Archive for the ‘Interviews’ Category

An interview with Brent Mueller…

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017

[Sometimes I interview my characters. I know it sounds a wee bit schizoid, but they often spur me on when I’m writing their stories. I often feel I don’t give them enough credit. Here’s one of them who’s an old friend.]

Steve: Brent, you appear in all the novels in the Chaos Chronicles Trilogy Collection. You must be pleased that your many adventures during many centuries are now found in just one ebook.

Brent: Yes, thanks to you. Both Jenny and I are happy with how that came about. Maybe more readers will get to know us.

Steve: Speaking of Jenny, did you ever think you’d find her after all those years? When she disappeared in that ET ship entombed on Saturn’s moon Helene, it must have been quite a blow to you.

Brent: That can’t begin to describe it. And losing Rita was a second blow. It’s hard to get beyond losses like that.

Steve: Were you jealous that Jenny was with Henry Posada all that time in the ET ship?

Brent: I got beyond that. First, I found Jenny. Second, Jenny and Henry were just computer memories stored in that ship’s AI along with those ETs. Besides, Jenny and Henry were good friends when they worked for Isha Bai at the U. N. Space Agency.

Steve: Did losing Jenny lead to your becoming a Guide to the Way?

Brent: Yes. That helped me get through that ordeal. But losing Rita at the Battle of Sanctuary fractured my belief that I could help anyone find the Way. If I lost it myself, how could I lead anyone to it?

Steve: And you participated in many more space battles. If you’ll forgive me for changing the subject, what was it like to have those ETs who were with Jenny and Henry on the ship in your own head?

Brent: Weird. Jenny helped me through that. I think she felt a little guilty about it. It was a side effect of finding her, after all, but I never blamed her. That event sort of got lost in the shuffle because we became very busy, first saving Swarm from going crazy and then outwitting Negrini, that mad merchant. Near-Earth space was a lot more peaceful after that.

Steve: Do you regret that stopping that mad merchant ended all possibility for interstellar communication that is faster than that achieved by starships carrying messages, reminiscent of the old Pony Express? (more…)

An interview with Scotland Yard Inspector George Langston…

Wednesday, August 9th, 2017

Steve (in a whisper reminiscent of an announcer at a Scottish golf tournament): I’ve traveled to London to interview Mr. George Langston, the Scotland Yard inspector who runs the Art and Antiques Division. He has written a chronicle about a few of Inspector Esther Brookstone’s cases. You’ll find them contained in Rembrandt’s Angel. (Louder) How are you today, George?

George: A bit weary of being called Esther’s Dr. John Watson for her Sherlock Holmes. Esther works for me. Watson and Holmes had a different relationship.

Steve: You took upon yourself to chronicle some of her cases, though. What was your motivation?

George: I hope all your questions will be as easy to answer. I admire Esther. As the chronicle shows, she is much more than a sleuth, although she does good work in the division.

Steve: Yes, for a woman in her sixties, she seems to be a twenty-first century Miss Marple. And her good friend, Interpol agent Bastiann van Coevorden, seems to be a twenty-first century Monsieur Poirot. George: Neither likes those comparisons, especially when they are uttered behind their backs by gossips in their respective workplaces. I personally find them complimentary, but you know how office gossips can be.

Steve: One person’s compliment can be turned into another’s criticism. I’m familiar with the phenomenon. You’re Esther Brookstone’s boss in Scotland Yard’s Art and Antiques Division. You also wrote this first chronicle about a few of her cases. Which role do you think is more important?

George: You could say that the first enables the second, but I probably would be writing about her cases even without that first relationship. It does permit me to peek inside her personnel file from time to time. We are also good friends, so there are also many things I know that embellish her personnel records.

Steve: Esther obviously told you something about her previous involvement in Britain’s security services. Any chance that story will become another chronicle about her?

George: I would have to do some more sleuthing myself to write about previous events before her time at the Yard. I am certain that learning about them would explain many of her current skills that go beyond the usual ones for an inspector in the Metropolitan Police, especially ones you see among personnel in the Art and Antiques Division.

Steve: It might explain how she and Bastiann could thwart that neo-Nazi threat, right?

George: That was a close thing. I would rather she be a bit more careful.

Steve: She seems to have become obsessed with that painting, “An Angel with Titus’ Features.” That’s a real painting, right? Not your literary embellishment?

George: The black-and-white photograph of the painting is freely available on the internet. But yes, Esther became a bit obsessed with it. That obsession added danger to her pursuit of the case. Recovering stolen artwork or thwarting its sale can be dangerous, though. The scoundrels who work in that dirty gray world, and even the buyers, can become violent when one of our inspectors closes in. These cases can resemble more ubiquitous cases of robbery and murder, although the criminals tend to be more knowledgeable about art.

