Sunday, November 9, 2008

RichWriters Interview with Author, Chris Moore

Jeff Rivera: Hello and welcome to the show. I am Jeff Rivera, author of the novel 'Forever My Lady' by Warner books and I am honored to present to you The New York Times bestselling author, Christopher Moore who is the author of bestselling books that is 'Fluke', 'The Stupidest Angel', and most recently, 'You Suck'. Welcome, Chris. How are you?

Chris Moore: I am great. Thanks, Jeff.

Jeff Rivera: Thank you so much for doing this but what are we going to be doing today is talking about specific advice for advance writers and authors about what Chris does to be such a successful, prolific and bestselling author. Thank you so much for joining us, Chris.

Chris Moore: No problem.

Jeff Rivera: I wanted to ask you, it is obvious that you are very successful and very good at what you do. Did you always know that you are going to be successful?

Chris Moore: No, not at all. I think like anybody that does just like sort of which is taking a shot in the dark but it just happened to be that I was better at this than anything else that I did and we are just not to say that I thought I was great, I just was not that good at anything else and I thought I really needed to give it a shot and it took, I was in my early 30s before I actually got a book published. So, it was not like an overnight thing you know, right out of the high school or anything like that.

Jeff Rivera: So, people who are listening who are maybe in their 30s, 40s or 50s or even older, you would say, it is never too late to do it?

Chris Moore: No, I think it requires, I mean I know that I would not have any success if I have not really put my head into it and put the book as the first priority of my life and I really thinks it requires that, it certainly did for me but I do not think it is an age thing. It is just simply can be a very long road and if you start late, you just have to accept that it might take, it is still going to be hard and still going to require a lot of your effort.

Jeff Rivera: And it has been a while since your first book. What kind of doubts do you remember having when you are first starting?

Chris Moore: Almost, I think, you just, when you are first starting, you do not even know if you can write a book and a lot of my misgivings were the fact that I had started probably a half dozen books and written a great chapter one and two and then sort of enter a rewrite and convinced myself that I was a like, you know….what a piece of crap? and was never going to be able to get the chapter three or four and so when I finally did get a book done, I approached it in that I would not rewrite anything until I was finished with the first draft, with the beginning, the middle and the end and so what of the biggest doubts was just doing the work. Until I can compartmentalize the marketing part of it and not think about selling the book but really concentrate on the writing of the book, I was not able to even finish a book so that was my biggest challenge.

Jeff Rivera: So, you were before kind of caught up about whether or not you can sell rather than actually finishing it and making it as good as it could be or..?

Chris Moore: Yes, it seemed like I needed to put the horse in front of the cart in which was not worry about selling the book until I actually had a book finished and I find a lot of the inspiring authors that I talked to will ask me how do I sell a book and I said, "Do you have a book?" And they will say, "No," and I will say, "Well then, do that and then we'll talk about selling it," because it really, especially in fiction, you really have to have the book finished before you can even consider selling it and until you got a couple under your belt and we can sell book space and proposals but not for the first book. Nobody wants, you have to have some evidence that you know how to write and people are going to want to see it.

Jeff Rivera: So, you cannot sell like a nonfiction situation where you can write like a proposal and then you can send it off into an editor and..?

Chris Moore: No, certainly not for a first book and very often for the first, second or third book. I think my third book was the first book that I actually was able to get paid in advance on a proposal. Now, a lot of times authors will get a two, three, four or five book contract depending on, a lot of mystery writers will end up getting and the fiction writers will get a five-book contract or four-book contract based on one book and so they are actually writing two contract and so they kind of now that their next books will sell. I did not do that. I wrote my second book on spec as well as my first just more for the challenge than anything else.

