Author Interview & Book Giveaway: Vodnik by Bryce Moore

Welcome to Author Bryce Moore.

Bryce Moore is a young adult fantasy author whose first book, Vodnik, will be published by Tu Books in March 2012. He currently is a librarian in Western Maine, where he uses his spare time to fix up his old 1841 farmhouse and shovel snow. He received a Masters in English from BYU, where he studied American literature, creative writing, and film adaptation. He also has a Masters of Library Science from Florida State.

Check out his blog on writing, libraries and dentists at brycesramblings.blogspot.com

Interview:
How did you know you should become an author?

I don’t think I ever knew it. I became an author because I enjoy writing. It’s something I’ve down every day for more than a decade now. Even back in grade school, I was writing books (or starting them, at any rate. Finishing them was something that didn’t come until I’d had a lot of practice). Once I came to grips with the fact that writing was going to be a part of my life one way or another, it just made sense to start working toward the goal of eventual publication. Of course, once you reach that goal, you realize that there is no “destination” in being a writer. Once you reach one (publication, for example), another one pops up further away (getting a sequel published, or writing something more challenging). I’m still not a full-time author (I’m a librarian by day), but it’s wonderful to be at the point where some of what has been a passion also pays a few bills.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
The other day I visited a local middle school class. When I got there, I asked the librarian (who was running the class) what I should expect. She told me that they were her trouble makers, and that she’d been using the promise of an author coming to visit with them as a reward if they were well behaved. My stress levels immediately shot up, with visions of being heckled by a room full of twelve year olds flashing through my mind. The reality was so different. They were attentive, asked wonderful questions, and were all enthusiastic about the book and what I had to say. After they’d left, the librarian let me know that some of the most talkative kids had been ones she could never pry a word out of, normally. That was a great feeling–knowing that what I’d said had been able to connect with kids somehow. Very rewarding.

What was your favorite book when you were a child/teen? 
The Chronicles of Narnia has always been a favorite. I loved the whole series–they were my first gateway into fantasy. From them I went on to The Chronicles of Prydain, The Dark is Rising, The Hobbit and more. But the first one is always the one you remember best. It also helped that my family had a cabin up in the mountains of Utah, which my grandparents had themed after Narnia. All of the rooms had different names (Eagles, Centaurs, Giants, Unicorns). There was a playhouse out back called the Wardrobe. I would go there with my family for holidays and summer vacations. I loved it, and still do.

Favorite Candy?
Dark chocolate. The darker, the better. I have yet to taste something too dark.

How do you react to a bad review?
I think it helps that I write movie and book reviews myself on my blog. I’ve come to the realization that there is no way to please everyone–and that you shouldn’t even try. The best thing to do is to think of your favorite book–the one you just flat out love love love–and then go to Amazon and see what nasty things people said about it. A quick jaunt over to check out reviews for The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, for example, brings up this: “These books are probabley(sic) the worst books that I have ever read in my entire life. They keep going on and on about nothing. We were forced to read them at school. They really stink.” Once you know that, you learn to let bad reviews slide off you.

Who are your favorite authors of all time?
CS Lewis, of course. Other particular favorites over the years include David Eddings, Tolkien, Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson, Mark Twain, Terry Pratchett, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Agatha Christie–although I’m sure I’m forgetting a slew that really ought to be listed here, too. I’m a librarian–I like things to be accurate and complete. “Favorites” lists are rarely both.

When you were little, what did you want to be when you “grew up”?
I really wanted to be a Disney animator. Not that I ever animated anything. But I liked to practice drawing, and I loved to dream about doing it. But it’s one thing to dream, and another to do, and I never did.

Give us a glimpse into a typical day in your day starting when you wake up till you lie down again.
I get up each day at 5:45 and write for an hour. My goal is 1,000 words, although that changes when I’m editing or plotting. After that, I get ready and go to work from 7:30 until 4:00. At work I’m busy cataloging, ordering books, weeding the library collection, teaching classes on information literacy, fixing computers, tweaking web pages, and doing other library-related pursuits. I write my blog posts during my breaks. Once home, it varies depending on the time of year. In the summer I’m mowing the lawn, doing construction projects on the house, or going fishing. In the winter I’m shoveling snow, keeping the wood stove burning, or ice fishing. Playing with my kids and cleaning the house are both permanent activities, plus I’m active in my church. The kids go to bed, and my wife and I usually watch a movie every evening. Then I fit in some reading, journal writing, and off to bed around 11:30.

If you could jump in to a book, and live in that world.. which would it be?

Definitely Narnia. That’s one of the things I loved about those books. You were never sure when and where someone would get sucked in to Narnia. I always tried every wardrobe I saw. It never worked.

What’s the craziest writing idea you’ve had?

I wrote an entire novel that was an adaptation of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, except the setting was literally inside a particular copy of that book. It’s a world where characters from one book are reincarnated as characters in a new book, so you had Brom Bones played by Beowulf, the Horseman played by Sherlock Holmes–that sort of thing. When a human would read their book, these characters would act out what the human was thinking. Add a murder mystery plot to that, and you’ve got the basics. It’s one of my favorite books I’ve written, but it’s really hard to explain.

What is you favorite way to spend a rainy day?

Movies, movies, movies. I watch movies all the time. Every genre, every time period. Silent, black and white, modern, impressionist, action, comedy, foreign–you name it. I also enjoy watching TV shows, though I don’t have cable or satellite, so it’s mainly whatever’s on Netflix. I think my record is 6 movies in day, though it might have been more.

If you could choose only one time period and place to live, when and where would you live and why?

You know, I was just reading an article today on the history of surgery. Up until that article, I always thought it would be great fun to live in other times and places, but after that . . . not so much. I’m too used to modern medicine, plumbing, air conditioning, and electronics. But I’d love to be a time tourist. Check out some World War II battles, a bit of the Civil War, some medieval events–that sort of thing. I’d love to watch, but I don’t think I’d really want to be there and participate anymore.

Vodnik

When Tomas was six, someone — something — tried to drown him. And burn him to a crisp. Tomas survived, but whatever was trying to kill him freaked out his parents enough to convince them to move from Slovakia to the United States.
 Now sixteen-year-old Tomas and his family are back in Slovakia, and that something still lurks somewhere. Nearby. It wants to drown him again and put his soul in a teacup. And that’s not all. There’s also the fire víla, the water ghost, pitchfork-happy city folk, and Death herself who are after him.
 If Tomas wants to survive, he’ll have to embrace the meaning behind the Slovak proverb, So smrťou ešte nik zmluvu neurobil. With Death, nobody makes a pact.

Giveaway Details
1 copy of Vodnik
Open to US only
Ends 8/6/12

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