Steve: But there’s not often so much danger.

George: Yes, the principal case in my chronicle was much more dangerous than the usual one we consider. You have to remember, though, that there was much more to it as Esther and Bastiann pursued the illegal art dealers. I believe both MI5 and MI6 are still in cleanup mode.

Steve: Is anyone still looking to recover the painting?

George: Our division and van Coevorden’s Interpol are still interested in doing so. The French and German authorities are too, but all these security forces breathed sighs of relief when the miscreants’ plans were discovered and stopped.

Steve: That was an interesting consequence of Esther’s obsession.

George: Perhaps. Again, it put her in danger. Bastiann too.

Steve: Do you have plans for more chronicles?

George: If I can uncover a bit of her history in our intelligence services, I will write that. Esther and Bastiann are recovering now at her Scottish castle. I hope she returns soon. Our caseload has increased during her absence. Who knows if one of those cases will be featured in a future chronicle?

Steve: Thank you for your time, Inspector.

George: I have no problem discussing Esther and her adventures. She is a bit hard to control at times, but no one can deny her success. I am honored to have her in our division.


Just posted: a new review of Rembrandt’s Angel. “a thrilling, globetrotting adventure that provides readers a glance into the world of art forgery, Neo-Nazi conspiracies and even links to ISIS. The duo of Brookstone and van Coevorden can be favorably compared with utmost respect to Agatha Christie’s classic characters, Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot. Esther is a strong, well-liked character with a saucy disposition, while Bastiann, though he plays costar and lover to Esther, is able to hold his own with regards to likability…

…Steven M. Moore’s novel should be read by fans of the mystery genre particularly because the author has a keen ability to weave a great storyline that is not only filled with suspense, but captures a reader’s attention. A few quotes stood out as quite descriptive and remained with this reader well after the book was completely read, for example, “In the ice cream shop of crime, there are many flavors” and “A committee of clouds enjoyed a private meeting over the manor. …the character Esther Brookstone provides readers with an unusual female protagonist who is more than just a senior Scotland Yard Inspector. She is a memorable and tenacious dame who readers will undoubtedly enjoy throughout the novel and will look forward to reading any of her possible future exploits.

Rembrandt’s Angel is a complex thriller with several plots intertwined throughout the story. It is recommended for serious mystery fans who are looking for not only a challenging read, but also one that allows readers to become an armchair adventurist and detective, along with Brookstone and van Coevorden, spanning many different parts of the globe.”—Lynette Latzko, Feathered Quill Book Reviews

For the full review, visit Feathered Quill. To learn more about saucy Esther Brookstone, see Rembrandt’s Angel (Penmore Press), now available as an ebook on Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Apple, and as a print book on Amazon, B&N,  or at your local bookstore through Ingram (ask for it if they don’t have it). Don’t miss it. It’s great summer reading.

In libris libertas!





Esther Brookstone live!

Thursday, June 1st, 2017

[Sometimes my characters seem all too real. After I finished the book, I had a discussion with Scotland Yard’s Arts and Antiques Inspector Esther Brookstone, the protagonist of my new book Rembrandt’s Angel (Penmore Press). We’d just sat down in the living room of her flat near the grand piano with her 3D-printer copy of a Bernini bust to enjoy cheese, crackers, and a glass of shiraz.]

Steve: I’m so pleased you let me visit with you here at your flat in London. It has a simple elegance that makes one feel right at home.

Esther: I find it comfortable too. I suppose you want to discuss my last case?

Steve: No, I want to discuss you. How is your relationship with the Interpol agent going?

Esther: Swimmingly. I still don’t know if I’ll make him husband number four, but we enjoy each other’s company.

Steve: I understand it’s a bit more than that. Did your adventures together trying to recover the painting “An Angel with Titus’ Features” bring you closer?

Esther: Of course. Why wouldn’t they? I became obsessed with that masterpiece and put us in all kinds of danger. People often draw closer in such circumstances, and I’d known Bastriann van Coevorden for a while.

Steve: Tell me about those adventures.

Esther: It all started simply. I noticed my old school chum received an invitation to an auction of the painting.

Steve: I heard it differently. Didn’t you find out that it was an auction farther into the case?

Esther: Yes. Details.

Steve: What was the worst aspect of your psychological and physical battles with the neo-Nazis?

Esther: Do you mean beyond thinking we were going to die?

Steve: That too.