Jeff Rivera: I know from reading your writing, you have to be one of the most unique writers I have ever read because I have never quite seen anyone write the things that you do into the style because you take what could be a typical genre of horror and then make it funny and you have to think, I mean, one of the quotes I read I believe it was from Carl Haison about you that you are twisted in it and that is on a good way and I think that describes your style writing because I really enjoy it. It is very unique and I really think that people who are listening today can really learn a lot from you. One think I wanted to mention and thank you for is that about two years ago, in fact I found an email, I have sent you an email because you seemed, I do not know, there is something about you seemed very approachable, I was just writing or beginning to write my fist novel which is 'Forever My Lady' and I was having a lot of doubts and I was not sure if I could do it. So, I wrote you an email and asked you, "Please, help me. Give me some advice," and you were so kind even back then to take a time and encourage me and it was not just a short quick answer, you gave me a detailed encouraging answer of how can I do it and how you had the same situation and I really appreciate that and know that your advice helped me succeed and I have to thank you for that.

Chris Moore: Welcome. That is great to hear. I mean, it is difficult as I sell more books, it is difficult to give that sort of time to people that I would like to and I certainly cannot read manuscripts, I think I have not been able to do that for ten years because I just do not have time. I would never get my own work done but you can sense whether somebody has a passion for doing the work and I think that I probably can pick that up and a letter is a really good way. I communicate mostly with my readers by email so a letter is a good indication of whether somebody can write or not but I am glad that whatever I said might have helped. Anybody who has gotten far up into the business to understand it knows that it is hard. I do not need to tell anybody it is hard so encouragement would seem to be the correct response. All you have to do is sit down and face a blank page and you know it is hard. You do not need horror stories from the trenches of publishing to know that it is a difficult thing. It is certainly the hardest thing I have ever done and one of the things that satisfying about it is now I have been doing it professionally for going on in 17 years and it is still hard and I still get challenged when I get up and go to the page everyday and I do not think I ever encounter anything in my life that way where I have done it after a year or so, it did not become easy.

So, when people are starting like you were, the last thing you need to hear from me is, "You are worthless and weak and shouldn't do it and you know, get a real job." Because [cross talking] in the world.

Jeff Rivera: Do you remember the first time and do you remember what life was like before you got that kind of credit as 'bestselling author'? I mean, did you, what are the couple of things that made you struggle within your personal life to become a writer?

Chris Moore: I think that I went through about five years, I was a pretty good writer when I was a kid and then I sort of let it fall by the wayside and I think I was about 25 when I got to a writers' conference and realized I was still pretty good at it and that is what I wanted to do. I was an insurance broker at that time and horribly unhappy so I sort of changed my life around and moved to a smaller town and then, sort of living with a woman who is also a writer and we talked about books and writing all the time and I really sort of over dramatized the angst of being a writer. I drink too much and, I did, I will say the good part of it is I read a lot because I did not have a very good education in literature and I think I read most of those books that I would have read if I had gone to college to study English expect I was reading them with the point of idea of learning as a writer but I really wasted probably five years of indulging myself as the artist rather than actually doing the art and so, when I was about 30, my whole life kind of fell apart and my girlfriend went away and I was fat, drunk and stupid so I needed to sort of take care of that but it was not anything hardship that was thrown upon me. I mean, I brought it all on myself and I think sometimes the imagination that will eventually get you paid can turn on you because you are good at thinking up things. You can also look think up things to sort of self destruct with and so, anyway I kind of, for a lack of a bit word gap my shit together and started writing and working actually hard. It was a surprise. I wrote my book while I was working four part-time jobs but four jobs nonetheless. I had one shift off a week and then I use that to do my laundry generally. It was a really good time of my life because I sort of rebuilt myself and also wrote the book at the same time and got a lot done so it was very typical. I was waiting tables and not making a great deal of money and living with roommates and stuff. It was not horrible because I was doing work I liked to do and I felt like I was getting things done but not actually better than I had before when I was an insurance broker. I had plenty of money but I was miserable. I just hated it and the falseness of it and in my case, I do think anybody that is an insurance broker is that way but sort of the way I was brought into the business was really not a sincere way to manifest your personality at one side.

Jeff Rivera: Excuse me. You mentioned that you did this second job because I think a lot of people who maybe listening right now have always thought about writing a book or maybe they have not quite finished their book and they like to use an excuse that they have a full time job or they have four thousand kids to raise and they do not write but you were actually working four part-time jobs while you wrote your first book.

