Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Welcome, Becky Moore

1: Thank you so much for being here, Becky. First up is the obligatory question. When did you first begin writing?
I’m a southerner, and we tend to be a little melodramatic … that said, I’ve been a storyteller all my life. When I was in college, I knew I wanted to be a writer, but figured I should have some type of “real” degree to fall back on. My mother, on the other hand, told me that I had my whole life to have a job and that I should go for what I really wanted. So armed with my degree in English literature and editing, I quickly figured out that the most important corporation in the world couldn’t sell the most important widget ever developed without being able to talk about it. Working as a writer in a variety of industries has given me a broad view of the world … but no matter how stressful my deadlines have been through the years, my mind wandered in imaginary tales with interesting characters. About five or six years ago I decided to get the ideas out of my head and onto paper, and loved working in fiction. But time is the greatest enemy of a writer, especially one like me, who has a full-time job and writes romance in the evenings and on vacation. As a result of my staccato approach to writing, I have a dozen manuscripts in progress (some as much as 80-90% complete). It was driving me crazy, so as the Christmas came and went last year, I said out loud: “2010 is MY year.” And I sat down and forced myself to finish one book. I sent it in to a new e-publisher (XOXO Publishing), and they picked it up. I was stoked, and knew that if I really put my all into it, I could do it. And I did.

2: What inspired you to write?

I am, by nature, a great idealist. I believe in the best life has to offer, and that everyone deserves a chance. My love of reading comes from watching my mother, and learning to love the way a book lets you escape to another world of possibility. She also taught me the power of the written word, which I have always held in high regard. My full-time work now is as a grantwriter and public affairs officer for a non-profit agency supporting individuals living with HIV/AIDS … and most of those stories have sad endings. It gives me such hope to be able to immerse myself in my stories in my free “me time,” where I have the power to give my characters a happy ending. No matter how desperate the situation my characters find themselves in, true love helps them find a way to each other, and the way to a happy ending.

3: What do you like the most and least about writing?

The most: a world of possibilities that takes me on the most exciting adventures. The worst: I’m compelled to write more and more so my mind can rest … some days the story rests, others it roars.

4: What do you for fun and relaxation when not writing?

My son and my husband and I are really close, and look for every opportunity to do things together. We love to do anything outdoors, especially hiking, cycling, kayaking, playing tennis, and walking with our beagle Magnolia May. A good massage is also a real treat!

5: Which authors do you like to read?

I love to read just about everything, and while I’ve probably got two or three books going on my own at any given time, my 12 year old son and I keep a running book together, too. My favorite romance authors are Julie Garwood, Linda Howard, Shannon McKenna, Susan Andersen, Rachel Gibson, and Amy J. Fetzer. Other favorite adult authors are Peter Mayle, Michael Chabon, Janet Evanovich, and James Patterson. My favorite children and teen authors are Rick Riordan, J.K. Rowling, Maurice Sendak, and Kate DiCamillo.

6: What’s the one thing you’d most like people to know about you?

I hope the thing that would stand out would be that I’m a kind, fun, interesting, aware person. Those are the traits I’d like for people to realize about my son, and I think they’re important for anybody.

7: Tell me about your current novel, where I can find it and your website/blog.

The Right Words is a sexy contemporary romance that, ultimately, is a book about hope. Hope for a happy life, for a future that’s worth living, and for finding love.

For Jane, an optimist by nature, she’s burned out from years on the road as a travel journalist. When faced with a sudden dose of reality—the murder of her sister—Jane realizes that there’s more to life than chasing the next story. So she comes back to North Carolina, to the beautiful family homestead she inherited from her grandmother, to start the second phase of her life.

Lucas finds his way to North Carolina for a completely different type of respite—his from a decade of dangerous work as an undercover agent with a handful of government agencies. He’s seen one too many senseless murders, turned one too many heads, taken on one too many stains on his soul. His latest assignment with a Columbian drug cartel is especially hard to forget since bringing it down meant snapping his flexible undercover morals.

Jane needs somebody to love, somebody who’s worth taking a chance on. Lucas needs somebody to love him, somebody he can be himself with. Theirs is a match made in heaven.

You can read more about me, The Right Words, and my upcoming novel, The Penalty Box, at

The Right Words is available for sale through the XOXO Publishing Online Store at

8: Do you have any tips for aspiring authors?

Stay with it. Never give up. Write the kind of stories that you like to read, and know that other people in the world will find something compelling in your story to make you an author.

