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Marsha A. Moore is an author of fantasy romance. Much of her life feeds the creative flow she uses to weave highly imaginative tales.
The magic of art and nature often spark life into her writing, as well as watercolor painting and drawing. After a move from Toledo to Tampa in 2008, she’s happily transformed into a Floridian, in love with the outdoors. Marsha is crazy about cycling. She lives with her husband on a large saltwater lagoon, where taking her kayak out for an hour or more is a real treat. She never has enough days spent at the beach, usually scribbling away at stories with toes wiggling in the sand. Every day at the beach is magical!
She’s been a yoga enthusiast for over a decade and completed a year-long Kripalu-affiliated yoga teacher training program. Recently, she’s been working toward another yoga teaching certification in the Warriors At Ease adaptive yoga for veterans program. She’s thrilled to be helping veterans use yoga’s healing relaxation to escape residual mental and physical traumas of war
1. A fantasy novel about a writer writing a fantasy tale. It is a very clever idea for a story. What sparked the idea?
It’s basically a fantasy lover’s dream—from an enchanted bookstore, being able to step into a favorite book as a character. I know my initial inspiration came after watching the recent Tim Burton Alice in Wonderland movie. From that, I wanted to work with parallel worlds and have a heroine who must save the fantasy world from danger. How the heroine was required to compose a fantasy novel was my own idea that seemed to fall naturally into place in the plot.
2. I envisioned a series with the magical complexities of an alternative world like in the Harry Potter books, but for grown-ups, with characters who faced more complicated life issues. I had strong opinions about choosing my heroine’s age. I wanted her to have experienced enough hard times to be able to truly appreciate true love, honor, courage, fairness, all that is good. In this way, she can truly commit to whatever obstacles lie in the path to happiness. She knows herself and is determined. As the series progresses, I admire her compassionate strength. That quality of hers forms the theme of the series, that compassion is the clear path toward happiness.
3. Seeking a Scribe is very imaginative. I especially love the part with the baby dragon stuck in the computer. What inspires you to come up with such unique scenes?
I get a lot of positive and amazed comments about my imagination, usually, “Where do you get these ideas?” or “You are talented storyteller,” or “How do you drive with all these wild ideas in your head?” I honestly have no idea—it’s just me and how I think. I see odd stuff in nature, like portals and strange creatures. I’ve been this way as long as I can remember. It does make for some great tales though!
4. Cullen’s wizard spells. It seems you have come up with a new magical language. Do you have a process for creating the magic and spells of the land?
The spells are loosely based on Latin. I used an online English to Latin dictionary to create those.
5. I love the relationship between Lyra and Cullen. They seemed to have a very deep, soulful connection. In your own words, tell us about your feelings for these characters and their relationship.
They are a truly committed couple, whose love builds through the first book as well as the series. I enjoyed presenting the couple with challenge after challenge that required them to find new ways to hang on to their relationship. As a result, their love, tested through time and hardships, becomes the definite driving force of the series.
6. Tell us about the other books in your Enchanted Series.
The Enchanted Bookstore Legends are about Lyra McCauley, a woman destined to become one of five strong women in her family who possess unique magical abilities and serve as Scribes in Dragonspeir. The Scribes span a long history, dating from 1,200 to present day. Each Scribe is expected to journey through Dragonspeir, both the good and evil factions, then draft a written account. Each book contains magic with vast implications.
Lyra was first introduced to Dragonspeir as a young girl, when she met the high sorcerer, Cullen Drake, through a gift of one of those enchanted books. Using its magic, he escorted her into the parallel world of Dragonspeir. Years later, she lost that volume and forgot the world and Cullen. These legends begin where he finds her again—she is thirty-five, standing in his enchanted bookstore, and Dragonspeir needs her.
When Lyra reopens that enchanted book, she confronts a series of quests where she is expected to save the good Alliance from destruction by the evil Black Dragon. While learning about her role, Lyra and Cullen fall in love. He is 220 years old and kept alive by Dragonspeir magic. Cullen will die if Dragonspeir is taken over by the evil faction…Lyra becomes the Scribe.
Brief descriptions of the books following Seeking a Scribe:
Heritage Avenged: Enchanted Bookstore Legend Two
Lyra McCauley receives an alarming letter from the coroner who evaluated her deceased aunt, originally thought to have died of cancer. Questioning whether Dragonspeir magic was responsible for her aunt's death, she resolves to learn the truth and accepts the Imperial Dragon's appointment into the Alliance sorcery training. Becoming proficient in magic craft is the only way she can bridge the gap between her mortal human world and her lover's. Cullen, a 220-year-old wizard, is dependent upon his Dragonspeir magic for immortality. He is her only family now; she cannot lose him. Evil forces block her and try to steal her inherited scribal aura, which equals that of the first and most powerful Scribe. Both the Alliance and Dark Realm alchemists lay tricks and traps. Will she be able to be with Cullen, or will the Dark Realm keep them apart?
