Thursday, April 9, 2015

Q & A with Joe Moore | Author of the SANTA CLAUS TRILOGY & RETURN OF THE BIRDS

Joe Moore (left) pictured with his wife, Mary.
Joe Moore is not only a novelist and children's writer, he is also a magazine feature writer, former business editor and a professional Santa Claus in the latter part of the year. Having such a diverse background enables Joe to write on a variety of subjects.

Literary Juice: Your life seems to be brimming with Christmas magic! Not only are you the author of the Santa Claus Trilogy and Santa’s Elf Series at The North Pole Press, but you have been a professional Santa Claus for over a decade as well. What is it about Christmas that has shaped who you are today? Also, how has your experience as a professional Santa Claus influenced your writing?  

Joe Moore: To say Christmas has shaped my life is an understatement. It began when my wife and I were building the North Pole from porcelain houses and miniatures. What began as a quaint village sprung up into a huge display with four different “sections” of the North Pole each with its own theme (think Disneyland). What took place shortly after was numerous open houses to see this spectacle and then the transition to me as Santa Claus in order to give “the tour”.

Once I started down that path there was no returning. As my wife, Mary (yes we are Mary and Joseph), and I developed our Santa and Mrs. Claus personalities, I also began writing about the North Pole and the events that took place there. While I have deviated from that theme in my last novel, I still spend the bulk of my time there.

LJ: On your LinkedIn page, you wrote of your 2011 Christmas story, Faith, Hope & Reindeer, “Not since Miracle on 34th Street has there been such a vital storyline for the holidays.” What do you feel is missing in most modern Christmas stories? How does Faith, Hope & Reindeer fulfill what other holiday stories lack?   

JM: While there have been some really great Christmas movies produced on both the big and small screens, this story lines contains all the magic, all the belief and the hope that represents Christmas bundled into one beautifully wrapped gift. We all lose faith and hope from time to time, and many of us will see ourselves in the characters of this story.

What Faith, Hope & Reindeer shows is that we are rarely ever alone in our journey, and that magic and miracles are all around us if we only will open our eyes and hearts.

LJ: What does your writing process look like? For instance, when working on stories with a Christmas theme, do you employ any techniques that help you keep the holiday spirit alive, even after the season has ended?

JM: The season never really ends for me. Because I keep my beard and long hair all year (along with my large frame), whether it is April or August, I am always stopped by children and adults alike. What is wonderful is that this always affords me the opportunity to bring my characters out of the closet and parade them in front of my audience.

Many of my elves and their responsibilities began from talking to children and answering their questions about me, Mrs, Claus, the reindeer and the elves. When you can live your story lines, there is no better muse.

LJ: On a different note, you have been working on novels of a different flavor. Return of the Birds and The Chindi River venture from the Christmas nature for which you are known, and enter a realm of horror and suspense. Can you tell us a little more about these books? What was it like to make the transition from writing about holiday cheer to stories that are dark and suspenseful in nature?  

JM: Light and dark exist in every one of us. One of the biggest personal challenges I have is that if mood is not great, I cannot leave the house for fear it may show to children or anyone else expecting to see Santa Claus.

By writing in a darker genre, I am able to release some of those dark tendencies and take on a completely separate personality. Think of Stephen King's The Dark Half, without the physical acting out. It is a great cleansing of the soul to be able to write both genres.

LJ: We couldn’t help but notice Mrs. Claus is always right at your side! We are certain our readers would also love to hear about her as well! Are there any projects or stories she is working on?                  

JM: Without Mrs, Claus, there would be no Santa – at least in this Jolly Old Elf's case. In addition to supporting and playing a starring role in every thing we do as Santa and Mrs. Mary designs my covers, illustrates the children's books, formats and publishes the novels,  is my main sounding board, and of course is my first critic and editor. She was there in the beginning helping me build and shape the North Pole (and subsequently my ideas for the novels), and she continues to help me with new story ideas and developing each new character for the Santa's Elf Series.

She is as much a part of everything I do as joy is a part of Christmas.

Fiction by Joe Moore
Publisher: North Pole Press
ISBN-10: 0978712927
Paperback: 376pp, $16.41; Kindle: $6.95
About this Book: Santa Claus has treated many of the Moore's kindly. He inspired Clement Clark Moore into writing one of the most beloved poems in literary history. And now he has asked Joe Moore to write Santa's memoirs about several families who have visited him, the North Pole and its people. But this book is much more then a novel about Santa Claus. It is about families who have struggled through life and its adversities and are in need of a booster shot of Faith. It is about all of us who struggle in life, but never dare to give up Hope.