Thursday, October 14, 2010

JNESS on The Road

Selling prints of my BBW Illustrations Early October 2010...




















 There was a great turnout. Made some contacts!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

A Plus-SIzed Novel...



An avid writer and conversationalist all of her life, Sharon Denise Moore has finally given into her calling as a writer and is sharing her unique viewpoint, witty sense of humor and, creativity with the world. Sharon is a former editor and writer for a NC-based e-zine and has also written for local newspapers as well as ANOINTED magazine. She attended both the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and North Carolina Central University where she majored in every course that allowed her to do what she does best – express herself. That path of coursework led her to successfully (and effortlessly) minor in Communications and Education.

At what point in your life did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

The idea hit me somewhere around 1999/2000 when I was writing articles for the singles portion of my church newsletter as well as a small local newspaper. I was encouraged by a woman who attended the same church as I did (at that time). I was forever regaling her as well as others with the crazy events in my life. She repeatedly told me, "You should write a book!". A year or so later I began have the same dream almost every night and sometimes multiple times a night. Once I began to write the dream down I realized, "Hey! I really can write a book!"

What author was the biggest influence to you?

Wow, it’s hard to say. I cannot attribute that honor to just one author so I’ll have to name several. I love the way James Patterson and David Baldacchi educate their readers by adding just enough truth in their novels to make them seem real. I also like the way they structure their plots. I truly enjoy the way Alexander McCall Smith delves into morality and philosophy in his novels. You always leave his books exploring what you would do if faced with those same circumstances. I enjoy the humor of Emily Carmichael, Janet Evanovich, Anne George and Kimberly Matthews-Hooker (to name a few). Their writing encouraged me to yield to my silly sense of humor in my writing. I also enjoy the feel, tempo and ethnic realness in Eric Jerome Dickey’s writing.

How does your day job add fuel to you as a writer?

It’s actually more of a distraction. Occasionally a name may come across my desk that I like (usually just a first or last name) that may find its way into my story but that’s the extent of it.

I noticed that you apply great attention to detail on every character. Why is that so important to you?

Because I know my characters and I want my readers to know them as well as I do. The characters live inside my head. I know their likes, dislikes, quirks, etc. I work hard to give the reader(s) not only a visual idea of what they look like but also a taste of who these people actually are on the inside.

How much do you draw from your life experiences?

In my latest book – everything! I read once that every writer has an autobiographical element in their novels be it a childhood memory, knowledge of a certain city, people, culture, lifestyle or even food they have tasted and enjoyed/hated. It adds a measure of authenticity to the writing. You can’t help but write what you know.   In "Six Of One Or Half A Dozen Of Another", I took twenty-three years of my dating history plus dating stories I’ve heard from people over the years and complied them into the story of Amerigua – my main character. In order to protect my privacy, as well as others, I changed up the facts. For example if I did something in real life, I would have the character (when faced with the same dilemma) make the choice not to do that particular thing. In situations where the truth was more poignant and fit the storyline, I made other changes to protect the [actual living] parties involved.

Have you ever experienced writer’s block and what’s your method of overcoming it?

YES! The best method for me is to take a day or so away from the novel. The other solution I’ve found is to work on another aspect of the novel whether that involves doing research, editing another portion of what I’ve written or making decisions about marketing options. Coming back with fresh eyes always works wonders.

What authors do you currently read?

That’s a hard question. In the last 30-45 days I’ve read (or listened to)the newest offerings by James Patterson, David Baldacchi, Alexander McCall Smith and Janet Evanovich. Currently I am reading "The Cat Who…" series by Lilian Jackson Braun. When I am writing I try to stay away from the genre I am writing in to ensure my ideas are authentically mine and not an unconscious reflection of something I’ve already read.

When you are working on a project do you read other works during the process?

Yes I do read while I am writing but I don’t read anything in the same genre I am writing in or anything with a similar storyline, etc.

Tell us about your most current project.