Chris Moore: Yes and that is one of things I do tell people is that if you wait for the things to line up for you to be able to write, you will never finish the book and that is you cannot, you have to just, if you can only put aside an hour a day, you have to give the book priority or you are not going to get it done and those things that, well, as soon as the kids grow up, as soon as get my marriage together, as soon as I get the promotion at work or as soon I…it is just not going to happen and you have to understand that the book will never get done unless you do it in a disciplined way and really, even if you only write an hour a day, if you can write a page in an hour, you will have a novel in a year and I will get those things that if would have started, I would be good at them now or if I would have learned to, I thought about learning to play piano when I was about 35 and I thought, "Oh," and I did not do it. Well, you know what? I would be pretty good at it by now and a book is the same way but you really have to, you cannot wait for life to line up for you to be able to write a book. You really have to just take that time and if you do not have it, I would recommend do not write a book and accept you are going to write a book. You are not going to get to that place where you can go off to a cab and then be by yourself and have your bills paid and write a book. You have to do it while life goes on and I think it actually helps the work sometimes.

Jeff Rivera: I think that is really, really piece of advice. I think that is going to help a lot of people listening right now to really start now. What is your life as a writer right now? I mean, of course, we have a picture in our mind, "Oh, wow, he is the best one. He must be on yachts and meeting with the president and it's not," what is your worst [1311]?

Chris Moore: I think I have to be writing popup books to meet with the president. How do you make a popup every time? Let us see, I basically, I have a very low QI. One of the things I found out when I just addressed bout the discipline, one of the things that I found out about when I wrote my first book and it seems to be true is I really require routine and discipline to get a book done and it is all well and good to write and sit and start with inspiration especially if you write songs or poems or short stories but novels do not get done that way. You do not write a novel on a weekend. You have to really be disciplined and write daily so even as much as, you know, a part of me that wants to be the wild artist or the bohemian that wants to go out and trip the light fantastic, I have to be at my desk every morning for a certain number of hours and then I go to gym and then I answer email and sometimes I have an interview and sometimes I have to go to lunch with a friend but it is…I live a pretty circumspect life. When I go to do research, I get to do some extraordinary things like for 'Fluke'; I got to go sort of hanging out with whale scientist for a number of months and that is sort of the legitimacy that having books in print gives you, you can say to people, "Look, I'm writing a book and you're not," and they go, "Oh, okay. Well, I'll talk to you and I'll hang out with you," and you still got to be a decent person. That cannot be an ass bad although they are good at what they do too. They do not have to put up with you but very, I mean, the thing is financially, I do not have to worry about money all the time but one does but certainly it is not a world of private jets and yachts or rocks that came in a size of a Volkswagen or anything like that, I am very and I have looked to the same woman for 12 years and I TBO Grey's Anatomy and Doctor Who and it is pretty well key life.

Jeff Rivera: That is interesting. One thing I thought that was interesting about your writing at the way I found out about you is that you do kind of a humorous style but you do a lot of research in order to… and people maybe kind of take for granted what someone who can write in a style that you are write that is in order to be good at what you do and I thought that was really interesting.

Chris Moore: Well, I think that when you write funny stuff and I write mostly stuff that has a super natural element in it, so you are asking people to buy a lot of off-the-wall things and so the reality of the story has to be really well grounded and I think, informative and I just think it is another element to help excite your audience if you could present stuff. My approach to research when I am learning about sort of esoteric subject like whale research editorial or the history of Palestine during the 1st Century which I wrote about in 'Lamb', it is a lot of research but I am always looking at it with an eye for, "Boy, that's cool!" And so, that when people are reading the book, they will go, "Well, that's cool! I didn't know that." And because detail is what makes fiction exciting, it saying an exciting detail and unfortunately, you have this kind of slog through the whole mess to come up with the cool stuff but I think it just basically counterbalances the wilder stuff that things my character say and do and the things that happen to them with a really groaning in facts and science or whatever happen to be running about.

Jeff Rivera: It is interesting, you mentioned the character, what do you do like how do you create your characters? Do you find them walking on the street? Do they come from a television show? I mean, how do you create such interesting characters?

