Wednesday’s #Honno Author Interview – today an update with Thorne Moore

Due to a hiccup in my Honno author interviews, I’m catching up again with the talented  Thorne Moore, author of  A Time for Silence  and  Motherlove.

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Thorne grew up in Luton, but moved to Pembrokeshire in 1983 to run a restaurant with her sister, Liz. Now she lives  just outside the village of Eglwyswrw (which, yes, does have vowels). Apart from writing, she’s self-employed, making Mediaeval and Tudor miniature furniture for collectors, selling on-line and at the Kensington Dollshouse Festival  (www.peartree-miniatures.co.uk).

I asked her the following questions.

What experience do you want for your readers?

I really would like my readers to be involved in my novels. I think a book should be a collaboration between the writer and the reader. A TV show is different: the viewer can sit back and be spoon-fed – no work required, but with a novel, the writer places the dots and the reader has to join them up, conjure up images, make deductions. Ideally, I would like my readers to be left thinking.

Are any of your character traits or settings based on real life?

All my settings and characters are fictional, since I have constructed them, but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t mine people and places I know in creating them. Places, especially, are composites. In my first novel, A Time For Silence, the derelict cottage of Cwmderwen is based on three ruins in the area where I live, and its situation is an amalgam of several overgrown lanes and valleys. In my second book, Motherlove, most of the action occurs in Lyford, which is a fictional town constructed largely from my memories of the town where I grew up (Luton). You might say I collected dozens of snapshots, threw them up in the air, and created a town from the pattern in which they landed. I doubt if it bears any resemblance to Luton today.

All my characters have traits that I have seen in other people or in myself, since I want them to be as realistic as possible, but none of them are recognisably based on actual people. If they were, I wouldn’t have had the satisfaction of creating them.

 

 

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What are you currently working on?

I’ve finished a third novel, and am working on a fourth. Both are set in Pembrokeshire., one has a lead character who’s delving into mysteries from the past, as in my first two books, and mostly misunderstanding everything. The other is also haunted by the past – in this case, literally, with a small paranormal twist.

 

 Do you have any writing advice you would like to share with aspiring authors?

Write all the words down – then delete half of them. Learn all the rules of good writing, but remember, they’re not rules, as such – more like, guidelines.

 

Tell us about your most recent release.  MLweb

Motherlove was published on February 19th. Like my first book,  A Time for Silence,  it skips back and forth between present (more or less) and past, although the past, in this case, goes all the way back to 1990, so not desperately historic. In 1990, three very different women are contemplating motherhood. Lindy is a teenage refugee from institutional care, with a boyfriend who most definitely doesn’t want the baby she’s carrying. Heather is stressed out, overwhelmed by a move, a mortgage, a father with Alzheimer’s, and an unplanned second child. Gillian, childless after years of trying, is watching time run out on her hopes of adoption. 22 years later, two young women discover they’re not who they thought they were. It’s a book that debates, in a way, the conflict between nature and nurture.

 

When did you decide to become a writer and why?

I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to do anything else, unless I count a very brief spell of wanting to be a tight-rope dancer, when I was 6. I was sitting on a radiator at school in my O level year when I confessed to a friend that I wanted to be a writer. I remember being hugely relieved when she didn’t laugh. My headmaster in VI Form college advised me to study law, and I rejected it because studying it would mean a career in law and I was going to be a writer. It only took me another 40 years.

 

What inspires you in your writing?

History, which is, of course, just one damned thing after another. It isn’t history as a period drama that grabs me, so much as the notion of events and choices having consequences that lead on to other events and choices, and so ad infinitum. We live with the consequence of choices made in the past, and our choices will have consequences for those who come after. I want to explore the pressures and lures that lead to those choices.

 

Who is your favourite author?

Jane Austen. And then… Jane Austen. My books are not remotely like hers and I make no attempt to emulate her. I just love her scalpel wit and intelligence.

 

What is your favourite movie and why?

Kind Hearts and Coronets. A perfect script, every word a gem. If Jane Austen were a script writer, she’d have written this one.

 

 Describe yourself in three words.

I’d       rather        not.

 

Do you ever wish that you had an entirely uncreative job?

I did have a spell, urgently needing money, when I took a series of office jobs, and I discovered the allure of working fixed hours, forgetting the whole thing at 5 o’clock, and getting regular pay, regardless of the effectiveness of my work. Wonderful… for a month.

 

How much impact does your childhood have on your writing?

I’m certainly happy to milk it for inspiration, just like other periods in my life. A child’s understanding of the world is at least one step removed from an adult’s. It’s always handy to be able to apply another perspective.

 

What’s the most blatant lie you’ve ever told?

I’m not in the least bit bothered by negative reviews.

 

Do you research your novels?

Yes. But I want to write fiction. I don’t want to make blaring errors, so I like to have facts straight in my head, but the important thing, I think, is to keep them there, and not be tempted to pour out everything I learn. Sometimes a detail can add colour, but in other cases it would just interrupt the driving force of the novel. Use what’s needed, and not every tiny thing you’ve got.

My books, published by Honno Press, are:

A Time For Silence available from Amazon http://amzn.to/1xaosB2

Waterstones http://bit.ly/1uGIY7e

 

Motherlove available from Amazon http://amzn.to/15CXPK5

Waterstones  http://bit.ly/1HmOl6E

 

or both, direct from Honno http://bit.ly/15Y86zW

 

Me, my books and Pembrokeshire on my website at www.thornemoore.co.uk

Contact me directly at [email protected]

On Facebook: www.facebook.com/thornemoorenovelist

On Twitter: @ThorneMoore

med full colour honno logo

 

10 Responses to Wednesday’s #Honno Author Interview – today an update with Thorne Moore
  1. Tess
    February 4, 2015 | 12:00 am

    Captivating interview. Thanks for the introduction to Thorne Moore.

    • Judith Barrow
      February 4, 2015 | 1:25 am

      Thanks Tess – she is such a wonderful writer

  2. David Prosser
    February 4, 2015 | 3:18 am

    A wonderful interview by another author a little reticent to push herself though happy to push her books. The subject matter sounds fascinating especially in Motherlove.
    Kind Hearts and Coronets is an amazing film though I’d happily watch anything with Sir Alec Guinness in it, such a consummate actor.

    If Thorne is on Pinterest she’s welcome to put her books on some of my book boards including Welsh Writers.

    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

    • Judith Barrow
      February 4, 2015 | 7:38 am

      Thank you David, you’re very kind. Thorne’s books are tremendous reads And thank you for the Pinterest offer Jx

    • Thorne Moore
      February 4, 2015 | 3:24 pm

      I have sort of signed up for Pinterest, but I have absolutely no idea what to do with it.

      • Judith Barrow
        February 4, 2015 | 4:28 pm

        Will be in touch,Thorne and explain Jx

        • Thorne Moore
          February 4, 2015 | 4:50 pm

          Thanks, teach. I knew you could make it all clear.

  3. Alex Martin
    February 13, 2015 | 4:25 pm

    Great interview. I’ve read Thorne Moore’s Time for Silence and her sharp wit and elegant turn of phrase are as potent there as here. Jane Austen, I feel sure, would approve.

    • Judith Barrow
      February 13, 2015 | 4:57 pm

      Sure you’re right, Alex, Thorne’s writing is exceptional. Many thanks for your comment

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