BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF WESTERN HISTORICAL ROMANCE!
Caroline Clemmons writes historical and contemporary genre fiction. Historical romances, contemporary romantic suspense, mysteries, and paranormals are among her current works. Learn more about her at www.carolineclemmons.com
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
#INTERVIEW WITH DEAN C. MOORE AND PREVIEW OF LOVE ON THE RUN
Readers, today Dean Moore has agreed to give an interview in combination with his current book tour to promote LOVE ON THE RUN via Goddess Fish Tours.
**Deanwill be awarding a $20 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour. You must leave a comment to be eligible for the prize.
Now, on with the interview.
Caroline: Share with readers something about growing up and your life today.
Dean: As a kid, I grew up in Trinidad. My body is still hard wired to start boogieing the second I hear calypso on the radio or playing on CD in the background. Steel drum music drives more epiphanies than Moses coming off the mountain. And the endless island sea breezes I became accustomed to means I come most alive in regions which have this feature. I spent some time in New Tampa, Florida and fell in love with it for this reason.
The teens were spent in the Bay Area, where I quickly fell in love with San Francisco. San Francisco remains my favorite city for a balance between aesthetics and colorful people. I guess I celebrate human diversity as much as I do biodiversity, and you couldn’t do better than the Bay Area for that. When I was going to Cal Berkeley, every day walking up and down Telegraph Avenue was like attending carnival in Trinidad. Okay, maybe not quite so colorful, but not toned down by much either.
I’m a naturalist, and eco-travel nut, so camping and backpacking along the West Coast from Northern California up through Washington, and the Rocky Mountains spanning the distance, was my idea of paradise. It was rare to let a weekend go by without losing myself in one or another of the countless micro-habitats along the mountain range. The really cool thing about California is that the beauty is so diverse; you can drive anywhere from fifteen minutes to two hours to feel like you’re on an entirely different planet, which, as you can imagine, for someone who writes as much paranormal fantasy and sci-fi as I do, is quite the head rush.
In high school I was definitely “the brain.” I had plenty of jocks as friends, who ordinarily picked on what we today would call “geeks.” I imagine my getting up from my desk and leaving my test answers visible for all to see may have played some small part in my popularity amongst all groups.
Married, no. Children, no. But I do have a dream to start a sanctuary for writers now that I’m living out in the country on twenty or so acres. I have this Christian Brothers inspired vision of making our own dandelion wine, selling dried shitake mushrooms, being self-sufficient with the organic garden and building tree houses in the forest outback. We’d communally share all the duties so everyone feels like they’re just getting a healthy break from the writing as opposed to having to give hours of their day to support “cult-like” endeavors. Alas, I might have to be radically successful as a writer to finance those dreams, so please do your part to help one visionary’s take on the future come through and buy absolutely all of my books, preferably several times over. The audiobooks when they become available might be great for the dogs and cats. Hey, my reader’s voice, I hear is up there with Mozart’s music for both its liveliness and its soothing qualities, so you never know, your pets may love you for it.
Caroline: Who are your favorite authors and favorite genres?
Dean: I’m more high-concept than genre driven with my reading. If it’s an exciting idea, I’m all over it. That’s my way of saying I read positively everything, including a lot of genres that scare me personally, such as historical fiction or “period pieces” because of the years of research that go into writing one book. My imagination is just too prolific for that kind of long-term commitment. I have enough books piling up in back of my head as it is.
Among the big name authors who are household names, I’m a Michael Crichton fan first and foremost. I’ve modeled much of my writing after him and would love to be known one day as “the next Michael Crichton.” Needless to say, I miss him terribly. I’m also a huge Clive Cussler fan. He’s such an institution that he’ll be publishing long after he’s dead. It takes a lot of time and effort to establish a brand name that people trust, and once you’re there, no one will let you die. So the corporations come in and “Clive Cussler” lives forever, just with someone else writing the books.
