1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?
I’ve always written. I remember sitting at my parent’s Underwood and typing out stories, probably about dogs, cats or spacemen. In college, I wrote for the school paper and a couple of local papers, the Berkeley Barb and the San Francisco Express-Times. In 1979, a friend asked me what I wanted to do with my life. “I want to be a writer,” I said. She said: “Write for television. That’s where the money is.”
I took her advice and cranked out a few spec scripts for TV shows I liked. One of them got the attention of the producer of Buck Rogers, and I wound up writing two episodes, which got me into The Writers’ Guild. Then the Guild went on strike, and I, with a family to support, needed work. A local company, Filmation, was looking for writers for a new cartoon show, She-Ra, Princess of Power (cartoon writers were not in the Guild). I got on staff at the show, wrote and edited a bunch, and spent the rest of my TV career writing ‘toons, along with a few non-fiction books for kids.
2) What inspired you to write your book?
This sounds like a line from a bad movie, but it came to me in a dream. I was sitting in an office with – of all people! – Mindy Kalin, who was reading a script I’d written. In my waking life, I’d never have thought of pitching to her. She put it down and turned to me: “This is pretty good. Did you write it?” My dream self was offended, and I replied: “No. I got it from the Story Store.” (it’s a writer’s jokey answer to the question, “where do you get your ideas?”). My book, once called “The Story Store” came to me. Of course pretty much everything including the title, got changed.
3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?
I don’t think much about messages. I mostly write things I’d like to read. A reviewer pointed out a theme in Losing Normal of “screen addiction.” So let’s go with that.
4) What drew you into this particular genre?
I’ve always written for kids. I am a twelve-year old boy in an old man’s body.Get the Grinch with Max B&N Exclusive Plush for only $12.99 when you buy any other item on BN.com
5) If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?
My first thought was, I’d like to ask Sophie how she could think that adoration from mind-numbed people had anything to do with ‘perfection.’ That seems pretty tongue-in-cheeky, though. I ought to have a more serious answer.
6) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?
None of them so far. I have some Facebook friends, a few Twitter followers. But I’m lousy at it.
7) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?
Read a lot. Write a lot. Don’t wait for ’inspiration.’ Find other writers, either IRL on online, and share your stories. Do something for your writing life every day.
8) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?
My current project is promoting the hell out of Losing Normal (hence this prompt reply to your questions).
Books: I’ve got more stories to tell than I have time to write. KillGirl is my next one (currently 50K+ words in a 2nd draft): a teenage girl seeks revenge for the murders of her grandparents. After that, a middle-grade adventure (maybe a series), about a young boy in WW II England; and a science-fiction story about the multiverse.
Losing Normal is available at Amazon.com:
I am available (more or less) at: https://www.francismoss.com
About the Author
Francis Moss has written and story-edited hundreds of hours of scripts on many of the top animated shows of the 90s and 00s. Beginning his television work in live-action with Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, he soon starting writing cartoons on She-Ra, Princess of Power, Iron Man, Ducktales, and a four-year stint on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, writing and story-editing more episodes than you can swing a nuchaku at.
One of his TMNT scripts, “The Fifth Turtle,” was the top-rated script among all the 193 episodes in a fan poll on IGN.COM. A list of his television credits is at IMDB.COM.