9: Do you base your characters on real-life people?

I think my characters are probably amalgamations of people I see, people who make impressions on me. I like to have music playing in the background because I have a constant soundtrack running through my mind. I like to imagine the most unusual bits and pieces of people and the possibilities of mixing them up together.

10: Where do you get your ideas and what inspired you to write this book?

I’m always so sad to read about young people who are just so distraught with their lives, with feeling that they’ve got no options. In my day job, I write the saddest statistics about mortality rates for people living with HIV or AIDS. I have a young child who is the light of my life, and happy and smart and shiny and new. I think of all the things I want to say to him, the right words to help him become the strong man I just know he’ll grow to be. So I thought of a situation that would allow me to delve into those feelings of hopelessness and the possibility of being able to help someone work through the much in their life to find the bright, shiny possibility of hope, and of a good future.

11: What are you currently working on?

I’m working on a story called “Mine By Design,” which is a suspense, and I’m in the editing stages of my second book with XOXO Publishing, called “The Penalty Box.”

12. Is there anything else you’d like us to know about you?

Nope. But thanks for reading.

Jane Porter squeezed her goose down pillow tighter around her head to try and block out the incessant pounding and blaring tunes of The Ramones coming from the efficiency apartment in her attic. She’d only gotten into bed two hours ago and, until the cacophony of sounds started, she was enjoying the blissful after-effects of her migraine medicine kicking in. Three songs in, the pain was beating out the remedy.

“Shut up!”

Oh, God. She flipped onto her stomach, groaning, and resettled the pillow to try and drown out the sounds. I deserve a medal, she thought. Maintaining her fledgling camaraderie with her flighty neighbor, Amber Taylor, was going to kill her … or cause her brain to melt down. Even on good, migraine-free days it was difficult at best to get along with that Barbie-bimbo—a self-centered, high maintenance, whiner of a slut who thought the world revolved around her and that any male within sight or scent of her should fall to their knees to worship her greatness. Jane snorted at the picture that popped into her mind of Amber standing spread-eagled at the front of the kindergarten class she taught, with one of the dads sitting on his knees going down on her, and the shocked expressions on the kids faces. Eww.

She groaned again, irritated that she was letting the pain was drowning out her patience. Jane found it was best to not dwell on how much she hated Amber; it made it easier to live with her.

But the pounding music was making her rethink her decision to open her home to a roommate. It was getting harder and harder to remind herself that she wanted the hustle and bustle of another living soul in the house with her.

When her grandmother died last Christmas and left the old brick mansion to her, Jane had been more than happy to leave Manhattan for Durham. Her work as a travel journalist kept her on the move, and for the last six years had lived out of a series of suitcases, hotels and friends houses. Hence, the thought that a roommate would be “fun”. Gah!

They were four months into a six month lease, and the only thing keeping Jane from kicking Amber out on her ass was the lease they’d both signed. Legal and binding, damn it.

Jane glared at the ceiling, willing the noise in the attic to stop. But it was no use. The pounding went on and on. God, she had to get some sleep. With a muttered curse, Jane pulled the phone onto the bed and called Amber to pick up. Of course voicemail picked up.

“Amber . . . it’s Jane. I’m not sure what you’re doing up there, but you’ve got to stop. It sounds like you’re running with a herd of elephants. I was up late last night with a deadline and I’ve only been in bed for two hours. Please give me another couple of hours with some peace and quiet and I’ll go over to Duke Forest with you and run. I’ll even treat us to lunch afterward.”

She sighed and hung up and then went to the bathroom while she was up. The motion made her stomach lurch, so she sat on the toilet until she was able to stagger back to bed without vomiting all over the bedroom.

Twenty minutes later the banging continued enthusiastically. “Shit.” She was going to have to go up there. She was all the way at the attic landing outside Amber’s door, knocking with the flat of her hand, when she realized she was in her summer jammies. The only thing covering her little bikini panties was an old threadbare T-shirt with ‘Marauders’ emblazoned in pink rhinestones across the chest. She groaned and let her head drop back on her shoulders. Great.

Staring at the ceiling, she reached out to knock again—but instead of the solid door, her hand met solid, unyielding flesh. Crap!

She sucked in a quick breath, jerked her head up and came face to face with a tanned Adam’s apple. Ooh, and little dribbles of sweat trickled down it. “Noooo,” she wailed. Then with a thud she dropped her forehead to rest in the solid notch between two very fine pectoral muscles. Neither she nor Mr. Pecs said a word.

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