Author Interview: Matthew Moffitt

The BookShelf Café Interview:

Tell us about your book(s)?
My first novel, From Moon to Joshua, published by EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy
Publishing, is a genre-bending science fiction western steampunk tale that follows Drayaden
Sinclaire as he investigates the disappearance of a husband and son on the Desert Land. The
Desert Land is a barren wasteland that Toreth, the home country, sends all their criminals to live
out the rest of their days. It’s harsh and relentless, like it’s people. You don’t live on the Desert
Land, but merely survive. Trades, oaths, and debts are the manner in which they live, as they try
and hide the shadows of their former lives. And Drayaden’s shadows may just be the largest.
What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why? 
Definitely the interaction between Drayaden and his only friend on the Desert Land, Malcolm
King. Drayaden is all dark and brooding, while Malcolm is flippant, sarcastic, and wise-cracking.
The two complement one another well, and dialogue shines the most when those two are
involved because the relationship between them goes beyond what the Desert Land dictates. The
Desert Land says survival is only possible if relationships are maintained by oaths or debts to be
paid. The circumstances in From Moon to Joshua test that between Malcolm and Drayaden.
How did you become involved with the subject or theme of your book?
I’m currently a post-doctoral fellow in clinical psychology. I obtained my PhD from the
University of South Dakota and during my time there I spent two years assessing violence and
aggressive psychopathy at the South Dakota State Penitentiary. It was here that I was exposed to
inmate culture and learned about the drastic differences in normative behavior as compared to
society outside of the cement walls. From Moon to Joshua, although constructed from a science
fiction western landscape, attempts to explore these dynamics from a personal viewpoint as well
as a societal one.
What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved

From Moon to Joshua explores how it feels to be an outcast, rejected from the place you called
home, and how one manages to recover from that reality. The inmate population is one that is
often not talked about or if they are talked about, they are labeled and stereotyped. I wanted to
dispel that. Despite their faults, the characters in From Moon to Joshua are people you can get
behind. You want them to win despite the ruthless circumstances they are placed in. In short,
they’re human, just like us; they make mistakes but they do the best they can to seek redemption
and forgiveness for them. That’s at the heart of this tale and of Drayaden’s story.
Why do you write? What keeps you motivated during creative slumps?

I see a lot of people in this world who work ridiculously hard just to get by. They put in insane
hours to help others and support their families. I write so that at the end of the day they may pick
up my book and take their mind off the junk they have going on in their lives. I also write so that
readers can be shown a different perspective of the world, and there has to be some search for
meaning by the reader.
As for creative slumps – it happens. That’s inevitable. As writers, we tackle this – at least I do –
by always reminding myself why I write. There I find my motivation returning.
Do you outline books ahead of time or are you more of a by-the-seat-of-your-pants writer?
Seat-of-my-pants for sure.
Who are some of your favorite authors?
Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, Tami Hoag, Tolkien, Duncan B. Barlow
Are there any nuggets of wisdom you can impart to aspiring writers? 
The most important part of writing for the first time is to actually complete the work. Write every
day and don’t stop until the work is complete. Writing is a practice – or rather an art form – of
self-discipline. You have to master that before you master the craft itself. One other nugget is:
don’t write something to fit an agent’s wish list or what they think will sell. Write what gives
you fire at your fingertips.
Is there anything about the writing life that you think is misunderstood by the public?
I hear so many people say “oh I’ve always wanted to write a novel. I think that’d be cool.” And it
is. But it’s grueling work. As I’ve said, it takes an incredible amount of self-discipline. There is
no clock-in, no boss watching over you. And there’s no guarantee your work will be ever be
published. Most writers are part time because it doesn’t pay enough to go full time to support
their families. So during the day, for instance, they work a normal 9-5 job, but then come and
plow away at the computer. It takes a lot and not just from yourself as the writer, but from your
loved ones and friends too.
Writers don’t do it for the fame or money or recognition; anyone who has sat down and written
something knows this. You do it because something inside you compels you to put the words
down. It may never see the light of day, but that’s not why you do it.
What are your future project(s)?
I am currently penning the script for the murder-mystery, neo-noir psychological thriller video
game MY EYES ON YOU. MY EYES ON YOU follows framed FBI analyst Jordan Adalien as
he chases after the ubiquitous serial killer known only as Carnival Man. MY EYES ON YOU
takes place in an alternate version of Chicago, where Carnival culture is king and many of
Chicago’s inhabitants wear masks to express parts of themselves they could never admit to.

You can check out Matthew Moffitt’s novel, From Moon to Joshua, here:

Twitter –  @miso_matthew

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To learn more about MY EYES ON YOU check out our website at or follow them on twitter @storymindent

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