Friday, January 21, 2011

Significant Other Blogfest

Talli (link) & DL (link) had this fun idea for us all to unveil the men and women behind our writerly curtains. So without further ado, I give you J. Richard Moore, the man who I did not consult in Sept. 2009, when I decided to start staying up late into the night furiously typing away on Debut Novel.

I was embarrassed to tell him what I was doing, so naturally he asked me if was having an online affair. (LOL!) I came clean, making him the first person I told I was trying to become a novelist. Our lives haven't been the same since.

First, about JRM & me:
  • He's the son of educators and avid readers--his mom taught 5th grade math 30 years and his dad was a principal at all grade levels.
  • In HS, JRM was in the fictitious band, Cruel Abdul & the Camel Jockeys. They had a hit song, "Multiple Humps," and he would put up fliers around his school for their pretend gigs. 
  • We met as freshmen at Louisiana State University, where we both worked in the English Dept.
  • My sorority sister Rita Leger, who also worked in the English Dept., introduced me to JRM. Richard, in turn, introduced her to her husband Jason Rush. We're all still speaking.
  • Although we were both dating other people, JRM would go home every summer to Ruston, La., and write me long, hilarious letters (on paper!) that I still have. The second summer one of those letters was a love letter... (I still have it--*swoon*)
  • When he returned to LSU that August, before the start of our senior year, at the Thirsty Tiger in Downtown Baton Rouge, I suggested we break up with those other people and start going out.
  • He said No.
  • After graduation (he graduated cum laude w/degrees in English, political science and women's studies--nerd!) he moved to Nashville to attend Vanderbilt Law School.
  • In law school, JRM was in a real band, Thunder Skunk.They're still available for bookings.
  • We never dated until 2002, when I moved to Indy. We were married six months later in a fever... (OK, not really. In a guerilla-style wedding in Holliday Park).
  • He still plays guitar and writes songs today with titles such as "Keifer Sutherland's Mother" and "That Dog'd Bite You."
  • We're now the very proud parents of the two most gorgeous, hilarious little girls on the planet, Catherine Grace and Laura Carroll, who are both writing songs and books of their own.
That's our history in a nutshell, now for the Q&A with JRM:

LTM: So tell the bleeps (and keep it short--everybody hates long posts) your favorite genre and top three favorite books of all time.
JRM:  Favorite genre = non-genre fiction.  Favorite books of all time = All The King's Men (Warren);  Great Expectations (Dickens);  Quicksilver (Stephenson).

(That sets up my next question. My writing genre is YA romantic fiction along the lines of Sarah Dessen, Robin Palmer, Deb Caletti. Clearly testing the strength of our relationship, I always make JRM be my first beta.)

LTM: DL wants you to tell everyone if you read my stuff, and if so, what you think are my strengths and weaknesses--he clarified with "What gets under your skin the most about my writing?"
JRM:  Yes; strengths are character expression and development. You are really good at this, and giving your characters, especially the ones you care about, a credible and strong voice,is your most awesome writing talent.  Your main weakness is "plotting," i.e. following through on realistic character response to plot stimuli and/or underwriting situations because you are eager to get the story told.

LTM: (DL also gave me this one) Do you feel I don't give your opinion of my writing enough weight because you're my hubby?  Being biased and all?
JRM:  No.  I'm a doctor, not a critic.

LTM: Did you ever think I'd pull a stunt like this? (Try to become a career novelist, I mean.) 
JRM:  Yes.

LTM: (again, I'm curious) How has this experience changed me? (DL put it: Can you see the stress of seeking publication bleed into my day to day life?)
JRM:  This has changed you by making you a better, much more experienced, impressive fiction writer.

LTM: Here's a mandatory question--What food or drink is guaranteed to return me to a good mood, even after a bad day writing?
JRM:  I dunno.  .  .  Cava?

LTM: One more--What one thing would you change about your others writing habits?
JRM:  This is almost English, I think.  Are you operating this interview from Sri Lanka?

LTM: And the last one--How hard is it to sit by and watch someone you care for struggle to attain a dream, knowing there's very little you can do to help?
JRM:  It is almost as hard as quartz, and much harder than cypress.

LTM: This blog was another thing I sprung on you that takes up a lot of my time. What do you think of my blog?
JRM:  Clearly you were lying to me in the preface to the previous question.  Despite your mendacity, I respond as follows:  Your blog is a truly masterful combination of the feelings you showcase via your countenance and a view of the inner workings of your spirit.  You can be quite moving with what you write, without just giving vent to unrestrained emotion.  Your blog is extremely well done.

