1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?
For me, writing began when I was in high school. I dealt with a ton of anxiety and I withdrew into reading fantasy novels, specifically, the Dragonlance novels by Margaret Weiss and Tracy Hickman. I remember I was sitting in an office at school reading one of their books and being sad it ended so I decided “I’m going to write some more, for myself.” That’s really how I got into writing, I wanted more story, so I made it myself. Oh…and it was absolute garbage, by the way, that awful fan fiction I wrote back then.
2) What inspired you to write your book?|
For Rise (and its sequel) the idea came from two different places but morphed into something completely different. I had been watching The Man in High Castle and spending a lot of time listening to Hamilton which gave me this idea of creating an alternative history novel on the American Revolution. I got about two chapters in and felt I was too restrained by factual places and people so I broke out of those confines and made my own world instead. It was liberating.
3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?
What I hope people can take away from my book is that it’s not as easy as we may like to think to determine who is good and who is evil in any conflict. Horrific things can be done for reasons that are perceived to be good because we’re all people and we’re all faulty.
4) What drew you into this particular genre?
The very first book I remember reading was The Hobbit in 2nd grade. From there I went on to read about Greek Mythology and got deeply into a video game, Everquest, which had a pantheon of gods and goddesses and deep fantasy lore. Fantasy was always one of those things that just captured my imagination. Castles, swords, magic? I was sold from the beginning.
5) If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?
This is a tough question for me because I get to know my characters so intimately, I don’t think there’s much I wouldn’t know about them. Part of my process is building up a real personality that works off logic and grants them agency but it’s agency I understand and anticipate, if that makes sense? A character won’t do something I don’t expect them to because I’ve built up who they are. Perhaps I’d sit down with Cromwell to ask him to dissect multiple military strategies in past conflicts and explain how and where they went wrong. As a brilliant tactician, I believe he would see things that even historians would have missed.
6) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?
Honestly, probably twitch if one could call it a social media site. The writing community on Twitter is great, but it’s easy to fall into some dangerous habits like follow for follow. Building a platform is difficult and I’ve made a lot of mistakes over the years which is honestly why I started a youtube channel to begin with, to show the kind of things I did wrong and hopefully spare others from those mistakes. For social media, I think it’s important to narrow your focus to what you can be consistent with and whichever platform your target audience uses.
7) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?
Be kind to yourself. Writing is hard, it’s demanding mentally and emotionally and it can take time. One of the worst things you can do is compare yourselves to others, focus on the things in your control and try to do a little bit whenever you can to get better. That doesn’t mean just writing, but reading, researching, whatever you can because all that incremental progress you do day after day, week after week, when you look back years later you’ll be amazed at how far you’ve come.
8) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?
Good things, I hope! I’m working on a new book and new series that I hope to launch soon. The first draft is just about complete. It’ll be a slight departure from my current books because it’ll lean more heavily into more traditional fantasy.
I want to continue making content to help new writers on youtube, as well. It’s something I’m passionate about because I think it’s important to provide advice in multiple formats to make it as available to those who want to seek it out as possible. I’d like to inspire some people to write who may not yet be ready to put pen to paper or fingers to keys.
About the Author
Mark Moore began writing his first book in November of 2015. What started as a hobby quickly morphed into a passion that consumed long nights and lunch hours during his day jobs. With the help of his editor, JMR Literary Services, he published his first book, Rise, in November of 2018 and followed it with its sequel, Stand, in December 2020. His current work in progress is a departure from the low-fantasy genre, focusing on more traditional fantasy.
In 2021 Mark also began collecting his thoughts and putting together a writing advice youtube channel which can be found below with the goal of sparing other authors from the mistakes he’s made over the years and sharing what he’s learned.