Esther: The worst physical ordeal was being locked up in that basement at the Norwegian chalet and thinking we were going to be killed. That was after I disrupted the bidding process.

Steve: And the worst mental anguish?

Esther: The rage and frustration I felt that those blokes had that painting and were about to sell it to someone who would enjoy possessing a masterpiece that no one else could see.

Steve: Is stopping the latter your primary motivation for your work?

Esther: Usually for the big cases. If I were a rich old lady, I’d buy stolen paintings and put them in museums so everyone could admire them. After arresting the art thieves, of course. Or I’d return them to their rightful owners if I could determine who they were.

Steve: That’s noble of you. It’s hard for me to imagine that to be enough motivation to bring your last case to a somewhat satisfying end, though.

Esther: There’s a quote from that great Irish writer George Bernard Shaw that explains my attitude: “You use a glass mirror to see your face; you use works of art to see your soul.”

Steve: I’ll drink to that.

Esther: Maybe we should change to Irish whiskey then.


To see more about saucy Esther Brookstone, see Rembrandt’s Angel (Penmore Press), which is now available as an ebook on Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Apple and as a print book on Amazon or at your local bookstore through Ingram (ask for it if they don’t have it). Don’t miss it. It’s great summer reading.

In libris libertas!

Interviewing mystery writer and scientist Leah Devlin…

Wednesday, June 1st, 2016

[Readers of this blog might recall that I reviewed Leah Devlin’s excellent mystery Ægir’s Curse last Wednesday.  Without further ado, you can now meet this multi-talented woman.]

About Leah: 

Steve: Leah, could you start by telling the readers something about yourself?

Leah: I’m American of Swedish and Irish descent.  I’m a mystery and thriller writer and marine biologist, the latter giving authenticity to the scientific background of the “Woods Hole Mysteries,” comprised of The Bottom Dwellers (2015) and Ægir’s Curse (2015), and The Bends (coming this summer). I love boats and the sea too, and that relates to the series, the “Chesapeake Tugboat Murders” consisting of Vital Spark (under contract), Spider (under contract), and The Death of a Chrome Diva (in progress), all with Penmore Press.

Steve: That scientific background probably took a few years to acquire, right?

Leah: The literary part too.  I have BAs in English Literature, Biology, and Environmental Science (American University, Washington DC), and an MS and PhD in Biology (University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI).

Steve: I now understand where all those scientific and technological details come from in Ægir’s Curse. This mix between creating science and creating stories isn’t completely unknown to me, but let’s hear how you got started writing those mysteries.

Leah on Writing:

Steve: Why, how, and when did you start writing?

Leah: I vividly remember the house of my childhood being full of books from the town library, in a time before bookstore super chains, when one wandered through the stacks and left with a dog-eared stack of books.  My writing career was delayed until my early forties, because I was employed as a biologist at a university where, for decades, I wrote research papers on the neuroscience of marine organisms.  During my time at a marine laboratory on Cape Cod [Woods Hole], I got the idea to write my first novel.  My children were older and more independent and I’d earned tenure at my university, so the pressure was off and I had more mental space to create stories.  I have a lot of restless energy and am always game to try new things. After writing my first “practice novel”—bad as it was—there was no turning back.


News and Notices from the Writing Trenches # 108…

Friday, November 13th, 2015

[Note from Steve: I’m not superstitious, but, for those who are, have a safe day today.  Did you hear about the guy who went looking for the 13th floor in a hotel and fell into an open elevator shaft, all on Friday the 13th?  There: who said I can’t write a horror story!]

Item. Celebrity books.  Or, should I say, public confessions of the rich and (in)famous?  Do you read them?  The bookstores are full of them, if that’s any gauge of popularity.  There’s Trump’s new propaganda piece containing no more meat than his campaign speeches, just another spiel saying, “I’m great, I’m handsome, I’m rich, I’m smart, and I can save America!”  Some are informative: George H. W. Bush’s (the father of Dubya and Jeb), says a few things about Trump, but mostly looks back, verifying what I always knew: Cheney and Rumsfeld had their own hawkish and nefarious agendas and tried to impose their will and further their on agenda in Dubya’s administration.  And others are just ploys to make some money: Leah Remini’s exposé of Scientological shenanigans has become a book tour through talk shows—she needs the money, I guess, but I wonder why people care about her making more money.  Or, worry about a cult.

When people ask me if I’ve read celebrity so-and-so’s book, I usually look at them like they were idiots.  I’m very selective in my reading, and I generally find the practice of a celebrity cashing in on their ready-made brand name a despicable practice.  One of Obama’s books was the last celebrity book I finished (one written even before he became president).  I started one of O’Reilly’s Killing X books (I guess he’s not very inventive about titles), didn’t like it, and stopped (I guess that’s a mini-mini-review—I started because I read some history now and then).  But O’Reilly is just another celebrity author cashing in on his brand name.


