The OF Blog: Interview with Elizabeth Moon

Friday, August 18, 2006

Interview with Elizabeth Moon

Indeed, the newest interview I'm bringing to you is with Elizabeth Moon. I was verry happy for getting to work with this amazing women, and it was my real pleasure making this interview.

Did your style change noticably from the time you started writing columns for the weekly newspaper and articles?


My style has probably changed over time, but I don't really notice that. I do notice a difference based on what I'm writing: each type of writing "asks" for a slightly different voice. Nonfiction tends to be conversational or instructional--either chatting or teaching—while fiction tells the story in the voice appropriate to its type.

Is there something you would change in your first published books?

There are a couple of really bad typos in the very first edition, which we caught in later editions. Aside from that, no. If I wrote them now, they'd be informed by another 20+ years of experience, but I don't know that they would be "better."

You have co-worked with Anne McCaffrey on two books. What was it like working with her?

Anne is a gracious, generous senior author, and delight to work with. I learned a lot from her.

Do you plan on co-operating with other authors? If yes, who with?


Probably not any time soon. It's too much fun playing in my own sandbox.

What does co-writing look like? How does it work?


Every pair of co-authors does it a little differently. Sometimes one is definitely the senior author, and sometimes they are more equal partners. Sometimes they work in the same office and sometimes (as with us) an ocean apart. So there really isn't one single answer.

You got serious about writing in your mid-thirties. What was your job before that?


I was in college or the military or college again until my early thirties, working part-time jobs that included tutoring math and science, photographing at horse shows, and even painting signs. While in graduate school, I was looking toward work in biology, probably in wildlife management or wildlife behavior research--which is now my unpaid "job." Once we moved to the small town we now live in, I did volunteer work with the local ambulance service and library, and for awhile worked as an unpaid assistant in a rural clinic.

Why fantasy?


Why NOT fantasy? I enjoy writing several kinds of stories, both fantasy and science fiction (from hard SF to "space opera" to near-future almost-mainstream.) Each gives me (as the writer) a different flavor of pleasure to work with.

What can you tell us about the book you are currently working on?


I'm working on the fifth and final book of the Vatta's War series, science fiction that straddles the divide between space opera, military SF, and political SF.

What are your plans for the future?


Write more books and keep working on our wildlife management project. I'm not sure what kind of book I'll write after the one I'm working on...but I know exactly what needs doing on the land.

Apart of writing, what are your interests?


Music (I sing in a choir), biology, emergency medicine and prehospital care (even though I'm no longer in the ambulance service, it's still an interest), prairie restoration and wildlife management, horses, wildlife photography, history, fencing (Renaissance style, rapier and dagger or buckler), politics, spaceflight, cooking...just about anything but filing and housework.

And the last question in this interview is the traditional question of the OF: If you were to own several monkeys and/or midgets, how many would you own, and what would you name them?


Aren't two mischievous horses enough trouble already? What I need in the "small" category is a brownie to crawl under the desk and keep my computer cords untangled, or plug and unplug things when I need that done. If I had such a creature, I'd name it Caliban, even though that's asking for trouble...though not as much trouble as if I named it Puck.

Thank you for being so kind to do this interview. We wish you the best of luck with your work.


Thanks for asking me.

That is it, for now.

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