Please welcome Sharon Arthur Moore, author of Mission Impastable.
What’s your idea of a perfect day?
A perfect day begins with meeting my writing target early so I can spend the rest of the day reading, cooking, and planning the next story! Not that that happens ever. If I do meet the target early, that means I am in the zone and I keep going!
I do love the planning/conceptualization stage of writing more than the necessary edits. Beginnings attract me. Bright and shiny new objects draw me in! I’m sort of distractable like my protag Alli in Mission Impastable. A perfect day would include starting a new project.
In my perfect day, I would learn several new things because I value knowledge over most things.
Do you have a signature accessory, color, fragrance, phrase, or meal?
I love to wear lemon fragrances (My fave is Ecco’s “Lemon Verbena”) and various shades of turquoise. I also am known for saying, “Life is too short to wear boring earrings.” I’m also known for saying, “So many reds, so little time,” in relation to my hair color.
Excluding family, name three people who either inspired you or influenced your creativity.
James Congrove (RIP) was my favorite high school teacher who introduced me to a love of history and research I pursue to this day. John Kennedy challenged me to make the world a better place because I walked here. Diane Mott Davidson wrote the first culinary mystery I read (though she didn’t write the very first one ever), and I had a light bulb go off that I could combine my love of mysteries with cooking!
Do you listen to music when you write?
I don’t usually listen to music while I write, but sometimes I’ll play something ominous or fast-paced to set the mood for a scene. Occasionally I play something classical (maybe Simone Dinnerstein’s Bach’s Goldberg Variations). Music is, frankly, wasted on me. When I am writing, I am in the zone and hear nothing but my characters. If I am hearing the music, I’m likely not deep enough in the story.
If your latest book were chocolate, what kind would it be and why?
Mission Impastable would be the darkest bittersweet chocolate available. There are incidents in the story and that pre-date the story that explain much of Alli’s insecurity and that unearth painful times. Her search for what makes a family (both the bitter and the sweet) threads throughout the book and subsequent ones.
What made you interested in writing this particular story?
Well, Diane Mott Davidson and so many other culinary mystery writers that I read inspired me to try this sub-genre of cozy mysteries. But in particular, Alli is a character who tugged at me. In early drafts, she and Gina were co-protagonists. That arrangement was not only awkward (imagine the POV problems), but All was clearly who I favored so she got the good scenes! It became obvious that she was the more interesting character with lots of back story issues to be revealed over the course of the series. Any time I can bring cooking into a story, I’m happy. I wanted Mission Impastable to have lots of good and easy pasta recipes for Alli to share.
What themes do you regularly (re)visit in your writing?
Betrayal of trust is a huge issue in several of my books. Trust is a fundamental requirement for a healthy relationship. When the trust is breached the implications for communication and communion are huge. What does it take to re-build trust? My protag Alli is still struggling with one such betrayal into the sequel, Prime Rib and Punishment. Will she finally cut someone loose or will she forgive and try to forget?
Tell us about your main character’s psyche or personality. What led her (or him) to be the person s/he is today?
We learn early on in Mission Impastable that Alli’s family disappeared one day while she was in high school leaving her to fend on her own. She was unofficially adopted into Gina’s family, her best friend since 2nd grade. Maria, Gina’s mother, views Alli as a daughter, and she provides the security Alli is always seeking. Her lack of trust of permanence causes her to have trouble maintaining a lasting romantic relationship. Alli is a somewhat undisciplined cooking talent. She barely finished high school, even though exceptionally bright, and feels inferior to many around her which manifests itself as bravado and derring-do.
Describe your protagonist as a mash-up of three famous people or characters.
Alli has been described by some as the madcap, impulsive Lucille Ball. I’d throw in some Julia Child, with her passion for cooking and slapdash kitchen ways, and the curiosity and native intelligence of Miss Marple.
If you could host an author dinner party, who are the six writers (living or otherwise) you’d include?
Of course, Diane Mott Davidson would be there! I would balance the rest of the dinner with authors from a variety of genres. Geraldine Brooks must be fascinating dinner conversationalist with all that research she’s done. Since I love medical thrillers and science fiction, I would include Michael Crichton’s ghost and Kim Stanley Robinson. And wouldn’t it be fun to chat the evening away with Toni Morrison and Jodi Picoult? That range of genres should make for a fascinating bunch of topics!
What’s next for you?
I am finishing up Prime Rib and Punishment for a planned late fall release from Oak Tree Press. Alli and Gina supplement their personal chef pay with jobs as part-time instructors at a culinary school where the head chef hates them. Unfortunately, he ends up dead, and the police look to Alli as a prime suspect. I have the next three books after that outlined, so in the next year and a half I plan on completing Potluck, Cooks in the Can and Ancient Grease.
After 39 years as an educator, Sharon Arthur Moore “transitioned” to the life of full-time fiction writer. She’s an intrepid cook, game-player, and miniatures lover. She writes culinary mysteries, women’s fiction, historical fiction, short stories, plays, and erotic romance (Under the pen name Angelica French). Sharon has lived in every region of the country except the Pacific Northwest and loved every single one of them. Her current favorite region is the desert Southwest. She is married to the most extraordinary man and claims four children, one daughter-in-law, a grandson, and lab rescue dog Maudie.
You can purchase a Kindle or paperback copy of Mission Impastable at http://amzn.to/1sIlIqz
You can follow Sharon Arthur Moore on:
Blog:“Parsley, Sage, and Rosemary Time” http://www.sharonarthurmoore.blogspot.com
Blog: “Write Away” www:samwriteaway.blogspot.com