Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester is happy to shine our Friday Spotlight on author David Moore, who will be at our 65 James Street store on Sunday, April 29, from 1:00 – 3:00 PM. David will be reading, chatting, and signing about his newest release from Diversion Books, Small Town, Big Oil, which tells the historical battle between a small town, led by three women, who stood up to an oil tycoon who wanted to build on their seacoast.
David Moore is an award-winning author for iMediaEthics.org, and a senior fellow at the Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire. He spent ten years in the Army, 21 years teaching at the University of New Hampshire, and 13 years working with the Gallup Organization – before rejoining UNH. His previous books include The Super Pollsters, How to Steal an Election, The Opinion Makers, and The First Primary (the latter co-authored with Andrew Smith).
Thank you so much for joining us, David! First off, what is your favorite part of being a writer? Of the whole writing and publishing process? What do you think has been your greatest lesson in the journey thus far?
The favorite or energizing part of writing is writing with an expectation that someone will read and understand/appreciate the message or story. Sometimes, I have written long passages or essays, knowing that what I’m writing will never be seen by others. But mostly, I’m interested in sharing my ideas with others. For the most part, I do not write just for myself.
What piece of advice would you want to share with other writers?
My experience has been that having a writing group that meets regularly helps my writing enormously. If the fellow writers in the group (three to six or so is probably a good number, but see what works) are kind, finding good parts to your writing as well as offering “suggestions” for consideration, the feedback can be very helpful both in providing constructive comments, and in encouraging one to continue. I did work with one fellow writer for a brief time, who could always find numerous problematic passages, but rarely found anything that seemed to please him. He was a good writer himself, but I couldn’t take the unrelenting criticism – and we parted ways. My current writing group is excellent.
While you’re writing, do you prefer music, silence, other? Please elaborate!
I definitely prefer silence. Ambient noises, if not too loud, I can ignore. But music or conversation among others, the radio and TV – all are too distracting for me to concentrate on what I’m trying to say.
What do you consider the most challenging part of the writing process? And how do you overcome that?
Probably the most challenging part of writing is getting those first words/pages written. Too often, I spend lots of time cogitating instead of writing, fooling myself into thinking that just thinking about the subject is a sign of progress. It’s not – most of the time. A Pulitzer-prize winning author at the University of New Hampshire, Don Murray, always argued that writing is thinking. A writer doesn’t really know what she or he wants to say until it is produced in written form. As you write, ideas come to you that wouldn’t come if you hadn’t written those first words. So, if you want to think about a subject, he would tell me, write down your thoughts. Others will come. And then you really will be thinking!
He would add: If you have difficulty writing because you think the quality of your writing is too bad, then you’ve set your standards too high. Just write – get the words down on paper (or whatever electronic device you’re using) no matter how banal they seem. Then…rewrite.
What is the greatest lesson you’ve learned, thus far, in your writing career?
There are many, many varied opinions on any given story or piece of writing. That shouldn’t be “news” to a writer, but it’s important to keep in mind whenever you read some criticisms of your work. It’s especially important when submitting your work to an agent or publisher. What some find terrible, others find inspirational. The same goes for criticisms from our fellow writers in a writing group or class. A writer constantly has to keep an open mind to the opinions of others, but in the end has to judge whether the criticisms make sense in terms of what the writer wants to say.
This is the “greatest” lesson, because it’s one I constantly have to re-learn! It’s easy to get discouraged, but it’s important not to be deterred.
Where can people find your work? (Besides ABSW ;)–though they should totally check here first!)
All the books are available on Amazon, and Barnes and Noble. My commentary can be found on iMediaEthics.org.
How can we follow your work, share your awesomeness, or otherwise stalk you in a totally non-creepy way?
Besides going to iMediaEthics, one could go to my website, DavidWMoore.us. I don’t do much tweeting, though maybe I should!
Thank you again, David, for joining us on our Friday Spotlight blog! We look forward to having you in the store on Sunday, April 29, from 1:00 – 3:00 PM.