Today I decided to interview author H.B. Moore, who wrote the Out of Jerusalem series I mentioned in an earlier blog.
Heather was born in Providence, Rhode Island, but spent most of her childhood in Orem, Utah. During these years, her family traveled back and forth between the Middle East and Utah. At the age of eight, while living in Egypt, she was baptized in the Red Sea. Heather attended the Anglican School of Jerusalem from 1987-88, and returned again to Jerusalem with her husband in 1994.
Although Heather graduated from Brigham Young University with a major in Fashion Merchandising and minor in Business Management, she always dreamed of writing novels. That opportunity came in 2001 when her husband moved his home office to an outside location. The empty office with a blank computer screen was too tempting for Heather to resist.
Heather is a member of the League of Utah Writers and LDStorymakers. She has served as a Chapter President and Chapter Secretary of the League of Utah Writers. Heather has received several awards from the League for her national fiction work. Committed to honing her writing skills, she meets each week with a writer’s critique group. Heather lives in Utah, with her husband Chris, and their four children, Kaelin, Kara, Dana, and Rose. She also enjoys reading, sewing, and spending time with her family. (This bio was pulled from her website.)
Enjoy the interview. I did!
1. What prompted you to become a writer?
I’ve always loved reading and have been fascinated with how a story can take you to a different time and place. There were always those books that didn’t end quite how I had hoped, so I would rewrite the ending in my mind. I had always dreamed of writing a novel . . . someday, but it never became an ambition until I had a home office at my disposal.
2. What is your routine, on a daily basis, as far as a parent and a writer?
I’m answering these questions at 9:30 p.m. My children are in bed (hopefully asleep), and I’ll be lucky to get a few pages written tonight. Typically, I write during the afternoons while my older children are at school, and my youngest is napping. When I have a deadline looming, I’ll extend my writing time and work from 5:00 a.m. until the children wake up.
3. What is your genre and why did you choose it?
I’m currently published in historical fiction. It’s something I love to read since I enjoy learning as well as being entertained. I hope I’m passing on my passion for adventure mixed with history.
4. Tell me a little about the books you have written?
I’m writing a historical fiction series on the Book of Mormon called “Out of Jerusalem. Of Goodly Parents” and “A Light in the Wilderness” are the first two volumes in the four-part series. They essentially cover the story of Nephi in fictional form. The women of Lehi and Ishmael’s families are given names (since we only know Sariah), and the culture and traditions of the era are brought to life. I have tried to stay true to the scriptural account and have based the research on well-known scholarly opinion. My father, S. Kent Brown, is one of those scholars. I ask him endless questions.
5. What do you have on your website and why did you choose those particular topics?
My website (www.hbmoore.com) is mainly informational. I discuss why I wrote my Book of Mormon series, detail what is covered in each volume, provide a few chapters of other books I’m writing, and offer a chance to sign up for my newsletter. One of the neat aspects of my website are the background pictures. They were taken by David Lisonbee, who traveled with a group of scholars to Arabia and worked on the documentary film “Journey of Faith.” You’ll see the sunset on the Red Sea, “Nephi’s Mountain” in Oman, a frankincense tree, etc.
6. What advice do you give to those struggling to become published writers?
First, don’t give up. Perseverance is really the number one attribute a writer must have. If you persevere in your craft, you will become published. Join writers’ groups, critique groups, and network with other authors. Read what’s being published in your genre. Read books on writing. Hone your skills by attending writing conferences and most of all, be a nice person. No one wants to read a book written by a cranky author.
7. Who are your favorite authors and why?
Mary Higgins Clark: she writes clean suspense. She is really a role model for me. When her five children were young, she used to write from 5:00-7:00 a.m. When I read her biography, I thought, “I can do that.” Jane Austen: You may think this is an obvious answer. I just read “Pride and Prejudice” again and thoroughly enjoyed it. There aren’t many books you can read twice and still laugh. Nevil Shute: Historical fiction that is truly fascinating.
8. Is it difficult to maintain your LDS standards as a writer in today’s market? Why or why not?
As long as I’m publishing in the LDS market, I feel safe. But I have noticed when an author becomes a bestseller in the national market, his or her next books slowly degenerate. Very few authors are able to maintain a high standard. Some, like Richard Paul Evans, have done an excellent job.
9. What is the LDS Market? Why did it form? What do you see for the LDS Market in the future?
I never read any fiction from the LDS Market until about six years ago. It was an eye-opener for me because I realized there was a local publishing market out there producing clean fiction. I could pick up a romance and not worry about steamy scenes. I could read a suspense novel without the graphic violence or foul language. It was wonderful. This market was created for readers who don’t want to worry about turning the next page. Recently, I’ve been very impressed with several LDS novels. If you haven’t tried an LDS novel lately, pick one up . . . you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
Thanks, Heather. I appreciate the time you took for the interview. Can’t wait for the next installment in the Out of Jerusalem series. Please visit Heather’s website at www.hbmoore.com to learn more about her and her upcoming projects. You can pick up her books at Deseret Book and anywhere LDS books are sold.