Dean is giving a $20 Amazon GC to a random commenter and a $20 Amazon GC to a random host.
1. Woohoo! You are a published author. Describe a strong character trait you possess, good or bad, and how it helped you become a published author.
I’m very good at sustained concentration for long periods of time. That single point of focus becomes a portal to other worlds. And once I’m on the other side of it, I can let my mind roam freely. It’s a paradoxical state, I suppose. You have to have a one-pointed mind if you expect the words, ideas, and images to flow. I’m so good at this that hours, days, weeks, even months will fly by where I’m entirely lost in my own fantasy worlds. I sometimes wonder what it was about my childhood that compelled me to become such an escape artist from the here and now. Very un-Zen actually, which preaches the opposite, Be Here Now.
- Sometimes an author begins writing a story before they are aware of its genre. Did you choose your genre, or did it choose you?
I never think in terms of genres. I follow my heart and let the stories lead me where they lead me. That said, so far, without fail, almost every novel has fallen into either the paranormal fantasy genre or the sci-fi genre categories, or is a hybrid of both. Arguably Escape From the Future is as much urban fantasy as paranormal fantasy and sci-fi. The only real stand out so far is Love on the Run which is a romantic comedy and action adventure romp and heist story. Think the movie, The Thomas Crown Affair, with Pierce Brosnan, and you’ll be squarely in the area of the storytelling map covered by Love on the Run.
As to why most of my books end up falling into one or two categories, I would say that has a lot to do with the topics that fascinate me the most. I’ve always had my head in the future, and have always been much more interested in where we’re evolving to as individuals and as a species, over where we are now. When I pursue that line of thought, extrapolating from those rare individuals with psychic abilities, I end up with my paranormal fantasies. I bring characters to life that are capable of telepathy, telekinesis, teleportation, shape shifting, and much more. When I think of how technology might affect us down the road, I end up with cyberpunk tales, stories of robots, of human-machine hybrids or cybernetic organisms, tales of genetic enhancement, and we typically call those kinds of things sci-fi.
Very often in my stories characters have paranormal abilities precisely because they have been genetically engineered, or they follow a dual path of being open to using technology while already evincing extrasensory abilities. Stories like The Warlock’s Friend are as much sci-fi as paranormal fantasy. And in the case of that one, there is also a parallel present element forming the third dimension of the tale. Fans of the TV series Supernatural will feel right at home with it.
With my series, The Hundred Year Clones, we’re talking about a far-future state where mind-bending technologies inform every aspect of life, but humanoid species all come with paranormal abilities from birth, often in a nascent form that needs developing and nurturing. But if you think about it, the further we go into the future, the more sci-fi and fantasy will likely merge, not just as genres, but in reality. For instance, if a psychic individual permits herself to be studied genetically, and then those studies lead to a genetically enhanced super-race of psychics… you get the idea.
- The plot thickens, or does it? Which one are you, a pantser or a plotter?
I write a mile a minute so that energy and enthusiasm and excitement are transferred to the page and infuse every word of the story. It’s very much like being on a runaway locomotive. Not only does it feel that way for me as a writer, but I want it to feel that way for my readers as well. You should be holding on to your seat with white knuckles every inch of the way along those train tracks.
That said, if I started writing without knowing where I was going, then this train ride I’m taking you on would almost certainly end in a train wreck—and not in a good way, not in a, “Ooh, what a great cliffhanger” way. So I always keep the story thread in mind, the direction I want the story to head in, how I want the characters to develop through interpersonal conflicts. I also, after so many years, have an innate sense of when I’ve fulfilled the expectations of an act 1, and when it’s time to transition to act 2, when I’ve hit the midpoint of the story, the 2nd act climax, and so on. Some of that story structure sense comes not just from writing for many years, but also from prolifically reading great books with an excellent sense of plotting, which I’ve absorbed osmotically.