LTM: When we first got married, you wanted to be the foremost living expert on Richard Nixon. Now you've got what I think is an even better idea. Tell the readers the idea for your novel. (I think it's awesome.)
JRM: Malcolm Andrus Jones goes to work for the Nixon Administration straight out of the University of Maryland.  He wants everyone to call him "A.J." and find him to be a strong and efficient, but lovable, authority figure.  Instead, he falls in with Howard Hunt and Gordon Liddy, who call him "Mutt," and unwittingly masterminds the Watergate burglary, the collapse of the Administration, and the stature of the American Presidency for the rest of our lifetimes.  Snap.

LTM: Would you rather I sing, dance or neither.
JRM:  Both simultaneously.  Right now.

LTM: Final thoughts?
JRM:  Like, my last thoughts before I die?  OK:  "Wow, I probably shouldn't have said that."
So there you have it! And if I'd been thinking, I'dve opened the comments section to questions earlier in the week. Since I didn't, I'll let you guys do that now!

If you have a burning question we didn't address, put it in the comments, and we'll answer it here.

Have a great weekend, reader-friends! Til Monday~ <3


S.A. Larsenッ said...

I love the way you did this!! You're love story is, 'Multiple Humps'? Just pointing that out...

Stina said...

That's so sweet that he did this. I didn't ask my husband because I knew he probably wouldn't do it. And it would be dry. That's what he reads and writes all day (even before bedtime).

It's also sweet your husband beta reads your books. Mine just doesn't have the time. Not to mention he hasn't read a novel in over 15 years!

Matthew MacNish said...

Nice to meet you Richard. Your wife is very clever and incredibly entertaining, as I'm sure you know!

I find this interesting: Rita and Jason Rush? Are they from Mississippi? We may be related. My great grand father founded the Rush hospital in Meridian. Just sayin.

Jon Paul said...

Too funny! No worries--I often speak like I'm phoning in from Sri Lanka too.

Although I loved the "Mutt" story idea, I think the use of Nixon and snap in the same paragraph violates two laws of physics and several tenets of good taste. Perhaps "Oh, burn!" would work better.

Great post. Loved it!

DL Hammons said...

Oh...I like this guy! Aside from going to LSU (which by itself would make him a slam-dunk), his subtle and layered sense of humor matches mine perfectly.

I LOVED the way you did this Leigh. The background first and then the questions, giving us a well-rounded insight into your relationship...perfect. I am so happy you talked Richard into taking part. Thank you both! :)

Jessica Bell said...

haha! Your hubbie sounds like a cool guy! Wish we could do a double date! ;o)

DEZMOND said...

ah, you are such a cute couple and your kids look like they were made of marshmallows and sugar :)

vic caswell said...

he's hilarious! fake band posters!!!! that's AWESOME!!! very cool. :)

Stephanie Lorée said...

Great interview! Sounds like you've met your match, and you can take that however you please. ;)

Talli Roland said...

What an intelligent, interesting man! You sound like the perfect match. I like that he wants you to sing *and* dance. Go girl!

LTM said...

I've emailed those I could~
Thanks, JP! He will lurv your comment re: Nixon, and I'm sure have some witty retort. I'll be sure he reads it~ :o) <3

Creepy Query Girl said...

awe, so cute! This blogfest has made for some great material! Congrats on such a supportive S.O.! *snap* LOL love it!

Unknown said...

Your hubs sounds lovable and so smart! His sense of humor was sprinkled throughout this interview -- I loved it!

Myne said...

our hubby has a great sense of humor, no wonder his letters were 'hilarious' LOL...

Awesome love story, I'm mush....

Old Kitty said...

What a talented and creative family!!! Glad to meet you JRM!!! Your idea for a novel sounds fab!! My question is - do you each have a his n hers writing desk?? :-) Take care

Mason Canyon said...

What a great post. Enjoyed getting to know both of you. Sounds like it's been a wonderful adventure and continues to explore.

Thoughts in Progress

Angela said...

Your girls are adorable!

Alex Cameron said...

Firstly what a great love story! Couldn't believe I was so taken by it after only several line. Just lovely. Secondly - love the sounds of your book. Thirdly your hubby sounds like a good but tough critic! TGW

Sangu Mandanna said...

Aww this was such a great post! And I love how your history and then the Q&A gives us such a great sense of the pair of you and your relationship!

