Monday, August 22, 2011

Daughter of interview with Misty Moncur

I was always a very imaginative child. When I was young, a giant globe willow tree grew in our backyard. That tree was the portal to my creative world. I traveled to exotic lands, fought my way through dense jungle, conquered high mountain peaks, and won fierce battles with my trusty sword (a sword my dad fashioned from a stick) all from the comfort of my own backyard. The stories my mother read me fueled that creativity, and many of my favorite stories centered around The Book of Mormon and the heroic Nephite warriors. So today, I'm very excited to introduce Misty Moncur and The Daughter of Helaman

Meet Misty Moncur...
Tell us about your book.
Daughter of Helaman is a fictional story based on one of the best examples of faith in the Book of Mormon.  It is about a young Ammonite girl who wants to go into battle with her brothers and the boys from her village, the boys we know as the stripling warriors.  Keturah begins training secretly with one of the young warriors, and when Helaman arrives to lead the boys, she’s ready to show them all what she’s made of.
Daughter of Helaman is the first novel in a coming of age trilogy.  Personally, I think of it as a romance.  But it’s a romance that is not resolved in the first book, and romance is certainly not the only theme in the book.  It can be read as a religious story or just an entertaining one.  It will make you laugh, it might make you cry, and you (probably) won’t regret taking the time to read it.

What inspired you to write Daughter of Helaman?
One day while out with my mom, I was telling her I had come to the end of a writing project and wondering aloud what to work on next.  In that way mothers have, she simply said, “You ought to pray about it.”
Well, of course I rolled my eyes in that way daughters have, but I did it anyway, and within the next 24 hours this beautiful story came to my mind.  It was so familiar to me I actually thought I had seen the movie somewhere. 

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
When you first hear about the story, it sounds like one of those “girl power” stories.  You can definitely read it that way if you want, but there are a lot more themes running through it—both religious and coming of age. 
For example, in Daughter of Helaman, Keturah learns to recognize when the Spirit speaks to her, and in the next book of the series, The Stripling War, she learns to follow its promptings.  Her father’s weapons represent the gifts our Heavenly Father has given to us.  Ultimately, Keturah can represent each of us and the book can be read as a reminder that the war in heaven continues here on earth.

When and why did you begin writing?
I have always written.  I think most authors will tell you that.  I’ve always enjoyed it.  Grammar makes sense to me; it’s one of the few things that does!  Growing up I always kept a journal, and I think that is why writing in first person (like in Daughter of Helaman) comes so naturally to me.
And why?  The easy answer is that there is no other option; for me, it is either write or die inside.  But seriously, one of my high school teachers told me (a loooooong time ago) that I should be a teacher because he thought I had something to say.  Well, the teacher thing wasn’t going to happen (that is someone else’s calling, no way could I do it!), and I thought I didn’t have anything in particular to say.  But as I’ve gotten older I’ve realized that everyone has something to say, and everyone gets to say it in their own way.  Writing is mine.

Watch The Daughter of Helaman Trailer:

Do you see writing as a career?
I am just starting out, but yes.  There is no other one thing that makes me feel like myself.

Do you have any advice or tips on writing you would like to share?
What works for me is taking advantage of small increments of time, even five or ten minutes.  It all adds up.
I also voice record the entire manuscript a few chapters at a time as I edit them and listen to it over and over.  Nerdy, I know, but it helps me pick up on errors (like having someone walk away when they are supposedly sitting in a tree) and keep facts and details straight (it’s easier to store details in my head because if I have to look them up I get distracted reading the manuscript). 

What is your favorite hobby besides writing?
I’m laughing at you for even asking this.  Is there anything else?  Most of my favorite hobbies are related to writing.  I like to read and blog.  But I also like to play the piano and crochet when I have time, and I enjoy spending time with my family.

Thank you Misty for joining us today!!  To learn more about Misty Moncur visit Misty's blog today!

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1 comment:

  1. Love the interview and LOVE the book! Misty's writing is always so fun to read - her characters are amazingly real and, even though they lived long ago, I expect to meet them every time I read her books. Can't wait for the next two in the series!