Sunday, July 2, 2023

An Interview with Ohio Author Michael S. Moore

An Interview with Ohio Author Michael S. Moore

Residing in Columbus, Ohio, Michael S. Moore is an author, artist, and more. From his bio: “After spending his life producing visual art, he has now written his first book–a novel of course about art.  Michael enjoys spending time with his daughters. He enjoys reading, cooking, bicycling, and walking. Having a lifelong fascination with the idea of artist café culture, he also spends a lot of time in coffee shops, preferably on rainy days. Most of this book was written in said coffee shops. His pet peeve is coffee shops who provide only paper cups. He brings his own cup.”

Welcome, Michael!

GM : What is the premise for your book?

MM : Three main things are happening at once. Richard, a struggling artist, meets his friend every Saturday at a café to discuss art and life. There are a lot of conversations ranging from art history to French food, to boxing, to philosophy. A big concern is for Richard to be able to pay his studio rent without compromising his artistic integrity. Also, Richard has just sold a drawing that was found to contain an unintentional defect. As the drawing is traded back and forth, collectors and dealers are using this defect as a selling point attaching great importance to its inclusion. Richard knows nothing about the drawing's journey and is the only one not profiting  from it. Meanwhile, Richard is planning his biggest and most creatively daring show yet collaborating with a poet, a fashion designer, musicians, and models. There are a lot of fun and eccentric characters throughout. The book explores the pursuit of beauty, how to find creative inspiration in everything you see, and the joy of conversation.  

GM : What other books have you written?

MM : This is my only book so far! As an artist, I have spent my whole life doing drawing, painting, photography, and other visual arts. At first, I started this novel as another art project. I considered writing to be another medium like ink, pencil, or paint. What surprised and excited me though as I got into it was how more information and ideas I could put into a book as opposed to other kinds of art. In a drawing for instance, the image might be a result of many influences, ideas, and philosophies but the viewer may never realize or be able to appreciate it. Also of course, some ideas simply do not translate well to being represented in a drawing. Writing on the other hand is very liberating in that you can pour all you have into the book and share these thoughts and ideas with others. This is a very exciting concept to me! So even though it is a novel, I still think of it as a piece of physical art–but one that you can read!

GM : Describe your studio and where you work…

MM : A lot of my novel involves conversations in coffee shops so it is very appropriate that probably 90% of it was written in cafes around town and in Mexico visiting my daughter. I have always been fascinated with café lifestyle–artists hanging out and discussing life and art. Being in a café is the perfect inspiration for this novel. A lot of ideas, especially in the form of snippets of conversation, will come to me out of the blue while walking down the street, driving, or laying in bed. I might be in bed ready to fall asleep and have to jump out of bed to write down a line as it comes to me. Later when almost asleep again, I might have to jump out of bed again to write a response to the earlier line. Ha! I do this no matter how tired I am because my fear is that I will have my ultimate idea, and then forget it later because I didn’t write it down. I’ve learned to carry a small notebook with me now at all times!   

GM : Do you have a muse (maybe a cat?) or other prompt that motivates your creativity?

MM : I do have a cat! But the only thing she inspires me to do is to look into trading her in for a new cat! (I’m just kidding–that was a joke for my cat Velvet in the unlikely event she learns to read and then in the even more unlikely event chooses this as to what she wants to read first). Everything motivates me though. One of the ongoing themes to my novel deals with how to use everything you experience in life as inspiration to create. 

GM: What are you currently writing?

MM : I am currently working on another novel using some of the same characters as CRUMPLED PAPER and adding some new ones. This book will be about art but also about rock n roll! The characters and their worlds will clash and come together in fun creative ways. (There also may be a mystery involved. Shhh…).

GM : What are you currently reading?

MM : Right now I am reading a Jeeves book by P.G. Wodehouse (my favorite comedic British writer), and a vintage 1920s copy of a Nancy Drew mystery.

GM : Who is your favorite author?

MM : Besides P.G. Wodehouse, I would say Hemingway is my favorite writer. A Moveable Feast is probably my all-time favorite book. It deals with Hemingway's life in Paris and my beloved café lifestyle.

GM : What advice do you have for novice writers and those looking to write their first manuscript?

MM : I think the classic advice of “Write what you know” is best. It will automatically feel more real. If a subject is something you are personally passionate about it will show, and I think the book will definitely be the better for it.  

GM : List ten things your fans may not know about you.

MM :  

1 - I collect vintage children's series (Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, Tom Swift)
2 - I like old cars! My daily driver is a 67 Galaxie 500
3 - I have a conceptual experimental noise rock band called The Beautiful Savages. I play a really bad guitar and a really really bad violin 
4 - I have two daughters! One is a writer and one is an artist. My book is dedicated to them
5 - I love cooking. Several chapters in my book are about food. Write to me for my favorite recipes!  
6 - My cat Velvet was named for the musical group The Velvet Underground
7 - I am very minimalist and try to own very few things
8 - I love board games (my current favorite is Horrified)
9 - I love old classic movies
10 - I used to race bicycles competitively (someday I should make a book about bike racing) 

Connect with Michael:

Facebook: Crumpled Paper

Michael’s book is also available in several stores including the Columbus Museum of Art Store, the Wexner Center for the Arts Store, Readers Garden in Granville, Kicks Mix Bookstore in Newark, and in the Columbus and Licking County library systems. 

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