I like what she has to say about her central themes and the one thing she can't live without. Be sure to check that all out as well as the GIVEAWAY below.
Author: Leslie Ann Moore
Published: August 11th, 2014
Publisher: Muse Harbor Publishing
Genre: Sci-Fi Fantasy
Recommended Age: 13+
What if Snow White had been a revolutionary… instead of a pawn?
Nuetierra. An alien world where twin moons light the night and massive air-breathing jellyfish float through the violet skies trolling for prey.
Nue Bayona. A gaslit, steam-powered city caught between the iron fist of a despot and the bloody fist of a terrorist…
Four hundred years have passed since a great war toppled the fusion powered civilization created by refugees fleeing a dying planet. Since its fall, Old Earth’s descendants have gradually rebuilt a new society on the bones of the old.
Deanna Hernaan, daughter of Eduard, the former Alcalde of Nue Bayona, spends much of her time caring for her younger sister, Ceilia. Six years ago, her stepmother Lourdessa led a brutal political coup against their father. With the consent of the city’s elite, Lourdessa rules through patronage and oppression while Deanna’s father languishes in prison.
The common citizens chafe beneath Lourdessa’s yoke and yearn for their lost democracy. Many in Nue Bayona support a resistance movement led by the mysterious rebel leader known only as Faustin, despite the fact his violent tactics have left innocent people dead.
Threatened by Deanna’s popularity with the common people, Lourdessa jealously arranges for her assassination. But the attempt fails and Deanna escapes from the city. Cast adrift in a hostile wilderness and near death, she is rescued by a band of diminutive hunters, members of a mysterious race she knows only from history books—the Tiqui.
Recovering in their distant village, Deanna meets a remarkable woman—the Tiqui chieftess Yellow Bird. The chieftess possesses the shamanic gift of foresight. Her visions have revealed that a girl from the race of tall folk would one day come, a girl whose fate is inextricably linked to that of the Tiqui.
When Deanna’s safe haven is destroyed in a night of horrific violence, she must make a choice: leave the Tiqui for a life of exile, or dare to embrace her destiny by embarking on the road to revolution. Dangerous and uncertain, disaster or salvation waits at its end—for both Tiqui and tall folk alike.
Tell us about the first book, A Tangle of Fates.
What if Snow White had been fated to be a revolutionary instead of a pawn?
That line pretty much sums up the overarching theme of AToF, the first book in The Vox Machina Trilogy. I take the traditional fairy tale and turn it on its head. The story takes place in the future on the distant planet of Nuetierra. Nuetierra was colonized by climate change refugees from Earth. Not the Earth we know, but an alternate version in which the dominant culture of North America is Latinized and the main language spoken is Spanglish. My heroine, Deanna, though she begins the story in a position of powerlessness--just like Snow White-- she is no passive victim, nor is she merely a prop for a male hero to rescue. Like Snow White, Deanna is forced to flee for her life from a murderous stepmother who is jealous of her beauty and popularity with the people. Deanna loses everything, true, but she is able to rise from the ashes of her former life and become a vital player in the battle to overthrow the repressive regime that enslaves two nations.
Do you reflect people you know into your characters or do you prefer making them up on the fly?
I don’t make my characters up so much as they materialize in my head and tell me who they are as people. Some characters arrive fully formed. They can tell me right away what their name is, show me what they look like and give me a good sense of their basic personality. Others take much longer to reveal themselves. I might have to chase them around in my mind for days or weeks, catching only glimpses, until by plugging them into the plot, they finally show me some concrete details. I don’t consciously try to reflect actual people that I know personally, but of course, I know that’s a big part of character development for any writer, whether it’s conscious or not. There are these things called character archetypes and we all know real people who fit more or less into each one. If pushed, I can categorize all of my characters into these archetypes and some will match people I actually know.
What kind of research did you do for A Tangle of Fates?
AToF can be categorized as “science fantasy” with a hefty dose of steampunk elements. Since most of the machines on the planet of Nuetirerra run on steam power, I had to learn about how steam engines work. There was a lot to learn! Fortunately, I got a lot of help from an expert, the husband of another writer who was in my critique group. He gave me a lot of technical details which allowed me to create credible steam powered vehicles for my world. I also had to do some research on period firearms. I didn’t want to describe a type of gun that wouldn’t have been around during the late 19th/early 20th centuries.
