An author whose books I’ve long enjoyed is Linda Mooney, who has well over 100 books published in various genres under three pen names. Her latest is a time travel romance entitled Roog, and the premise intrigued me so I was delighted to have the chance to interview her for Amazing Stories Magazine blog.
The book blurb: Scientist Leigh Readon and her colleagues have done the unimaginable. They’ve invented a machine that can transport matter to other platforms of the same machine. When the US government gets wind, they want it shut down immediately, or so they say. In an effort to save the technology from falling into the wrong hands, the group deletes all of the schematics and research information, and Leigh takes the risk of transporting herself to France where one of their landing pads is located. When she gets there, she plans to give the French scientists a heads up.
Only she doesn’t land in the France she expected. She finds herself among…cavemen? Is that even possible? Accepting her fate, Leigh tries to navigate the primitive world of the Stone Age, and soon finds herself in the arms of her hero, Roog, who protects her from the elements and the not so friendly inhabitants, and teaches her the way of his people.The other scientists are still trying to figure out where she is, or worse, when she is. With the government breathing down their necks and trying to shut them down, can they find her before it’s too late? If given the chance, would Leigh go back to her time, or make a life for herself with Roog?
Veronica Scott for Amazing Stories: What was your story spark or inspiration for this novel?
LM: As a fellow writer, you know that sometimes you plan a story to go a certain way, but it may suddenly decide to go in a different direction. The basic idea of the Send-Matic was supposed to be part of another book. But when that book took a sharp left turn without warning, I still had the plot sitting in my head. I just didn’t know where to go with it.
That’s when I decided to take a mental break, and I went to Houston to see the Museum of Natural Science. I’d never been there, and they had a Pompeii exhibit that intrigued me. It was while I was there and got fully immersed in the Paleozoic and other prehistoric eras that the seed bloomed, and I knew what I wanted to write next. And that’s where ROOG was born.
ASM.: What do you think the appeal of a time travel story is for readers?
LM: Time travel takes readers to a time in history they themselves have never been, but it’s also tricky to write. If you go forward, you can pretty much create whatever you want out of whole cloth. But if you go into the past, you darn well better be knowledgeable about that era. Since so much of the Stone age and Early Man is mostly unknown, I felt it was ripe for a little “invasion”. Plus I got a lot of inspiration from the museum. As an added bonus, who doesn’t like to see big, brawny cavemen?
ASM.: How did you put yourself in the mind of a caveman in order to write Roog? What’s your favorite thing about Roog?
LM: I tried to keep his mindset as simple as possible, including the language. A lot of people like to think of cavemen as savages (as portrayed on TV and in movies), but I believe there had to be some of the “strong yet silent” types, as well. Men who could hold their own, protecting and defending, and doing what needed to be done to help their mates and families survive. Roog doesn’t have the accumulation of knowledge Leigh does, but she doesn’t have his expertise and experience, either. Together, they share what they know and have, and they become all the better for it.
ASM.: I agree that people must have been pretty smart back then to survive and invent the things needed. You have such a huge backlist! What’s your secret for being so prolific? Or what’s your writing process like?
LM: I have a simple goal – 1000 words or a chapter a day. I keep a journal for all my works in progress. Once I hit my daily target, if the inspiration is there, I keep going. If not, I take a break from it and hit it again the next day. (I believe my drive as an elementary school teacher of 36 yrs. had a lot to do with my stamina.) I also maintain 3 separate blogs (one for Linda Mooney, one for Carolyn Gregg-my naughty persona, and one for Gail Smith-for my horror books.) As well as contribute monthly to the HERE BE MAGIC blog for a group of authors who write sci-fi, fantasy, and paranormal romances. Plus I also take care of my own website, not to mention my social media sites.
And when I’m not on the computer (LOL!) I either read or watch movies, usually horror.
ASM: I love the way you move between genres. Do you have a preference for Fantasy or Science Fiction?
LM: Actually, it’s usually not until I start working on a book that I have to figure out which genre it fits in. I love both genres equally. It’s the plot that grips me. And I have NO idea where the initial seed comes from! A lot of times I’ll see a picture, and BOOM! There’s the germ that starts growing. That’s why I love to go to places I’ve never been before. It helps to recharge my batteries and offer up fresh ideas and concepts.
ASM.: If you had to pick one of your books to make into a movie, which one would it be and why?
LM: My BATTLE LORD SAGA! And not into a movie – a TV series! I LOVE my Yulen and Atty, the H/H of the series. I’ve even written spin-offs starring their children. It takes place in the future, in an post-apocalyptic world where there exists 3 types of humans – the Normals (like Yulen, who’s the Battle Lord of his compound), the Mutah (like Atty, who has a mutant strain), and the Bloods, who are the most mutated.
ASM.: Good choice, although I also really enkoyed the the Veils Trilogy, which could have cinematic possibilities. What’s next for you as an author?
LM: For my October release, I’m planning on a book of short horror stories (for Halloween, right?), plus a SciFi novelette. I’m still in that resting between time I give myself before I start my next project. I’m not a pantser or a plotter, but during these breaks I do write down in my journal a lot of plot points I want to cover for each story.
ASM.: What’s on your To Be Read list?
LM: I’m currently reading Honey Phillips’ Mars/Western/Cyborg series.
For more about Linda Mooney and her books visit https://lindamooney.blogspot.com/