Among indie authors, who I read more heavily these days, as I’m an indie author myself, and it’s a way to pay it forward, my latest discovery is a man called Alex Grove who penned a near-future sci-fi thriller trilogy. The first installment is called False Idols, and for now can only be found on wattpad. I’ve been helping him clean up an early draft. But look for this exciting author when he goes live on Goodreads and Amazon. Other favorite indie authors whose writing style echoes my own works are people like Ken Magee, who penned the Dark Tidings trilogy, and R. D. Hale who penned Sky City: The Rise of an Orphan, a near-future cyberpunk tale. Angela Stevens, has a Sleeping with the Enemy style romance slash thriller out now called Lemon Drops and Love. And she also writes paranormal fantasy (of the skinwalker and shapeshifter variety). That trilogy starts with The Wolf You Feed. The three books should be available within a few months.
Happy to give the above authors a shout out, moreover, as I don’t think Michael Crichton and Clive Cussler and their ilk need me to help them sell any more books. But in indie land it’s a bit more of a struggle to get people to realize your books are even out there. Initially I was quite naïve about that. I just put the books on Amazon and said a silent prayer. That turned out to be the worst marketing plan in the history of the world. Now that I’m saner and wiser, I’ve embarked on the book tour circuit, which as it turns out is a whole lot of fun.
Caroline: I’ve been with a major publisher and am now an indie writer. While the two are different, I prefer being self-published. What’s your favorite way to relax and recharge?
Dean: I love all kinds of travel. I’ve had my sights on an Alaskan cruise for some time. For more land-based things, there are some eco-travel packages I’ve been drooling over, one in Costa Rica, where they have the most colorful assortment of colorful songbirds in the world. I’m a bit of a bird enthusiast. I miss my pet Macaws and parrots from when I was a kid in Trinidad! Now it strikes me as too politically incorrect to keep these endangered animals, so I have to go to where they are, assuming there are any left in the wilds to go chasing after.
I’ve been contemplating some spiritual retreats in the desert too like I used to do when I was younger. I found, when spending a couple of weeks in Monument Valley, that the desert tranquilizes my mind like nothing else; I feel infinitely expansive, and I lose all sense of self, melting into the landscapes. Perhaps I spent a lot of past lives in the desert, who knows?
Caroline: Hero and I have wanted to take an Alaskan cruise on one of the smaller ships. Do you have a favorite quote that sums up how you feel about life?
I have several favorite chestnuts from Albert Einstein on my Goodreads page. He may have been a physicist, but he was also one heck of a philosopher king, and his spiritual insights move me to tears. Here’s one of his gems: “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” That’s the best explanation I’ve read for why I write novels right there. I do it to grow my own mind, so that at the end of my travels, I’m smarter, wiser, bigger-hearted, and my vision is broader; I can see into the future better and make more sense of the present as well. It’s how I make sense of my world. And if I want to leave the world a more enlightened place than how I found it, then I have to first make myself more enlightened, and that’s what storytelling does for me. It engages not just my rational mind but my whole mind, my left and right hemispheres get in sync, as do my superconscious, conscious, and unconscious minds. With that much mind power and the spell casting magic of the story itself I have a way of transforming myself and the reader for the better.
Caroline: Wonderful insight and fits in with my favorite quote from Ghandi, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” How long have you been writing?
Dean: Since my twenties. That’s more than a couple decades ago for anyone who’s counting. Back then I wrote as the spirit moved me, that is to say, not very consistently. I would also leave a lot of rough drafts laying around unattended because it was just more fun to chase down the next wild idea. With an ounce more discipline and focus I could have been pelting out books through my twenties and thirties and early forties. Alas, enlightenment for some of us comes more slowly than it does for others. Now, I’m like Morgan Freeman who no one saw in movies when he was younger and now is suddenly everywhere. I feel like I have to make up for lost time, so I write books like a thoroughbred horse runs a track, under a whip of self-guilt if I set the pen down for a second. Alas, I guess every age gives us something to work on; with this one, it’s how to go easier on myself.
