- Name: Moss Whelan
- Location: Vancouver, BC
- Books: Gray Hawk of Terrapin, Available Here!
- Twitter: @Moss_Whelan
- Podcasts: Story in Mind
Thanks for joining me for this interview Moss, I always enjoy our discussions on Twitter and listening to your podcasts!
For those of you who don’t know Moss, he has a vibrant imagination and deep love of structure and story, which shows in his writing. There are rich thoughts and complex ideas woven throughout his work, though he does an amazing job of wrapping them in entertaining and extremely accessible stories which can be enjoyed by nearly any age.
On to the questions!
Question 1: How did you become interested in writing? How long have you been working at it?
I’ve been writing for 25 years. The first five were exploratory as I tried to figure out if I wanted to pursue it as a career. Would it be rewarding? Was it possible? After that, I spent ten years studying different forms of writing.
Question 2: What is your favorite fantasy animal?
The unicorn is the first animal that comes to mind, but the dragon is a close second. I like how unicorns used to be religious symbols in the medieval age and that they have survived as wild, ethereal things.
Question 3: What is your writing process? Do you plan/outline? Discover as you go?
Each project is a different beast. Really, it’s about trusting the process and “listening” to what each project needs. Some projects flow and are easy. I use a basic screenplay structure for everything, but sometimes I need to do character research or outlines. During writing, I will write non sequentially–especially the climax.
Question 4: What is the best book you’ve read in the last year or so?
I got chance to read an ARC (Advance Reading Copy) of Fallen Princeborn: Stolen by Jean Lee, and I really like the cracking pace and intensity. It’s like a thriller road trip into Faerie.
Question 5: What is your editing process? Do you use beta readers or critique partners? How many drafts do you typically go through before you feel it’s complete?
I used to have a simplistic approach to editing. But after working with an agent, now I see how much a manuscript can improve. We did twenty drafts, but I think with a clear plan that could be ten drafts. I have worked both with beta readers and critique partners. Both are gold. If you can find and afford a story editor, that’s gold too.
Question 6: What’s your least favorite part of writing?
My least favourite time during writing is when I have to put it aside. I’ll run out of steam, or I’ll have to go for a walk. Sometimes, it’s the financial or business aspect of writing that takes me away. But, it’s all part of the process.
Question 7: What types of research do you do for your writing? How much of your research typically makes it into your manuscripts?
I saw a good bit of advice a while ago: psychology first, detail second. Get the first draft done with the basic story, and return in the consecutive drafts with research.
Question 8: What two authors do you think could collaborate to make something awesome?
I choose Claire Buss and Jean Lee. I have no idea what they would dream up, but I like the idea of them collaborating on something. I’m not sure if they even know each other, but that makes it all the better.
Question 9: If a historian was going through your writing, what would you want them to say about your overall catalogue? What impact, if any, would you like to have with your writing?
It would be cool to be dug up by a future archaeologist. I would most like to represent, and present, the big picture. I hope to be remembered for reminding people that they can shape their Point Of View.
Question 10: What magical power would you like to have?
I’d like to fly. Not just in the sky, but through space. It is possible that in my lifetime I might be able to travel to Mars? Let’s go!