Author of Stonebridge Secret David Moore Interview

I’d like to welcome author David Moore to the website. He has taken time out to answer some questions about his book Stonebridge Secret. Authors need to beware because writer David Moore is coming to claim his spot in the gumbo of authors, he is armed with suspenseful plots and intriguing characters.

 David Moore’s Questions and Answers

 1. What inspired you to write Stonebridge Secret?
Back in 2005 I wrote and self-published a short non-fiction account of a couple’s missionary experiences in Cuba during the Castro revolution. While I was working on that story, I realized that the parts I enjoyed writing most were those in which I had to use my imagination rather than specific facts. It sparked a desire to try writing a novel. So I bought several books on writing fiction, many from Writer’s Digest, and began studying how a contemporary novel is constructed. I came to understand that a good story starts with a “what if” idea.

I remembered a true story that I heard years ago from a family member about a person who worked for a priest who had sexual relationships with women from his church. This individual actually heard the sounds coming from the priest’s office during these sexual encounters. So I wondered: What if the person hearing those noises was an altar boy? And what if that boy knew the woman who was with the priest? And that’s how the story took off.

 2. Can you give a brief description of Stonebridge Secret?
Stonebridge Secret is a story about the collateral damage that occurs when someone pursues revenge. Alex Spencer seeks revenge on Father Francis when he discovers the secret about the priest’s infidelity. Alex’s loss of faith and inability to forgive fuels his revenge and affects the choices he makes throughout the story. Unforgiveness blinds him to the damage he is inflicting on himself and those around him. By the time he realizes this, he has put forces of vengeance in motion that he can’t stop.

 3. How did you come up with your characters?
For about half of my life I lived in or near a quaint and quiet village in Western New York called Spencerport. It was a great place to grow up. When I developed my characters, I drew partially from people I remembered from that town. Old man Beaman was one such character (although Beaman is a fictitious name). There was a small grocery store I used to visit as a child, and the man who owned it was very much like the Beaman character in my book.

Many of the characters were created from my imagination, usually composites of several different “real” people. Father Francis is a composite of every arrogant, self-important, and hypocritical person I’ve ever met in life. Thankfully, I’ve never met any one person with all of his attributes. And I hope I never do. The one character who surprised me most was Reed Wentworth. I originally created him because I wanted Alex to have a roommate at the private school he attended in Boston. He was going to have a very small role in the story. But as I continued writing, Reed took on a life of his own and became a very important, yet extremely tragic, character in the story. His life affected me emotionally more than any other character.

 4. What was the most challenging part of writing Stonebridge Secret? The most rewarding?
Without question, the most challenging part was plotting. The story covers a thirteen-year period, so it was easy to get lost at times. I once read that William Faulkner sketched his plots on the wall of his study. That didn’t seem like a practical solution to me, so I ended up creating a timeline in Excel to track each scene. And I had several manuscript readers who read the first draft and were able to point out any inconsistencies I missed.

The most rewarding part of writing the story, and the most unexpected, was how the characters took on lives of their own and became almost real to me. I remember the evening after I had written a scene about Marge the waitress; I was taking a shower and thinking about the scene. As I thought about Marge, I had this sense that she hadn’t had a chance to tell her whole story. I revisited the scene the next day and added the part about her earlier time as a single mother. It was pure inspiration.

 5. How long have you been writing?
I am a late bloomer as a writer. The first sense I had that I could write was when my wife and I corresponded through letters before we married. I was thirty-three at the time. We lived fourteen hundred miles apart. (This was in the days before email and free long distance phone calls.) My letters over a ten-month period won her heart. They had to because we only saw each other three times before we married!

As far as writing books, I started writing a short non-fiction story when I was going to college in 2003 and self-published it in 2005. Since then, I have helped edit another non-fiction book and written Stonebridge Secret. Also, my degree is in English, so I had plenty of opportunities to write during college.

 6. Where would you say that you get your most creative ideas?
Most of my ideas come from reading books, magazine articles, and news stories. Others come from observation.

 7. How important is research in your writing?
For the type of writing I gravitate to, research is critical. I want the story to sound authentic. For me, that means including details that can only be found through research. In Stonebridge Secret I had to research the hierarchy of the Catholic Church during the time the story takes place. I had to understand what working in Congress was like for a freshman congressman. And I had to research heroin addiction, homelessness, dwarfism, etc. By no means did I research to the point where I was an expert on the subjects. I went far enough to where I felt I could tell the story in a believable way.

 8. What is your favorite type of genre to read?
I prefer literary and historic fiction, stories where I get to know the characters and their environments. I like writers whose work has stood the test of time: Charles Dickens, C.S. Forester, and Willa Cather. And I like Edward Rutherfurd. I also enjoy a good thriller of the Dan Brown type from time to time. My favorite non-fiction writer is David McCullough.

 9. Where is your favorite place to write?
I am blessed with a very comfortable study that faces a nature preserve behind our house. I work on an oak roll-top desk that was a very special gift from my wife and a friend twenty years ago.

 10. Could you tell us what you’re currently working on and when should we expect to see it out?
I am almost to the halfway point on the first draft of my next novel (as yet untitled), which takes place in Stonebridge during World War I. The story starts with the theft of two bars of gold from a bank in Syracuse in 1862. The gold is re-discovered in 1917 at the bottom of the Erie Canal by the protagonist, Jake McCleary, and his life begins taking a turn for the worse after that. Murder, intrigue, frustrated romance, and military battles follow, and throughout, Jake struggles with whether his life will amount to anything. I hope to release this in March of 2013.

To Purchase David Moore’s Stonebridge Secret Book Click on the Amazon link below:


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