Why don't you tell us about your latest work? My latest novel, Silicon Slummin’…and Just Gettin’ By, continues the story about Mary Jo Melendez, ex-USN Master-at-Arms. After the events in Muddlin’ Through, where she beats the frame for the murder of her sister and brother-in-law, she heads west to find a job as security officer in a Silicon Valley firm. She discovers she has a stalker; two different groups of agents are also pursuing her. She hires a local PI to help with her own personal security and develops an emotional relationship with him. An autistic boy who’s a computer guru also helps her. Will she survive the attacks from three different parties? That question makes this a mystery and suspense novel as well as a thriller. (By the way, I’ll send a free copy of any book from my catlog in return for an honest review.)
What inspired it? At the time I finished writing Muddlin’ Through, my muses (AKA banshees with tasers) were already clamoring for a sequel. Mary Jo told me she wanted to straighten out her life a wee bit too. With the sequel, I satisfied the muses and placated Mary Jo, but only to the extent that she didn’t have to travel so much in this one. She became very busy in California, though.
That’s part of the inspiration. The other part is more general: I like strong, smart women and love to feature them in my writing. Mary Jo is Hispanic too, so both novels are a nod to those years I spent in Latin America, specifically Colombia. The mystery, suspense, and thriller genres need to feature more Hispanics.
Is there something you are currently working on? I’m always writing, whether blog posts (op-ed about current events, book reviews, movie reviews, author interviews, and articles about the writing business), or storytelling. For novels, More than Human: The Mensa Contagion, a sci-fi tale, is coming soon, and I have another novel for the “Detectives Chen and Castilblanco Series,” Family Affairs, in the works (an expert can be found in The Collector, the last book in that series).
Is there a topic you would like to write about but haven't gotten around to yet? I’ve been collecting a list of what-ifs for years. Most of my books deal with one or two social issues. For example, The Collector treated sex trafficking and the exploitation of women and children for porn and prostitution. If a reader is borrowed by these issues, I’m sorry, but they’re unfortunately part of modern life.
I also celebrate diversity in my novels. One thing I’ve learned from my travels is that most of us are more alike than different, but understanding and celebrating the differences can only lead to peace and understanding. I’d like to see more of the latter, of course.
Within these general parameters, there are specific themes on my list. I won’t go into them in detail because that would be a bit of a spoiler, wouldn’t it? I like to surprise my readers. That’s part of entertaining them, my most important goal.
When did you finally feel like you could call yourself an author? That’s semantics. I wrote my first novel the summer I turned thirteen. At that point, I might have said I was an author, but it was terrible (the plot wasn’t bad, more or less reversing the gender roles in the film City of Angels). I suppose after ten ebooks or so, I started calling myself an author. Some people don’t want to do that until they have a NY Times bestseller, though.
Other than writing, what are your favorite things to do? Music, forensics, genetics, math, physics, study religions of the world, scientific ethics…I’m a dabbler in ideas. I read a lot too, and not just fiction. An author should read a lot in her/his genre, of course, but also go beyond that to broaden her/his horizons.
Are there any websites where readers can connect with you? I have a contact page on my website, http://stevenmmoore.com. I love to hear from readers and writers.