When we have new contributing authors for Martinus Publishing anthologies, I always like to do a basic introductory interview. Today, I'm interviewing JL Mo, the talented author who contributed the short story Quest through the Ages to "Quests, Curses, & Vengeance." Thank you for taking the time to be interviewed, JL.
JL: Thank you, Martin.
MTI: Starting off, could you tell our readers a little bit about yourself?
JL: I’m a fifty-two year old fourth-generation Floridian mother of two grown sons.
MTI: Getting down to business; what first compelled you to weave fiction, and what's your favorite type of story to write?
JL: I know this sounds cliché, but I was cursed with an overly active imagination since early childhood. It got me in a lot of trouble. Writing became my release. My favorite genre would be mystery.
MTI: Tell me, if you had to pick just one author who has influenced or inspired you, who would it be?
JL: That would be a draw between Robert E. Howard and Robert Jordan. Funny thing is, neither are mystery writers.
MTI: Your story, Quest through the Ages, appears in Quests, Curses, & Vengeance, an eclectic collection of stories ranging from high fantasy to imaginative sci-fi adventures and even supernatural horror. Your story, in particular, was very deep, and it has a very emotional undertone that can make you feel both good and sad. Where ever did you get the inspiration for this insightful little piece?
JL: The story reaches back to the time of cave men and ends in 2013. The vignettes included reflect the struggles everyone faces. When my ninety-year-old father-in-law lived with us, he told me tales of his days in Cuba, before Fidel. A familiar thread ran through them. One I could relate to, even set in such a different time. Finding love, seeking a home, losing love to another. Having children and be willing to die for them. These are things we all experience, if we’re so lucky to live so long.
MTI: You had the opportunity to read many of the other stories that appear in Quests, Curses, & Vengeance in their original, rough draft form. If you could, point out a few of your favorites.
JL: My favorite, hands down, was Burn it Up, Burn it Down, by Philip Overby. I’ve not had a chance to read them all, but I do look forward to the opportunity.
MTI: Shifting back to your own writing, can you tell us a little about what you're working on right now?
JL: I’m working on “Mini-Mysteries for the Short Attention Span” which is a series featuring Sam McShane. It’s written for adults who have little time to delve into deep lit. Kind of like fast food mysteries.
MTI: Of everything you’ve written thus far, do you happen to have a “favorite” piece of fiction?
JL: That would be my novel, Tierra Tree. It’s a unique fantasy set in a Native American-type world.
MTI: Other than Quest through the Ages, appearing in Quests, Curses, & Vengeance, do you have any other stories being published in the near future?
JL: I’m shopping Tierra Tree now. My Mini-Mysteries should be available on Kindle by October.
MTI: On a lighter note, have you watched any good tv lately?
JL: Ha! My sons recommend TV programs to me. They’re so frustrated that I don’t subscribe to pay channels, so I’m not up on Game of Thrones. But they swear I would love that one. But, Suits is one of my current faves.
MTI: What sort of music do you like?
JL: What sort of music do you have?
MTI: Anything goes, eh? Not to put you on the spot or anything, but can you name three movies that you could watch over and over again and not be bored with?
JL: On the spot? Are you kidding me? I love this question! Princess Bride is number one. I could quote the damn script. Number two is the new Star Trek with Chris Pine. The last, but certainly not least, is Big Fish. I still get choked up at the end.
MTI: You’ve got the attention of potential readers. Is there anything you’d like to say to them, perhaps something to pique their interest in your work?
JL: The characters that populate my worlds are people you can relate to, people you would recognize. Whether fantasy, sci-fi, or mystery. My characters will draw you in, and you won’t want to leave.
MTI: As we wrap up this interview, do you happen to have a short sample for our readers? Nothing too long, but maybe a few fresh paragraphs?
JL: Thanks for asking. This is a snippet from my Mini-Mysteries, due out by October.
His soft voice taunted me. “You knew something was wrong. You looked right at her and you knew. It tickled the back of your mind, didn’t it? The outer recess of thought tried calling to you. You chose to ignore her.” He chuckled. “And now, what? You feel ‘guilty’? You feel ‘sorry’? Do you feel ‘bad’? Too late for her, though, isn’t it?”
I had walked right into this trap. The bastard had me face down on the floor with my hands tied behind my back, the rope so tight the knot cut into the flesh of my wrists. Sticky blood wet the back of my shirt. He sat in a metal folding chair using my ass as his footrest, a pistol at my neck. Holding me in this hallway at the threshold of the room he’d freshly varnished this afternoon, his taunts continued. His voice sounded so soft and smooth. I understood why she would be drawn to him. The thought that this pig of a man even touched her sent a shiver through me.
JL: Thanks again, Martin. This was my first interview and it was fun!
MTI: It was my pleasure. For those who want to read JL's contribution to Quests, Curses, & Vengeance, check out Martinus Publishing's Hit of the Month archive for July 2013 (Read it here). For those who want more thrilling Fantasy & Science Fiction stories, Quests, Curses,& Vengeance awaits.