I went with Jeannie, Seanie, and Bri. Bri is a HUGE chatterbox so he dominated most of the conversation on the way down to Capitola. We got to the Book Cafe about forty-five minutes early, and nearly all the chairs were claimed. We managed to find two pairs of seats, so we draped sweaters over the seats and wandered off to find pizza. Amazingly, the seats were still vacant when we got back. Moore fans are a polite bunch.
At 5:30 Mr. Moore promptly appeared. He started out talking about how everyone he knows seems to have an adopted Chinese baby, and this one time his friend was on an airplane full of Americans bringing their Chinese babies home and all the babies were hopped up on Sudafed and it was just awful for everyone except Christopher Moore, because he got a story out of it. Also, he had finished a book earlier that year about vampires. Maybe we had heard of it?
Most of the time was used for Q&A. A lot of the questions were fairly standard: who was Moore's favorite character, which character did he see himself in, etc. But the answers were interesting. Let's see what I can remember:
1. Moore wanted to write a book about an eighty-year old blues singer who tries to make it big, but he was told to submit some other ideas because that one wouldn't sell. One of these throw away pitches became Bloodsucking Fiends. The blues singer's story was eventually incorporated into The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove.
2. His next book is set in late 19th century Paris, and centers on 'the usual suspects' of Impressionism.
3. His next book after that, he hopes, will be a sort of sequel to Fool. He'd like to write about Pocket again. He mentioned his research will involve living in Venice for a time. So Shakespeare-wise, are we looking at a possible Merchant of Venice? Othello?
4. The character Moore sees himself in most is...Tommy from the vampire stories. But that would be Chris at nineteen, not the current, middle-aged edition.
5. Catch came about because as a teenager, driving around at night and getting pulled over all the time by cops for being young and aimless, Moore fantasized about having a demon under the car seat that would eat the officers. (There were a decent number of questions about Practical Demonkeeping, which I didn't expect, because it's Moore's oldest book.) His favorite character in the book, aside from Catch, is August Brine.
6. Was the resemblance between Bartholomew (Lamb) and Emperor Norton intentional? No.
7. All of Moore's books have been optioned for movies except Fool, because Moore wishes to retain the theater rights to it. He's working on making Fool a genuine play for the stage. (Awesome!!!)
8. Soul vessels in A Dirty Job came about because, as Moore was writing the story, a TV series came out that tackled many similar ideas and themes. The show? Dead Like Me. Soul vessels were added to help distance the story from comparison to the tv show.
9. Ask and ye shall receive: the main reason so many of Moore's characters appear again and again is because fans request it.