Monday, July 6, 2015

Please welcome Craig A. Hart author of BECOMING MOON

I sat down with Craig over a bottle of scotch at 10am one morning. From my understanding, it's okay to drink scotch at that hour... or at least Craig said it was. Lets hear what he had to say about zombies, reading, and writing.

1. It’s the zombie apocalypse and writers have got to stick together to survive. Pick 3 authors to be on your zombie apocalypse killing team and tell us why you’d choose them.
Craig says: I assume these have to be living authors…otherwise they’re probably with the zombies. So I’m going with Garrison Keillor, because he makes me laugh and I would probably need some humor during those situations. I would choose George R. R. Martin, because I’m pretty sure I could outrun him. And, finally, I would choose John Grisham, because if this whole zombie thing turned out to be a hoax and I’d actually killed real folks, I would need someone to defend me in court.
Meredith says: They can be dead. We're all about making things up here, we're authors after all. But, dude, I'm judging you on the fact that you chose someone as bait! Hahaha. I guess I never thought of the zombie apocalypse being a hoax. So what happens to the sickos who actually ate people's faces? Hmmm.....
Craig says: Baiting is frowned upon? Who knew! I guess I need John Grisham more than ever. As do the sickos who actually ate faces. He's going to have to retire from writing in order to handle all these legal cases.
Meredith says: I mean, you're just the only one who has admitted to it. Which I think is hilarious! I'm not below baiting. Survival of the fittest or fastest!

2. If Stephen King and J. K. Rowling were drowning in a river, who would you save first? And now you have to tell us why ;)
Craig says: I would probably save Rowling first, so the news media wouldn’t brand me as unchivalrous. But when no one was looking I would throw her back and save King because I think he’s a bad ass.
Meredith says: King is total badass. Linda Sands and I decided his ghost would make him worth saving.
Craig says: He's a rockstar. What if he blurbed one of our books? *teenage girl voice* Wouldn't you just diiiiee?!
Meredith says: Sweet Lord, I just envisioned it.

3. We authors are voracious readers. My TBR list is approximately 8 miles long. What are you currently reading?
Craig says: I have three books going right now: Water for Elephants (Gruen), Ulysses (Joyce), and The Catcher in the Rye (Salinger).
Meredith says: I read Water for Elephants a few years ago. There's just something about that book, makes me want to go back and read it again now that you mentioned it. Quite the genre span of current reads.
Craig says: I'm reading Elephants for a book club. I'm blown away by the descriptions. I am often turned off by tons of detail. I typically prefer writers who can paint a picture with spare, well-chosen details rather than a bunch of descriptive wordage. But Gruen does a good job of splashing the word canvas with lots of colors without making it tedious.

4. What is the one book that you could read a million times and never get bored with?
Craig says: The Sun Also Rises by Hemingway. Every time I read it, I find more subtleties there.
Meredith says: Nice! That's my favorite part of re-reading, finding all the little bits you missed the first time. 

5. Last year my favorite read was The Martian by Andy Weir. What was your best read of 2014?
Craig says: That’s tough, but I think my favorite of 2014 was The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck. It was one of those stories that really sucked me in; I love it when that happens.
Meredith says: Adding it to my TBR

6. This year my favorite read has been The Dog Stars by Peter Heller. What’s the best book you’ve read so far in 2015?
Craig says: So far I think it would be Capote by Gerald Clarke. It was a really well done biography that often read more like a novel.
Meredith says: Oh hey, I've heard good things about that book!
Craig says: I loved it. It was part of my Ooh Look, Capote! phase that is actually still happening. I have this thing where I become infatuated with an author and scarf down everything I can about them, both their work and works written about them. I have a problem.

7. You’re a writer by day and a superhero by night. (Take off those geeky glasses Superman) What’s your superpower?
Craig says: I’d like to be able to read babies’ minds. It would make taking care of my twin boys much, much easier.
Meredith says: As a NICU nurse who has cared for babies for many years, they are thinking: food, play, sleep. I'm joking. But seriously, I feel that way at work sometimes. There's nothing I want more than to quickly soothe a room full of 12 babies who are all screaming at 3am.

8. I have writing spots all over my house: my desk, my couch, the patio, and my bed. Where’s your favorite spot to write?
Craig says: I love going out to write. My two favorite places are: a study room at the library and the back room of the local cigar shop.
Meredith says: We used to frequent this cigar shop in Ocean City, MD where we vacationed every year Señor Cigars, it was interesting. And then in Syracuse there was this cigar bar named Awful Al's years ago, it was pretty cool until my friend go roofied... Cigar shops definitely have a vibe. 
Craig says: Yeah...being roofied would definitely impact the coolness factor in a negative way.
Meredith says: clarification: I did not mean the roofies impacted the vibe. Cigar shops have their own cool vibe sans roofies.

9.  We’re supposed to love all of our children equally, but there are some scenes I’ve written that really stick out in my mind. Tell us your favorite scene from your book Becoming Moon.
Craig says: The one that comes to mind is when the main character is being forced to convert to his family’s religion. Literally dragged to the place of conversion. I don’t know if I can say it is my “favorite” scene, but it is one of the most memorable for me.
Meredith says: Wow. I mean, I feel like I just had some flashbacks. I was raised strict Roman Catholic, there was plenty of dragging me each Sunday. It sounds like a scene I need to read. 
Craig says: Really? Interesting. Becoming Moon definitely has some strong autobiographical elements, especially the section in which that scene appears, so I feel your pain.

10. Sometimes a little too much of myself slips into my characters. Which one of your characters most resembles you?
Craig says: At the risk of sounding narcissistic, it would have to be the main character. One the flip side, he has plenty of unpleasant characteristics, so maybe it all evens out.
Meredith says: I feel like my main characters all have a bit of me, and their problems are my greatest fears or my most unpleasant characteristics. So you're not alone. I think that's why writing is so therapeutic for many of us. We get to work it out with a fictional character's life.
Craig says: It may also be why non-artistic types sometimes consider writers so self-indulgent. Well, so be it.

11. I’ve always got tunes rocking while I’m writing. Tell us five songs that are on your playlist.
Craig says: If I Can Dream by Elvis, Have You Ever Seen the Rain by CCR, Con Te Partirò by Andrea Bocelli, Night and Day by Sinatra, and the first movement of Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2.
Meredith says:  Creedence Clearwater Revival!!! My playlist has: Proud Mary, Bad Moon Rising, Fortunate Son, I Heard It Through the Grapevine. I love them!

12. If you could tell an aspiring author one tiny tidbit of information, what would you say?
Craig says: The writing life is difficult, so write for yourself, not others.
Meredith says: This is so important.
Craig says: I'm embarrassed how long it took for me to accept this. I was so worried about what others would think of the stuff that really wanted to be written that I tried writing what I thought would be more acceptable. As a result, my writing became quite stagnant for a time. There is such a sense of freedom when a writer can say, "The heck with it. I'm writing what I need to write whether people like it or not." And often that freedom and true-ness comes through.
Meredith Says: I think Elsa from FROZEN sang it best: "Let it go, let it go, be one with your words and soul...." or something like that.

Get your copy of Becoming Moon 

(PS I read his book over the weekend. It was really really good!)

Connect with Craig A. Hart

(Craig listens to CCR and drinks scotch at 10am, he's cool in my book)