Today you get the opportunity to get to know more about Sherri Fulmer Moorer as a writer, as well as more about her YA novel, Blurry. Read on to find out more.
1. What was your inspiration for "Blurry?" Dreams I had while my husband and I were building our home in 2007. I had recurring dreams of being in high school while the house was under construction. After the house was complete and we moved in, I kept having them for a while, so I pulled them together, added some fictional elements that had been stirring in my head for a potential novel, and created "Blurry." And the funny thing is that the dreams stopped after I finished the rough draft of this book!
2. Your main character changes throughout the novel. Can you describe how she grows without giving away too much? She has to learn to accept people that have different moral convictions than she does. Her world is very black and white, and the events of this novel show her that most of the world lives in shades of grey. She has to learn how to deal with that and incorporate it into what she knows and believes.
3. Can you tell us about the difference in the male characters in the book and how they impact the stories? There have always been a lot of men in my life, ever since childhood. I'd say the biggest things I learned were from having a big brother. Those stereotypes of "tough men" just aren't true. They do have feelings and we may say they aren't as complicated as women, but they can be complicated in their own way. Guys can beat the crap out of each other one minute, but threaten them and they'll unite to turn against you in a heartbeat! The men in "Blurry" are a reflection of men I've actually known. They do care and have strong protective instincts. Those instincts might be misplaced at times (as is reflected in the relationship with Rachel, Layne and Joshua), but they do mean well. Honestly, woman say we can't live without them and we can't shoot them, but the truth is that I do love them! Men may confuse us, but they're good.
4. How much research did you do for "Blurry," especially for the police involvement aspect? A lot. I was working with a department that had a law enforcement division at the time I wrote "Blurry" and I talked to them some. I also did online research, and I do like to watch shows like "Dateline" frequently.
5. Your main character is a musician. Do you have an interest in music as well? Yes, I was in band all 4 years in high school and 2 years in college. I even met my husband in the marching band at the University of South Carolina. I played the piccolo in marching band and the flute in concert band. Unfortunately, I was a mediocre musician and gave that up in college. I'm a writer now, obviously!
6. "Blurry" is set in a small town. How does this effect the story? I set it in a small town on purpose. In fact, all of my books have been set in small towns. I believe confining the setting to a small town makes it easier to control the setting and to show the connections with relationships amongst characters and how the lifestyle of the place influences the characters better. I live in a small city and even there things can get so impersonal with so many degrees of seperation amongst people. Small towns are easier for me to manage.
7. What kind of town/city did you grow up in? I still live in the town where I was born. In fact, my husband and I built on my great-grandparent's homeplace, which is two houses from my parents, and next door to my in-laws. My brother and sister-in-law live in the woods behind all of us, and my first cousins live about half a mile away. I live in a surburb of Columbia, SC. The area had a "small town" feel to it as I was growing up, but it's grown due to urban sprawl in the area. I have mixed feelings about this. It's great to have things nearby and available, but I also miss the local feel of the place that seems to be disappearing.
8. Who are your favorite authors? J.R.R. Tolkein and C.S. Lewis are my absolute favorites. I also love the work of P.D. James. She's a great writer, and I can only hope to be a fraction of as good a storyteller as she is! I also like sci-fi and like Kim Robinson Stanley and Ben Bova.
9. Do you have any interesting habits or rituals when you write? I have a full time job, so I'm not able to set aside "blocks" of writing time like some writers do. I write whenever I can, which is mostly lunch hours, nights and weekends. One thing is that I tend to carry my laptop EVERYWHERE when I'm working on a book so I can write whenever I have a chance. My family and co-workers don't even think it's weird any more, especially since I started publishing my work as ebooks. When a "newbie" asks why I'm on a personal laptop on my lunch hour they just say, "She's working on a book, it's okay." They think it's cool, and I appreciate that they accept and support me as a writer. And I'll be honest - sometimes I can get a bit "out of it" and "loopy" when I'm working on a novel. My husband, family and colleagues are very patient and understanding of this as well. I'm lucky to have a great support system and a lot of good people around me!
10. Can you tell us about any other books or projects you are working on? I have a sci-fi apocolyptic novel titled "Splinter" due to be released through Whiskey Creek Press in 2013. This story takes place in the year 3001 after a solar flare hits Earth while the magnectic field is reversing, and parallel universes start opening and revealing secrets of how the destruction took really took place. That was truly the most research I've ever done for a novel. I didn't realize how much work writing sci-fi is, but I did enjoy it. Now I'm working on another adult mystery novel titled "Move," which is about a young woman that unknowlingly makes a deal with a djinn (genie) that doesn't go as either of them planned. I'm really enjoying my work on this novel, but then again we should enjoy everything we write. That's the point, after all - is to enjoy the process of creating the story and sharing it with readers who enjoy escaping to those worlds we create!