Chris Moore: Well, I sort of, I come out of it with generally what do I need them to do. I mean, a story first occurs to me like, well, there is this guy and he, where there is this women and she… and then it goes on from there and very often, I will meet someone who or see someone who embodies the character I think would be interesting. I remember, I was on a book tour a number of years ago and I do not do science fiction conventions very often because I do not really think that is what I write but occasionally I am in a city where one is going on and I got invited and I go and there was a woman who was basically a 'scream queen' but her career was sort of she was not really doing movies anymore but she was signing 8x10 glossies at a science fiction convention and she had scores of adoring fans lining up and she done nothing but like 'be horror movies, attacked by mutants in the dessert' kind of movies and I thought that would be a great character like what happens to the woman in the brass bikini after she is done with her be-movie career and where did they go? And so I wrote a character that was sort of ends up in small town and a trailer and has blurred line between life as this actress and well, basically adds her character as an actress and who she really is in real life which is served the town crazy lady.

So, that sets as an example to the sort of thing that you can just see something and go, "Hey, wait a minute. It never occurred to me. What happen to that person?" or "What would happen in that same book?" A guy who is I met, I had a friend who was horribly addicted to pot and everybody said, "You could be addicted to pot." But I watched him trying to get off of it and I thought, "Wow! I had no idea." I thought that was…and all the doctors at that point which were saying it was a psychological addiction, it was obvious this guy had a physical problem but he was not medicated and I sort of created the character around that, around somebody who had that problem and who had an artist full but really no talent. And all the anxiety, and that probably come from me was that element about was came from me where I looked the all the anxiety of being an artist but really in prove in the art and so sometimes, you take parts to your self and you sort of stitch these Frankenstein characters together and then send them out into your book.

Jeff Rivera: What was also interesting about your writing habits I found is that we were told when we were in high school in junior high and college that you are supposed to rewrite and rewrite and rewrite and rewrite until there is nothing but from what I understand, you do not do that, can you explain a little bit?

Chris Moore: Well, I really do not rewrite very much. I want to, there has been a real change in the last 20 years since when I was learning in high school and college and so forth that everybody told us you are going to do this many drafts and honestly, when I was younger and doing short stories, I would typically do 11 drafts of something so it is not sort of any genius on my part. But you would do a whole draft because you had to have a perfect manuscript I mean you really could not send it in with any errors in it and you would have to retype the whole thing to change one or two sentences. With word processing, when working on a computer, you back out stuff, every other line I am backing out. So, the stuff really is not going on the page so much and I write fairly slowly I mean it takes me almost at least a year and sometimes more depending on the scope of the book to write a book whereas somebody like Michael Creighton, he writes his first draft at a month. I think, Steven King has quoted in his writing book is saying, "There is no book in the world that takes more than two months to write." Well, good for you, Steve. But it takes me a lot longer to write that but consequently I do not really have to rewrite too much so I think it may just be that a lot the problems are getting solved in my head because I am going slowly and I am looking ahead while I am writing whereas a lot of people just get it on the page and I do not recommend that anybody go at it the way I go at it because I do not think when I am writing it, I am not going to have to rewrite this. It just turns out that it works pretty well usually when it comes out of the machine. I have rewritten a couple of my books, let us say not extensively but I wrote a couple of books that are redemption stories where the character sort of whistle at the beginning and he comes the decent guy by the end of the book and 'Cayote Blue' and 'Island of Sequined Love Nun' and I overwrote the whistle part and the thing I had to considered is well, you got to like the guy enough to get through that part of the book and he was such a whistle that and so unlikable that I did not think people would do that so I had to go back in for the first hundred pages or so and really sort of make the characters more likable even though they were sort of reprehensible adequate..

So, it is not as it sounds, I have very often only have to do like one draft and then I do some changes for my editor which are usually pretty cosmetic, one or two lines to paragraph here, things like that, consistencies, you have her drink of coffee one page and tea on the next but I guess I am just lucky, Jeff. I do not set out to only write one draft. I just, it tends to be okay by the time I am done and I do not take a story down the line that does not seem to have an end. That is where I think people get into trouble is they really do not think through the logistics of the story before they go which is not to say I outlined but I do go, "Okay. If I do this, how is this going to affect me later on?"