I thought you’d never ask! (smile) SIX OF ONE OR HALF A DOZEN OF THE OTHER is the story of Amerigua who is a fortysomething-year-old, single, never-been-married, childless, super plus-sized woman. All of Amerigua’s friends are married and pregnant or have children. She begins to feel more pressure than ever to meet Mr. Right and settle down as well. Unfortunately Amerigua adopts a "by-any-means-necessary" mentality which leads to lots of laughs, heart ache and a major reality check when she evaluates the people she has in her life and why she allows them to remain there. She also decides what she actually wants out of her life and from any man in her life. Based on several true events (as well as some fictitious) Amerigua allows the reader to evaluate if they are like any of the characters in Amerigua’s world and if so, what changes (if any) they will make for the Amerigua they know or for themselves.
Cover illustration by JNESS

Do you proof read everything you see?

If you’re asking if I proofread every article, email, letter, etc. that crosses my path – yes. It’s a curse! I can’t help it! If you are referring to my proofreading my own work then yes, I do that as well but ultimately the final editing is handled by professionals.

If you wrote a book in the bible what would it be entitled?

That’s a deep question. I’m not sure. Maybe 2nd Job.

What would you want a reader to walk away with after reading your book?

I would want my readers walking away with something to talk about as a result of a new perspective or having had their current perspective affirmed. I wrote "SIX" in a way that people could comfortably take sides. One person may view Amerigua as a villain whereas someone else would view her as a heroine. Either way it gives them something to consider and discuss.
I would love for BBWs (Big Beautiful Women) and BHMs (Big Handsome Men) to come away with a greater understanding and appreciation of their self worth. I would also like those who are not BBWs or BHMs to come away with an understanding that people of size are just as worthy of love and respect as anyone else. Focusing on the outer is temporary because that can be altered but focusing on the inside causes you to deal with someone authentically. That rarely changes.

Has being a full-figured woman added or subtracted anything from your literary voice as a writer?

It’s added tremendously. In "Six" the main character, Amerigua, is a BBW who weighs over three hundred pounds yet still gets attention from men. Having walked that journey I wanted to share that experience. The Biggest Loser is the only show/form of BBW-friendly entertainment that features super plus sized people but those people are there to lose weight. With the exception of one, no show accepts BBWs (or larger) as is. They demand that we make some change in order to deserve the prize offered.
There is also this misnomer that no man would want a BBW or BBW+ and if a man does it’s because he’s the same size. That’s not true and I was totally disappointed with Fox television for depicting that in their new reality series "More To Love". 
The fact is that most BBWs and BBWs+ date/marry men who are not BHMs. If people want to see a more realistic view of a BBW involved in romance they should watch Tyler Perry’s "Why Did I Get Married" and study the dynamics of Troy & Sheila although Sheila’s first marriage is a reality as well. It’s time for the real BBW story to be told. The good, the bad and the embarrassing.

Will your book be self published or have you signed up with a publishing house?

If so how has that effected your creative freedom?

I am definitely self publishing through Outskirts Press. I made that decision for several reasons. A main reason is so I can control my creativity. I can remember reading an interview with Terri McMillan wherein she stated that her publisher wanted her to dumb-down her characters and cause them not to be as affluent/professional. I have since heard/read similar horror stories and the "powers that be" who are involved are all equally as ill-informed and insulting. 
I wanted to make sure that my characters were allowed to be who they were created to be. I didn’t want anyone telling me to make Amerigua weigh less or to change in the inner or outer truth of any of my other characters. My novel will go through a professional editing process but I will have the final say-so which most publishing house authors lose when they sign their contract.
The downside is that every penny of this effort is solely funded by me. Given the state of the economy and related issues I have had to delay the release a few times but that’s just part of the reality of self publishing. I want to do this the right way – no short cuts so I am willing to wait until it can be done in a manner I am comfortable with.

Contact Sharon D. Moore:
SharonMWrites@yahoo.com
www.AuthorSharonDMoore.com
http://www.Facebook.com/SharonMWrites
http://twitter.com/SharonMWrites