What books did you love as a child? Why?
I loved fantasy and fairytale books. My father taught elementary education as a college professor and was in charge of previewing new children’s literature books. He brought home armloads of what I liked and indulged my reading passion.
When did you decide you wanted to be a writer? Why did you decide to write?
I didn’t aim to be a fiction author. My path evolved to this end. While growing up I enjoyed reading, and for that reason I followed an English minor college program, actually just for fun along with a Biology major. Taking lit courses and writing essays for fun–strange, but true! Years later, I worked as a rock music reviewer. 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 posted on a music forum. He repeatedly encouraged me to submit my creative writing. Over time, I came to believe him and did. After that, a new world opened up and it’s been a wonderful time.
When do you find time to write?
Finding time to write isn’t hard for me. If I don’t write for a couple of days, I feel grumpy and out of sorts, unbalanced. Writing seems to be a necessary part of my life, so I naturally make time.
What are the joys of writing for you?
I enjoy the freedom of being on an adventure with my characters. It’s a world of make believe that comes to life through my words. The escape is unlike any other, totally relaxing.
What is your favorite genre to read in? Write in? Why?
I enjoy reading almost all subgenres of fantasy. My favorite is certainly the one I write, fantasy romance. I also love magical realism, mythic fiction, and mythpunk. Once I finish writing all the epic fantasy romance books I have in mind, I intend to steer my writing in those directions. I think those subgenres would be tricky to write, teetering along the line between reality and fantasy. I’d like to be a more seasoned author before I try my hand at that level of complexity.
How would you describe your writing style? How did you develop it?
My writing style shows my early reading influences, fairytales and classic literature. In college, as an English minor, the years of lit classes instilled a love of older, more formal character voices. I use that style to help me create interesting variety among my own characters.
What was the inspiration for your book?
During the winter of 2008-9, I moved my mother from NW Ohio to Tampa. It didn’t take much to convince me to stay through the winter to help her get settled before I moved my own household the following summer. I enjoy folklore and legend, and sought interesting local tales. I was enthralled with the legends of pirates and mermaids surrounding the annual Tampa Gasparilla Festival, a tribute to the pirate captain Jose Gapar. A pirates, mermaids, and mermen naturally became the characters of my Ciel’s Legacy series.
Do you do research for your writing? If so, how do you go about it (Internet, travel, etc.)?
I do spend time researching and enjoy that part of the writing process. Often local events or places give inspiration and details. Certainly, the Ciel’s Legacy series has a dual setting of my local Tampa coastal area and the region of Tortuga (near Haiti) in the Caribbean. My husband and I have traveled a lot in the Caribbean. One of my favorite local Tampa area beaches—Fort DeSoto—inspired the initial setting for the series. I wrote most of the first book on that beach and still go there often to write through the afternoon.
Some details in the series on topics like pirating, Haitian vodou, and hoodoo magick required research online and study of reference books. I spent a lot of time learning about the parts and workings of pirate ships. There are several types of sailing vessels and an intricate battle scene in Tortuga Treasure: Ciel’s Legacy.
One of my favorite characters in the series, a vodoun mambo named Teega, influences the use of hoodoo magick in the story. She is a master, helping those she considers friends, but can be extremely dark and vindictive if crossed. Pirates in my story fear no one more than Teega. Some of the merfolk train under her to learn basic hoodoo arts. Forming her dark spells required plenty of research, but that was fun for me to weave into the storyline.
What is your next project?
In the past year, I’ve undertaken a huge writing project of self-publishing a series of five books in an epic fantasy romance, the Enchanted Bookstore Legends. Two are written and professionally edited. The third is my current work-in-progress. I’ve been busy putting final touches on book one, Seeking a Scribe, which will release mid-March. Here’s the blurb:
Lyra McCauley is a writer and loves fantasy novels, but until she opens a selection from bookstore owner Cullen Drake, she has no idea he’s a wizard character who lives a double life inside that volume…or the story’s magic will compel her from the edge of depression to adventure, danger, and love.
His gift to Lyra, the Book of Dragonspeir, was actually her copy, misplaced years ago. Lost in her pain following divorce and death, she fails to recognize him as her childhood playmate. Friendship builds anew. Attraction sparks. But Lyra doubts whether a wizard is capable of love. She’s torn—should she protect her fragile heart or risk new love?
Opening the book’s cover, she confronts a quest: save Dragonspeir from destruction by the Black Dragon before he utilizes power of August’s red moon to expand his strength and overthrow the opposing Imperial Dragon. Lyra accepts the challenge, fearing Cullen will perish if evil wins. Along with magical animal guides, Cullen helps her through many perils, but ultimately Lyra must use her own power…and time is running out.
What are you reading now?
I’m just finishing The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. I’m enjoying the book a lot and don’t want it to end. I love the way she creates the circus setting. It functions almost like another character.
Tortuga Treasure: Ciel’s Legacy
By Marsha A. Moore
Genre: Fantasy Romance
About the Book:
When Ciel first looks into Alvaro’s eyes she finds love. Bad timing. In the next instant he’s fatally stabbed in the back by one of his pirate mates. Her girlfriends warn her it will only bring on a heap of trouble to save him. Unable to resist, she gives him the gift of a new life as one of her kind—a merman.
Will their love encourage him to embrace life as a merman? Can love survive if he wishes to return to human form? Either way, her friends speak true. No matter how much mermagic and dark vodou Ciel and her friends cast, blood-thirsty buccaneers chase them across the Caribbean until Alvaro finally decides.
Warning: This book contains a magical cock-a-too, lecherous scurvy pirate dogs, hoodoo healers, the mark of the evil Black Spot, plenty of dark Haitian vodou, and passionate encounters on tropical beaches.
About the Author:
Marsha A. Moore is a writer of fantasy romance. The magic of art and nature spark life into her writing. Her creativity also spills into watercolor painting and drawing. After a move from Toledo to Tampa in 2008, she’s happily transforming into a Floridian, in love with the outdoors. Crazy about cycling, she usually passes the 1,000 mile mark yearly. She is learning kayaking and already addicted. She’s been a yoga enthusiast for over a decade and that spiritual quest helps her explore the mystical side of fantasy. She never has enough days spent at the beach, usually scribbling away at new stories with toes wiggling in the sand. Every day at the beach is magical!