Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Guest author: Marsha A. Moore
Tell us about the universe of your books. What are some of the rules and traditions of your world?
I love escaping into imaginary worlds and I’m always world-building, even apart from my writing process. It’s who I am.
I enjoy reading/researching fantasy writing through the ages in folktales, myth, legend, and lore. My library of those is constantly growing. I often blend ideas of folklore from around the world into my works. I’ve used a foundation of Chinese lore in my recently completed manuscript, The Enchanted Bookstore: Seeking a Scribe, the first of a five-part series. The forces upholding good in that series are the four auspicious Chinese animals: phoenix, unicorn, tortoise, and dragon. These represent the four elements, fire, earth, water, air, respectively, which are believed to balance our world.
In my book, Tears on a Tranquil Lake, just released yesterday, I was intrigued by the legends of the pirate José Gaspar, known by his nickname Gasparilla. In the winter of 2008, I moved to Tampa, home of the yearly Gasparilla Festival. That inspired me to create a fantasy with a love triangle between a lovely mermaid, a handsome merman, and a smooth-talking pirate captain.
I’m just beginning to plot a new novel based upon spiritual legends of ancient India. This tie to lore and myth is a common thread in the universe of my books.
From Strunk and White to Thomas Hardy to Gabriel Garcia Marquez, you cite such diverse influences on your writing. What is one/are two of the most important lessons on writing you've learned from others?
In my formal literature studies I spent much time reading classics. The romantic period of literature captivated me. I’ve read the entire Thomas Hardy Thomas Hardy's complete fiction catalog. I spent years engrossed in reading George Elliot, Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, James Fenimore Cooper, and Washington Irving. I love how they elevated setting to the level of importance of a main character. Their richly textured settings inspire me enormously. The influences of those works infuse my own writing.
Gabriel Garcia Marquez is well known for writing fabulous magical realism. Reading his works encouraged me to let my imagination run more freely in my writing. He validated my tendency to think outside of boxes, and I am truly grateful.
Writing is a notoriously sedentary calling, and yet you remain physically active. How do you see your activity affecting your creativity, and vice versa?
Great question! I exercise daily, usually bicycling 16-18 miles each week, kayaking for an hour or so around our lagoon, attending yoga classes or doing my own routines at home. A decade ago I contracted fibromyalgia. It was severe and the drugs for treatment caused such horrible side effects, after six months, I decided there must be a better way. I embraced exercise for pain management. Now, my health is very well managed, but the exercise came to be a way of life I enjoyed. It gives me so much. It clears my mind, so I my writing time is considerably more focused and effective. Also, it takes me on journeys inside my mind or outside in nature that bring me an endless supply of new writing ideas. I write fantasy romance. Those journeys bring me a wealth of magic.
Tell us a bit about Tears on a Tranquil Lake.
What a surprise for a young woman, to find herself suddenly transformed into a mermaid.
Ciel’s first thought – track down the merman who changed her and make him reverse his magic.
Unable to find him, survival in her new world becomes paramount. She eagerly accepts help from a dashing pirate captain who takes a fancy to her, lavishing her with finery.
When her merman does show up, he competes for her affection. One look into his eyes makes her life more complex -- he is her soul mate.
Which man will she choose – pirate captain or merman? Which life – human or mermaid? Caribbean adventures and dangers chase Ciel as she searches for decisions and the key to her happiness.
Warning: This book contains Haitian vodou, sultry wenches, foul-mouthed scalliwag pirates, overindulgence of fine Caribbean rum, and amorous encounters on deserted beaches.
Marsha A. Moore is a romantic and a writer of fantasy romance/soft erotica. She loves being creative and enjoying the creativity of others in all art forms. Her other artistic pursuits include watercolor painting and drawing. She moved from Toledo to Tampa in 2008 and is happily transforming into a Floridian. Crazy about cycling, she usually passes the 1,000 mile mark yearly. She is learning kayaking and loving it. She’s also a yoga enthusiast and never has enough days spent at the beach, usually scribbling away at new stories with toes wiggling in the sand.
Give us a taste of the story, Marsha!
On deck, a conga drummer joined the musicians from two nights ago, entertaining us with some lively salsa tunes. The deck hands sang and shouted, rhythmically pulling at the rigging on the halyards, raising and lowering sails that propelled the ship out of the Bay.
With so many distractions onboard I failed to pay attention to sights the ship passed. Only when a large rock formation came astern on the portside did I see Meris seated on its peak, level with the schooner’s deck. He looked regal with his muscular flipper draped across the rocks and his emerald green tail fin fanned out wide, glistening in the sunlight.
I held out an arm and he lifted his open palm up to me. I bent far over the gunwale, wanting desperately to bridge the short distance. Forgetting everything except my desire to be with him I leaned farther, somehow believing I could swim through the air to reach him.
“No, Ciel! Stop!” Meris shouted.
Immediately, arms grasped me tight at my waist and pulled me back behind the railing, and then I perceived the dangers below. I would have fallen perilously near the hull, or crashed upon rocks in the narrow passageway. I glanced behind to see Black Sam holding me.
“No, lass, ye can’t dive here.”
Undaunted, I turned my attention back to Meris, whose position passed away from me as the schooner progressed. I squirmed free from Sam, and moved aft as quickly as I could, using the gunwale for support. Our bond throbbed within my heart.