Jeff Rivera: Do you have people who read it like do you have someone critic it or is it just your editor or agent or..?

Chris Moore: Well, at this point really the, my editor and my agent are the first people that see the book and I usually do not even send it to my agent until the edit is done simply because it may change and he might, we have had misunderstandings where he started to send it out and it was not edited yet. So, but that does not mean he is a good guy. I had the same guy for years. My girlfriend reads it and if there is something really glaring, she will say something. She will comment like this woman is out of her mind or something but generally nobody really gets to read it before it goes to my editor anymore. My first book though I mean I am talking, I assume to aspiring writers, in my first book, a lot of people read it and a lot of people comment it and rewrote to the comment. What you find is if you keep hearing the same thing from people, you probably have a problem but you have to edit and it is very difficult to lineate those things that are personal for anybody, they are reacting because this did not work for them but nobody else has a problem with it. You do not necessarily have to change for that but if everybody comes back and says, "You know, this woman would not do that. She is not believable if she do that then you have got some rewriting to do. And that sort of how I re-approached it on my first book where a lot of people read the book before it went into printing. I think I was marketing it for about 11 months after the first draft was done and now, what I did…I am sorry?

Jeff Rivera: You mentioned that you had an agent for years but how did you get that agent? I mean, how did you, what did you?

Chris Moore: The way I got an agent was really, it is not something that I can recommend. I cannot say this is how you should do it because it was very bizarre circumstances. I was living with roommates and one of my roommate's girlfriend was from Los Angeles and she had friends in the entertainment business who would come up and stay with us. We live in little resort county on the coast of California and to get from LA, that her friends would come up and stay and one of them was a development executive at the CBS, Columbia Television, and basically their job is to read script so I became friends with this woman and I said, "When I finish this book, will you read it?" And just on the not to read it to do anything with it but just for critics so I gave her the manuscript and it was probably six months that I did not hear anything and then when she finally called, she said, "I've given your book to some agents," and it turned out that one of the agents in New York wanted to represent me and one of the agents in Hollywood wanted to represent me and I did not even asked her to do that. So, during that period of time, I had been sending out query letters like that is what I cannot help people. You have to learn how to write a query letter and synopsis and sample chapters and you have to send them out and you still have to send them out hard copy. The agents do not, I have talked to the junior agents in my agent's office just in the last month or so and asked them how does it go and they still prefer hard copy and a query letter in three chapters and I actually had some people who wanted to see more but then, one of these agents that my friend had sent the book to, responded to it and so, I sort of got thrown over the transmit and guided in the door to get read through a connection.

Now, the thing is if your book is horrible, getting in the door is not going to help you. So, there is a lot of emphasis put on, I just do not anybody and while having a connection can help most of the people who have a connection do not have time to even look at your book. So, the way I did it was not the way it is done and people when they asked published authors, "How do you get an agent?" What I realized that there is that sort of mystery storm in castle feeling of getting into the business but most authors have only had to get an agent one time. They may have written 14 books and they know how to do that a lot better than they know how to get an agent because you only really do it once or twice and certainly if you have a track record, getting an agent is a lot easier. You just call them up and go, "Hey, do you want to represent me?"

Jeff Rivera: Right.

Chris Moore: Well, you cannot really do that if it is your first book so you just kind of get the novel and short-story writers marketplace and you go back and get the old ones and read the article as you can usually pick them up at bookstores so you get the 1999 one and the 2003 one and you read all the article on how-to which are usually pretty good and then you get the most recent one or you to the library and look at the literary marketplace which is the reason you go to libraries and I guess it is like $350 a copy and you look up the agents that are taking new clients and you submit to their specifications. So, that I how you do it but if you have an agent that lives across the street from you then just throw the book over his fence.

Jeff Rivera: Now, let us talk about for example people who maybe have self-published a novel or who have a published novel coming out or a book that they just finished and you are noted as a bestselling author. Obviously, you have done pretty well in terms of having a lot of copies. So, what did you do at the very beginning or maybe what do you now to really make sure that you are going to sell lot of copies? Of course, you have build up an audience and a fan base but before that, I mean, what did it take?

