The Letterpress Project interview

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The Letterpress Project
Author and Illustrator E-Interviews
An Interview with Alistair Moore

Q1. What are your earliest memories of books and reading? For example, did you have a favourite or inspirational book?

I grew up surrounded by books, so I was reading from a fairly young age. I enjoyed children’s books, but I also read adult books as a child. I think I absorbed a lot even though I was often too young to fully understand what I was reading.

Q2. What inspired you to become an author / illustrator?

I think the desire to write was always in me. Even at a very young age I was writing stories, usually with drawings, action heroes randomly taking command of Boeing 747s, things like that. I think some of it was a mashup of James Bond and Star Wars films – secret agents and evil Darth Vader types jumping around in boats and planes and spaceships.

Q3. For you, what makes a successful book or illustration?

I generally don’t read books or watch films more than once, so if I do that’s a pretty sure sign something made an impact on me. I think a book could be said to be successful if it fires the reader’s imagination, gets them thinking, gets them talking. Speaking for myself, I feel like this when I read something that really feels original. Another obvious sign of a successful book – that people finish it. We live in an age of very short attention spans and very many distractions. I think any book that has the quality of being a ‘page turner’ – that people can’t easily put down – in this day and age, has succeeded. Another success factor, which I would say applies to most forms of creative output – music, art, films, books, plays – is that they stand the test of time.

Q4. Do you have a specific audience in mind when you write your books / plan your illustrations?

Not really. I might imagine different types of reader reading what I write, but I just tell stories that want to come out – and that I think will be entertaining to read. I don’t only write in one kind of genre either. Some of my stuff is more dark comedy, some more drama. I’ve always wondered what kind of readers I’ll attract once my writing is out there – this is always interesting to me.

Q5. What future do you think the physical book has? For example, do you think the electronic book will replace the physical book?

I don’t think physical books are going anywhere. I think the Internet is killing off newspapers and indeed mainstream media, but I think people will always enjoying reading real books. Nothing against e-books though, I think they’re fantastic and hugely convenient.

Q6. Are you a book collector? Is there a special book you’d love to own?

Not especially. I think it’s nice to be surrounded by books, but until I’m settled somewhere long-term, I won’t be starting a library. One day!