Lost Volumes: Enchanted Bookstore Legend Three
When Lyra McCauley learns residents of Dragonspeir’s Alliance suffer with a deadly plague, she doesn’t heed warnings of her fiancé, wizard Cullen Drake, to remain safe in her human world. She’s the present Scribe—one of five women in her ancestry who possessed unique magic, destined to protect the Alliance against the Black Dragon.
To find a cure, she and Cullen travel into the lawless underworld of Terza. Their efforts enrage the Black Dragon, who vows to decimate the Alliance.
Lyra must secure the lost volumes of the Book of Dragonspeir, written by the earliest Scribes. Possession of the set will enable overthrow of the Dark Realm. Following clues into dangerous lands, Lyra and Cullen seek those texts. Only if they succeed, will the Alliance be safe and Lyra reach closer to the immortality she needs to live a life with Cullen.
Staurolite: Enchanted Bookstore Legend Four
Lyra McCauley, current Scribe of the Alliance, is the only one who can decode magic hidden in the recently retrieved ancient texts written by her ancestors. While Lyra unlocks the ancient magic, she opens herself up to old scribal powers. This allows her to fight the deadliest Dark Realm forces—cimafa stealth dragons—but at a cost. The energy flux threatens her health and ability to learn where to find the missing keystones. Can Lyra overcome this shrewd tactic of the Black Dragon?
Quintessence: Enchanted Bookstore Legend Five
Dark Realm warfare threatens to overtake all of Dragonspeir, including the Alliance. Lyra McCauley, the 5th Scribe of the Alliance, finds herself in a desperate competition to gather 4 missing keystones. Amulets of the 4 natural elements guarantee victory for the side possessing them. Greed & power drive opponents, including the Dark Realm’s alchemist, Eburscon.
The powerful gems, stolen centuries ago, can restore much-needed Alliance power—the last hope. The wizard, Cullen, who is Lyra’s beloved, relies on Alliance magic for his immortality & will perish if the land falls to the Dark Realm.
The Dark Realm captures the 10-year-old Alliance seer, Kessa. Her abilities can give information about locations of the keystones, complicating Lyra’s plans. Will her love, allegiance, & quintessence save Cullen, Kessa, & the Alliance in time?
7. Do you put a lot of your personal life and experiences into your work?
Reality always forms the framework of my stories. The more I look at this series, the more of myself I see. My heroine, Lyra, is very much connected to me. Even in the first chapter of the first book, the childhood memories brought to her mind by Cullen’s magical tea are actually all mine. How Lyra interacts with her Aunt Jean has been a way for me to work through my own issues with my mother’s failing health and passing. Some scenes intentionally connect to my own experiences, like those, and others surprise me much later when I’m polishing my draft to send to my editor.
8. You also write short stories and “Tea Tales”. Talk about your inspirations for your short stories and tales.
My Tea Leaf Tales are fun snippets of ten sentence tales, fantasy flash fiction. They are both fun and relaxing for me to write, but also give readers a taste of my imagination which they can enjoy in my books.
I’m not necessarily sure where my inspiration for those short tales comes from. I do know that nature and the change of seasons often influence what I write. I’m a gardener and love to poke around at small, secret stuff outside—hidden treasures.
That series on my blog has an active and loyal following. I’m so pleased to know others enjoy my interesting imaginings. And it does tickle me to think something so easy and off the top of my overactive imagination is so loved.
9. What do you like to do in your free time when you’re not writing?
Like I said, I garden. I’m the sort who goes to the local nursery for one plant and comes home with four. Otherwise, I cycle, which is something I’ve done for decades. I also kayak in the saltwater lagoon off of our dock. As a writer, I’m also a reader. I particularly love to read magical realism. I’m also a knitter and have multiple projects going that I pick up while watching TV or while sitting in the hammock in our lanai as the sun sets.
10. You study yoga. Tell us about your practice, teaching and experiences. How does Yoga help with your creativity?
I’ve practiced yoga for fourteen years. I started yoga when faced with debilitating pain of serious fibromyalgia. Using yoga as a therapeutic aid, I freed myself from all medications and returned to a productive and happy life.
Yoga is not only essential to maintain my health, it is a gift that continues to give in a multitude of incredible ways. It does help free my mind to allow flow of creative ideas for my writing. I never have writer’s block.
The healing power of yoga is one gift that I’ve actively sought to share with others. That led me to complete my initial yoga teacher training program as a Yoga Alliance registered 200 teacher. I also certified in Restorative Yoga and have trained in Adaptive Yoga for veterans through the Warriors At Ease program. In yoga classes I teach, using sensory enhanced yoga, adaptive yoga, and trauma sensitive meditation, I help veterans and all my students reconnect to a sense of wellbeing.
Thank you so much, Jen, for the wonderful interview!
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