazon.co.uk/TA-Moore/e/B01LW5ZFD4?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1&qid=1567264791&sr=1-1