Caroline: Don’t all of us over forty share that sentiment? Where do you prefer to write? Do you need quiet, music, solitude? PC or laptop?
Dean: I’m lucky enough for now to have a rather ideal situation writing in the peace and quiet of a rural country setting. More urban areas, especially exciting cities like San Francisco and Berkeley, where I spent much of my formative years, can be a little too stimulating to get much work done. That said, I’ve trained myself to write anywhere under any conditions, because we don’t always have the luxury of an ideal setting. The house can be ravaged by a tornado, the body can take ill, I may develop carpal tunnel syndrome (especially at the rate I’m going) and will have to learn to dictate my books into a recorder. So the name of the game for me is flexibility. And not getting too comfortable with having the perfect conditions in which to write. Ask Venus Williams if she should cancel her next tennis match because she’s feeling “less than ideal.”
Caroline: Exactly! Louis L’Amour is supposed to have said he could write at the intersection of Hollywood and Vine while sitting on a folding chair with a portable typewriter balanced on his knees. Are you a plotter or a panzer?
Dean: I skew a little more to the panzer side of things. If I know too much about where I’m headed, I lose the sense of adventure and so will not bother to embark into the highlands of my imagination. On the other hand, with the passage of much time, I’ve learned to impose a lot of structure on my writing to keep it from being a rambling mess. For me the “freestyle” part reflects the right-brained dominance which I’m prone to. And the structure, the discipline in the editing, comes from the left-brain. Over the years, instead of alternating back and forth between the two, I’ve learned to stay right in the middle. But that balance was a long time coming. They say it takes a minimum of ten years to make a writer. I’d say in my case it was more like twenty.
Caroline: I believe that’s called being a plotzer. Do you use real events or persons in your stories or as an inspiration for stories?
Dean: I think the troupe of clowns up in my head would get jealous if I did. I’ve always taken them to be a cross between my guardian angels and souls I’ve befriended in past lives who still fancy having a voice in this world. Diehard actors themselves who love the idea of having a stage and an audience to play to through me, serving as their trance channel. As to why so many of them have such a biting sense of humor, I imagine that’s their effort to get me to lighten up. But every once in a while someone in my real life world finds his or her way into my stories, but usually not entire, just some traits of them make it across the barrier and get attached to other characters. Usually because they’ve so traumatized me that I need to heal the wounds through my own personal form of drama therapy.
Caroline: Well said! Do you set daily writing goals? Word count? Number of chapters? Do you get a chance to write every day?
Dean: No, I just get lost in the writing and surface when I’m too exhausted to continue. I imagine the daily word count varies wildly. But I imagine if I set goals for myself then some part of my mind would rebel. That’s going from experience with my exercise goals and my New Year’s Eve resolutions. I look at and celebrate milestones after the fact, but getting there, not so much. I just have an aim and a direction and intent, and I trust my higher power to get me there.
I do write every day. That much is vital. It’s what separates the pros from the amateurs in my mind. Without the discipline, nothing gets finished. That said, even if you only have a half hour a day after the kids are in bed, the laundry’s done, and all the chores are behind you, then that’s what you have. I know plenty of writers who manage a book a year or every two years with little more than that to work with. With that in mind, I guess I’m not half as prolific as I think I am, because for right now at least, I’m writing full time.
Caroline: What do you hope your writing brings to readers?
Dean: I write to entertain first and foremost, and if I give someone a few hours or a few days of reprieve from the high pressure situation that is their life—who’s life isn’t that way anymore?—then I consider that a job well done. That said, a part of me hopes, obviously, that you will be changed forever for the better after reading the story, if only in some small way. That my hero’s and heroine’s heroism will have rubbed off on you, or their ability to be brilliant under pressure, or to transform themselves and others around them through love…
Caroline: Admirable goals, Dean. What long-term plans do you have for your career?
