Title: Waiting for the Cool Kind of Crazy
Genre: Fiction/Family Drama
Author: M.D. Moore
Publisher: Black Rose Writing
Purchase on Amazon
MD Moore is the author of Waiting for the Cool Kind of Crazy, a family saga that spotlights the adult son of a paranoid schizophrenic mother. He has worked as a therapist with the most chronically mentally ill patients in Washington State’s largest psychiatric hospital. He lives in Gig Harbor, Washington with his wife and two teenage sons.
Thanks for letting us interrogate you! Can you give us a go-for-the-gut answer as to why you wanted to be an author?
I started writing this book when I was 37 years old (10 years ago). At the time, I was working at a job that I didn’t like, for people I didn’t like. I looked ahead to how I would feel at 50 still doing the same job and still not making much of a difference in the world around me. Even if I couldn’t change jobs and write full time, I still wanted to say that what I did made a difference, that no matter what, I left something behind. I knew that I could write so decided to try my hand at writing a novel. Wow! It was a lot harder than I thought it was going to be. Almost everyone I meet tells me they have a book in them and that they should just “whip it out”. My thoughts exactly until I actually sat down to “whip it out”. Nine years and countless classes, workshops, critiques later, my novel was “whipped out”. Now, standing close enough to 50 that I can now see the ear hairs sticking out, I’m glad I put in the work and am now working on the next. I may still be stuck in the same business, but for now, that just pays the bills. I’m now an author and am working to do what I can to make writing a larger part of my life.
Tell us (we won’t tell promise!) is it all it’s cracked up to be? I mean what are the perks and what are the demands?
No, if you’re basing your expectations on what you see in the movies or hear from best-selling authors, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. It would be fantastic to sit in my cabin in the woods for weeks on end, bothered by nothing but the sounds of Mother Nature, and write the perfect novel with no pressure whatsoever. As it is, I work full time with two teenage sons who play sports, don’t drive, and have countless requirements on my time. It’s hard work from beginning to end and if you’re lucky, your muse will come around now and again and give you that second wind that makes writing so rewarding. That said, and I know it sounds somewhat contradictory, there’s little else I’d rather be doing. I love the process, hard work and all (maybe because of the hard work – my job is too easy) and look forward to sitting down and writing every chance I get. It’s just not that glamorous at this stage. I’ll get back to you when I buy my yacht and answer this again then.
Which route did you take – traditional or self-published – and can you give us the nitty gritty low down on what’s that like?
I was published by an small traditional press, Black Rose Writing. While I know there are some excellent self-published books available, I wanted the support of a publisher to help do the work that I didn’t want to do. As I mentioned above, I have to eke out time to get my writing in and having to produce a book and all the steps involved with that was more than I have time to do. Getting published took a lot of perseverance with a lot of agents and publishers saying no before I found Black Rose. Because I felt so strongly about being traditionally published, I went through a lot of disappointing months as the rejections flowed. That part sucked. When I was finally picked up, that felt incredible – all the work and hours that I had put into finding a publisher had finally paid off.
Tell us for real what your family feels about you spending so much time getting your book written, polished, edited, formatted, published, what have you?
My family has always been supportive of my writing, but that said, I’ve always worked to assure that it doesn’t take too much of my family time. I tend to get up before they do or stay up late to get the writing work done. Because I need absolute quiet to write effectively, this schedule seems to work for all of us.
Do your pets actually get their food on time or do they have to wait until you type just one more word?
I have a cat, two dogs, two chinchillas, and two teenage boys. Two of the previously mentioned are responsible for the other five. I’ll let you guess which two. The only animals I’m responsible for are my bees and they are fairly self-sufficient.
Are your plants actually still alive?
Plants aren’t my thing, but they are my wife’s and she tends to them. The boys mow and water the lawn and she takes care of the plants.
In writing your book, how did you deal with the phone ringing, your family needing dinner or your boss calling you saying you’re late?
As I mentioned, I write either very early or very late so I don’t have the interruptions mentioned. I find that I can’t get into any sort of zone with distractions, especially ones that directly interfere with my writing. I have been known to go sit in the car to write if the dogs are barking at squirrels or deer in my backyard just to have some quiet.
What was the craziest or insane thing that happened to you in the book publishing process?
My road to publication can be likened to a freeway more than a tour of America’s back roads. My journey was fairly devoid of anything particularly interesting or crazy or insane. As my novel deals with mental illness, I guess that is the only really insanity I had to deal with. The rest was fairly monotonous and mundane with a lot of perseverance.
How about the social networks? Which ones do you believe help and which ones do you wish you could avoid?
I don’t know yet. I just signed up as an author for Facebook (MD Moore author), Twitter (@mdmooreauthor), and Instagram (mdmooreauthor) yesterday. I’ll have to get back to you on that one.
Book sales. Don’t you just love them (or lack of?)? How are you making the sales happen for you?
I have a wonderful publicist in Maryglenn McCombs who is working to get the word out about my book. I have mostly sold to family and friends so far (my book came out earlier this year), but am now working hard to get the word out about my novel. People won’t buy what they don’t know about. Getting out there is not exactly in my comfort zone so honestly, this has been the hardest part about being an author that I’ve had. I feel that writing will be a journey and believe that book sales will come once my dues are paid.
What is one thing you’d like to jump on the rooftop and scream about?
If you’re referring to a good scream, it’s that I’m now a published author. That took several years of my life and a lot of nose to the grindstone to make that happen with nothing more than the belief that I could do it.
If you’re referring to a bad scream, it would be for the time it took to get to this point. I queried a lot of agents and publishers before finally getting picked up. I knew I wrote a good book (I was a finalist in a large, national writing contest where I received impeccable reviews) that had market appeal, but because I lacked writing credentials and a strong platform, I was soundly rejected often. I understand why this is so after talking with so many agents about the process, but it is the most difficult part of the process for a new writer. Even after being published, I still want to vent about the whole process.
Okay, too much sugar for you today! Here’s a nice cup of Chamomile tea and come on over and sit under the cabana and watch the waves roll in. Now…can you tell us what you love about being a published author and how all those things above doesn’t matter because it’s all part of the whole scheme of things and you wouldn’t have it any other way?
What I love about being an author…hmmm… well, it isn’t about the fame and the money (yet). I guess what I appreciate most about being an author is that I have something to show in my life that made a difference, even if it’s just to me. I have never worked so hard for so many years towards one singular goal. I look at my book sitting on my shelf with an actual book cover (not the binder that I squeeze them in) and I am proud of all the work that it took to get it there. I feel that it set a great example for my boys about the importance of perseverance and hard work in this life. I’m now working on my second novel and believe, like I believed when I was writing the first, that this process should go much more smoothly the second time around. I may be fooling myself, but I feel that one almost needs to do that to get through the process. The way I look at it, the years are going to pass anyway (God willing) so I may as well do something useful with my time. I can catch up with my TV shows anytime. And through all the muck traveled, the coolest part of being an author is that, at the end of the day, at the end of my life, I get to say that I’m an author and no one ever gets to take that away.