My guest this week is multi-genre author Sherri Fulmer Moorer. Welcome, Sherri! Please tell us something about yourself.
By day, I work as a program assistant in professional licensing. By night, I write. I started out as a Christian writer and published my first book, Battleground Earth – Living by Faith in a Pagan World in 2004. I switched to writing fiction and published my first fiction novel, Blurry, through Wings ePress in August 2011. My second fiction novel, Anywhere But Here, will be published through Whiskey Creek Press in April 2012.
1) What kinds of books do you like to read?
I like science fiction, mysteries, and some fantasy. I recently started reading detective novels and I enjoy those as well.
2) Who are your favorite authors, past and present?
J.R.R. Tolkein and C.S. Lewis are my favorites. They had a unique perspective on life and the world and were able to capture it so well in their writing. I also like R.A. Salvatore, P.D. James, Ben Bova and the young adult writers Christopher Paolini and Christopher Pike.
3) Are there any authors who have inspired you to write and, if so, who are they?
I’ve always enjoyed writing and dreamed of being published, but I have to admit to being inspired by my favorites. I’ve also started to read works by other independent authors, and that encourages me to keep writing. Every time I read a book that I enjoy, I have the hope that perhaps one of the stories I create will inspire others.
4) How do you choose your characters’ names?
I won’t lie – names give me a fit. I’ve utilized some old family names in my writing. For example, the protagonist in Blurry is named Rachel Shull. I’ve always liked the name Rachel and Shull is an old family name. Since I work in professional licensing, I see a lot of names on applications and try to note ones that I particularly like so I can mix and match them for my characters.
5) Do you plan your novel from beginning to end either in your head or by outline or jotting down notes? Or, do you go with the flow and let the characters dictate their journey?
I go with the flow. I’ve tried outlining and the outline is usually blown by the time I get a few chapters in because something develops that throws everything else out of wack. I do usually know how I want to start and end the novel, but I try to keep the middle flexible because something usually jumps out that makes the plot develop in ways that I didn’t expect. I like those surprises and usually run with them.
6) What kind of writing schedule do you have?
I do most of my writing in the evenings. I’m not a morning person and getting to work on time in the mornings is enough of a challenge, so all that advice to get up a few hours early and write just won’t work for me. I find I’m more creative when my routine tasks for the day are done anyway, and I don’t have to worry about a “to do” list or getting somewhere on time.
7) How do you choose your titles? Do you have a title in mind before you start writing or does something occur after you have begun to write or after you have finished?
I usually wait until I’m at least halfway through my rough draft to put a title on a novel. I like to see how it’s developing and if there’s any concept that seems to keep showing itself that will lend to a title. For example, I picked the title for Blurry based on a conversation the protagonist was having with her boyfriend about how tragedy had made a crystal clear life blurry. That quote hit me as so powerful because it really summed up the entire theme for the book.
8) Do you base your characters on real people or are they completely from your imagination?
I’d say it’s a mixture of both. I think they do need to be based on real people to make them believable, but you have to use your imagination to fill them out to fit the plot you create.
9) Have you used real life experiences in your novel or is everything from your imagination?
Again, it’s a mixture of both. Blurry is entirely imagination. My next novel, Anywhere But Here, is backed by experience. That novel is about a young woman who becomes depressed when her life is sidetracked by reality. I have personally known many people who struggle with depression, and I have to humbly admit that some of the dirty office politics in that novel are based on things I’ve seen over nearly 13 years of working in an office.
10) When did you realize that you wanted to write novels?
I always wanted to be a writer, but I think I realized that I really wanted to be a novelist in 2008 when I got the idea for Blurry and started writing the first draft. I enjoyed writing that novel so much more than any of the inspirational writing I did, and it occurred to me that it was probably because I really was a novelist at heart. I still do occasional inspiration pieces – in fact, I’m wrapping up a blog series on my website on being authentic and finding your purpose in life – but by and large, I spend most of my time on fiction.
11) What genres do you write?
Blurry is a young adult mystery novel. Quarantine is a suspense novelette. My upcoming book, Anywhere But Here, is an adult supernatural suspense novel. Battleground Earth - Living by Faith in a Pagan World is Christian Self-help.
12) Where can readers find your book(s)?
Amazon.com is probably the best place to find a comprehensive list of my books. I have an author profile there at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005G5DW9U . You can also find links to my books at my website at http://www.sherrithewriter.com .
Thank you very much, Sherri. It's been a pleasure having you here.