Author Spotlight: Marsha A. Moore
Posted by Cat-Gerlach
Today, we welcome Marsha A. Moore, an author of fantasy romance. Marsha is a fellow author from the Magic Appreciation Tour, and she is currently wrapping up her Enchanted Bookstore Legends.
Much of her life feeds the creative flow she uses to weave highly imaginative tales. The magic of art and nature often spark life into her writing, as well as watercolor painting and drawing. After a move from Toledo to Tampa in 2008, she’s happily transformed into a Floridian, in love with the outdoors. Marsha is crazy about cycling. She lives with her husband on a large saltwater lagoon, where taking her kayak out for an hour or more is a real treat. She never has enough days spent at the beach, usually scribbling away at stories with toes wiggling in the sand. Every day at the beach is magical! She’s been a yoga enthusiast for over a decade and recently completed a year-long Kripalu-affiliated yoga teacher training program. The spiritual quest of her yoga studies helps her explore the mystical side of fantasy.
Why did you become an author? Was it a childhood dream?
I’ve followed a circuitous path to end up as a fiction writer. I graduated with a degree in Biology, minoring in English. I wanted to pursue Literature and Fine Art, but my parents encouraged me to study Biology, so I might eventually find a reliable job. That was fine, since I liked that subject also. I wrote essays as a fun break from my full load of Science. Yes, weird that I thought writing essays was fun…still do! Then, I headed into grad school studying Dentistry. Four years later, I decided, although I was excelling, it just wasn’t my calling. I changed gears and taught high school Biology for seventeen years, getting my Masters in Secondary Education.
Along the way, I picked up a hobby of writing music reviews for record companies. During that time, I was inspired by some of those experiences and tinkered with fiction. Initially, I wrote fiction based on the world of rock music. Through a lucky happenstance, a man who worked for a major book publishing house read my first attempts at fiction, which were posted on a music forum. He repeatedly encouraged me to submit my creative writing to publishers. Over time, I came to believe him and did. After that, a new world opened up and it’s been a wonderful time.
What’s your greatest obstacle in writing?
I’ve invested over three years writing this epic tale. During the last year, I’d been eager to realize the culmination of the twisted, interwoven storylines. However, while writing the final book, Quintessence, when I approached the last five or six chapters, I hesitated and had to force myself to go on. That’s not my normal rhythm, usually ending a novel like it’s burning my fingers. And I well knew what the plot required. I just didn’t want to part with my characters and that incredible fantasy land.
However, with the series now complete, I feel proud of my work. Looking back, it seems a huge accomplishment. But it was an effort of love, without hardship, so completing the path feels like only a small milestone. What I’m more proud of are my characters—the strength, compassion, loyalty, and love they shared. I feel like a happy parent seeing children leave the nest, sad for my characters to leave my daily life, but thrilled they will now share their endearing qualities with new readers.
What makes the world of your novel different from ours?
It’s basically a fantasy lover’s dream, being able to step into a favorite book as a character. I know my initial inspiration came after watching the recent Tim Burton Alice in Wonderland movie. From that, I wanted to work with parallel worlds and have a heroine who must save the fantasy world from danger.
I envisioned a series with the magical complexities of the Harry Potter world, but for grown-ups, with characters who faced more complicated life issues. I had strong opinions about choosing my heroine’s age. I wanted her to have experienced enough hard times to be able to truly appreciate true love, honor, courage, fairness, all that is good. In this way, she can truly commit to whatever obstacles lie in the path to happiness. She knows herself and is determined. As the series progresses, I admire her strength.
What was the most exciting thing happening when you wrote your novel?
The most exciting thing was to have a minor character spring to life and command a larger role. The character was the ten-year-old crippled child named Kessa whose mother sneaked her into hiding in the Imperial lair of the Alliance during Dark Realm attacks on their village. She made an appearance in Staurolite: Enchanted Bookstore Legend Four and commanded a far greater role than I’d planned. Her original intended task was to merely deliver a jewelry box filled with ancient magical trinkets to my heroine, Lyra McCauley. Kessa lit up while touching those items, and her own magic sparked my heart. I empowered the girl as a seer, the only one in the land for centuries. She even became a pivotal character to end the series in my latest release, Quintessence: Enchanted Bookstore Legend Five.
Who is your favorite Indie author?
I admire many of the writers in my critique group. To watch their dedication to learning their craft leaves me in awe, honors me to be a part of their journeys, and inspires me to make my own writing a priority.
Who is your favorite traditionally published author?
There are so many. I love magical realism books like The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen and Practical Magic and The Green Witch by Alice Hoffman, both so delicately woven with the most sparkling magic. Other books that captivate me are Natasha Mostert’s Season of the Witch and Erin Morgenstern’s Night Circus. In both of those, magic caused mental effects for both the giver and receiver. I enjoy the complexity of that theme and employ it myself in a very different way. In the Enchanted Bookstore Legends, my heroine, Lyra, must learn to mentally control her vast inherited powers as the new Scribe. That is something she struggles to master through the series.
If you could change one thing in your life, what would it be?
I don’t think I’d change anything in my immediate life. All the happy times and hardships have helped me know myself more deeply and to be more compassionate toward others. I value each step and each lesson along my path.
About the Books
The Enchanted Bookstore Legends are about Lyra McCauley, a woman destined to become one of five strong women in her family who possess unique magical abilities and serve as Scribes in the world of Dragonspeir. The Scribes span a long history, dating from 1,200 to present day. Each Scribe is expected to journey through Dragonspeir, both the good and evil factions, then draft a written account. Each book contains magic with vast implications.
Lyra was first introduced to Dragonspeir as a young girl, when she met the high sorcerer, Cullen Drake, through a gift of one of those enchanted books. Using its magic, he escorted her into the parallel world of Dragonspeir. Years later, she lost that volume and forgot the world and Cullen. These legends begin where he finds her again—she is thirty-five, standing in his enchanted bookstore, and Dragonspeir needs her.
When Lyra reopens that enchanted book, she confronts a series of quests where she is expected to save the good Alliance from destruction by the evil Black Dragon. While learning about her role, Lyra and Cullen fall in love. He is 220 years old and kept alive by Dragonspeir magic. Cullen will die if Dragonspeir is taken over by the evil faction…Lyra becomes the Scribe.
Thank you, Katharina, for interviewing me today!