This week’s guest is New York Times Best-Selling Author Christopher Moore, author of the just released Fool, a comic retelling of Shakespeare’s King Lear. His books are filled with humor, pathos, and thoughtfulness, often in a single sentence. Please welcome him to Five on Friday.
Note to Librarians, Teachers and Students: The purpose of FIVE ON FRIDAY is to expose readers to the creative process. I will feature authors of both Children’s and Adult books. Please note that Fool is written for an adult audience, so please check with your parents first! (Even if it’s not about reading a book, you should still check in with them. At least once or twice a day. Sometimes they get lonely).
I first wanted to be a writer when I was about fifteen, and I was reading and writing a lot. Strangely enough, a lot of narrative poetry. But I think I first started to think about what it would take to become a professional when I was sixteen or so and had a teacher who made us submit a short story to a magazine or we couldn’t pass the course. Incidentally, I didn’t pass the course; because I didn’t finish the story, but I’m the only one from that school who has gone on to become a novelist.
What book or writer/artist do you feel influenced you the most?
Steinbeck, definitely. Because of the great warmth and humanity he showed toward his characters. I aspire to that.
The last one I really enjoyed was G. Xavier Robillard’s Captain Freedom: A Superhero’s Quest for Truth, Justice, and the Celebrity He So Richly Deserves. It was genuinely funny.
If you could offer one piece of advice to aspiring writers (or illustrators), what would it be?
Practice your craft. If you’re a writer, read a lot of the kind of stuff you’d like to write and try to write it. You won’t end up plagiarizing, you’ll just eventually find your own voice, but in the process you’ll see how it’s done. The same with artists. Learn to draw. Copy the artists you admire. It’s a tradition in learning art, and you really have to learn the discipline of drawing before you can develop your own flare.
Can you share with us your next project or any information about the next book you’re working on?
My new book, Fool, which comes out February 10th, is Shakespeare’s King Lear as told from the point of view of the Fool. It’s one of the funniest things I’ve ever written, and no, you don’t have to know King Lear to read it. In fact, Shakespeare’s version will probably just ruin it for you. The one I’m working on is Bite Me: A Love Story, wherein Chet, the huge, shaved, vampire cat takes over the city of San Francisco. It’s a love story.