About Steve Moran:
I can remember looking at picture books when I was a very small child. Anything colourful captured my imagination. I also loved to look at Rupert the Bear and Noddy books, although I couldn’t read the text.
Then, one day, I asked my older brother – who already knew how to read – if he would read me a bedtime story. Not surprisingly – knowing older brothers – his reply was a resounding “No,” followed by “Why don’t you learn to read yourself?”
I was only four, so this was quite a challenge! Nevertheless, this was the goal I set myself.
When I finally achieved it – and I couldn’t tell you when it was – I started my own reading journey, which continues to this day.
I can remember when we lived next door to the local public library. In those days we were allowed to take out only two books at a time, so, on a Saturday morning, I would go and take out two books. I would sit down and read them all morning, so that at lunch time I could go back and change them for two more. Then I would sit down and read these all afternoon, so that I could go back and change them for two more just before the library closed at 5.30pm. Then, at least, I would have two new books to keep me occupied on Sunday!
My fascination with books has never faded, and I always have one with me – sometimes two or more! I love the world of imagination they open up to me.
I love it so much that I decided to cross the bridge from reader to author so that I could create my own worlds of imagination, and share them with you!
And so here I am!
The stories I like to live in are ideal for children in the age range of 8 years to 12 years, and for those who love children’s stories, whatever age they may be!
I hope you enjoy reading my books as much as I enjoy writing them!
What inspires you to write?
I suppose I began where many authors do – with their own children. Or, in my case, with my son. I used to make up stories to tell him when we were driving or going on walks, and when he became too old for these I thought, “Well, I really should write these down!” I tried to do this, but found it wasn’t as easy as I’d thought. Stories made up on the spur of the moment to be spoken out loud don’t easily transfer to written text. The spoken word is completely different from the written word!
Having begun the process of trying to write, I was intrigued by its particular challenges, and so gave up transcribing spoken stories and entered into the written world in its own right (write?).
I found that when I choose the right storyline, then things fall into place as if they’re meant to be, and that is a uniquely satisfying feeling. It’s not easy to get there, and it doesn’t happen immediately, but once I’m in the groove of a story then it’s like nothing else on earth!
It’s that feeling of being totally involved in a creative process – and the sheer joy it engenders! – that makes me pick up that pen, push away the cares of the day, and write, write, write!
Tell us about your writing process.
My creative writing is all done by hand. Me and my pen are a single creative unit. We write as one. I will write the whole of the first draft (usually between 25,000 and 30,000 words) by hand, and only when it is finished will I type it up onto the computer. This is the beginning of the reviewing process. As long as I’m in the initial stage, I’m a free spirit, and anything can happen. As soon as I start transcribing the text, I’m beginning to look at the story from the outside, and the critical/analytical stage begins. This continues through revision after revision, until I’m completely satisfied I’ve expressed the story in the way it wants to be.
As for planning – yes, an outline can be useful, although sometimes I’ve started off on a book not knowing where it was going to go, and only discovered it on the way. An outline can give me hope that I’m really going somewhere, but at the same time I sometimes find it claustrophobic. I’m a great believer in the integrity of the story, and the story knows best where it wants to go. When it feels like I’m going in the right direction, then I don’t feel as though I’m creating the story, but rather I feel as though the story is revealing itself to me.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I feel as though the story is telling me about the characters. My relationship is not directly with them, but through the story itself. That means that everything they say and do has to be consistent with the story, has to belong to it. I’m not free to make them behave as I think they should behave, but rather I have to write them as the story dictates.
In this way, for me writing a book is a bit like watching a film – I am an onlooker, and I’m trying to faithfully record what I see.
So I don’t really interact with my characters – I try to learn about them and discover who they are, so I can faithfully represent them to the reader.
What advice would you give other writers?
Find your own style and method. Read all the “how to write” books you can get your hands on, and then do it your way. You will only be able to sustain your interest, imagination and energy if you are doing what you like to do, and if you believe in it one hundred percent.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
Once I began writing it became obvious that I would like to publish, so I sent manuscripts to literary agents and publishers. They were all rejected. Looking back at them now, I can see why, because I’ve learned a lot since then!
Nevertheless, I felt I had something to say, and I was sure that someone would like to hear it (or read it!), so I decided to go for self-publishing. To me, Amazon Kindle was the obvious choice, and I’ve been with them ever since. Also, making use of their company, CreateSpace, I’ve also achieved my ambition of publishing my books as paperbacks as well as ebooks.
It is hard work being your own editor and publisher, but it’s very satisfying too, and at the end of your day there is no-one else to blame when things go wrong – and no-one else to share the rewards with when things go right!
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
There is no doubt that ebooks are changing the face of publishing, but they will never wipe out the printed-on-paper version. Yes, it’s practical to carry dozens of books around in a slim e-reader, but nothing will ever replace the feel – and the smell! – of real paper books!
It’s a question of balance, and the balance of the market is moving towards ebooks at the moment, but only until it finds its right place, a place which still allows for lots of printed books too!
What genres do you write?: Children’s books, aimed at the age group between 8 and 12. I almost always like to write about something magical – even if it doesn’t seem like that in the first place!
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print