Last but not least there is Blake Snyder’s Beat sheet with seventeen key beats that every story should have that I always check my early drafts against. Though his Save the Cat is written for screenwriters, I find the same elements equally applicable to novels. And because my background is in screenwriting, a few sins or virtues, depending on how you look at it, carry over as well. For instance, my stories to this day remain very dialogue and relationship driven.
- Fear 101: As writers it is our duty to make our characters face their fears. Have you ever included one of your own fears in a storyline?
I’m glad you forced me to face my fear of ever being asked this question. J I would say that all of my worst fears are inscribed in my writing. If they’re middle of the road fears, in all likelihood I wouldn’t have to write the stories to exorcise those demons as I wouldn’t be that traumatized by them. So then, what am I afraid of? And how do those fears manifest within my stories? I fear real world limitations of any kind. I’m scared of gravity, so in my stories, often a character will have the power of flight (The Warlock’s Friend, Blood Brothers). I’m afraid of aging, so at least some of my stories will include immortals or very long-lived genetically enhanced individuals (The Hundred Years Clones sagas – three novels in this series have been written to date. As with all my books, they’re very YA friendly, but the third, The Four Sectors Wars actually involves a teen cast of heroes and villains.) I fear not being able to affect things at a distance with a combination of telepathy and telekinesis, so expect some of my stories and some of my characters to compensate for my inability to accept this dratted fate, the latter with their own superpowers (The Warlock’s Friend, Blood Brothers, The Hundred Year Clones series, the Renaissance 2.0 series). I fear that I myself will not be someone with paranormal abilities (see everything I’ve ever written, which is scribed to squelch those fears, save for Love on the Run.)
Ironically, for my paranormal characters, despite their enhanced abilities, the world is that much scarier still, and they remain the underdogs. So while they may be the answer to my fears, I’m afraid I’m not the answer to theirs.
- Fear 102: Yes, deadlines are terrifying. Have you conquered the juggling act between writing and the rest of your life? What do you do when it feels like the balls are dropping all around you?
I think with age not only comes greater maturity as a writer, but greater responsibilities, and these obligations all demand a piece of our time. The trick is to create a hallowed space where nothing can enter, and none of these demands can intrude. For some people that’s between three and three thirty in the morning, after the kids are in bed, the dishes and the laundry done, and everyone else is asleep and before they have to nod off themselves to recharge for their morning jobs. I remember thinking, how does someone write a novel with just a half hour a day to devote to the task? Well, the writer I’m thinking of manages a novel a year, and each one wins some kind of award. Granted, they’re 50k novels, but I don’t think we should let that deter from her heroism. I found her story inspirational, because even though I’m not currently so pressed for time, life can get in the way of the writing when we least expect it. Our health can fail us, or someone we love can take ill. We can’t always guarantee that the time we have to write will be lavish. But with skill, excellent time management, and years of experience writing, over which time we learn to write more efficiently, almost anyone can get a book a year out.
With the above said, I no longer agonize when the balls start dropping around me, one and all. I take a deep breath, and a second to appreciate the fact that sometimes life intrudes on us not to persecute us by divorcing us from our writing, but so that we can have a life.
- Switch positions with one of your main characters in a scene. What is the outcome, disaster or divine intervention?
In Blood Brothers there’s a scene where one of my heroes, Jared, (the book has four protagonists in all, two males, and two females) jumps from a fire escape several stories up from the ground and lands on the roof of a moving bus. He survives this because at this stage of the story he’s learning to develop his paranormal abilities. Had I made that jump, I’d have ended up with broken legs. When the bus turned the corner, I would have been flung from the rooftop to land in front of the tailgating Mercedes, and crushed under four wide tires selected for extra traction. I would live, mind you, because that’s my luck. En route to the hospital, I would be fleeced of all my valuables by a clepto paramedic, who would be less interested in saving my life than listening to which of the two baseball teams is winning on the dashboard radio. When I screamed for his attention, he’d say, “Excuse me? But you can see I’m listening to the ball game.” He would turn to Harry (the ambulance driver) and then say, “You wouldn’t believe what my wife did to me this morning. She took my car and left me with hers, the one with the stalled battery.” To which I would interject, “Um, you see me dying over here?” And he would reply: “What is with this me generation? Everything isn’t about you, buddy.”
