Instead of faking an interview, here are a bunch of questions readers frequently ask me in emails.
1) In what order should I read your books?
You are reading: Christopher moore books in order
some of the books can be read out of order. Lamb, Coyote Blue, Fool and Fluke can be read on their own, although there are some characters that appear in other books. That said, this is the order I wrote them:
- demon maintenance practice *
- coyote blue
- blood sucking demons †
- the island of the loving nun with sequins
- the lustful lizard of the melancholic cove *
- the stupidest angel *
- dirty work
- you suck: a love story †
- bite me: a love story † (y)
- sacré bleu
- the snake of venice (sequel to fool)
- second hand souls (sequel to a dirty job-August 2015)
† the vampire series, better read in order * the pine cove series, better read in order.
2) where can I get fancy designer merchandising?
Sorry, my merch guy went to shit to parts unknown and I haven’t found a new one.
3) what is your connection to ms?
I’ve had a couple of friends diagnosed with the disease, young, otherwise healthy people, and it seemed like a good way to spend the proceeds from the merchandise.
4) what is happening with the movies of your books?
not a damn thing. all the books have been bought or bought for the movie at one point or another; if you are interested in the rights or the provision of any of them, you can send me an email. If something real happens with the movies, I’ll post it on the website. Believe it or not, I don’t pay much attention to those things. it interferes with my real job, which is writing books. nothing is in danger of being done. understand, it has occurred to me that my books can make good movies, but I don’t make movies, I write books. it’s up to someone else to make them. as of summer 2015, a dirty job is in development as a series for universal cable.
5) are you going to write a sequel to lamb?
not. absolutely not. no matter what I did with it, everyone would read it and say, “well, it’s not as good as lamb.”
6) What about the other books? any sequel?
I’m thinking of another book on the pocket of the fool and the serpent of venice in the future.
7) Do you answer your own email?
Yes, I try to answer them all, but when I’m on tour or particularly busy writing, my answers have to be pretty short. in recent years it’s been getting harder and harder to keep up and I’m not sure how much longer I’ll be able to keep up and keep writing my books. you can send me an email through the contact page.
8) do you have a facebook page? twitter? instagram? twitter: @theauthorguy facebook: http://www.facebook.com/theauthorguy
most of my comics are on twitter. facebook tends to be more posts about upcoming books and tours. Even though I have an instagram account, I realize that I really can’t maintain more social networks and continue doing my job.
9) Do you really block people on facebook and twitter who tell you to get off the internet and go back to work?
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10) Can I ask you for signed books?
no, sorry, I don’t sell my own books directly. when I’m on tour, I often sign additional books at various stores around the country that take orders and ship signed books. I usually announce that they will be doing it well in advance of the tour on facebook, my website and twitter.
11) Can I send you a book directly for you to sign?
I’m sorry, but because my mail stopped receiving outgoing packages, I had to stop signing books by mail. it is a national security regulation now that all packages over 13 oz. they have to be delivered to a person at the post office, and my post office is in Chinatown, which means an average of 1 hour online (plus the time in my mail delivery to receive the packages), which I can’t miss my writing day.
I’m really sorry, and if things change I’ll post the solution on my website. thanks for understanding.
12) who is your favorite author? What about other authors who influenced you?
john steinbeck, but that’s based on his comedic work, not so much the heavy stuff he’s best known for. Steinbeck wrote about flawed people with great affection and forgiveness. I aspire to that in my own work.
When I was a kid, I think Jules Verne and Ray Bradbury influenced me: It was in Ray’s stories that I think I first realized there was a craftsman behind the story, making it all work. that was around sixth grade i guess. I was later influenced by horror story writers like robert bloch and richard matheson, and then as I progressed into what I do now, in my twenties, I was influenced by kurt vonnegut, tom robbins, and douglas adams, all of whom wrote fun books and got away with it, which is what I wanted to do.
13) what are you reading now? What do you recommend?
at any moment i’m reading the new one by carl hiaasen, dave barry, nick hornby, mil millington, david sedaris and a zillion books on research for the novel i’m working on but you can get a better sense of the things I read and enjoy in chris’ selections.
14) I have written a novel and I need to get an agent. how do i do that?
Most of my fictional marketing information is 20 years out of date, so here’s what I think you need to do to get more up-to-date information. you go to the library and find a book called the literary market. (it’s like $350.00 per copy, so go to the library). then learn how to write a query letter and send it. the market for novel and short story writers comes out every year, and that should also help with your manuscript preparation.
15) Do you have any tips for an aspiring writer?
yes, there’s a whole forum on my bulletin board called “so you want to be a writer” where we discuss the craft. you will find it here. I try to answer written questions via email, but as stated above, most of my marketing information is woefully out of date.
