A Few Questions with J. Moody

J. Moody is a featured author in the upcoming anthology Once Upon Another Time: Fresh Tales from the Far Side of Fantasy, an international publication available for free from Amazon on May 23, 2022.

Stories in the Anthology:
Hansel and Gretel Were Here
The Deliverer

A Few Questions

What are some authors/books/events that have been influential to your work?

The SEPA Project explores what makes us human, which may be a nod to my favorite novel, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (Dick). My characters fight against leaders who can modify your memories, which came from the manipulation I was seeing in the news, but you could argue that 1984’s themes are just a part of my DNA at this point. Margaret Atwood, James Baldwin, Bernardine Evaristo, James S.A. Corey, Lois Lowery, and Suzanne Collins have all been inspirations at one point or another, guiding my style as I try different tools and genres.

How do you see writing fitting in (or not) within the current world of books?

I would love to say my writing belongs tucked between those classic society-critiquing dystopias and a few shiny young adult adventure stories. It brings strong female leads and normalized queer relationships into the sci-fi genre, so it might not have been welcome alongside the books of the past. I won’t say it belongs to the future either, for we can hope that somewhere down the line we won’t need to write about women fighting for control over their own bodies, a theme that comes up a lot in my books and is certainly coming up in our present times. So, let’s say my book fits in with the stories of right now, as flashing warning signs to stand up and fight for justice.

What are you currently working on?

I am writing the final book in The Sepa Series trilogy, teaching, and working on a large art commission. Working on the stories for Once Upon Another Time has inspired me to try short fiction, though, so there might be another collection on the horizon.

What has/have been your proudest moment/s as a writer?

In college, I won the Best Short Horror Award for a story I wrote about my childhood. It was my first attempt at submitting my writing to anything. I still have the picture of me holding the award the night of the reading. That proud moment will always stay with me, but I’ve found that every time a complete stranger takes the time to review my novel, it is that moment, sprung to life again. It’s a very special thing to have your characters be seen and valued by others.

What books/authors are you currently reading or really into?

Sci-fi favorites are The Expanse series (Corey), every book but especially Caliban’s War. I also fell in love with a little novella called A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers, about a non-binary soul searcher living in a utopia. My top literary fiction books this year have been Sabrina & Corina: Stories by Kali Fajardo-Anstine, a collection about Latinas of Indigenous descent living their lives in modern day US, The Vanishing Half: A Novel by Brit Bennett, which looks at colorism and passing, and Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo, which explores sexuality, identity, and the relationships between several powerful Black women. As far as non fiction goes, I’m currently devouring On Writing by Stephen King.

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