Gary Moore introduces us to: Churchmouse Tales – for "big" kids.

At last, a cynical bedtime reading for kids aged 11 to 100 about all the important things that you never thought you needed to know, such as:
Why you should never buy a penguin at auction.
How to make best use of 127 colour-blind hamsters.
How your banjo keeps going missing.
The ideal way to push frogs out of trees.

What really happened during Castro’s Cuban Missile Crisis.
How the Internet started –  and more!
The is a selection of twenty-four short stories and due to be published by Charging Ram Books of Canada to be out Feb/March this year. The book is described as: 24 amusing short stories, in 148 pages of whimsical rubbish lovingly crafted into one slim overpriced book.

Gary Moore says of himself:  I’ve never been afraid of doing things and taking chances. At age 25 I employed 20 people and had a rapidly expanding business. By the time I was 30, I had lost the lot. I’m someone who sees an opportunity, exploits it, and then manages to shoot myself in the foot by trying to be too clever. This has happened a number of times, and hopefully I’ve learnt a few lessons from it. Currently I’m languishing in a trough rather than riding a peak, but you have to keep trying. Most of the millionaires that I’ve known in business (Although not all) have been as dull as ditch-water and have spent their lives accumulating money rather than living. I don’t expect the book to be a best seller, I’m an unknown after all, and I have neither contacts in the publishing trade nor money to promote the book. I also know that not only do you have to write the right material at the right time in the right market, but you also need a decent slice of luck to make it. But if people like the first took, then they will buy the second and the third. Overnight success is something that happens very rarely. The J K Rowling story is well known simply because it is so unusual. I figure that I have to keep plugging away building up a readership. If I get lucky that’s great, but right now I’m not phoning the local Bentley dealership to discuss the colour of the carpets.
 
Gary Moore is an Englishman living and working in France. Has been many things in the past: Army officer,
factory owner, market trader, heating engineer and now writer of satirical nonsense. Has been both rich and poor and has dined with millionaires and paupers. Currently closer to the pauper end of the scale.

Links: gary.moore@orange.fr

What inspired you to write your book?
Lack of money originally. I live in a poor part of rural France where there are not many jobs,and those that are available are poorly paid. Despite working full time as a self employed heating engineer, a long period of constant bad luck meant that I was always left with nothing in my pocket at the end of the month. The only thing that I could think of that wouldn’t cost me anything and might bring in a few pennies was to write. I had always entertained kids at family parties by telling them stories that I had made up, and people used to say that I should write them down and send them off – They didn’t tell we where to send them though!

Click below for more!

What is it about/the genre?
Difficult to answer that one as there is no specific genre that it relates to. I suppose the nearest anyone has got to it is that it’s children’s stories for grown ups. The stories can generally be read in two ways. For example the story “Great Aunt Mabel’s Folly” can either be a kids story about someone inheriting a 25ft stuffed cat, or it can be a story about greed and incompetence. The only constant feature to all of them is that they make people laugh.I’m terrible at telling jokes but seem to be able to write them.

The book is introduced as “whisimal rubbish”, why?
Well I suppose they’re not really, but you have to keep a sense of perspective. It’s a book of humorous short stories, not a cure for cancer, and as such I don’t think that it all should be taken too seriously. I would hate to adopt the sense of superiority that you find with some writers simply because I write stuff that makes people laugh. The book is now out and available at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, all good book stores and some bad ones.

How are you promoting it?
Everyone I show the book to loves it. However it’s an odd genre to promote – Kids stories for adults doesn’t really exist as a sub section. If it were a sports book or a military history then there would be obvious places to promote it but there is no one group of potential readers to target, and so it’s a case of getting it out into the wider world via reviews and reading sites and seeing what happens.

We’ve all heard of characters that were a joy to write about, but was there a character you struggled with?
Not really. The beauty about short stories is that the characters don’t really have time to develop and take over the story. I’m also a believer in the adage “The waste paper basket is your friend”. If it’s not working throw it away and start from a different direction, rather than labour away over something that you’re never going to be happy with.

How long are the stories?
Generally they are around 2,000 words but it varies from 1,000 to 3,000. Wanna read one? OK here’s a short one…………… (Auntie Vera and the Goddess of Health and Efficiency – is at the end of the interview.)