Elena Solodow said...

I like his novel idea. Very cute interview! And your girls are adorable.

Wendy Tyler Ryan said...

Very Cool. I enjoyed reading.

Unknown said...

You guys both sound like a lot of fun! Thanks for sharing!

Summer Ross said...

You two have gone on quite an adventure together. Its romantic he wrote you letters, even a love one and you still have it.

He sounds very supportive of your dream, and thats wonderful to know about. Great Q and A!

Jennie Bailey said...

This was hilarious! What an attractive couple! And those kids? Gorgeous! Thanks for sharing a little of your story with us before the interview. I think it's a great love story - taking so long to develop, all the teasing with the other people you were dating until you finally got together. I kept everything that The Hubster sent me before we got together as well - I have a whole chest full of emails and cards. Have a great weekend!!

Hart Johnson said...

ohmygawd, I'm in love! I knew JRM and I agreed on an awful lot, but his humor is FABULOUS, and THIS: "Both simultaneously. Right now." won me over forever.

Carolyn Abiad said...

Happy to "meet" JRM, finally! It's like seeing the flip many things make sense all of a sudden :D

Unknown said...

Wow, your husband is funny! I can't believe he said no to dating you. Maybe that's what he's thinking when he utters the words "I shouldn't have said that."

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's funny he just KNEW you'd do this!

Lisa Galek said...

Okay, your husband sounds pretty much awesome! It's great that you have him as a live-in CP (I have to poke and prod my husband through my manuscripts).

Please make him write that book - I would be first in line to read it.

Oh, and just out of curosity, what sorority were you in? I was a Phi Mu...

Nicole Zoltack said...

Loved this! Great opening with the background, great questions and answers. :)

LTM said...

@TGW--We've def. had a unique experience. LOL! :D And thanks on the book props. He is a good, tough critic. And sometimes I don't get mad at him for it. ;p

@Sangu--Thanks! I was hoping to do that for you guys~ :o)

@Wendy--Thank you! <3

@Summer--yeah. I thought the girls would like having those later. He is a great supporter. Thanks for visiting~ :o) <3

N. R. Williams said...

Nice interview. I think you've got a great man. My husband would have grunted, "dun no," to all of the above. I love the "Mutt" nickname...I can so see that happening in what must have been a terrible white house job.
N. R. Williams, fantasy author

PK HREZO said...

This was so great! And the high school band sounds hilarious. I bet Mr. Moore is a funny guy to live with. Love the pics and getting a sneak peek into your real life. You and your girls are just gorgeous! And your old man's not so bad either. ;)

Loved this team post!

Colene Murphy said...

Wow, great job!! I loved your background bit. Your hubs sounds like a smartypants in the best way!
You do have some beautiful gals too!!

Vicki Rocho said...

Fabulous post! I totally wanna come over and chill out with both of you!

LTM said...

@PK--yep, that "band" gives you a good idea of his particular brand of humor. ;o) Thank you, honey~ <3

Theresa Milstein said...

Nice to add how you guys met and finally got together.

You both have a great sense of humor. No wonder you seem to work so well as a couple.

Shannon said...

I loved this post! If it's possible to "read" great chemistry, it's clear you two have it.

LTM - you seem like a fascinating guy. I guess you would have to be to capture Leigh's heart.

Leigh, the more I learn about you, the more I like you. You're fabulous!

Margo Kelly said...

Very nice! LOVE it.

Ella said...

Great job you two! I also have a blonde daughter with brown eyes; They both are adorable! I love the wit and wisdom he wove throughout.
Honest for the most part, with refreshing sentiment~

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Leigh and Richard .. great interview and seeing how you both interact with each other .. the girls look such fun too - good ages now.

Enjoy the time and here's to your success .. cheers with some Cava? - a bit early I think .. Hilary

LTM said...

@Margo--Thank you! :o) <3

@Hilary--yeah, it's only 8 a.m. here... ;p But thank you! The girls are my heart~ :o)

Kari Marie said...

I like the backstory on your relationship. This is a great post.

LTM said...

Thanks, Kari! And thanks for visiting~ :o) <3

Lola Sharp said...

Oh, I LOVED this! I love your story and the interview. (he's funny!)

Sorry I'm late to it, I've been busy and now I'm trying to catch up.

erica and christy said...

Wow, you and your hubby are a super pair! Gorgeous little girls, too! This interview was superb! I love the way you did it. Thanks so much. This blogfest was great. Wish I hadn't missed it! Christy