Chris Moore: Well, it really, you are kind of dead in the water without a publisher backing you up I mean, unless you have written a topical book and nonfiction book that has got, what is the latest diet or it is about the latest serial killer or something like that, you really need to be backed up by your publisher I mean it is great to sort of throw around the bestselling author tag but I have not been a bestselling author for my whole career. I have been a selling author for like two years out of 17 and what I did was I build up the first time I would go to events, I would typically have five people and sometimes, I mean I have done events where signings were I was talking to the staff of the bookstore early on and you can expect that. I mean you really can expect that and until I had a publisher get behind me, it is extraordinarily difficult to become a bestselling author without a publisher who is really willing to back you and I am not saying that to be discouraging, it just I have been through it. I was mid list for 15 years of my 17 year career and I can be mid list after this next book again and mid list for those who do not know is those people who were not really genre are not really, they are the books that do not break into the bestseller list and they tends to be nutrition and how many you sell. You may have sold 10,000 this time and you sell 8,000 the next time because everybody sees you only sold 10,000 so they do not order as many and then you sort of, it just can window from there and it is a tough place to be. It is better than digging ditches, do not get me wrong, writing books is a fun way to make a living but it is, bestselling does not come automatically.

So, the way that you go about it strategically is be really, really lucky and I do not know how you go about planning that. In the meantime, you work hard. You are very likely going to be doing your own PR. You have to, the people who are in PR at the publishing houses, very often they have not been in it very long. It is a sort of an entry-level job, a lot of the times as a publisher so you have to tell them about each regional area and say, "I can get on the Billy Bob banks show or whatever on morning radio because I know a guy who knows his sister…" and stuff like that and you really have to sort of take hand. They will make the phone call for you.

From people that are self published, you are obviously doing it all and even getting your books into stores. I do not even know how to go about that. I honestly could not tell you how to make, how to sell books when you are self published. It just, there is no formula for it and I would be talking out in school to say, "I know how to do that." If you published with a commercial publisher, you at least have distribution down. Bookstores have the ability to order your book. Whether they will or not, it will depend on a lot of different things but if you are self published, I have no idea. I am sort of just driving around and selling them out of the trunk of your car.

Jeff Rivera: You said, you brought something I think a lot people kind of believe that once that they get signed with a major publisher, that they kind of sit back and smoke weed all day long and the publisher does everything but you mentioned that you first begin, you really need to be your own publicist and you need to make the phone calls, you need to do a lot of the leg work and you said that really the maybe the junior publicist at the publishing company will make the calls for you where you have to kind of their had or something or..?

Chris Moore: Well, you have to tell them who to call. They do not know, the phrase is they do not have a very deep role in that except that point and they certainly do not have a deep role Kansas city or city Iowa anyplace of that nature that is regional where you mind and so, you have to sort of find the connections and let them make the connections and you have to…one of the things that was very difficult with my first book, the publisher took out a small ad in The New York Times and I would get about four events and I remember, I had those kind of expectations we have talked about. It is like, "Well, I have sold the book now and it is easy street". And I remember my editor got fired for a reason that did not have anything to do with my book and my new editor came on board and I said, "So, is this all that's going to be done?" And he said, "Yes," then I was shocked that that was it. We have one, eight of a page ad in The New York Times and then I did a number of local events in California where I was living and I think one of the things that you cannot demand people's attention, I see this all the time. Actually, I hear it from the people on tour of either bookstores or from the escorts that drive us around when we were in different cities is that new authors really have expectations that they are going to get treatment that they just thought they are going to get and it is understandable. I mean, you think, "Well, why am I not or radio..?" and "Why am I not on this show..?" "Why am I not on..?" "How come they did not get me on here?" Men, it is really hard to get media attention when you are writing novels. You basically, my observations, has been the people who can get on TV for instance, are the people who do not need to. The authors that you actually see on Larry King or Good Morning America generally are extraordinary successful by the time they get there. I mean I got to go on The Today Show because Nicholas Sparks picked me as The Today Show book club member but that was complete act of generosity on his part and luck on my part. It has really nothing to do…it was very much in anomaly that I actually got in The Today Show. They would have never had me on for my own books without someone else sort of making them go and that has been my only national TV appearance. And I get letters every single day, "How come you got on the daily show?" Because my stuff is funny and they think it is natural and it like, "Oh, well that never occurred to me," or you get letters that are, "You know what you should do? You should have Oprah pick your book for her book club." And it was like, "Yes, you know what, I should do that. Damn! Let me write that down," and I am honestly, I had people that with the best of intentions will say things like that to you or, "You know what you ought to do? You have Spielberg make that into a movie because your story is really good." Yes, people say that sort of stuff to you as if you have some kind of control over it and when you… and you do not. You really do not, you only have control over each contact that you have with each person and so my advice I guess is you do the best you can and while you have to keep your spirit's up and not expect disappointment. You really have to keep thinking about what is the next book going to be and I am going to write a better book. The one thing you actually have control over in your career is how good a book you write and how interesting or funny or exciting or whatever it is that you are writing, that is and you have to throw your energy there and then when it comes PR time, which is a completely different person, you just have to be a nice person, a decent person. If you happen to be a really good speaker, that is good but that tells us some skill that you can develop.