16) I have a manuscript, would you mind reading it and telling me if it’s any good?
I’m sorry, I can’t. I would never be able to do my own work if I read all the manuscripts that people need to send me. I would suggest getting into a good shop if you need criticism. I even have trouble keeping up with the published books that are sent to me for comment on the cover.
17) Where do you get your ideas?
usually from something I read. it could be a single sentence in a magazine article that starts an entire book. ideas are cheap and easy. Telling a good story once you have an idea is difficult.
18) Do you have a say in what appears on your covers?
now more than before, but I never have the last word. I’ve never wanted a character to be on the cover, but as you know, I’ve lost that battle in almost every book at one point or another.
19) Describe your typical writing day.
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I usually get up around 8:00, make coffee, and then go to my office. I write until noon, then I answer mail, make phone calls, pay bills, things like that until around 1:00 when I go to the gym. lazing around for a few hours, I eat dinner, then read, research, and work on notes at night. if I’m lucky I’ll find out what I’ll write the next morning. I’ve tried working longer hours, but I just can’t seem to be funny that many hours of the day. I am a little envious of authors who can churn out ten or twenty pages a day. I have, but I end up throwing most of it away the next day.
20) How long does it take you to write a book?
It took me 12 months to write the manuscript and another six to research it. I wrote books in less time and spent more time on others, but the average is 12 months. lamb took almost three years. the stupidest angel only took about six months.
21) Do you rewrite a lot?
hardly any, and I was lucky that my editors liked what I delivered. I rewrote part of the beginning of love nun and coyote blue because the main characters were a bit tough. both are redemption stories where the main character would go through a major change as the story progressed, he tended to overwrite the negative, making the characters hard to like at first. With the exception of editing (spelling and such), most of my books have been printed almost as first draft. my publishers have asked me to change maybe four lines per book. I think this is due to the fact that I write very slowly. if I were writing a first draft in a month like some authors do, I’d be doing a lot of rewriting. the method has a lot to do with my lack of rewriting, and what is a draft anyway? with word processing, you can go back so many sentences that might have ended up in a draft in the days of typewriters.
22) Do you sketch?
I usually know where the story begins and ends before I start, but I usually don’t know “how” I’m going to get to the end. I try to be about five scenes ahead of where I’m currently writing (this is the work I do at night). I have some scenes finished before I start the book and they just connect at a certain point. I outlined the last half of lust lizard because I was on a tight deadline and couldn’t afford to lose a day if I got stuck. since then I have done more sketches, and again, more towards the end of the book than towards the beginning and middle. books with historical or literary source material (sacré bleu, lamb, fool, the serpent of venice) there is a lot more outline to make sure I can keep in line with the source material.
23) What do you do when you’re not writing?
I go out for lunch a lot. I also spend a lot of time worrying about not writing. I live my life in a perpetual state of panic, thinking that the book I’m working on will suck or that I’ll never be able to write another book again. I go to the gym every day and I like to walk around the city and take pictures. The last few years I have been painting with acrylics and oils.
24) Did you receive any criticism from the Christian right for lamb?
oddly, none at all. I think everyone was expecting some conviction, but it turns out it’s the opposite. I receive dozens of letters from Christians who loved lamb, and even say that it strengthened their faith. now the lamb is being taught in various seminaries of different denominations, so I guess he must have resonated with the right people, and the people who would have condemned him seemed to have had the good sense not to read him.
25) what about the stupidest angel 2.0? what’s the difference? version 2.0 is exactly the same book as the first version, except it has an additional 35-page chapter that follows the characters the following christmas. I think there is only one version now and it includes the extra chapter.
26) when does the stupidest angel come out in paperback?
Actually, there is no plan to ever publish the stupidest angel in paperback. we priced it lower than the other books and published it in small hardcover so the paperback isn’t necessary.
27) Did you have a twisted childhood? explain.
My father was a policeman, a state trooper, and a bad day for him at the office often involved pulling dead and injured people out of burning cars. you develop a dark sense of humor to deal with that kind of situation, as a self-defense for your sanity. I think that sense of humor rubbed off on me a little. (see bio for more on this sort of thing).
28) When did you start writing?
when I was 12 years old. I started thinking about going pro when I was 16. It took me until I was in my thirties before anyone actually paid me to write.
29) Are you married? Do you have children?
I got married in 2014 to the woman I had been living with for the last twenty years. she is still on double secret parole.
30) What are you working on now?
Right now (Spring 2015) I’m working on the plot of a book that I guess would be described as “noir”. I don’t know much beyond that. i’m also in the middle of adapting fool for the stage with joe discher, a stage manager in new york. we’ve been working on it for a while now and we still don’t have a timeline to bring it to the stage.
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