How many unpublished books do you have lurking under your bed?
One completed novel that needs extensive re-writing and will probably sit there until I run out of ideas, and one half completed book of humorous short stories based on one main character.

How did you find you publisher?
We pretty much found each other. He is a writer of action based novels and having realised how little money one gets after the publisher has taken all of the costs out, he thought that it was more cost effective to set up his own publishing house. We knew each other from an online writers forum, and when he was looking for additional titles for his new portfolio he asked me. At the time I had made up a “promo” book of my work so he could see roughly what the finished article would look like. We worked out a contract, I supplied the content. He put it together, organised ISBN’s etc, and now we are in the position of having the finished article. What we’ve got to do now is figure out how to sell the thing effectively.

The publisher is Charging Ram Books of Canada. They can be found via http://www.chargingram.com/ It’s a small publisher and is less than a year old so I don’t know if they are accepting submissions or not. Probably best to e-mail them with an outline first.

What’s the best/worst part of being a writer?
The best part has got to be when you hear someone laughing when they read your stories.I’m just as vain, needy and shallow as everyone else and when you hear them laugh, you know that it’s working. The worst part? Honestly can’t think of anything.

What is the most productive time of the day for you to write?
Evenings. Simply because I don’t have any other time available to write. During the day I still need to do my day job.

Do you start your projects writing with paper and pen or is it all on the computer.
I initially started with pen and paper but now It’s all on the computer, although when I edit I have to print the work off and amend with pencil before going back to the computer to rewrite.

What/who do you draw inspiration from?

Inspiration is everywhere. Providing that you question what is going on around you. There is so much corruption and hypocrisy in the world that rather than getting angry about it, you twist the story, throw in a few animals and write a parallel report about what’s happening.It’s not a new thing of course, Animal farm, The grapes of Wrath and many others have all been fictional stories reflecting current events.

Do you set yourself goals when you sit down to write such as a word count?
No. For me writing is a joy rather than work. If I am lucky enough to give up the day job and write full time then that may change, but for now the difficulty is forcing myself to stop writing rather than forcing myself to write x number of words per day.

What are you working on now that you can talk about?
I am very excited about the next book. As I said said above it is based on one character: The venerable Auntie Vera. She was originally a character in one of my short stories and was loosely based on one of my aunts. My Aunt obviously had an inkling of what was happening as she died between the writing of the first and second stories.The stories are proving to be very popular on the site where I post my first drafts for
comments (Thewriterscircle.biz) and they practically write themselves.

How do/did you deal with rejection letters?
Rejection letters are very, very useful. It is possibly the only completely honest critique of your work you are ever likely to get. Fortunately, I haven’t had many, and so haven’t had need to borrow the mess webley and go for a short walk outside, and those I have had, have always been good sources of information. If you need to change the way you write or present stuff, a rejection letter with comments is worth its weight in gold.

Do you have a critique partner?
I put most of my stuff in first draft form on a writer’s site. Because we don’t live or associate with each other we don’t need to be nice about the writing. If it stinks we can suggest ways of improving it without worrying that we are going to have the dinner slammed on the table or lose a friend. I would much rather be told how to fix something than be told that I am the next John Grisham and wander around with a false sense of my own brilliance.

And here’s the story:

Auntie Vera and the Goddess of Health and Efficiency.
Auntie Vera liked Tuesdays at the pensioner’s day centre, for it was one of the few times that she was able to get together with her friends without some fool of an official trying to organise something useful or helpful for them.

She would settle in her favourite chair by the radiator and hold court on whatever subject happened to be the current hot topic. In the course of their conversations, she and her friends had worked out how to end world poverty, resolve the situation in the middle east and had compiled a league table of the best doctors and the worst bus drivers in the district.

Tuesdays were special in other ways too. For Tuesday was cake day, and cake day was when Pam Harper the council funded manageress of the day centre would wheel in a trolley loaded with soft sponge’s, Battenburgs and Bakewell tarts for the members. As a result there would generally be more people than usual gathered there all in anticipation of securing a free bun. Therefore, it was somewhat disturbing when one Tuesday morning the sanctity of the day centre was violated by the appearance of a chirpy middle aged woman carrying a large CD player, rather than someone delivering a hundredweight of jam doughnuts and iced cup cakes.

Apparently, someone at the council had seen a television report about health and fitness programs for pensioners, and demonstrating the enthusiasm for such things that is always shown by people who organise things rather than having to endure them themselves, had booked the woman to put the members of the club through their paces.