Dean: To succeed commercially and artistically no matter what genre I tackle. While I’m known primarily for sci-fi and paranormal fantasy, Love on the Run is a clear departure from that. It’s an action adventure and romantic comedy as is Strays, which will be coming out some time in 2015, along with some hi-tech paranoid conspiracy thrillers. I’d like my readers to dig what I do enough to follow me anywhere, to command that loyal of a fan base. That’s the best way I can see to be truly free. If I’m accepted in one or more genres at the expense of others, then that becomes a limiting factor I’d as soon not have to contend with.
Caroline: Would you like to tell us what you’re working on now?
Dean: I’m usually always working on several things at once. I edit the novels in parallel so I always have something to look at with fresh eyes the instant I finish a draft of another one. You can find the titles in the works and the concepts behind them under my Books section on my website, particularly under Hi-tech thrillers, but there’s a new one on the drawing board in most every genre I write in.
Of the lot, the one that’s most like Love on the Run, is Strays, as I mentioned above. It’s a retelling of the Oliver Twist tale for the 21st century. An out of work teacher takes in street urchins (kids in their late teens) and rehabilitates them, rebuilding their confidence and helping them to be all they can be. Regrettably, to pay the bills to fund his social work project requires teaching them to steal from those who have to give to those who haven’t. So I guess you could say it’s more accurately described as an urban version of Robin Hood and his Merry Men meets Oliver Twist.
Caroline: What advice would you give to unpublished authors?
Take everything I did and do the opposite, lol. My writing method is great for maximizing output without sacrificing quality, as it eliminates virtually all downtime. Editing multiple novels in parallel, as I say, keeps my eyes fresh and detached for each one so I don’t have to endure a “cooling down period” of weeks or months before starting again. But for marketing, it’s a bit of a disaster. As now you have not one book to bring to people’s attention (which is hard enough) but several. And that’s that many more books to collect reviews on, you get the idea. But it’s how I work. It’s more like harvesting the low hanging fruit in a basket when they become due, and leaving the rest on the branches to mature a little longer. Again, a wonderful marketing method for farmers, for writers, not so much.
They say once you have the concept and the cover, start getting the word out then. That’s actually fairly brilliant advice. And start auditioning readers for now for those audiobooks! My print books are very ego-gratifying; there’s a lot to be said for having tangible evidence of where all your time has been going for the last few months or years. When your books just exist in cyberspace, when you go to talk about them to people they still have no way of knowing if you’re not merely delusional. But audio books and e-books are where the real sales are at. Better yet, start doing some public readings of your work. If it turns out you’re good at reading your own stuff, think of how much money you’ll save doing your own audiobooks! Or, how much more money you’ll make not having to profit-share when you instead split the difference with the narrator. Some people get so good at doing audiobooks it turns into a secondary income doing them for other people.
Caroline: Share a fun fact readers wouldn’t know about you.
Dean: I have a big-face watch fetish. Luckily I can’t afford most of the ones I drool over, which keeps the craziness in check. Don’t ask me why or where this comes from. Though, admittedly, every other piece of jewelry I’ve ever tried to wear never lasts. Rings annoy the heck out of me; I end up fidgeting with them until I can’t take it anymore, and they’re gone. Back when I was into photography more, I had a camera equipment fetish. Maybe it’s just “boys with toys.” Or maybe it speaks to something far more terrifying and unresolved that has morphed into a monster locked inside my Id.
Caroline: Obviously, you have things under control, so there’s no need for concern. ☺ Share something about you that would surprise or shock readers.
Dean: Back when I had a day job they used to call me “the doctor.” Because I’d walk in with this giant suitcase that was ten to twelve inches wide, more like carry-on luggage, really. And inside was every herbal supplement for every possible stressor, illness or imbalance. I guess the whole “wage slave” thing got to me worse than it gets to most people. In retrospect, looking back, it was a little goofy, and probably read like a neon sign flashing “pending mental breakdown. Steer a wide berth.” I was well liked though, because my free samples fixed whatever was going on with whomever. I’m surprised they didn’t think I was dealing more conventional drugs out of there, considering my popularity. Now that I write full time, a lonely occupation that would drive most people insane, I’m far more stable, lol, and haven’t had any regression episodes in which “the doctor” alter surfaces again. Maybe I should have just gotten a day job as a naturopath, and have been done with it.