Jeff Rivera: And how did you go from, you mentioned luck in getting the publisher behind you but how did you go? Was it because you sort of build up an audience and build up an audience and build up an audience and suddenly the publishers goes, "Wait a minute, oh well, Chris, let me really get behind," or how did that happen?

Chris Moore: Yes, that is exactly what happened. That is exactly what happened is that I build up an audience, I got a few more sales each time, I got a few more people with the signings each time and then I really, I think what happened to put over the top is I wrote a book that was I pulled it out my ass. I just, it was a really, I knew when I came up with it, it was going to be a really hard book and it was going to be, it could had a possibility to be a great seller and that was my book 'Lamb' which is sort of a comic retelling of the untold years of Christ life and it was extraordinarily hard to do, to write a book that was a, I did not want to be it an attack book and I did not want it to be viewed as being mean or anything. I want to tell that story but I wanted it to be really funny and I wanted the history to be accurate and so I went about trying to do that which is a huge task and the book did not go by leaps and bounce bigger than the book before but there was such a feeling around that published it, "Oh my God! This guy has got chops!" So, again it was not something I did as far as taking hostages so I can get media attention which I do not recommend but it was basically I wrote a book that was the best thing I could do and got enough attention to say, "Look! You guys have got…" and all the time, my agent was on the phone, "You got to print more," "You got to print more," "You got to print more," because essentially that is how you sell more books is you print more books and if you print a lot of books then a lot of bookstores order them and they get in front of a lot of people and then, it is the luck that will draw whether the people will buy your book but if they do not see it, they are not going to buy it. There is an illusion and there is I think new writers or people who are starting, want to feel like there is a formula and if there is, I do not know it I mean you see some guys, nonfictional writers that just are always promoting, always, always, constantly out there doing it. They are sort of genius as a PR but it is easier I think with nonfiction and Andrew Wild, the guys that kind of looks like Santa and writes about vitamins. That guy is on tour like 300 days a year. He is like James Brown to offer drink and I do not even know how you would write a book if you did but I am not really a tour messes up my writing life but I realize that I have to do it and you have to be back. You have to have somebody that will finance the tour. I have a friend, Michael Perry, who wrote a book called 'Population 451' which is about a little town in Wisconsin of being a volunteer fireman and Michael toured for a year in his station wagon. He did like, God knows how many cities, but he had to build an audience. He had volunteer fireman who would come to see him and so, he would call a town and he will go and coming to talk about my book about volunteer fireman so it is so 30 or 40 in every town he went to and Michael sold well enough to and he is a good writer and he is doing it again with his book 'Truck' where the whole book is built around him fixing up a old truck and it is all the things that happened in his life while fixing an old truck but he has got to build an audience of guys who like old trucks and he tours his ass off and a lot of it is self financed. He is staying at the travel lodge, outt in the interstate. He is not staying at the kind of hotels that generally put us up out when we are on book tour. I do not know that I can recommend that. Mike has got a lot of talent. He is a good speaker. He is very funny. He plays guitar. He actually a book events where he does plays music and so forth but I cannot recommend anybody go out and learn those skills because they may not pay off and Mike's bread and butter is not even from his book. He sells articles to like Men's Journal and Men's Health and Rolling Stone and stuff and makes his living on big magazine articles that pay as much as a lot of people make on books.

