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Interview with Moriah Densley

I’d like to give a warm, bloggy welcome to one of my new favorite authors, the lovely and multi-talented Moriah Densley! (Don’t miss your chance to help us celebrate Moriah’s re-release and enter the giveaway for a pair of handmade silver earrings.)

Moriah Densley sees nothing odd at all about keeping both a violin case and a range bag stuffed with pistols in the back seat of her car. They hold up the stack of books in the middle, of course. She enjoys writing about Victorians, assassins, and geeks. Her muses are summoned by the smell of chocolate, usually at odd hours of the night. By day her alter ego is your friendly neighborhood music teacher. She lives in Las Vegas with her husband and four children. Published in historical and paranormal romance, Moriah has a Master’s degree in music, is a 2012 RWA Golden Heart finalist, 2012 National Reader’s Choice Award winner in historical romance and ’12 NRCA “Best First Book” finalist.


“Thanks for having me on today, Angela. I’m a big fan of Once Upon a Road Trip. Dear Readers, if you haven’t read it yet, go get it now!”

Aww, shucks! ^_^ Coming from an author as talented as you, that means the world to me. Thanks for the shameless cross-promotion. 😉 (And for the record, I totally didn’t bribe you with cookies and endless devotion to get you to say that! >.>)

Tell me about your journey into publication… (Jaunty stroll in the park, or barefoot hike over broken glass?)

“More like the latter. You might say I’m a sadder-but-wiser girl. Third time’s the charm, right?

Everyone keeps saying the publishing industry is changing faster than we can keep up with. It bends its own rules, surprises lurk at every turn, and it seems to make or break you on a whim. If you’re thinking that sounds like an ex-boyfriend, I’m right there with you.

Yes, it took me a few tries to find the right fit, but I’ve learned a lot and met lovely readers and authors along the way. I’m happy at esKape Press, a new independent publisher owned by savvy bestselling authors who believe in putting the author first. They’re going to make it big, I know it.”

Well, it’s not a fairy tale insta-success for most of us. You’re in good company, and I’m willing to bet it’s built some serious character. And possibly, some serious…characters? >.> Congratulations on the new publisher! 🙂

You have two unique historicals out there now. What is it that compels you to write that particular genre?

“I adore Victorian history in all its bizarre, romanticist excess. The art, music and literature was lush and imaginative. The aristocracy adapted(kicking and screaming) to the democratic ideals creeping over from America, while the bohemian artists and temperance crusaders duked it out over sensuality vs. propriety. It was a circus of extremes.

Victorians were the original hippies – did you know they even gave their children random names like Princess Cheese, Oral, Thimble-Thrower, Minty Badger, and Toilet? (I swear I’m not making this up.) Setting my stories in the 1860-70s means I have a rich palette of possibilities. It’s license to make my characters oh-so-colorful!”

…I can honestly say I had no idea! >.> I know they say that trends and fashions tend to cycle back around and around, but that’s fascinatingly ridiculous. 😀

What does your usual writing routine look like?

“Wish I had one. I do projects boom-and-bust, so when I fall in love with a story, it takes over my life until I finish it. Then I burn out until the next time. Blame it on my artistic temperament…”

I’ll henceforth refer to this as “artistic dedication.” It certainly seems to work for you, considering the quality of your results.

Do you work with critique partners?

“And beta readers, yes! I’ve had the same critique partners and beta readers for years now, and I owe them a big thanks. They make me look good. I rely on other sets of eyes to find problems I hadn’t even thought about. I never send a manuscript out unless I have Susie, Mary, Kat, Suzanne, Nicole, and Laura’s stamp of approval.”

As a reader who has deeply enjoyed your work, I’d like to personally thank your screening team! 🙂

How likely are people you meet to end up in one of your next books?

“Very likely, so watch out! Typically a character is a conglomerate of personalities that suits the story. Just the same, I use real people as templates so often, I probably couldn’t reveal who is who without getting myself into trouble.”

Hmm. I’m not sure whether I should lay low, or risk immortalization. >.>

Tell us a little about your current Work In Progress.

“The King of Threadneedle Street, about a financial prodigy who turns the national economy upside down to get what he wants, is next in the Rougemont series and releases December 2013.

I’m currently writing Rougemont #3, featuring a character who was jilted twice in the previous books. One of London’s most eligible bachelors, he causes uproar by taking up with a black woman who *gasp!* works as a writer.

Also trying my hand at contemporary romance. Tentatively titled Starter Wife, it’s set in Las Vegas(where I live), and almost none of the shenanigans in it are fictional. The premise: A high-society housewife gets dumped by her rock star lawyer husband, and her mysterious UFC fighter neighbor keeps saving the day. Can’t remember the last time I had so much fun writing a story.”

You are one busy, diverse lady! I look forward to reading ALL of your works, regardless. But I’d like to personally vouch for The King Of Threadneedle Street–which I still think about even though it’s been months since I experienced it. ^_^ Lets give readers a quick peek at Song For Sophia…

To win a man’s heart, a woman must have the mind of a diplomat, a general, and Cleopatra, all in one.

Desperation has led Anne-Sophia Duncombe to a life of exile. Still, she is always just one mistake away from capture and a marriage she would rather die than endure. As a last resort to remain hidden from her former life, Sophia attempts a radical scheme; a life of humility and disguise.

