Friday, September 25, 2009
Book Review and Author Interview
I'm so excited because H.B. Moore chose our blog to be one of the stops for her Alma blog tour!!
This book is awesome!! It's the 2nd in her Prophets of the Book of Mormon series. The first book is Abinidi, I highly recommend that book as well.
I really enjoyed reading this book and imagining what Alma's life might have been like. There were a couple of things that I had never imagined that way, but she transported me into her imagination and I loved it. I love these books, they help me to see the prophets as the real people that they were. It makes their accomplishments that much more extraordinary. The characters in these stories really come to life and make you care for the plight of the Nephites. I definately recommend that everyone read these books!!
The summary from the back of ALMA is:
King Noah is thundering with rage. The former high priest Alma has vanished from the city of Nephi, and every night more of his believers manage to escape. The king blames Amulon and threatens certain punishment unless Amulon recaptures Alma - a seemingly impossible task. But Amulon has a plan. An equally valuable prisoner is at his fingertips: Noah's wife, Maia, whose newfound faith means bitter humiliation for the king and an opportunity for Amulon to sieze power.
I also took this time to ask Heather a few questions:
1. When writing about the prophets of the Book of Mormon, what is your favorite part?
My favorite part is learning more about the culture, religious beliefs, and political infrastructure that surrounded the various time periods of each prophet. It gives a lot of credence to the motivations that the prophets seemed to have and makes developing their characters very interesting.
2. What is the most daunting part?
The most daunting part about writing a novel based on historical figures is to find the balance between making the story compelling, fresh, and interesting, along with living up to the general perception of the readers—so that the reader will be accepting and find the plot and characterizations plausible. I once had a man tell me at a book signing that he wouldn’t read my books because he didn’t want me to ruin his perception of the Book of Mormon. Yet, I’ve also had many people say that they imagined Nephi, et al, very close to how I wrote them. It’s impossible to make everyone excited about a re-telling of the prophets’ stories, and I don’t expect to. By the way, that man’s wife bought one of my books, so the verdict is still out. Although it’s not my intention to recast the prophets into “Heather Moore’s” vision, but to bring together research from scholarly experts, the scriptures, and some creative storytelling.
3. There are a few of us that write on this blog who are having what a lot of what people call writer's block. The flow of words that we once enjoyed freely have suddenly dried up. Do you have any experience with this phenomenon, and what would your advice be?
I once read a quote by Barbara Kingsolver that basically said she didn’t have time for writer’s block because she had children. After laughing, I thought a lot about it. Writer’s block is only a luxury when you don’t have a deadline. But once you do have a deadline (self-imposed or otherwise), you have to find a way to work through it—immediately. Some of the things I do when I feel “stuck” (which is OFTEN), is to hit the research—this sparks new ideas. Or read through a scene or two that you’ve already written. Write out of order—maybe you know what happens at the end, but not in the middle. So . . . write the ending. But number one on my list is: Tell myself that I’m choosing path A, and I can always go back and change it later. Very rarely have I gone back to change a decision. Other times that I’ve felt my writing isn’t flowing as fast as I want, I read a book, watch a movie, or jot down various scenarios. It often gets the creative juices moving again. You might consider writing in a different genre, or trying a short story. But when it comes down to it, you just have to sit down and write. You need to learn how to be a finisher. A surgeon wouldn’t show up in the operating room and declare that today he doesn’t feel like working, so it will just have to wait until he’s more inspired. Writing is definitely more about perspiration than inspiration—even in my genre!
Thank you Heather for allowing our blog to be part of the Alma blog tour and for you words of wisdom!!! Everyone be sure to learn more about H.B. Moore at http://www.hbmoore.com/ Also check out her blog on our blog links below "My Writer's Lair".