What themes might we find in A Tangle of Fates?
One of the central themes in AToF is a critique of oligarchy. In Nue Bayona-- the larger of the two major cities on Nuetierra--the elites control almost all the resources. The common people have to scrape to get by. The city is ruled by a dictator, who happens to be my heroine Deanna’s stepmother. Deanna is a member of the elite class. Even though she cares about the plight of the common citizens, she still accepts the benefits that come to her by virtue of her luck in being born an elite. She recognizes the inherent unfairness of the system, yet she does nothing to change it until forced to by circumstance. When she does finally have to confront how her own privileged life came at the expense of another people’s suffering, it profoundly affects her and helps to set her feet on the path to becoming instrumental in social change.
Another central theme I explore is racial bias. On Nuetirerra, there are two ethnic groups, the alta and the Tiqui. The major difference between the two is height. The alta are on average much taller than the Tiqui. Both groups arrived together on the original colony ships but the Tiqui were the slaves of the altas. By the time Deanna’s story takes place, most of the Tiqui have escaped slavery and are living free lives; however, there are some still in bondage, forced to work in the coal mines that supply the alta cities and towns with power.
So often, bias is manufactured and maintained for the express purpose of making a profit. Lourdessa Hernaan, the Alcalde of Nue Bayona(‘Alcalde’ means “mayor” in Spanish) when pressed to make concessions on the rights of the Tiqui, insists that slavery is the Tiqui’s natural state. To admit otherwise would endanger her family business. She and her brother hold total control over Nuetierra’s limited energy resources. To grant the Tiqui equal rights would mean she’d lose her unpaid labor force, which would reduce the huge profits she makes from her family’s monopoly. In her case, greed trumps any notion of the universality of human rights.
What makes this book stand above the rest?
It’s got flying jellyfish!
Where can we find you on the web?
FB Author Page: www.facebook.com/leslie.ann.moore8
FB Profile(for non-author stuff) www.facebook.com/leslieann.moore.7
This isn't your first book. What other novels have you written and where can we find them?
I wrote the Griffin’s Daughter Trilogy back in the late 2000s. The three books are titled Griffin’s Daughter, Griffin’s Shadow and Griffin’s Destiny. This story is very different from AToF in that it is at it’s heart a romance, set in a familiar high fantasy setting. But, it’s also similar, in that it tells the story of a young woman who begins her journey as a powerless outcast, forced to flee from her old life into an uncertain future. The heroine of the tale is named Jelena, and she is half-human, half-elf. She lives as a servant in the household of her human uncle, a powerful local lord. She’s looked down upon by most of the other castle dwellers, including her uncle, because of her elven blood. When she learns her uncle plans to sell her to a neighboring lord to be his concubine, she makes the bold decision to take her fate into her own hands. She leaves everything behind to set out in search of her unknown elven father. Her only clue: a signet ring of white gold engraved with the figure of a griffin. What she finds is far more than she is prepared for, including a deadly truth about her very nature.
Griffin’s Daughter won the 2008 Ben Franklin Award for Best First Fiction awarded by the Independent Book Publishers Association, a major trade group that includes such publishing houses as St. Martins Press and the BBC. You can find all three books on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords
If A Tangle of Fates could be a movie, who would play Deanna?
From the beginning, I envisioned a beautiful young actress named Troian Bellasario in the role of Deanna. Troian is the daughter of a very good friend of mine, Deborah Pratt. Deborah was the co-creator and head writer on the hit TV show Quantum Leap. Troian can be seen on the TV show Pretty Little Liars.
List three adjectives to describe Deanna.
Compassionate. Courageous. Loyal.
What advice could you give fellow/aspiring writers?
First: read lots and lots of books. Concentrate on reading the well-respected authors who write in the same genre you write in. It’s important to be intimately familiar with the conventions and tropes of your chosen genre.