Interview with thriller author Alexander McNabb…

Wednesday, November 4th, 2015

[Note from Steve: Alexander McNabb is mainly an author of thrillers, having written Olives – A Violent Romance, Beirut – An Explosive Thriller, Shemlan – A Deadly Tragedy, A Decent Bomber (just reviewed in Bookpleasures and this blog–see below), and Birdkill.  He has been working in, living in, and travelling around the Middle East for some thirty years. Formerly a journalist, editor and magazine publisher, today he is a consultant on media, publishing and digital communications.  Alexander is also a frequent conference speaker, chair and moderator – as well as commentator in broadcast and print media – particularly around technology, media and online issues. When he’s not writing books, he’s posting half-thoughts and snippets on his blog, Fake Plastic Souks, which he started in 2007 during the Arab Media Forum. The title refers to the ‘new’ souks of Dubai, so much more convenient and classy than the real thing.  Oh, and for anyone who hasn’t been exposed to Arabia, a souk is a collection of shops, a sort of traditional mall! Without further ado, let’s throw some questions at him.]

Alexander on writing:

1)  Why, how, and when did you start writing?

I suppose it all started with reading, I’ve always been a voracious reader. But I gave up smoking in 2001 and had to find something publicly acceptable to do with my hands. I realized I’d written millions of words of copy in my career as a magazine editor and publisher as well as my years working in communications. I’d written speeches, op-eds, letters and white papers on behalf of CEOs, Sheikhs, and Kings so I thought I might as well have a go at writing a book. I was, of course, quite remarkably clueless about what that actually entailed. My first book was a spoof thriller called Space, which was very funny but not really a Booker Prize troubler. It took over 100 rejections from British literary agents for me to get the point.

2)  Did you publish the first book you wrote?

Yes, oddly enough, in the end. I took a look back over Space for some editing workshop I was doing a couple of years back and it tickled me pink. So I bunged it up on Amazon for $0.99. It was written as a spoof of the very genre I ended up writing in, but it made me laugh and laugh. It has one review on Amazon, ‘This book is not funny.’  [Note from Steve: Alexander shouldn’t worry—those one- and two-line reviews on Amazon are generally meaningless.]

3)  What is your biggest problem with the writing process. How do you tackle it?

I don’t have a single gnarly problem that lies in wait drooling and waiting to attack.  Each book has had its own quirks and issues to manage. Olives is written in the first person and makes a really solid emotional connection with readers as a result. Beirut had structural issues and my editor made me tear it all down and rebuild it, losing one too many goody and one too many baddy on the way. For Shemlan, the editor took out 15,000 words of flashbacks which I have just restored because I felt, after having considered his advice for two years, the book as I intended it achieves what I set out to achieve.  A Decent Bomber suffered the most difficult gestation – that’s taken two years to write. And then Birdkill followed right after as a massive sigh of relief and just tumbled onto paper. Well, DOCX. You know.

4)  Do you feel writing is something you need to do or want to do?

Writing is most assuredly something I want to do. Marketing, now that’s a whole other ballgame.

5)  Have your personal experiences (or situations) influenced you creatively? If so, how?

Yes, my first three books are Middle East based. My experience with callow British journalists interacting with Arabs; of Jordan and Beirut (that sexiest of cities) and thirty years of wandering around this part of the world have undoubtedly had their effect. Writing makes you a thief, a stealer of things. A glance, a gesture, a phrase, a personal quirk.


Interview with Professor Hans Nylander…

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

Steve: Maybe we should start with your saying something about yourself.

Nylander: I’m a South African astrophysicist.  I do research and teach at a Johannesburg university and belong to the staff of South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO), acting as a theoretical consultant.  The SAAO facility features the South African Large Telescope (SALT), a cooperative venture financed by South Africa, Germany, Poland, New Zealand, the U.S., and the United Kingdom.  It’s the largest telescope in the southern hemisphere.

Steve: How does that relate to this Mensa Contagion?

Nylander: I was the first scientist to visit the landing site.  The artifact was clearly a dispersal vehicle.  And the virus it contained was dispersed.  I’m no contagious disease expert, but I knew whatever was in that pod didn’t originate on Earth.

Steve: Is it true that you named the virus, though?

Nylander: That has more to do with my scientific background.  My adopted son, Oscar, who’s also my grad student, discovered it came from the direction of Mensa, a constellation that can only be seen in the southern hemisphere.  Seemed like a good name.

