5 QUESTIONS

WITH CHRISTOPHER MOORE

Our bookseller Mike got the chance to ask one of his favorite authors five questions. Of course he couldn't stop at just five...
To find out more about Christopher Moore and to see a list of his books, click here.  

1. My favorite Christopher Moore character is Pocket from the novel Fool. Of all your creations, which one happens to be your favorite?


An author’s characters are like his children: there’s always a soft-spot for your first, then there’s the one that you forgot you left chained out behind the garbage cans, but given that, I enjoy writing Pocket probably more than any character I’ve created. He’s so eloquently foul and clever that writing him is always a challenge, but finishing a scene with him is a joy.
Christopher Moore quote
 

2. A large portion of your work involves comedic supernatural circumstances. Have you had any indescribable experiences you can share?


Well yes, but I can’t describe them. Kidding. I don’t think I’ve had any supernatural experiences, but I’ve had some superlative experiences while researching my books: free-diving with humpback whales, living with islanders on the other islands of Yap, participating in a sweat with a Crow medicine man on the reservation in Montana. Each is a story in itself.
 

3. What kinds of comedic entertainment influenced your writing? Maybe Monty Python, Douglas Adams, or even Spike Jones?


Certainly all of those to some degree or another. As well as many other comedians and writers, from Robin Williams, to Eddie Murphy, to Jake Johannsen, to Eddie Izzard, screenwriters like Richard Curtis and William Goldman as well. I feel as if I learned comic timing from comedians’ and learning to put that timing into print has been my personal challenge.
 

4. Has there ever been an idea or concept for one of your novels that was so obscenely absurd you had to omit it? Please share :)


A couple of times I had to leave out stuff that would have seemed racially or ethnically insensitive, like the native chief in Yap talking pretty frankly about cannibalism (in the past) or the native Americans making “Indian jokes” that I couldn’t use. Also, the Animals, the night crew at the Safeway in my vampire books are based on my nightcrew from when I was a kid, and my guys did things so outrageous at work that they wouldn’t have been believed, even in a vampire book. (Like bringing guns to work and shooting stuff off the shelves.)
Christopher Moore quote
 

5. Being such a talent in your field, have you ever attempted another creative medium such as art, music, television, or theatre?


I’ve tried all of those things to very limited success. I learned to paint (a little) for Sacré Bleu, I’ve been hired to develop a series for a network (and was fired), I’ve done a draft of one of my books for the stage, and I’ve written songs with a partner who is a brilliant musician. The songs were pretty good, I think, but the rest of it, for the most part, has been crap. I still enjoy painting, but I’m not very good at it.
 

6. Completion of a novel, meeting fans, fundraisers--what would you consider the most gratifying achievement among your professional career?


I think the most gratifying thing is hearing from readers that my books made them laugh and helped get them through a tough time. Finishing a book is a close second, especially if I’ve pulled something off I felt was especially difficult (like Lamb or Sacré Bleu) but having those books resonate with a reader is the best!
 

7. As a youngster, what is the first book you read that changed you view on the literary world?


Probably R is for Rocket, by Ray Bradbury, which is the book where I first realized that there was a craftsman behind the story, making it happen, manipulating me, the reader, to think and feel certain things. I think I became aware of “the writer” with Bradbury’s work. R is for Rocket, S is for Space, and the Illustrated Man were my firsts. About age 11 I think I read those.
 

8. Among your novels, which was the one that seemed to flow the most smoothly, and was there one that you struggled to complete?


Bloodsucking Fiends, my first vampire novel, felt like the easiest to write. The idea was chosen from a list I provided my editor a the time, and it wasn’t the vehicle for big themes, plus I had two smart-ass characters, so I could just put them on stage and let them go. The hardest to finish was Lamb. I remember in the proposal I had written something like, “they grow up and go on adventures, I’ll figure it out, trust me” and when I got to the part where the heroes leave Israel and go out on their adventures I realized I had no idea what I would do next. I had them stuck in Antioch for six months, my time, while I learned about Taoist Alchemy and Hindu Mysticism and all the things I would need to know for the rest of the “adventures”. Then, once that was done, I had to figure out how to make the four Gospels agree and flow into a single story with a single time line. It was profoundly difficult. I gave myself an ulcer while I was finishing that book. I’m happy how it turned out, but it was a tough one to pull off.
Christopher Moore quote
 
 
To find out more about Christopher Moore and to see a list of his books, click here.
Wednesday, August 19, 2015 - 10:15am