- Where is your favorite place to write? Add that one comfort food that you can’t do without.
On a private plane, flying to my publisher, who’d already have the presses cranked up because she knows I’ll be finished with the novel I started (when the plane took off) when I get there. My comfort food of choice for this occasion: Amphetamines.
Okay, even I am not that fast of a writer. But I do my best to emulate that reality while writing from bed. (I have to rehearse staying prolific for when I’m in hospice care, dying of atrophied muscles owing to abject refusal to interrupt the writing.) And my comfort food is dark chocolate, because as a poor man’s version of Crack, it comes with the added advantage of mood enhancement and the neurochemical triggers that bolster my creativity. And it does all that while giving me a little more time to write coherently than I imagine heavier drugs would give me.
- Writing inspirations?
You’re asking this of someone whose library contains thousands of books? Moreover, someone who has lived a rich life of four plus decades and had meetings with all sorts of remarkable men and women along the way who are probably so much larger than life that even the best novelist would strain to capture a fraction of their magnificence on paper? Might I add I’m also rather excitable, and most everything inspires me from a sunset, to a colorful bird landing on my windowsill and giving Mozart, playing in the background, an interesting run for his money.
Okay, we’ll go with whatever pops in my head first. And right now that would be an image of Halle Berry in a bikini. All right, fine, the deck was loaded, as I just got done enjoying an episode of Extant last night on TV.
- You are introduced to your favorite author. Who is it, and what is that one burning question you must ask them?
Aristotle is my favorite author. (And just to be clear, I’m not that deep or that meaningful. But if you’re reading my headier sci-fi and paranormal fantasies like Renaissance 2.0, and The Hundred Year Clones, you would say I definitely aspire to being that profound.) What I would most like to ask him is how he managed to be that much of a visionary, and that deep of a thinker while cranking out (allegedly) over 600 books in his lifetime. I would ask him that as in a way I role model myself after him, balancing prolificness with having something meaningful to say. I’m not saying I will likely ever beat him at his own game, but it’s a rare club in which few can offer meaningful mentoring.
And just to clarify, my books are a good deal more fun and entertaining than Aristotle’s, far more accessible, while managing, I would hope, to sneak in a profound insight or two into the meaning of life. I promise those pearls of wisdom will be very buried in the subtext so as not to traumatize you.
10. I’ve gone mad – why don’t you come with me? Some people just don’t understand us writers. Name a quirky, writer-thing you do that friends wish you didn’t.
Because so much of my life is spent entertaining others through my novels, when I’m not writing, I like to be entertained in turn. My friends, in short, often fit a type. They’re like Chris Pine’s character in This Means War; they’re always on stage, complete hams, and may as well be on camera the entire time their lips are moving. Of course, if those were my only friends, I’d be a complete snob. So, in the spirit of generosity I befriend normal people who have something to teach me. As you might guess that might well be humility, or how to lighten up. Many have abilities I’m green with envy over. My neighbor is an animal whisperer that has this psychic thing going with animals that is not to be believed. I love being around her as it instantly mellows me out and shuts my mind down from its incessant plotting and scheming (for the sake of my novels, really, and nothing else). With these friends I take on the entertaining role (again, owing to that ceaseless generosity of spirit). And if the conversation lags for five seconds, I rush to the rescue with some tension-releasing quip. While I think I’m saving the day each time, I’m willing to bet there are just one or two people who find that a tad annoying.
BLOOD BROTHERS: Escape To Creeporia
by Dean C. Moore
Fraternal twins are separated from birth, and raised to be assassins. They were never meant to meet. But even when kept apart, they’re just too powerful. Their paranormal abilities cease to be an advantage when they can no longer be controlled. So they are scheduled for cancellation.
Their paths cross before they can be taken out. It is only then that they discover the true depths of their betrayal. Not only are they stronger when they’re together, they’re half-breeds, sired by an all-powerful warlock.