Jeff Rivera: Wow!

Chris Moore: Anyway, I do not know, that is a long answer to say I have no idea how you promote it or how you build it. I was just a little more each book is how I did it.

Jeff Rivera: It is a little bit in the timing and giving better and better.

Chris Moore: Yes then the thing that you know that is a constant is you got another book to write. It is always about the next book. It is still the best you can on the book that you are writing and then having and coming up with one that you hope is better than that.

Jeff Rivera: And speaking of which, you actually have a book coming up I believe in January, right?

Chris Moore: Right.

Jeff Rivera: And the hard cover is called 'You Suck'.

Chris Moore: Yes, 'You Suck: A Love Story'.

Jeff Rivera: Can you tell us a little bit about that and what it is about and where we can get it and that sort of thing.

Chris Moore: Well, you will be, should be, I hope you will be able to get it pretty much everywhere but it is story of two young vampires in love in San Francisco and they are not really very good at being vampires. They are kind of geeks and one is a kid name Tommy Flood who has moved to San Francisco from Indiana to be a writer because it is an appropriate place to, Indiana is not an appropriate place to be a writer and he thinks he has to go somewhere more bohemian and he is 19 and then his girlfriend, Jody, is 26 and she was a secretary at Transamerica when she got turned to a vampire. She turned Tommy so the book sort of opens with she has just turned him into a vampire and he is not happy about it and he is basically said, "You suck! You killed me!" and that is how the book gets it title and it is a sort of their adventures through San Francisco and Tommy had worked as night crew at the Safeway and the night crew at the Safeway called "the Animals" all become vampire hunters and they have acquired some money from killing an old vampire and taking his art collection and selling it so they go to Las Vegas and get involved with this sort of evil prostitute that sort of takes their life over and part of the story is pulled by this little girl, this little goth girl who is always sort of into the anxiety of her life and the darkness of her life and she actually meets these vampires and gets to be their caretaker and so it is pulled in her voice and her name is Abby…

Jeff Rivera: Are you allowed to read a few sentences from the book or…?

Chris Moore: No. I actually do not have a copy of it so I cannot.

Jeff Rivera: Okay, it is still coming out so it is fresh so I definitely recommend everyone. I know that I noticed it on Amazon so you can actually preorder it.

Chris Moore: Yes. It is fresh as we are recording this. We are recording this in November of 2007. That is the thing you have to remember, Jeff, is stuff goes online and it stays there for a long time. People read my book reviews that I wrote seven years ago and they kind of, "How come you never read me a new?" and it was like, "Well, I do but that did not go away." So, this is coming out as of January then the paper back to a dirty job will come out in April of 2007 and I will be touring for that and the audio of 'Lamb' finally will come out in March of 2007 so there is a lot of releases coming up in the coming year and I would recommend anybody who is hearing this now at the end of 2006 that they go read my book 'Bloodsucking Fiends' which is sort of the prequel to 'You Suck'. You can read 'You Suck' without having read the other one and a lot of people have and booksellers have and it seems to work but I think it enriches if you read where you first meet the characters in 'Bloodsucking Fiends'.

Jeff Rivera: And then you get to know more in 'You Suck'.

Chris Moore: Yes.

Jeff Rivera: Well, Chris, thank you so much. Thank you so much for taking the time, it has been a real treat to have you and I think it is an honor, actually, to really have some of your caliber take your time out to help people who are inspiring writers and also advanced writers to know the reality of how you made it and what they can do to be successful too as writers and as promoters of their own novels too. So…

Chris Moore: Well, I hope I helped. Thank you, Jeff, I appreciate it.

Jeff Rivera: Absolutely. Thank you.