Please be sure to check this page every Thursday as I will be interviewing a fellow author from the dark side and finding out just what makes them tick, updates on their current projects, and anything I can force them to divulge! I will be hosting established authors, new authors and best selling authors on this very page over the coming months. Don't miss it!
Au - Thursday
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C Dennis Moore
Name or Pen Name:
C. Dennis Moore
I’ve been writing for just over 20 years, with over 60 published short stories in the speculative fiction genres, mostly horror. I’ve published 4 novels, 3 of them set in the fictional town of Angel Hill, Missouri, a very haunted place. One of those novels, the self-published THE THIRD FLOOR has been in the top 10 on Amazon’s Top 100 Ghosts since January 2013. By day I’m an inventory control clerk.
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•When did you first realise you wanted to be an author?
Probably as long as I’ve been able to read, but I never tried it until the 5th or 6th grade. It didn’t stick, but I tried again a few years later and, again, it didn’t stick. I was always making up stories in my head, but the act of putting them down in words was beyond me. Then I tried again when I was 18, a story that turned into my novel THE MAN IN THE WINDOW, and I haven’t stopped since.
•Do you have any interesting quirks that only occur when writing?
While typing, if I find a typo mid-sentence, instead of backspacing and just fixing that typo, I’ll backspace and delete everything that came after and retype the entire sentence. But that’s only if I catch it while still writing that sentence. Otherwise I’ll just fix the typo.
•Where do you get your ideas for your books?
Where do any of us get our ideas? Most often they just come. Something someone says in conversation, or a song lyric on the radio or just something you happen to see at the right moment will spark an idea. I do find they come most often when we’re not actively looking for them.
•Out of all of the books you have written, do you have a favourite? If so, why?
If we’re going by everything I’ve ever written in over 20 years, it would be my short story, “Monday”, which was originally published on Fiction365.com, then later reprinted in my collection THE DICHOTOMY OF MONSTERS.
As for novels, my favorite so far has to be THE THIRD FLOOR. It’s one of my oldest stories, but also one of my most satisfying. Of all the longer works I’ve ever written, that one, so far, comes closest to saying what I wanted it to say. I wanted to write a ghost story that was truly creepy, and THE THIRD FLOOR fits that bill, I think. And since I’ve sold over 26,000 copies in 9 months, I think it’s safe to say I was right. Also, the sales on that novel allowed me to quit my second job, which was much appreciated.
•What do you think makes a good story?
Man, if I knew that, I’d never write another bad story again. I think something like that is subjective. I’ve got stories I thought were duds that readers have loved, and stories I’ve thought were amazing that have languished for years, unpublished. For me, when I’m reading, I look for interesting prose, a style that is easy to read, that provides enough detail to put myself into that world, but not so much I don’t feel like the story is progressing. But most important, and this is just for me, I want a plot or an idea I either haven’t seen before or haven’t seen done that way before. I can look past clunky prose for a really great idea.
•Who are your favourite authors?
The usual suspects, Stephen King, Clive Barker, Harlan Ellison. I’ve always admired Ayn Rand’s dedication to the craft--I had read years ago that she defected from Russia to the US because she knew the kind of stories she wanted to tell would never be allowed there. But my favorite writers are not strictly writers of fiction. Prince is, in my opinion, one of the most interesting writers of all time. His view of the world continues to amaze me. And I love comics. Alan Moore is the best there is, in any medium. I also love how natural Brian Michael Bendis’s dialogue sounds. Geoff Johns is another comic favorite.
•If you could pick one actor to play a character in your book, who would it be?
Adrian Brody. I don’t even have to think about that, he was the model for the character Geoffrey in my novel REVELATIONS.
•If you had one piece of advice for an aspiring author, what would it be?
Shut up and write.
•Please can you tell us about your latest book and what it is about?
The latest published novel is THE GHOSTS OF MERTLAND. It’s about a haunted childrens’ home in Angel Hill. Saying it’s haunted isn’t a spoiler, the residents of Angel Hill know it’s haunted, they just don’t know why. After a bad break-up, Mandy Malone has to get a job and the Mertland Childrens’ Home is the only place in town that’s hiring. She’s hesitant, understandably, but when your back is to the wall, you do what you gotta do. Besides, the supervisor, Mr. Winters, tells her they’re harmless, the ghosts aren’t self aware, they’re like old projections showing over and over, they can’t hurt her. That turns out not to be entirely true. It also happens that Mandy’s employment there isn’t just happenstance after all.
•Is there anything else you would like to share with your readers?
I’ve been thanking my readers on Twitter over and over, especially the ones who leave reviews, but it never feels like enough. So I want to take yet another opportunity to thank them, again, for buying and reading my work, and for sharing their appreciation of it with others. Word of mouth is such a powerful thing and I am forever grateful to anyone who tells someone else “You gotta read this guy,” in reference to one of my books.
Also, stay in school and don’t do drugs.