Second: take the time to learn your craft. World-class athletes, prima ballerinas, diva opera singers all train for years before they ever step up for their first professional performances. Writing is no different. You must train to be a pro. That means learning from other pros. Reading books on the various aspects of writing, attending workshops and writer’s conferences, taking college courses; all these avenues provide the training needed to hone your raw talent into the creative tool that will allow you to produce professional quality work.
Third: join a critique group of other writers working in the same genre as yourself. You need the feedback that fellow creative minds can give. Hopefully, you can find one in which there are some people who are further along in their careers than you. You can benefit from their experience. It’s important to be able to give and receive constructive criticism, but it’s equally important to realize that all criticism is just opinion and you aren’t obliged to act on any that you feel takes away from your vision of your own work.
What books/authors have influenced your writing?
Kate Eliot and Janny Wurts. Of all the writing styles I’ve studied, these two ladies most shaped my own. Kate’s Crown of Stars series and Janny’s Wars of Light and Shadow served as the texts for my very own private master class on writing. I like to call their incredibly lush, complex sentences, unusual word choices and multilayered plots Neo Victorian. Whenever I feel like my writing is becoming too stale and plain, I pick up one of their books and after reading awhile, I return to my own work, recharged.
What is your favorite Sci-Fi movie?
There are so many! I love different movies for different reasons. But, just for sheer visceral impact, I’d have to say the first Star Wars movie. When that film first came out, it was cutting edge technology. No one had seen anything like it. My father took me to see it in the very theater in L.A. that George Lucas had overseen himself the installation of his special sound system. I can still remember clearly the absolute thrill that rushed through me when the Imperial destroyer made its first appearance in the opening scene. The entire theater went nuts! It was an amazing experience.
Do you prefer paperback or e-books?
I’m from a generation that grew up with actual books. We had computers, sure, but no one read books on them and there were no e-readers, tablets or smartphones. I love the feel of a real book in my hands. I love the smell of a new hardcover and the way it cracks a little when I first open it. I own a huge number of books, so many in fact, that there’s no more room in my house for new books. Therefore, sadly, I have been forced to switch entirely to e-books. I don’t mind e-books; in fact, my e-reader makes things much more convenient. I can carry dozens of titles in one compact package. I also read books on my iPhone.
Is there an author out there that you'd really like to meet?
I want to meet fantasy author Terry Brooks. I heard him speak at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books back in 2001. He was discussing how he’d transitioned from one successful career into that of professional writer. He was a practicing lawyer for many years but was finally able to give up that day job and write full time. His words were so inspiring, I went home that night and began working on my award-winning first novel Griffin’s Daughter, based on a short story I’d written back in a college creative writing class. I want to meet him so I can thank him in person for helping place my feet on the road to becoming a published author.
List the last three books that you've read:
The Prince of Earth by my good friend Mike Robinson-a hard to categorize book, but it fits loosely into the horror genre.
Blood Line by Lynn Ward--a superb sci-fi adventure by a lesser known writer who should be on every sci-fi fan’s list.
Ghoul Archipelago by Stephen Kozeniewski--a crazy fun zombie apocalypse tale with lots of gruesome mayhem. Not for the faint of heart!
It’s an eclectic selection, no doubt.
What is the one thing you cannot live without?
Chocolate. My husband thinks it’s him, but...it’s chocolate. Sorry, honey.
Do you have a favorite quote?
“There is no try. Only do.”--Master Yoda
What is your favorite drink?
Any type of kombucha. For those that don’t know, kombucha is a sparkling drink made from fermented tea, usually green. It’s insanely healthy for you, loaded with probiotics.
Your house, containing everything you own, catches fire. After saving your loved ones and pets, you have time to safely make a final dash to save any one item. What would it be? Why?
I have a framed letter written by J.R.R. Tolkien back in the early sixties. A very good friend of mine gave it to my husband and me as a wedding gift. The letter is a reply to my friend’s brother. He’d sent Professor Tolkien a fan letter asking about his work. I’d save that.
Is there anyone you'd like to thank?
My family for all their support. Most of all, my husband Aaron, my soulmate.
Thank you Leslie Ann Moore for taking the time to answer a few of our questions and we wish you all the best with A Tangle of Fates!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Amazon Author Page | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads | Website
- A $25 Amazon or B&N Gift Card (winner's choice)
Giveaway is International.