The official notice pinned to the board that announced that this was to happen had been unread by everyone due to the smallness of the type. Auntie Vera and the others watched with some horror as the woman, having set up her equipment, stripped off her clothes until she was dressed solely in a Lycra leotard and woollen leggings. Mr Pemberton who had been observing the woman more keenly than the others had to sit down and take one of his “calming” tablets.

“Come along now,” said the Lycra clad woman, clapping her hands.“It’s time to get fit and healthy.”

This statement was met by uncomprehending stares from her potential fitness class.“Come on. Come on,” she demanded. “This is going to be fun!”

Auntie Vera’s wasn’t sure that having her Tuesday morning disturbed by someone with a ghetto blaster whom she had never met before could be accurately described as fun. A view evidently shared by everyone else as none of the club members made any move to leave their seats. This display of passive resistance didn’t seem to dent the enthusiasm of their unwelcome guest, who with the dedication of a true professional switched on the CD player and began to perform aseries of energetic movements to the music.
By the end of the third track, it was apparent that the woman was starting to be less certain of her authority.

“I am the Goddess of Health and Efficiency,” she proclaimed somewhat desperately, as she bounced up and down while clapping her hands above her head.

Auntie Vera thought that the goddess jumping up and down before her resembled a slightly mad middle-aged woman with too much make up, rather than a mythical being. She also thought that goddess’s probably didn’t sweat as much as this one, and as Vera had suffered at least thirty years more misery than the woman who was now telling her what she should do, she wasn’t inclined to take the exercise class too seriously, but at least the woman was a tryer, and you had to admire her dedication.

This seemed such a stupid thing to say that Auntie Vera was tempted to point out that she had been doing exactly that for the last four score years. But instead she reasoned that she should show some solidarity with the woman, particularly as the poor girl’s makeup was now starting to run, so she made a vague wind-milling motion with her hands.

Auntie Vera thought that the goddess jumping up and down before her resembled a slightly mad middle-aged woman with too much make up, rather than a mythical being. She also thought that goddess’s probably didn’t sweat as much as this one, and as Vera had suffered at least thirty years more misery than the woman who was now telling her what she should do, she wasn’t inclined to take the exercise class too seriously, but at least the woman was a tryer, and you had to admire her dedication.

This seemed such a stupid thing to say that Auntie Vera was tempted to point out that she had been doing exactly that for the last four score years. But instead she reasoned that she should show some solidarity with the woman, particularly as the poor girl’s makeup was now starting to run, so she made a vague wind-milling motion with her hands.This seemed such a stupid thing to say that Auntie Vera was tempted to point out that she had been doing exactly that for the last four score years. But instead she reasoned that she should show some solidarity with the woman, particularly as the poor girl’s makeup was now starting to run, so she made a vague wind-milling motion with her hands.

Encouraged by this first sign of co-operation, the woman continued straight into the next music track. “That’s it,” she gasped. “Everyone wave your hands.”

By the end of the forth track the intructress was obviously flagging, and Auntie Vera was becoming concerned for her well being. Indeed the woman would have probably stopped, or at least slowed down at that point had it not been for the arrival behind her of Pam Harper and the cake trolley. At this sight everyone raised themselves from their chairs and started to move forward in order to secure themselves the best cakes. Taking this as an indication of participation in the fitness class rather than participation in demolishing the club’s stock of confectionery, the woman – now red faced and struggling to keep up with the rhythm of the music – gamely continued dancing to the next track. It was only when her fitness class swept past her that she staggered to a halt.

Auntie Vera went to the CD player and pulled the plug out of the wall.

“Are you alright, dear?” she asked the woman.

“I think so,” she replied, holding her side “But I’ve got a bit of a stitch. I’ve only just started doing this again now that the kids are grown up, and I think that I’m not as fit as I used to be.”
Auntie Vera patted the woman’s shoulder. “Come and sit down,” she said. “I’ll get you a cup of tea and a piece of cake.”

OUT SOON!
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4 thoughts on “Gary Moore introduces us to: Churchmouse Tales – for "big" kids.

  1. Louise, what a kind, intelligent, good looking, sexy and brilliant (as well as an excellent judge of literature) person you are to post my interview with you.
    Good luck with “A right Charlie”

    Like

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