Caroline: Nope, sounds as if you’ve found your true calling. Is your book a series? If so, how long?
Dean: I would love, love, love for Love on the Run to be successful enough to justify doing a series. I’m sort of testing the waters with my various franchises. I already have a second installment in mind where the couple does the Caribbean circuit, taking me back to my roots (as I mentioned earlier, I grew up in Trinidad.) It would add an entire travel-literature dimension to the story that I think would be fun for readers. So, please, read it, enjoy it, and use my “contact me” form on my website to tell me that of all my series, you want me to concentrate on that one next. Instead of crowd-sourced editing, which is so en vogue these days, we’d be pioneering crowd-sourcing management of Dean’s time.
Caroline: Is there anything else you’d like readers to know about you?
Dean: I love hearing from fans and readers. So please do use that “contact me” form on my website to chat with me, tell me what you loved, hated about your favorite characters, and like I said, what you’d like to see in a second installment of any of my series, or which of my series you’d like for me to concentrate on next. Or feel free to talk about whatever moved you in the story, which might well take me by complete surprise. Most gratifying of all would be if you asked to get on an email list to be alerted when another installment in your favorite series comes out, or simply when my next book will be available.
Love on the Run
by Dean C. Moore
LOVE ON THE RUN Blurb:
Husband and wife thieves are on a mission. Just not the same one. He’s out to pay for her cancer therapy–at any costs. She’s out to humanize him, and make him less of a self-absorbed jerk.
The fast-talking, fast-acting, adrenaline seeking duo pick up a few on-again off-again sidekicks along their way, despite staunch protests from Zinio. But with all they’re up against–not the least of which being one smart, hound-dog of a lady detective–the question is: Can love conquer all?
“The story is smart and funny.” R. D. Hale, Sky City: The Rise of an Orphan
“For the booklover that doesn’t like having his or her time wasted.” Jack Heath, Remote Control
“This would make a brilliant movie or TV series.” Demelza Carlton, Ocean’s Gift
“Reminded me of The Thomas Crown Affair, down to the whip-cracking humor, the snazzy plot turns, and the character dynamics between the leads and the hotshot female detective on their tales.” Rhys Jones, The Whispering Void
“Only if you want an action packed read with fully developed and interesting characters.” Victor Longshanks, One Big Problem
Excerpt from LOVE ON THE RUN:
Zinio pointed to the underwater sewer line emptying into the ocean. Delaney nodded and swam up it ahead of him.
Each time she saw a vertical shaft leading up to street level, Zinio shook his head no, and pointed to further down the tunnel, or left here, right there.
They were nearly out of air when Zinio grabbed her and pointed upward.
Changing into street clothes that didn’t really look anything like their style—down to the funky hats to frustrate overhead surveillance cameras—they emerged out of the manhole.
Sauntering down the street a ways, he walked them inside a motorcycle shop, and bought them a pair of racing bikes.
Outside the shop, the street racers were zooming by them on their motorcycles. Zinio handed her a number, printed out in the store.
“I didn’t really. But when I told you to lose the tail, I had to account for the fact that it might take a while. This race is West coast to East coast. Perfect camouflage. Beats the hell out of any other form of travel they’re likely to be tracking.”
“And if we’d landed in San Francisco?”
“There’s a cruise ship that gets us back to New York.”
“You watch QVC late at night to clear your mind.”
“They have great deals on diamonds! Okay, not as good as your after hour specials, but…”
“I watch Johnny Mnemonic. The memory guy?”
“That you’d pass up the shopping channel for that.”
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.