Ask the Author: Christopher Moore

“Answering questions during #Shakespeare Week, April 18 - 22. Bring your Bardy curiosity. ” Christopher Moore

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Christopher Moore She has a small cameo appearance in Secondhand Souls. It would be tough to write more with her because time has moved on, and how she talks will seem dated now. I built her idiom in 2006, from real blog entries from Goth kids. The blog culture has given way to a snapchat culture, and that too will pass, so I'd have to somehow lock her in time. She was sort of annoying to begin with, but she was so wildly energetic in her annoyance, that people liked her, but I don't know how she would wear with time.
Christopher Moore I outline, but not "fully". I usually start with a very loose outline that sort of hits the beats of a three or five act structure, but often I don't know what events will lead to those critical events. I have to leave a little slop in an outline in case I think of something funny. The discipline one tries to adhere to, is to not include anything that doesn't move the story forward, reveal character, or build suspense, but in my case, I will also go down a rabbit hole to chase something funny, and that sort of thing happens, often, when the characters are mixing it up, not when I'm working in outline form.
Christopher Moore The Fool play is stalled. I worked with a terrific director for about a year on adapting Fool to the stage and didn't really come together before we both had to turn our attentions to other projects. I'm certainly open to taking Fool and Serpent to the stage, but I may not be the guy to do it.

And yes, I do plan to write another Pocket book.

As far as I know, The Stupidest Angel got within a week of beginning to film back in 2012, I think, and the financing fell through. The producer is trying to set it up as a series, now, but I haven't heard any details on it.
Christopher Moore A number. Many are composites of several people, like the characters in my Pine Cove books. They have the qualities of three or four people that I know. And the two main characters in Fluke, Nate and Clay, are based on guys I got to know while researching that book. I always change qualities of a character from the person I modeled them on, mainly because they have to do stuff the real people don't have to do, but yes, I certainly have used real people to base characters on.
Christopher Moore In a way it really does. That's sort of how I react to the world. Working it into a story can be work, but I don't have to work to come up with the jokes and turns of phrase, thankfully.
Christopher Moore Absolutely. I submitted a proposal to do another book with Pocket next, but my publisher wanted me to hold off. But he'll be back, if I have anything to say about it.
Christopher Moore Thanks. I worked on Sacré Bleu, research and all, for a little over four years. I had been going to museums and looking at art for fifteen years or so, since I started touring nationally for my books, so that was certainly part of the process, but as far as actually focused on making it all into a novel, around four years. I wrote Bite Me while I was researching Sacré Bleu.
Christopher Moore Absolutely. I also like writing Pocket, the fool, a lot, so I'd like to put him in other Shakespeare motifs and in the process of the story, let the minor characters blossom. I did this in The Serpent of Venice, where we get to know Jessica from The Merchant of Venice, a lot better, as well as Emilia from Othello (Iago's wife). It's great fun. I'm also excited about doing another book where some greats from history interact with fictional characters.
Christopher Moore Probably my father's love for books. When I was a kid, he went to the library every week on his day off, then he would come home, sit at the kitchen table and read all day while drinking coffee and smoking. He read a book a day when I was younger. Even before I could read, he would bring me home a stack of books with his own stack, so it was like a treat every week. Later, if I wasn't in school, he'd take me to the library with him. Books were always important in our house, so I think I grew up with the elements of storytelling in the air.
Christopher Moore I don't plan on it, but then, I didn't plan on the 3rd one. I feel as if I'm done with vampires for a while, and it feels like American' culture has sort of worn them out as well, so probably not.
Christopher Moore I don't think so. I really feel as if Lamb does what it's supposed to do, and to bring Biff back would dilute the effect of the first book. I like that people want more, but there are other noble smart-asses to write without disturbing Biff.
Christopher Moore First, every Shakespeare tragedy is set off by someone making a boneheaded decision, so the two stories have that in common. The difference, I think, initially, is that Lear isn't being malicious when he first divides his kingdom among his daughters, he's just being a nitwit when he disowns Cordelia (and banishes Kent.) The Glouchester family is a bit of mess, though, isn't it, with Edmund being horrible and ambitious and Edgar being a bit naive. But it all begins rather innocently.

Hamlet, on the other hand, begins with betrayal, murder, and adultery, although all of that happens off stage. There is still the innocent caught up in the madness (Ophelia), and Hamlet's indecision followed by what can only be madness, is what really sucks the rest of the characters into the tragedy, but there is a sense of love and duty among Polonius' family, although the lesson seems to be, "love and duty will get you jack-squat when there's a lunatic with a sword around." So neither play is a portrait of healthy family life, I guess.
Christopher Moore Over the years, as I've had to write to tighter deadlines, and I've taken on projects that involve much more source material, like Sacré Bleu and the Shakespeare books, I've had to outline a lot more. When I started, and up through my first five books or so, I only knew about five scenes ahead where the books were going, but now I really need more of a road map to incorporate all the research. (And so I don't get stuck as often when I come to a fork in the road.)

My favorite to write? That's hard to say. Each has been joyful or difficult at certain points. If I count the whole process, from research to finished book, it would have to be Sacré Bleu, because it involved four years of learning about and looking at art, and living in Paris for a while. The actual writing was terribly difficult at times, because I had so many characters to incorporate over so many years, and I didn't really have a model to work from. (Like say, a suspense novel formula, or classic mystery.) So, Sacré Bleu, I guess.
Christopher Moore It means an answer that gives away parts of a story that might spoil it for a reader.
Christopher Moore "Oh for a muse of fire, that would ascend the brightest heaven of invention."

It's the first line of Henry V, and I see it as a writer asking for a muse to make him worthy of the story. I feel like that ever time I sit down to write, and , in fact, that line is posted on label tape at the top of my computer monitor.
Christopher Moore Right now, A Midsummer Night's Dream, because it's genuinely funny. Unlike some of the comedies, like The Merchant of Venice or Measure for Measure, it's not tragic at it's heart, but highly goofy, except for the Duke threatening to kill his daughter if she doesn't marry the right guy. It's also the most accessible, I think, to a modern audience, and the most fun to see in person. My favorite can change, though, depending on seeing a great performance. I'm pacing myself on watching the BBC's Hollow Crown series, and honestly, they have done some plays that previously I thought quite dreadful, like Richard II, and made them terrific, so I reserve my right to change my mind.
Christopher Moore Shakespeare "stole" all but three of his stories from history or previous tellings of stories, even other plays. I believe that Romeo and Juliet came from a book of Italian love stories, as did a number of the plays set in Italy (Two Gentlemen of Verona, As You LIke it, Much Ado About Nothing). A better scholar than I could tell you the name of the source book. I have looked at some of those old Italian texts, specifically the verses of Petrarch, but haven't found anything there that fired my imagination the way that Shakespeare's retelling does.

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