Steve: So the name has nothing to do with that club for geniuses?


Interviewing John Hohn…

Monday, November 17th, 2014

[Today we have a treat, an interview with author John Hohn.  He has an interesting background that probably influenced his first work, Deadly Portfolio: A Killing in Hedge Funds, more than his second, Breached (reviewed last Wednesday), but both books are intricate and excellent mysteries that will entertain you a lot more than the usual drivel you’ll find on TV.  Without further ado, here’s John.]

Some bio information…

Steve: Tell us a bit about yourself, John.

John: I’m technically retired, but I like to say I’ve embarked on a new career, writing. I am a Midwestern by birth, born and raised in Yankton, SD where I graduated from high school. I married after my freshman year in college at St. John’s University (MN) where I majored in English, graduating in 1961. I taught high school English for four years before entering the world of business. My career spans more than 40 years in the financial services industry. I retired in 2007 after 15 years at the head of my own financial advisory group with Merrill Lynch in Winston-Salem, NC.

I have always loved to write. I have published poetry in literary quarterlies, garnering a few awards along the way. In 2000, I published as small volume of poetry. In 2011, I published my first novel, Deadly Portfolio: A Killing in Hedge Funds. A sequel followed in 2014 titled Breached.

I am the father of five children and stepfather to one.  My wife and I have been married 29 years. We divide our time between a cottage in Southport, NC and a small house in the Blue Ridge Mountains in the northwestern corner of the state.

Steve: Why, how, and when did you start writing?

John: I started writing when I was a boy. I wrote because I enjoyed it. My stories were short pieces, usually about going fishing with my dad or exploring around the neighborhood. Both of my parents were very encouraging. My mother read my stories to guests. I enjoyed the praise and affirmation I received. I have been writing all of my life.


Interviewing romance author Callie Norse…

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

[Note from Steve: We have a real treat today.  Readers are probably tired of my pushing thriller, mystery, and sci-fi novels, so Callie Norse, romance writer from the great Midwest, has kindly subjected herself to my interview questions.  She’s the author of the 4-book Carrington series, a series of romance/mystery/paranormal novels; the corresponding titles are For the Love of Lisa, A Love Too Soon, The Anniversary…not to be forgotten, and Flashes from the Past, available in both paperback and eBook formats.  She’s also written the short sci-fi story “Taken,” a story of alien abduction, available as an eBook.  Without further ado, here’s Callie.]


About Callie…

Steve: First, let’s get some bio information about you.

Callie:  I’m married. My husband and I live in Northern Illinois, and have three grown sons, and six grandchildren. I worked in banking for seven years, then became a stay-at-home mom. I have always been an avid reader. My love for writing was inspired by my eighth grade teacher, when she asked that we write short stories for class. I dedicated Flashes from the Past to her.


Callie on writing…

Steve: Why, how, and when did you start writing?

Callie: I began writing short stories when my children were young. My first manuscript was after the loss of my parents, only 16 days apart, in 1991. I wrote the story of their illnesses and how my siblings and I dealt with their illnesses and eventual loss. The first book of my series was developed out of one of those first short stories.

Steve: Did you publish the first book you wrote? (more…)

An interview with Mr. Paws…

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

[If you don’t know it already, Mr. Paws, a super-intelligent cat who does mathematical research, is a main character in my YA novel The Secret Lab (adults have also found it enjoyable).  He visited me from his parallel universe recently to talk about “The Chaos Chronicles” and sci-fi in general.  I include here only the pertinent parts.  We were sidetracked at times by unsolved mathematical conjectures about gaps between primes and whether there’s just one Higgs boson or many, but I’ll spare you those details.]

Steve: Good to see you again.  Have my muses been taking good care of you?

Mr. Paws: I’m purrfectly independent, you know—I don’t need babying.  I do miss the kids.  Although I can wander freely about that futuristic International Space Station you created, Shashi and all the gang [Steve: ISS tweens who become Mr. Paws’ friends on the ISS] are off doing other things.  So, yes, your muses are useful in keeping me on my toes with provocative questions.  They helped me come here to visit, though, because I have some questions for you.

Steve: You mean, you want to interview me?

Mr. Paws:  Don’t let your ego inflate, pal.  No, I’m just here to chat.  By jumping around through the Nexus in time and space, I’ve been able to explore some of the places you talk about in “The Chaos Chronicles.”  They’re quite interesting.  My adventures in The Secret Lab can be considered a prequel to all those adventures, of course.  In “my time,” they didn’t know about the Nexus.  Humans were just exploring the solar system.

Steve: Which places are most interesting?