Would you like to get to know more about how the inner book brain of an Indie Author works?
This is the place!
Periodically, we'll invite an Indie Author to open up their brain, and show us inside. We'll have a conversation that deals a little bit with writing craft, reading influences, and some other fun stuff.
Today, we thumb through the pages of
Indie Author Ian Tadashi Moore's grey matter...
Discover More About Ian Tadashi Moore HERE!
What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?
I wasn’t sure what this even meant. The closest I’ve gotten to something like this was the summers I spent in Lake Michigan, where I would dive to the bottom of the beaches and watch the waves. It was a big inspiration for parts of my second book, Tamaishi. But I have never gone on some deliberate trip with the purpose of writing enlightenment.
What is the first book that made you cry?
The first book that comes to mind is The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, but that’s because it was recently when I read it to my son. It struck me that I can’t remember another book that made me cry, although that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen — I just don’t remember. But perhaps no other book really did, because I didn’t read very emotional books and/or I hadn’t lived enough.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
The internet. It’s a big rat hole of distraction.
Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
I like the idea of having things stand on their own — there’s something satisfying about writing a story that feels a perfect package all unto itself. Even so, my third book has connections to my second, and that was fun. But originally I didn’t set out with that intention.
How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
Getting the first book together made me audit my life and what was really important to me, and that instilled the sense that it was indeed possible, even with all the constraints I have. I learned that plotting can be your friend, although I’m still a pantser.
As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
I never really consider it, but since I’m thinking about it, a parakeet. He was my favorite pet as a kid and I can imagine him sitting on my shoulder as I write. I guess I have a ceramic bird perched my office, so that must be it.
What did you edit out of your books? (keep it family-friendly, please)
Boring plot points that that didn’t move the story along and confusing elements that didn’t make sense. So many unnecessary words.
What one thing would you give up to become a better writer?
I’ve already “given up” a lot, because I realized I was spending my time doing a lot of meaningless things when I could be working on books. I can tell you what I would not give up: time with my family.
What is your favorite childhood book?
The Phantom Tollbooth. It’s what made me want to do this in the first place, however late I may have come around to it.
What is the most difficult part of your writing process?
Finding an idea. When you begin with the thought that “it’s all been done” it’s difficult to avoid thinking what you’re writing is not worth writing about. I overthink this, and would be better off just writing something everyday. But I also realize my limitations. Right now I’m not a prolific writer, and I may never be.
What is the easiest part of your writing process?
Sketching images to go with the words. Refining them is another story, but the words always come with images for me. Then it’s a matter of realizing those images, somehow capturing them in “immortalizing” them on “paper”.
How long on average does it take you to write a book?
If you don’t include illustration it might take 6-8 months for me to write a draft, and revise, revise, revise. With illustrations it looks more like 18-24 months.
A common misconception entwined with authors is that they are socially inept, how true is that?
I am borderline introvert, but still am extremely extroverted in most situations. I don’t not consider myself at all be socially inept. Awkward, maybe. I do see a lot of writers who are painfully quiet. But I still don’t call that “inept”. That assumes we’re a world of extroverts, and that introversion is the “wrong” way. The personality of a writer is different, and other writers I think understand it. We are perhaps lost in our own thoughts, always working, or dreaming up things. That this clashes with some of the world doesn’t make them inept.
When did it dawn on you that you wanted to be an author?
I suppose I may have thought about it as early as nine years old, but I gave up on it for other things. It dawned on me again when I was 38.
Who are your biggest literary influences?
This is a tough one for me, because I don’t consider myself to be widely read. I don’t voraciously read books like so many authors seem to do. Part of that is I’m a dilettante with varied interests that pull me from here to there. But I loved the work of Michael Bond, Peter Mayle, Haruki Murakami, Roald Dahl. I loved the art of Ron Barret, Maurice Sendak, and Richard Guindon.
What’s your favorite movie which was based on a book? Why?
Also a tough one, as 1) my reading breadth isn’t terribly wide, 2) my movie repertoire is similarly limited. I’ve probably seen more movies than I’ve read books. I’m struggling to even think of all the movies I’ve seen, much less which ones were based off books — which isn’t to say that there have been none. I loved The Joy Luck Club however, but I never actually read the book. But the movie has stuck with me my entire life. I thought To Kill a Mockingbird was a fantastic movie and book — the characters were well played and the movie aesthetically was gorgeously shot.
How did it feel when your first book got published? How did you celebrate?
I honestly don’t remember what I did. But it may have actually been the first book that made me cry, technically speaking, because I was so overjoyed that I had actually made the thing.
What is that one thing you think readers generally don’t know about authors?
Authors don’t just magically write books. They do not appear out of thin air and we write them in a day and make money. Not all authors care about making a living or a career out of it.
Can you tell us about your current projects?
II’m wrapping up my third chapter book, and I’m recording and editing the audiobook version. When that is done I don’t know what will come next. I may try more short stories, maybe take a break and illustrate a book for another author, dream up a graphic novel. Though I find as much as I like to draw, there’s something about how the art bridges the gap between the words that I enjoy, rather than using images to tell the story. I appreciate a good silent graphic novel (such as The Arrival by Shaun Tan), but it is definitely a different kind of storytelling. I can feel other books percolating. I may take a while, though to just read more.
Are you attending any conventions/festivals where readers can meet you and/or buy your books? Please provide all the “find it” information.
Just Christmas in Clawson in November 2020 currently. I’m planning on entering my book in some a couple of competitions, just to see what happens.
Please provide links and/or instructions about how readers can purchase signed copies of your books.
Iantm.com/books, and write me at email@example.com
Any advice you would like to give to aspiring authors?
You get to choose for yourself if you’d rather write for a living or write for other reasons. Don’t let anyone choose that for you. You don’t have to make a career to write. Be honest with yourself about what YOU really want, give yourself time and space to find your voice, and you will.
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