Rumor has it Wilhelm Montegue, the Earl of Devon, is insane. A tormented war hero haunted by scandal, he is only tolerated because of his brilliant mind and swarthy good looks. His unmentionable “condition” which keeps him confined to his country home is also the source of his talent for composing music.

When a new housemaid is hired at Rougemont, Lord Devon is perplexed to find himself fascinated by her. He knows the exquisite beauty is keeping secrets but her siren’s voice draws him ever closer, and he can’t resist the intoxicating scent of danger surrounding her.

2012 RWA Golden Heart® Finalist
2012 OKRWA National Reader’s Choice Award Winner, Historical Romance
2012 OKRWA National Reader’s Choice Award Finalist, Best First Book
“5-Crown” Review, RomCon®

What advice would you most like to give to a pre-published author? (And/or…what advice do you wish you had been given early on in your career?)

“Thick skin, my friends. You have to be plucky and indomitable. Take your lumps and come back swinging. And find good writer friends to celebrate and commiserate with. That’s the good news—you’re not in it alone.”

Amen, sister! >.>

If you could have any Disney sidekick creature as a manifestation of
your muse, which one would you pick and why?

“Can I have Kronk’s shoulder angels? From The Emperor’s New Groove? Because when I’m choosing between A and B for plot elements, Z is usually the best choice.”

That’s a new one! I have no rules against a set pair… and I do have a soft spot for the big lug. ^_^

Plastic, paper, or BYOB (bring your own bag)?

“If you ask for “paper” at a Wal-Mart in Las Vegas, the cashier thinks you’re initiating a drug deal. Don’t do that. Just take the plastic and watch your back in the parking lot, because someone is trying to sell you chloroform perfume. You can recycle the bags if it makes you feel guilty.”

…I think I’m just going to chalk that one up to…erm…cultural differences? o.O

Zombies. Undead menace…or improbable, misunderstood love interest?

“The former. Although, I confess I’ve found a way to use the term “zombie apocalypse” in all of my non-historical stories. (“Tomfoolery” and “magical unicorn” are my pet terms for historicals, by the way.)

Why? What’s your take on zombies? Do tell!”

I love ‘Tomfoolery.’ We should bring it back into common usage. ^_^
As for the romantic appeal of the undead…well…I have to draw the line somewhere. >.> Call me bias, but necrosis seems like a solid reason to put up a giant STOP sign. I did however, enjoy ‘Warm Bodies.’ But I’d argue it was really more about redemption than romantic reanimation…

I’d like to thank Moriah for letting us get to know her a little better! And now, here’s your opportunity to win these: Autumn jasper and Tibetan silver dangle earrings–handmade by Moriah Densley. (I told you she was multi-talented!)

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25 thoughts on “Interview with Moriah Densley

  1. Fun interview, Angela! Thanks so much for hosting me today. I’ll check back in after I get back from the gym. Got to go work on my “writer’s butt.” haha

  2. Pingback: Interview & Jewelry Giveaway at Angela N. Blount’s Blog – Moriah Densley

  3. Hey Moriah, you already got my review on Song For Sophia, but for those who have not read it it was a good read and had me giggling.

  4. Just wanted to drop by and add another stop to my Moriah stalking routine. I also wanted to add my voice to how awesome Song For Sophia was. This lady has some serious writing chops

    1. Yay! I’m always glad to hear from you, Sebella. Please keep stalking me, please. It makes me feel like a rock star. Next thing you know, I’ll be signing babies and throwing paperbacks to the crowd. Or maybe I should stick to jewelry giveaways… hehe Thanks for the kind words. It keeps me going.

  5. I have to say that I fell in love with Moriah’s style of writing by reading Song for Sophia.
    The moment I started to read your beautiful story, I had to know what would happen next!
    Your stories are filled with tenderness and passion. I gladly recommend your books!
    You are a very talented writer and jewelry artist! Keep on writing and never stop!

    1. Nicole, I love that you always take the time to stop by and say hello. Thanks for the encouragement. An author couldn’t ask for a more inspiring fan! Hope you’re surviving the cold in Canada. I’m sure it’s nothing compared to what’s coming, but it’s already cooling down here in Vegas, and I’m complaining.

  6. Song for Sophia was a great book. I was so fortunate to be able to read it. I highly recommend it 🙂 Enjoyed the interview.

  7. Hello, Moriah. I enjoyed your interview. Song for Sophia sounds like a good read. The blurb makes me want to know more about the Earl of Devon and his insanity. Is it just a cover so he can be left alone to write his music?.?.?

    1. Hi, Donna! Nice to meet you. No – Lord Devon isn’t that good of an actor 😉 He is an autistic savant, but of course no one knew what it was then. (Think Rain Man, with X-Men Wolverine’s bad attitude.) Sometimes he seems perfectly normal, with moments of brilliance, and other times it’s not so easy for Sophia to understand him… Definitely a flawed hero.

  8. Hello Moirah! Thanks for sharing a little bit about yourself. I think Song for Sophia sounds great, and I look forward to reading it. The earrings are gorgeous – how wonderful to be so multi-talented!