Christopher Moore on his literary influences, the Russian River & marine biology

Christopher Moore stops by the store Tuesday, April 24 at 7 p.m. to discuss his new novel, Noir, a parody of hard-boiled detective fiction. Check out Moore’s answers to The BookPeople Questionnaire below!


christopher moore

BP: What are you reading these days?

CM: Jack London’s San Francisco Stories by Jack London, Cringeworthy: A Theory of Awkwardness by Melissa Dahl, The Sommelier of Deformity by Nick Yetto (advanced review copy), and How to Stop Time by Matt Haig

BP: What books did you love as a child?

CM: The Mouse and the Motorcycle (and all of Beverly Cleary’s books). Jules Verne’s books, all of them. Ray Bradbury’s stories, R is for Rocket, S is for Space, The Illustrated Man, and the Paddington Bear books.

BP: What’s the hardest thing about writing?

CM: Writing. Making yourself sit down to do it even when it’s not going well.

BP: What’s the best thing about writing?

CM: Coming up with an idea that delights people and making it work on the page.

BP: What’s your favorite word?

CM: Melange

BP: What’s a sentence you’ve loved and remembered from a book?

CM: “Oh for a muse of fire that would ascend the greatest heaven of invention.” From Shakespeare’s, Henry V.  That’s from a play, but I read it book form. How about, “He drank ice crystals laced with midnight as he watched their world burn.” From a Harlan Ellison story. I don’t remember the title.

BP: Do you have any weird writing habits?

CM: I don’t think so, really. I’ve tried not to put any weird conditions on writing, because they’re counter-productive, so I’m not particularly quirky. I just need quiet, solitude, and coffee.

BP: Who are your literary influences?

CM: Kurt Vonnegut, Tom Robbins, John Steinbeck, Mark Twain and Douglas Adams

BP: What’s your favorite place to write?

CM: Honestly, probably in my writing hovel on the Russian River, now, but in the past, in coffee shops. I wrote my 1st three books in a diner and I was so focused and disciplined in those days that the activity around me only helped.

BP: What would you be doing if you weren’t a writer?

CM: Honestly, probably waiting tables. If it was my choice, I’d like to be doing radio (but that may be because when I did radio I was able to make up funny stuff to say, so it’s kind of writing.) If I had to start over, I’d love to be a marine mammal biologist or a cultural anthropologist.

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