The question is, are they strong enough even together to take him on now that he’s coming for them?
They have an ace up their sleeves they are not aware of. Drawn to the same kind of women, they find themselves married to a pair of sorceresses whose magical abilities are only now surfacing.
But one encounter with dear old dad is all it takes for them to realize, they’re still the underdogs.
From the back of the book:
“The series is called Blood Brothers, but this adventure is really a family affair: the brothers, their partners, children and even their old man in a starring role as the villain. Think Disney’s Incredibles, but in a violent and bizarre fantasy world.” Rob May, Dragon Killer
“With incredibly detailed world building and action scenes, this story seems like it would make a phenomenal film or TV series.
Moore pulls out all the stops with dragons, telekinesis, shapeshifters and insurmountable odds in this battle of good versus evil – and a villain who just won’t lay down and die.” Demelza Carlton, Ocean’s Gift
“When you read a Dean C. Moore novel, you can expect rich, original characters, witty dialogue and unexpected plot turns. Blood Brothers doesn’t disappoint.” JC Gatlin, Designated Survivor
Jared Rawlings fought to keep up with his wife Ellen, the predatory animal that was the real him threatening to break free of the placid, domesticated creature on the surface that held him prisoner.
They made their way to the latest stall, past the body odors and the dust kicked up in the dirt road by the relentless march of harried shoppers. The Moroccan marketplace was teaming with life; not all of it for sale, at least on this side of the display tables.
Ellen’s eyes darted to the curios, his to the latest constellation of attackers. Whoever had sent the first one after him had abandoned subtle and understated methods.
One fez-wearing assailant, in the window two stories up, aimed his rifle at him. Another assassin, lurking in the shadows the booth over, reached for a Yemeni Janbiya under his vest.
Jared picked up a frying pan, and deflected the bullet from the shooter at the man with the short curved-blade dagger the booth over. The gunfire and ricocheting sounds were swallowed up in the mayhem of the marketplace.
He gazed at the back of the frying pan—with nary a scratch—impressed. Thrusting the pan before Ellen, he said, “I like this one.”
Having missed what was going on with him entirely, she pointed to the miniature brewer and the Arabic coffee. “A few shots of that are what you need.” Addressing the peddler, she said, “I swear, he sleepwalks through life.”
I write sci-fi, fantasy, action-adventures and thrillers, or some combination thereof—usually with a strong vein of dark humor. Though, my works are dramas first; the humor is there to take the edge off as with the Raiders of the Lost Ark, Transformers, and Jurassic Park franchises.
I wrote screenplays for a while, and while enjoying them, I found them a bit confining. After a while you just need the extra page count to flesh out characters better and do additional world building, especially when considering doing anything epic in scope. I also took a run at future forecasting and trend tracking, being as I always had my head in the future, things like Alvin Toffler’s Future Shock. I also relished this, and can certainly see myself releasing a few titles accordingly in the nonfiction area. But since delving into novels, short and long, I’ve definitely found my home and my voice. For the first time I feel the restraints have been taken off of my imagination. I suppose all mediums have their limits, so I may end up doing a mix of things, but I suspect I will continue to spend most of my time with novels. Series add an additional dimension, allowing for even more depth and development both in the character and world building departments. But I remain at heart a divergent thinker, so, no surprise, I seem to have more series going than follow up installments at this point. That too may change over time; we’ll see. Until then, it may be best to just think of these books as one-offs if you’re fond of my writing style and some of the themes I work with.
My current catalog of twelve books represents a little over five years’ worth of work. I’m currently averaging a couple books annually. Of my existing franchises with multiple installments, The Hundred Year Clone books can be read in any order, while the 5 books of Renaissance 2.0 must be read in sequence as they form part of a singular story arc (much as with A Game of Thrones.)
I live in the country where I breed bluebirds, which are endangered in these parts, as my small contribution to restoring nature’s balance. When I’m not writing, or researching my next book, I may also be found socializing with friends, or working in my organic garden.