I am INSANELY excited to have Miss Coralie Moss as my very first victim… errr… interviewee. This talented author has made 2018 the #YearOfMoss with FOUR (that is not a typo, folks) novels released this year. The most recent of which was MAGIC REMEMBERED, Miss Moss’ first Urban Fantasy work. Earlier this year she published Contemporary Romances SUMMER RULES, INVISIBLE ANNA, and OPENING NIGHTS.
Now that I have given you an all too brief – and only barely surface scratching – rundown of the brilliance that is Coralie, let the experiments begin.
Interview. I mean interview. Yes, right. I sent Coralie a mass of questions and she so graciously took the time to thoughtfully answer each one.
Cora: Hi, Amelia! I’m so happy that I get to chat with you. Let’s get right to your questions. First and possibly foremost in importance: Coffee or tea?
Both! Most mornings I brew a pot of Assam tea, which I order by the pound because loose leaf teas are so flavorful. Also, the Moss house has an espresso maker from Starbucks that must be 12-15 years old. I make a pretty good cappuccino and a very good hot chocolate. My current favorite is Tanzanie, a 75% dark chocolate couverture from Cacao Barry here in Canada. I buy it by the kilo and no I am not obsessed about hot beverages, not at all…
Now that we know what’s in my mug, let’s chat about GENRE. I started out writing Contemporary Romance, but what I enjoy reading most is Urban Fantasy. Two years and a few manuscripts in, a neighbor of mine—Meghan Ciana Doidge, who happens to write awesome #UF—said to me, “Write what you read.”
Simple words. A basic idea. And a lightbulb zinged on in my head. By the time I walked from Meghan’s house to mine, I had the premise of a story: A divorced witch, trying to get back into the dating world, inadvertently finds out she’s on the cusp of losing what little power she has left.
Why? Because for years, this witch managed a husband and two sons and a full-time job, and neglected this gift she was born with—something that happens to so many women in the ‘real world’. I like writing characters in their mid-30s and up who have been ‘seasoned’ by life and loss and love. As for the setting, I knew the story would take place on Salt Spring Island, where I live, because it is so beautiful here, and because this story would center around…apples!
Selecting the names of the many of the characters for what would become MAGIC REMEMBERED came about in a funny way. There are a lot of orchards on this island, so I started to research apples and in doing so came across names that sounded perfect for witches: Belle de Boskoop, Airlie Redflesh, Karmijn de Sonnaville, and more. I found others that would serve well as last names: Pippin. Foxwhelp. Marechal. The different taste notes of the apples helped me imagine what personality traits to give the characters.
My love for nature and my belief that magic exists makes Urban Fantasy a perfect genre. It allows me to use ‘real’ people and ‘real’ situations, then shape their stories by asking, “What if?”
What if Hidden Folk tend the orchards? What if the Apples of Immortality are threatened by mythological creatures and global warming and more…WHO WOULD SAVE THEM? What if I sent a witch out on a job and she met a handsome stranger?
Urban Fantasy also allows me to loosen the reins on my creativity (tightening things comes up in all the passes I do before Jeni Chappelle sees each manuscript for its developmental edit).
Readers always want to know if a specific person—or people—inspire certain characters, or situations, or storylines. YES, definitely! But not in a verbatim kind of way. For instance, I let my memories take for me for walks, and then I start to meander onto paths I (or we) did not take. Or I’ll combine something from my life, with something from someone else’s life and come up with a completely different scenario and set of consequences.
And that adage about writers using what *you* say in a book? Totally true!
You might have guessed by now that my brain rarely gets off the Idea Train. I’ve been artistic/creative my entire life, and when I’m not writing or running a household, I make stuff using fabric and felt and buttons and beads. I also love to draw, and these days I’m designing a series of mandalas. They’re very meditative to color in.
Which brings me to COVER ART. I’m of the opinion that cover art is very important, even with so many of us reading on devices. There are talented book cover designers out there, at all price points. Elizabeth Mackey Graphics has done all four of my covers. Early on in the process, she really ‘got’ what I was going for with the cover for Magic Remembered. This entire first book is about Calliope’s memories and how they relate to her present. I gave Elizabeth some specific requests re: images (there HAD to be at least one apple on the cover!) and using the color green. She took it from there, and delivered a cover I adore.
And if there is any bit of ‘advice’ I would offer new writers, it’s this: Write. Put words on the page. Put more words on the page. Treasure solitude, seek community, nurture your muse. Write. Give back. Feed the well. Write.
Thank you for asking such lovely questions, Amelia! Let’s give away some books!
Coralie has offered some AMAZING giveaways for our readers. Five folks will get an ebook copy of MAGIC REMEMBERED in whatever format they choose and one, single green-eyed monster inducing lucky person will win the GRAND PRIZE of a signed paperback of MAGIC REMEMBERED as well as a box of apple tea and a tea towel. All you need to do to enter is pop over to Miss Moss’s site and sign up for her newsletter. Yup. That’s all.
Meghan Ciana Doidge http://madebymeghan.ca
Elizabeth Mackey Graphics http://www.elizabethmackeygraphics.com
Jeni Chappelle http://jenichappelleeditorial.com